Thursday, December 18, 2014

rabbit hole brewing 1 year anniversary party

This past weekend, the crazy wabbits up in Justin, TX celebrated one year of serving delicious beer to the DFW metroplex by throwing a killer party with a lot of beer and BBQ. Much beer was had by all and many were lucky enough to walk away with door prizes such as shirts, glassware and signed bottles of their Hole Lang Syne. Their anniversary beer, aptly named Hole Lang Syne, is a delicious Belgian Golden Strong ale brewed with blackberries and raspberries which gives it a distinct tartness and beautiful color. Bottles were distributed, but I doubt any are left for purchase as it was very limited. However, you will be able to find it on draft at some of your favorite local watering holes as well.

Hole Lang Syne

Besides their core beers, three experimental beers were being served during the VIP session. The strawberry hefeweizen had far too much banana on the nose for me, but I see they were trying to do with the strawberry/banana combination. Tom said they will probably tone down the banana notes if they brew it again. The barleywine braggot had very little honey, still good though. The stand-out for the experimental beers was their traditional Belgian table beer. At 3.5% abv, this one packed a ton of flavor.

In terms of hop bombs, there was one that took even a hop lover like myself into a whole 'nother dimension of resiny delight. Randall the Enamel Animal was stuffed with Simcoe hops (high in alpha acids, which basically means it's a bittering hop) and Off with Your Red, an already hoppy red, was soaking up all of that hoppy goodness. Seriously, I thought I was chewing hops it was so intensely hoppy. Rabbit Hole, if you're reading this, please do this again so all may bask in the glory of this hop bomb.

Overall, it was a great day and people seemed to have had a great time. Congratulations to Rabbit Hole and cheers to many more years to come!

For more information on the Dallas beer scene, check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

small brewpub opening in oak cliff

The small space under Jefferson Tower in North Oak Cliff has some good news for North Texas Craft Beer fans. I don't know about you, but I have been anxiously awaiting this news. I'm so excited to have a brewpub so close by now.
From our friends at Small Brewpub in North Oak Cliff:

We’re pleased to announce that we’re ready to be open for business! 

Beginning today (Tuesday the 9th) at 4pm we are officially ready for your patronage. 

Here’s what we will have to offer: 

* Our very own Black Pepper Pils 
* Fyodor (Our Russian Imperial Stout) 
* Cocktails 
* And six guest beer taps 

On Thursday we will open our kitchen and Misti will reveal her menu. 

Our hours will be 4pm—Midnight 7 Days a week, for now we will be closing the kitchen on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s. 

PS, our IPA and a special Christmas beer release coming up soon.

Friday, December 5, 2014

rabbit hole anniversary party - caption contest

Okay all, here's your chance to get a pair of two tickets to the Rabbit Hole 1 Year Anniversary Party on December 13 at 1pm!

Just leave a comment/caption for the picture below for a chance to win. I will choose a winner by 8pm today.

No anonymous comments please, any anonymous comments will automatically be discarded. You can also leave a comment on the You Stay Hoppy Dallas Facebook page!

Good luck and have fun, cheers!

Laron, Matt and Tom of Rabbit Hole Brewing. Photo courtesy of Tait Lifto.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

a dallas-ite does fort worth

Collective Brewing Project

This past weekend, my wife and I took a little staycation in Fort Worth. Despite the rain on Saturday, we had a great time and got to hit up a lot of places I've wanted to try for awhile. With its beautiful downtown, growing craft beer scene and historical Stockyards, Fort Worth is a great destination for everyone.

First up, Zio Carlo Magnolia Brewpub. We stopped in for an appetizer and a couple of their house brewed beers. The doughy bierocks were filled with various sausage and beef concoctions with a side of spicy mustard and braised red cabbage. I'd order them again as they reminded me of little balls of pizza. Next time though, I definitely want to try one of their actual pizzas.

They had three house beers on tap that day, which included a winter spiced ale with ginger and orange peel, an oatmeal pale ale and a wit. All three were tasty but I definitely gravitated towards the creamy mouthfeel and hoppiness of the OPA. I'm not a huge fan of spiced ales, but theirs was pretty well balanced. Expect more on tap soon, apparently they went crazy last week with brewing. No flights though, which I found weird for a brewpub. However, awesome as they are, they filled two pint glasses half full and only charged for one pint.

