The Conspectus returns after a month-long hiatus with news on two recently-opened entities, three breweries in development, and an update on what's new in cans.
New Main now pouring guest taps in Pantego
New Main Brewing Co. officially debuted in Pantego with a grand opening event on February 24. Currently operating as a taproom, the company hopes to purchase equipment and initiate brewing operations later this year. In the meantime, visitors to New Main can expect to find a selection of 20 predominantly Texas-based craft beverages on tap during regular business hours occurring six days a week (Tue-Sun).
Brewing operations underway at Parker County
Announced in a Facebook post, Parker County Brewing Co. of Willow Park completed its first commercial brew day on March 3. Presumably fermenting away, the inaugural offering is said to be an American-style stout brewed with four types of malt and a mix of Cascade and Centennial hops.
Turning Point brewing in Bedford
Production is underway at Turning Point Beer in Bedford, as the company looks to build up stock ahead of its grand opening on March 17. Over a dozen house beers are expected to be available to those attending the event, and judging by posts appearing on Turning Point's Facebook page, a handful of hazy IPAs sure to be a part of the proceedings.
Steam Theory receives TABC license
Steam Theory Brewing Co. of Dallas is now officially licensed, after its permit was approved and issued by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission on February 28. Construction on the company's site in Trinity Groves is ongoing, but an official opening is still a few months away.
Happy Hippie launches crowdfunding campaign Looking to establish a brewery on the north side of town, Happy Hippie Brewing Co. has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Founder Michael Frederick has set an open-ended goal of $75,000, an amount he hopes to use for construction costs and the purchase of equipment. Currently, Happy Hippie is still looking for a home, but at last report Frederick was targeting a spot in the City of Richardson.
A fresh round-up of year-round (Pegasus offerings) and seasonal beers (all the others) being sold in cans for the first time...
Legal Draft Bock Trial (7.0% ABV): Doppelbock, available in 12-ounce six-packs.
903 Friday Slide (10.47% ABV): Irish car bomb milk stout, available in 12-ounce six-packs.
Panther Island Sweet Fang (5.0% ABV): Chocolate peanut butter milk stout, available in 12-ounce six-packs.
Rabbit Hole Jabberbock (6.56% ABV): Maibock, available in 12-ounce six-packs
Martin House The Morrigan (12.28% ABV): Barrel-aged blonde barleywine, available in 12-ounce two-packs.
Tupps Full Grown Scallywag (12.1% ABV): Coconut vanilla imperial stout, available in 12-ounce four-packs.
Pegasus City Cannoneer (7.43% ABV): Bold amber, available in 12-ounce six-packs.
Pegasus City Sixth Floor (5.4% ABV): Easy porter, available in 12-ounce six-packs.
(click to enlarge)
Image credits (top to bottom): Brian Brown/Beer in Big D, Parker County Brewing Co., Turning Point Beer, Steam Theory Brewing Co., Happy Hippie Brewing Co., Legal Draft Beer Co., Panther Island Brewing Co., 903 Brewers, Rabbit Hole Brewing, Martin House Brewing Co., Tupps Brewery, Pegasus City Brewery.
Looking to raise the profile of women's roles in the beer industry, local chapters of the Pink Boots Society (PBS) will craft special beers in collaboration with supporting breweries during the month of March.
"Pink Boots groups all across the world will brew collaboration beers this month, with our North Texas chapter participating for the first time ever this year on Thursday, March 8," says Andrea Gillum, Pink Boots member and co-owner of The Thirsty Growler. "This date marks International Women's Day 2018, and it's almost one year to the day since we formed the North Texas Pink Boots Chapter."
Collaboration brews will incorporate a custom Pink Boots Blend of hops, featuring varieties supplied by YCH Hops. Made up of a mix of Palisade, Simcoe, Mosaic, Citra and Loral hops, the proprietary blend is described as "fruity but not overly tropical, with more dominant citrus and herbal notes."
