Sunday, February 27, 2022

Community premieres sizable new space in Pegasus Park

Public areas at Community include two large taprooms and a spacious
open-air biergarten. All images © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D.

It's a big year ahead for Community Beer Co., as the brewery begins its tenth year of operation in Dallas. And, what better way to kick things off than to open the doors to a new building that anchors what's destined to become a local craft beer showplace.

Community debuted its brand in January 2013, after leasing a 21,600 square foot space on Inspiration Dr. in the Design District. Eight years later, the company announced plans for a big move, with the destination being a 70,000 square foot multi-use facility at 3110 Commonwealth Dr. in Pegasus Park.

"Big," if you haven't caught on by now, is the operative word here. Everything about Community's new home represents a massive upgrade compared to where the company did business before. Downstairs taproom...big. Upstairs taproom...big. Outdoor biergarten...big. Production area...really big. I haven't seen the barrel room/event space, but we'll just assume it's plenty big as well.

In other words, if you're in search of a spot for a large-scale craft beer gathering, Community's got ya covered.

Community standards like Mosaic IPA, Texas Lager and the new Texas-Style Bock
are available on tap or to-go, with cans and crowlers being take-home options.

On top of what there is to see now, there's still more to come. It's all about the beer at present, as patrons can enjoy a pint on the patio or in one of the two taprooms (each of which provides expansive views of the brewhouse). But eventually, further site amenities will include a live music venture outdoors, as well as a full-service restaurant called the Community Kitchen indoors.

Oh, and there's also the promise of wine and distilled spirits one day being created in house as well. In the meantime, though, beverage options consist of more than 15 beers on tap, along with pours of the brewery's Brite Side hard seltzer.

As for an official unveiling, the brewery's Grand Opening Bierfest is set for Saturday, March 5. The festivities will feature live music, food from Chef Kent Rathbun and the release of two commemorative beers. Tickets are on sale now at a cost of $15pp, or $30pp for premier privileges (click here to purchase).

If you can't wait to check things out, know that Community is now open six days a week, with service hours Tuesday through Sunday. Visit the brewery's website at communitybeer.com for more details.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Texas Ale Project expanding distribution network with Ambiente

Image credits: Ambiente Beverage, Texas Ale Project.

Texas Ale Project (TAP) of Dallas has announced a new partnership with Ambiente Beverage of Austin for the distribution of the brewery's craft beer and TAPWTR hard seltzer products in the Houston, Austin, and San Antonio markets – which includes the cities of San Marcos, Waco, Galveston, and College Station.

According to a press release, TAP is experiencing rapid growth, and the alliance with Ambiente is expected to supplement the brewery's marketing efforts throughout the state. 

“Ambiente is very pleased to continue to grow our craft beer portfolio with Texas Ale Project!" says Tristan Maldonado, president of Ambiente Opco, LLC. "We have been scouring Texas for great breweries and feel that Texas Ale Project is the perfect fit for Ambiente.” 

Earlier this month, TAP won a silver medal in the Texas Craft Brewers Cup for 100 Million Angels Singing (double IPA), and it will be among the brewery’s award-winning beers distributed to San Antonio, Austin, and Houston accounts starting spring 2022. New beers are also in the works, including a new limited edition Pantera collaboration, a new rotational series of IPAs, and a new flavor of TAPWTR hard seltzer. 

“We’re very busy around here – planning for new beers and new markets!" says Kat Thompson, founder & CEO of TAP. "I am excited to take this next big step in our growth with Ambiente. They are strategic in their approach to service and market coverage. The efficiency this partnership provides allows us to focus on making great beers and growing our brands.” 

To help make the brewery's strategic plan a reality, TAP will be hiring sales representatives to support the growth of the brand in these new markets. Regional bars, restaurants and retailers interested in carrying Texas Ale Project products can contact sales@texasaleproject.com or reach out to their local distributor.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Big D rotator now regular offering at Lakewood

The beer’s label features the "Big D Robot," a nod to Dallas' iconic Traveling Man
taking Big Tex and the Fair Park ferris wheel for a stroll (Lakewood Brewing Co.)

Lakewood Brewing Co. of Garland has announced the release of Big D Double IPA, a permanent iteration of its popular rotating IPA series of 2021 that effectively served as a testing ground for this new year-round offering.

“Last year’s Big D series was a lot of fun for us and a way to experiment with what makes great IPAs,” says Wim Bens, president and founder of Lakewood. “The IPA landscape is always changing, but we think that balance is key to making an IPA that people want to keep coming back to. So, we created a wonderful balance of strength, hoppiness, flavor and aroma.”

According to a press release, Lakewood used copious amounts of a unique blend of hops, imparting big West Coast IPA hop character with a punch of tropical aroma. The resulting notes of orange, peach, and mango are said to ride a wave of balanced bitterness to create a surprisingly drinkable 8% ABV double IPA.

The beer is one of many new and limited releases to come from Lakewood, as the brewery celebrates its 10th year in business during 2022.

“I might be biased, but this is the best IPA we’ve come out with so far and it’s a perfect way to start celebrating our 10 years in beer!" adds Bens. "We have a lot us surprises in store for this year. I can’t wait!”

Big-D Double IPA is available now on draft and in six-packs of 12-ounce cans at the Lakewood taproom, with statewide distribution rolling out in the days ahead.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

North Texas takes 20 medals at inaugural Texas Craft Brewers Cup

Image credit: Texas Craft Brewers Guild.