Make sure to say hi to Adam, one of their two brewers. You can't miss the beard.

Zio Carlo Winter Spice and OPA

Zio Carlo Bierocks

I loved Zio Carlo, but it was a Saturday and they were playing Premier League football, which is fine (you know I love futbal) but we were in the mood for some college football so we headed over to Pour House for some more apps and beer. Thankfully the wings were only $.75 each (anytime NFL or NCAA football is on) because they were terribly soggy and bland. The loaded cheese fries were, well, cheese fries, kind of hard to screw that one up. It's a massive space with a ton of tvs and a great selection of local and micro beers. I'd go back, but only to watch a sporting event of some sort.

Pour House Tap Wall
Next up, the highlight of the trip; Collective Brewing Project, newbies to the beer scene in Fort Worth. Collective Brewing is a brewpub (no food yet, just chips for snacking) located just south of downtown in a location that reminded me of a young East Austin, perfect for what they are doing. What sets them apart from the rest? Crowlers. Crowlers, what the hell is a crowler? A 32oz can of liquid gold filled and sealed in front of your very eyes. Similar to a growler, but with very little head space and a lid that is sealed, crowlers limit oxidation just like a regular can. Ryan Deyo, co-founder, said it's the first of its kind in Texas and the idea came after his wife and he visited Ska Brewing this past August. 'We had a couple from their taproom. It was awesome since they keep for about a month. I was telling Tony Drewery about it one night over beers and he said yeah that thing is badass, and it would be awesome if you would get one. He just so happened to know the person at Oskar Blues that does the sales for the whole setup (they developed the system with Ball canning). We ordered everything though them and about a month later we were the first in Texas to have a Crowler station.'

Collective Brewing only had three beers on tap (everyone was short on beer this weekend!) at the time but they were delicious. My favorite was their Petite Golden Sour, their first sour ale which was soured using pediococcus. It was a deliciously light and refreshing sour with plenty of tartness. Their Pale Galaxy was also great, an IPA dry hopped with galaxy hops. Ryan also let me try their Pale Galaxy with Brett from the fermenter and damn, just damn. Expect great things from Collective Brewing, especially sour/funky beers. No flights here either, but they do offer Swiftys (half pints). Go get yourself a damn crowler already!

Mike Goldfuss and Ryan Deyo, founders of Collective Brewing Project

A mother f'in crowler!

That night, we decided to venture over to The Bearded Lady. Reminiscent of Rainey St in Austin, this house converted to a bar was really cool with a great beer selection and some surprisingly damn good food. We just happened to sit next to Eric Clayton, owner of Bearded Lady. He was a great guy that gave us some insight into the bar world, his Rainey St inspiration and the pub fare they offer. The tamarind glazed pork wings are what dreams are made of with a sweet and crispy exterior and meaty interior, a complete 180 from the wings we had earlier. The little 'slider' brats were also delicious, though the wings stole the show. This place reminds me of Ten Bells Tavern where elevated pub fare is offered in an almost dive bar setting. I highly recommend it.

The next day, we woke up to beautiful blue skies and sunshine. Our hotel was close to Sundance Square, so we decided to hit up the Bird Cafe. This young 'gastro' cafe is owned by the same peeps behind Meddlesome Moth, with David MicMillan in the kitchen. The joint has the same feel as Meddlesome Moth without the extensive focus on beer. Don't get me wrong, they have a good beer selection, but that's not the focus at Bird Cafe. We sat outside on their beautiful patio connecting to Sundance Square and had a great brunch that included a spicy Bloody Mary for my morning hangover. Perfectly fried chicken was placed over creamy hominy grits and jalapeno gravy and all topped with two poached eggs. This was beyond decadent but oh so delicious. We also had crispy Belgian waffles that were good but they were completely overshadowed by the amazing chicken and grits.

Overall, our trip to Fort Worth was great, despite the torrential downpours. We didn't get to check out all of the spots (Rahr, Martin House, Panther Island, Rodeo Goat), but we'll be back for more!

