Wednesday, October 29, 2014

ntx beer week picks

North Texas Beer Week is fast approaching us (starting this Friday October 31) and the number of events is staggering this year. As much as I would love to hit up every single one, I'm pretty sure that would be impossible and a trip to the ER would be the end result. However, I have picked out events each day that I would not only love to hit up but also will realistically be able to attend as well.

As much as I would love to attend the Brewer's Ball on Nov 7, I just can't justify spending $125 for a ticket. However, it looks like it'll be an amazing event so if you can go, go! 

Below are the events I am going to try to hit up. If you see me, come by and say hello. If you recite a LOTR quote upon meeting me, I might just buy you a pint.

I will be here a lot during NTX Beer Week


Small Batch Release 1 of 10 - Altbier
Four Corners Brewing Company


Small Batch Release 2 of 10 - Smore Stout
Four Corners Brewing Company
1:00 pm
FCBC Smore Stout

Martin House Brewery Tour
Martin House Brewing Company
Every Saturday (2-5pm) & Thursday (6-8pm) we open our brewery home for everybody to come and hang out. The tour is actually more of an open house, and you will be able to see all of the brewery equipment as you relax and enjoy beers in our space. You can come anytime during our open hours and stay as much or as little as you’d like. $10

Brew-Drink-Brains: A Grand Opening Bash
The Collective Brewing Project
Just in time for NTX Beer Week, The Collective Brewing Project will finally be opening their doors for a grand opening celebration. (21+ only)


Cowboys, Cardinals & Community
Bryan Street Tavern
Come watch the Cowboys defeat the Cardinals at noon on 23 flat screen TV's and enjoy $4 Community draughts and keep the pint glass! Community Beer Line-up: Community Mosaic IPA, Community Vienna Lager, Community Legion (10oz - 9.9% ABV)
 - I hear Bryan Street Tavern has some spicy wings. I would very much like to find out while watching football and drinking local craft beer for only $4.

Sunday Funday w/ Grapevine Craft Brewery
LUCK (Local Urban Craft Kitchen)
Starting at 12pm we will have Grapevine Craft Brewery out with the tapping of Night Watch Oatmeal Stout along with Lakefire and 10 Gauge. Around 3:30pm we will be tapping the Oak Aged Night Watch Oatmeal Stout. We will have North Texas Beer Week commemorative glassware and North Texas Beer Week commemorative growlers. An ongoing cornhole tournement, as well as the Dallas Cowboys game going....A great way to kick off North Texas Beer Week

Small Batch Release 3 of 10 Peppercorn Pale Ale
Four Corners Brewing Company
2:00 pm


Small Batch Release 4 of 10 - ESB
Four Corners Brewing Company
6:00 pm
FCBC Extra Special Bitter (ESB)

Ommegang HopChef -Dallas 2014
3015 -At Trinity Groves
6:30 pm
Brewery Ommegang brings its national food and beer pairing competition, HopChef, to Dallas. Dallas’ top beer-forward chefs under one roof to pair dishes with a variety of Ommegang ales Tickets


Small Batch Release 5 of 10 - American Lime Wheat
Four Corners Brewing Company
FCBC American Lime Wheat


Small Batch Release 6 of 10 Steam Beer
Four Corners Brewing Company
FCBC Steam Beer

Thai Me Up Beer Dinner Hosted by Malai Kitchen (Thai food and beer? Yes please)
Malai Kitchen
7:00 p.m.
Head to Malai Kitchen on Wednesday, November 5th, for a “Thai Me Up” beer dinner featuring Malai's portfolio of house-brewed, Asian-style beers. Chef Braden Wages will team up with Paul Singhapong of CrushCraft Thai to create a six-course menu including an amuse bouche of crispy rice, cured pork, and scallop paired with a shandy shooter; Vietnamese crepes with Bia Hoi; grilled quail salad with Golden Triangle Fusion Saison; oxtail soup with Malai Bock; black bass and Thai ratatouille with Thai-P-A; and sticky rice creme brulee with Coconut-Chili-Chocolate Porter. Dinner is priced at $60 per person (including beer pairings). For reservations, please call 214.599.7857.