The first ever Texas Craft Brewers Cup concluded this evening in Austin, with 12 North Texas breweries appearing among the winners.

Put on by the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, the inaugural competition was open to any Texas brewery meeting the Guild's Craft Brewer membership definition, but being an active member was not a requirement to participate. At this year's event, 755 entries from 131 Texas breweries were evaluated across 27 categories. The chosen groupings covered over 150 different beer styles combined.

Breweries from North Texas were awarded 20 total medals at the competition - 4 Gold, 8 Silver, and 8 Bronze. A complete list of local beers honored is provided below, or you can click here for a full competition summary.


Celestial Beerworks, Dallas

  • Technical Skillset, Gold in the Strong Hoppy Beer category.

Denton County Brewing Co., Denton

  • Small Town Strong, Bronze in the Barrel & Wood Aged Beer category.

False Idol Brewing, North Richland Hills

  • Spirit of Energy, Silver in the Hazy IPA category.
  • Law Enforcement Cheetah, Silver in the Session & Standard Hoppy Pale Ales and Lagers category.
  • 2 Live & Die in LA, Bronze in the American IPA category.

Lakewood Brewing Co., Garland

  • French Quarter Temptress, Silver in the Chocolate & Coffee Beer category.
  • Lakewood Live Vol. 3, Bronze in the Experimental, Hybrid & Specialty Beer category.
  • Tangerine Queen, Bronze in the Fruit & Field Beer category.

Maple Branch Craft Brewery, Fort Worth

  • Jack's Wandering Soul, Gold in the Fruit & Field Beer category.
  • Monkey Business, Silver in the Wheat or Rye Beer category.
Odd Muse Brewing, Farmers Branch 
  • Museverse, Gold in the Chocolate & Coffee Beer category.
  • 500 Pesos, Silver in the American & International Lager category.
On Rotation, Dallas
  •  Jalapeño Saison, Silver in the Smoke & Chili Beer category.
  • Velvet Hammer, Bronze in the Barleywine & Strong Ale category.
  • Moonsmoke, Silver in the Experimental, Hybrid & Specialty Beer category.
  • The Divine Monk, Bronze in the Belgian & Farmhouse Ale category.
  • 100 Million Angels Singing, Silver in the Strong Hoppy Beer category.
  • Urban Parakeet, Gold in the Session & Standard Hoppy Pale Ales and Lagers category.
  • Figment of Your Imagination, Bronze in the Decadent Beer category.
  • Flaaaaanders, Bronze in the Wood & Barrel-Aged Sour & Brett Beer category.


Cheers and congratulations to all!

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Eight regional, two grand champions crowned at 2021-22 USBTC winter event

Image credits: United States Beer Tasting Championship, Oak Highlands Brewery, Rahr & Sons Brewing Co.

Results have been revealed from the 28th Annual Winter Competition of the United States Beer Tasting Championship (USBTC). And, stop me if you've heard these names in relation to the USBTC before, but Oak Highlands Brewery of Dallas and Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. of Fort Worth have once again found themselves among the winners.

This year's winter gathering drew 556 entries from 142 breweries, and judges evaluated those beers across 19 different style categories. Just as a reminder, the USBTC picks regional winners in each category during the competition (North Texas breweries compete in the Rockies/Southwest division), with chosen beers advancing to a final round to determine a national grand champion.

Overall, eight North Texas beers were named Regional Champion during the event. Two of those, Drunken Santa and Winter Warmer from Rahr & Sons, also went on to be named Grand Champion in their respective categories.

A complete list of winning beers from North Texas is provided below, or you can click here for a full competition summary.


Oak Highlands Brewery, Dallas

  • White Wine Freaky Deaky, Regional Champion in the Non-Whiskey Aged Beer category.
  • Freaky Deaky, Regional Champion in the Belgian-Style Ale category.
  • Winter Warmer, Regional and Grand Champion in the Strong Ale category.
  • Drunken Santa, Regional and Grand Champion in the Holiday Spice Beer category.
  • Bourbon Barrel-Aged Winter Warmer, Regional Champion in the Whiskey Aged Beer category.
  • Iron Thistle, Regional Champion in the Scottish-Style Ale category.
  • Ugly Pug, Regional Champion in the Dark Lager/Dunkel category.
  • Rumpy, Regional Champion in the Spice Beer category.


Cheers and congratulations to Oak Highlands and Rahr & Sons!

Friday, February 4, 2022

Brew Aleworks aims for late spring opening in Granbury

Image courtesy of Brew Aleworks.

Residents of Granbury will soon have access to another source of locally-made beer, once a new brewpub opens in the city later this year.

According to owner Christian Piatt, development is underway on Brew Aleworks, a small-batch brewpub to be located in a 3000 square foot retail center space at 715 Autumn Ridge. Piatt, an already established business owner in Granbury, opened Brew Drinkery - a taproom and restaurant - there in January 2020.

As for Brew Aleworks, Piatt says the style of the place will have a 1920s Prohibition-era vibe. They'll offer a menu of upscale pub food (think gourmet burgers, wings and pizzas) served alongside beers produced on a seven-barrel system designed by Specific Mechanical Systems of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Recipes will focus predominantly on classic styles to start, with plans calling for a blonde ale, American amber, hefeweizen, hazy pale ale, Mexican lager and milk stout.

Piatt hopes to open Brew Aleworks in late May, or early June.