For more information on the Dallas beer scene, check us out on Facebook and Twitter. Cheers!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

north texas beer week recap

Ten days and countless pints later, North Texas Beer Week has come and gone, leaving us with blurry reminders of how much the North Texas beer scene has grown in just the last year. North Texas Beer Week has grown significantly with over 200 participants and events, giving people plenty of beer to choose from. It's been an amazing ride to watch and be a part of the beer scene up here in North Texas, and there's only more beer to come. Kudos to the organizers of this beer week.

Four Corners Brewing

Ten different beers in ten days seems ambitious, almost impossible. However, Four Corners Brewing took it upon themselves to release 10 beers in 10 days for beer week, and living so close to them I'm glad they were able to do this. It felt more like going to a brewpub than a brewery during that time, trying so many different styles. They also incorporated Randalled and nitro versions of the beers at times, giving patrons an opportunity to expand their palate even more. Much fun was had by all, many beers were drunk and a whole pig was even smoked with Daniel Vaughn of TMBBQ in attendance.

While this is totally subjective (and you may or may not agree with me) these were my favorites and least favorites of the ten.

I absolutely loved the Peppercorn Pale Ale, where just a hint of peppercorn bite came through at the end, even giving an almost fruit-like aroma and flavor profile (the Mucho Peppercorn Pale was my absolute favorite, employing even more peppercorn flavor). The Braindead Brewpub collaboration Scotch Ale was another favorite with its intense malty profile. The S'more Stout was divine on nitro, taking me back to childhood (just with alcohol). I enjoyed the nitro version Altbier surprisingly even more than its normal sibling. The ESB, Imperial Red and Steam beers were all solid. The Belgian Waffle Tripel was a cool concept, but lacked any Tripel phenols and the flavor was masked by maple. And please, don't brew the lime wheat again. All-in-all, I was impressed with Four Corners and their ability to get so many different beers out in such a short amount of time.

HopChef Dallas

HopChef, a unique culinary event put on by Ommegang, came to Dallas for the first time during beer week. Six different restaurants created six different small plate offerings to pair with six different Ommegang beers. It was a well organized event that was fun for both beer newbs and beer enthusiasts. Blind Butcher, Meddlesome Moth, Libertine Bar, FM Smoke House, The Common Table and Whiskey Cake all created great dishes, but some pairings just fell flat (but hey, I'm not complaining).

My favorite pairing of the night was from Libertine Bar, where roasted lamb was paired with the Dubbel. The roastiness of the lamb brought out so much malty sweetness from the beer, it was phenomenal. I also thoroughly enjoyed Blind Butcher's homemade sausage, cooking with the bravo hop as much as possible to pair with the Hop House. They even had a little smoker machine available to 'smoke' the bravo hops, which was very reminiscent of the hop's biological cousin (don't worry, I didn't inhale).

Misc. Beers

So many different beers were released during beer week, it was hard to choose which ones to hit up. A lot of it had to do with scheduling and distance, but here are a few other beers consumed during beer week that I enjoyed.

During the Peticolas tour, I finally got to try their new Tripel, A Lost Epic. Per usual from Peticolas, this did not disappoint. Just be careful, the 11% abv is incredibly well hidden and it will sneak up on you like a.

Community released a vanilla version of their Asscension Coffee porter. I was surprised how much the vanilla subdued the coffee flavors, which made it feel more like a latte. It was delicious.

Franconia released their Triple Dunkel at Bryan Street Tavern (fuck those spicy wings!) in a 200 year old Franconia keg and it was incredibly creamy. The keg didn't impart too much flavor, but there was a slight 'woody' flavor mid swallow, almost like if you were to chew on a little wood chip.

Grapevine released an oak aged version of their Night Watch, an oatmeal stout. I honestly can't tell you much besides the fact that I enjoyed it, I was too focused on the bags game that was being played on the patio at LUCK.

I love this beer from Deep Ellum, and they released it in cans during NTXBW. Just read here how much I love it.

Here's to seeing y'all during North Texas Beer Week in 2015. Cheers!

For more information on the Dallas beer scene, check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

Four Corners Nitro Altbier

Four Corners Collabs (Braindead Scotch and Grapevine Imp Golden Stout)

Franconia 200 Year Old Keg

Sunday Funday at Luck with Grapevine

Sunday Funday at Luck with Grapevine

HopChef Dallas

Libertine Bar Lamb Dish

Smokin' Hops

Tony Drewry (@beerpedaler) at HopChef Dallas