Small Batch Release 7 of 10 Belgian Waffle Tripel
Four Corners Brewing Company
Belgian Waffle Tripel


A Rye Scotch Ale brewed in collaboration with (soon to open) Braindead Brewing is our 8th release. An Imperial Golden Stout brewed with our friends at Grapevine Craft Brewery is the 9th of 10 specialty beers. Both are brewed in very limited batches for NTX Beer Week. Be there to grab a pint while it lasts! You won't find this anywhere else.
Four Corners Brewing Company
Rye Scotch Ale and Imperial Golden Stout

Franconia 200 year-old Fallen Bock Keg Tapping (200 year old keg, shit yeah!)
Bryan Street Tavern
Come watch your favorite college football team and witness the tapping of a 200 year-old keg of Franconia Fallen Bock!!!! Franconia draught line-up: Franconia Fallen Bock (200 year old keg) Franconia Wheat Franconia Dunkel Keep the pint glass when you're done!


Small Batch Release 10 of 10 Imperial Red Ale
Four Corners Brewing Company
2:00 pm
Imperial Red Ale

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

Friday, October 24, 2014

luck 1 year anniversary party

Many bars and restaurants take several years before finding their true identity. Some aren't even so lucky.

LUCK opened their doors on Oct 23, 2013, and in just one year of being open, they have not only found their identity, they have also sealed themselves in becoming one of the premier spots in Dallas to grab a North Texas beer. I'm very happy to call LUCK my neighborhood pub.

There are so many places opening up now that simply ride along the success of the craft beer craze, call themselves a gastropub and charge $8 for a local beer (you know who they are). Not LUCK. They care about the beer, and more importantly, they care about the people behind the beer. Their 1 year anniversary party was a testament to their love of beer, with masses of local North Texas brewers, employees and fans coming to drink to their success.

On the patio, live music played in the background while kids sang and danced, all the while up-and-coming breweries like On Rotation, Four Bullets and Noble Rey were handing out samples of their brews.

On Rotation out of White Rock Lake (licensed as a brewpub) had a killer cucumber wheat. The cucumber was evident without being overpowering, and only hit your palate at the front, while the typical dryness of a wheat came in at the end. Very refreshing. Their cafe au lait oatmeal stout was a little too light bodied for me, but the coffee was definitely there.

Noble Rey will be opening their doors in the Design District and poured four different beers. Favorites included their Gourd Life Pumpkin Ale, which surprised me, and their Steam lager.

Four Bullets out of Richardson has a good full bodied brown that satisfied on all fronts.

Their tap list was beyond impressive. One of my favorites of the night was Rabbit Hole's Off With Your Red pouring from a pin (aka firkin in some circles). Rabbit Hole's Crazy #9 was also quite impressive (and crazy!). I can't believe how much a different water source changed the flavor profile. So much in fact, I mistakingly asked Matt, their brewer, if they used Belgian yeast. Deep Ellum's 2012 Wealth and Taste was exceptional, while Lakewood's Lion's Share II was just as tart and refreshing as I remember.

Rabbit Hole Off With Your Red cask
Deep Ellum 2012 Wealth and Taste, and other dark beer (??)

Cheers to LUCK and here's to many more years of success for them!

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

LUCK and team, ASSEMBLE!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

lakewood bokkenrijders - doppelsticke alt

At first glance, you are probably asking yourself the same question I had; what the fuck is a bokkenrijder?

Bokkenrijder, translated from Dutch, means 'buckrider.' Read the bloody and fairly disturbing Dutch myth below.

I'm a big fan of the Lengendary Series beers that Lakewood produces. So far, they have mainly been Belgian influenced, so I was anxious to try a more German influenced legend. 'Sticke' in German means 'secret' and is typically reserved for stronger versions of the Altbier style, leading to the Sticke Alt style. This one pours a bloody red/copper color (maybe to coincide with the bloody myth?) and gives off big fruity esters with hints of cherry and sweet malt. The flavors reminded me of what an Imperial Oktoberfest/Marzen might taste like, reminiscent of the smooth soft malts they are famous for. This one is all malt baby, so hop heads won't get any of their dank resins in this one. Even though the myth will probably give me nightmares tonight, I highly recommend picking this one up. Cheers!

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

your craft beer guide to the state fair of texas

The State Fair of Texas is known for many things, from Big Tex to Fletcher's Corny Dogs, to fried butter and fried brisket. One thing that the fair is not well known for, but is slowly trickling its way into the fair, is local craft beer (as evidenced by the picture above). It's not as easy as going up to any of the hundreds of food stands where Miller/Bud/Coors products rule the roost, but with a little effort you can drink some quality beer at the State Fair of Texas.

Tip: The vendors at the State Fair of Texas take coupons, not cash. The local craft beer runs around 15 coupons. 20 coupons costs $10, so a pint of beer will run around $7. Not too bad really, considering some so called 'gastropubs' in Dallas charge the same.

Where To Go

I would recommend parking at or around Gate 11. At this point, you will be close to a few craft beer spots to hit up.

1. Funnel Cake Ale

This year, the fair went even further than having a local craft beer area and decided to brew its own with the help of Community Beer Company. The concept and execution was great. The Funnel Cake Ale is a summer ale brewed with English malts to give it a bread like character and aged over vanilla beans. The beer itself is not too sweet. In fact, it's quite dry, and the addition of a powdered sugar rim actually helps balance the beer out quite nicely. Well done Community!

You can find the State Fair Beer around Gate 11 where the funnel cakes are sold.

2. Texas Wine Garden

Okay, on the map you'll find the Texas Wine Garden but over here there is another Oasis, the Local Craft Beers biergarten as well. Here you will find many local favorites like Deep Ellum, Rabbit Hole, Lakewood, Franconia and Four Corners. You also get to keep a large plastic pilsner style Texas Craft Beer Cup from here.

3. German Biergarten

There's a German biergarten around the line of famous fried foods (near the Chevy Main Stage). I didn't venture in there, but it looked like Paulaner and Spaten were a couple you could get.

4. Random Stands

There are random food stands in the entire State Fair where you can find the likes of Real Ale Fireman's 4 (near Big Tex for one) and Shiner Bock as well. I believe these will run you around 12 coupons.

I never ventured into the large Food Court, but I'm sure you can find some in there as well. Let us know if you find more areas with local craft beer. Cheers!

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

dallas happy hour - blind butcher

.5 Liter of Franconia Kolsch

When describing a sausage, there is one word that usually takes the quality from good to great: SNAP. You know what I'm talking about, that instant of total bliss when you take that first bite of a great sausage and the exterior of it creates a shock wave of flavor and fat. This is exactly what happened to me at Blind Butcher, the hip new cured meat and craft beer joint on Greenville Ave. In fact, it was so much snap that my face ended up with a delicious sausage grease mask.

The service at Blind Butcher, at first, was something left to be desired as we waited almost ten minutes just for our server to take our order. However, after apologizing profusely about bad communication on their part, she ended up becoming one of the best servers we've had in awhile. We were 'that' table that night with a hangry toddler and spilled water all over as a result. Luckily the patio was empty and our waitress did all she could to feed that hangry elf.

Everything was delicious from the perfectly crispy truffle fries to the bacon grease covered brussel sprouts, from the waygu beef tartare to the cheese and jalapeno stuffed beef sausage. The waygu beef tartare was interesting as it was topped with a beet pickled quail egg and crispy capers, adding that zing you expect from tartare. The homemade chips provided the canvas for spreading and also added a nice crunch. I only wish it was finely chopped instead of ground.

They also have a great happy hour. Every day from 4-6pm they offer $2 off all beer, wine and cocktails and $5 off bottles of wine (where's the love for beer bombers?). Their beer menu is good, and they even offer 1 liter seidels of Franconia. Blind Butcher also has a small parking lot by the patio so you don't have to valet or mindlessly look for street parking. If you're in the Greenville area, I recommend giving Blind Butcher a shot. Cheers!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

dallas happy hour - ten bells tavern

Leave it to what looks like an over sized metal shed dive bar tucked away in the popular Bishop Arts neighborhood to have one of the best happy hours in Dallas. Every Tuesday, this unassuming yet somehow stylish bar serves up some of the best small bites Dallas has to offer WITH a pint of beer for only $10. Yes, you heard that right, a small plate of food with a pint of beer for only ten bucks.Winner winner chicken really, get the chicken wings, they're fabulous. Even though they aren't spicy, they are perfectly cooked with a sweet and savory flavor profile and crispy skin. Served with blue cheese fondue on the bottom of the plate (don't ask for ranch, they don't have any, hell you don't need it!) and topped with even more dank blue cheese, this is a perfect snack/light meal that pairs perfectly with a hoppier beer like Rabbit Hole's Off With Your Red, an imperial red.

Their draft selection is small but is mainly focused on local and craft. Other small plate options include mac n' cheese, baked burrata, short rib frites and salmon bruschetta.

If it's Tuesday and you're in Oak Cliff, make your way to Ten Bells Tavern for some of the best bar food in Dallas.

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