As for what type of beer the local chapter will create, the group led by Georgina Solis, brewer at Peticolas Brewing Co., will take on a classic craft beer style.
"The only requirement this year was to use the PBS hop blend," explains Solis. "Style was up to us and we decided on an American Pale Ale (mostly because of the hops), with the majority of the malt bill being English Maris Otter to incorporate the theme behind it all, International Women's Day. Because the majority of the grist is Maris Otter, we are adding a small amount of an experimental malt that will contribute a slight tartness to balance the foundation of this brew, and for the hops, it’ll be lower on the bitterness with a mouthful of citrus, fruity, and earthy flavors and aroma."
To be called Pinky Boots, the beer will be brewed at Oak Highlands Brewery, where co-owner Brad Mall has pledged to donate 100% of the proceeds from sales to PBS. Money raised will help fund Pink Boots' scholarships and other educational efforts, according to Gillum, who hopes the project will also encourage other women in the industry to join the 26 active members that currently make up the North Texas chapter.
"We are proud to be a part of this tradition, and proud to promote the PBS mission of advancing women in the craft beer industry through education," says Gillum.
Pinky Boots will debut as a draft-only release during an event to occur on March 24 at Oak Highlands (further details will be forthcoming). After that, look for the beer to be available on tap at select venues across North Texas.
For more information on the event or to learn how to become a member of the North Texas Pink Boots Chapter, email email@example.com.
On Monday February 26, 2018, Franconia Brewing Co. became only the second North Texas-based production brewery since Prohibition to be in business for 10 years. To celebrate this milestone, the brewery has plans for not only for a series of anniversary beers, but also for a rather significant addition to its facility in McKinney.
The back-story (from a press release):
"Since opening its doors in February 2008, Franconia Brewing Co. has been dedicated to providing world class German-style beer to drinkers in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area using only the best ingredients. Franconia is more than just a local brewery, it is the essence of true Bavarian brewing. By combining local accessibility to North Texas with our German heritage, Franconia is able to provide the fine people of North Texas with a taste of some of the most genuine and freshest Bavarian beer available. Ten years later, Franconia is still one of the few breweries known for its quality and consistency.
Founder Dennis Wehrmann and others at Franconia champion the 'Green movement,' adopting many practices to help improve the environmental concerns in North Texas, such as recycling their mash into local cattle feed, operating in a state-of-the-art energy efficient building, and using solar panels for their power needs - thus making themselves stand apart from most other breweries.
It is that 'better beer,' along with a commitment to sustainability and community involvement, that has helped keep Franconia growing steadily in the increasingly competitive marketplace of the Texas craft beer industry over the last 10 years.
'The overwhelming support the community has continuously shown has been crucial to the brewery's success,' claims Wehrmann, who also attributes his success to the steady flow of attendees to the brewery tours he has held every Saturday since Franconia's inception."
As for how the brewery intends to commemorate its run, a year-long "10 Year Anniversary Celebration" will highlight the close relationship between brewery and community in several ways. First and perhaps foremost, the City of McKinney has approved the building of a "Bier Garden/Tap Room" on the premises right next to the current brewery. Expected to be completed this year, the existence of the taproom means Franconia will be open for business beyond its regular Saturday tours.
On top of that, consumers can look forward to the following four anniversary brews:
Hazy Dhaze - New England IPA. Fun in the Sun - Belgian Blonde. Full Steam Ahead - Steam Beer/California Common. Chicken Dance - Bordeaux Aged Wheat Bock.
These beers will be released individually on a quarterly basis throughout the year, and also as part of a special anniversary case package (containing all four anniversary brews), to be made available at select locations throughout the year.
More information on the anniversary beers (artwork, tasting notes) and plans for the taproom will be unveiled in the coming weeks. Stay in the know by following Franconia on Facebook.
After years of brewing other variations on the style (namely a Belgian IPA, a session IPA and a black India pale lager), Lakewood Brewing Co. has released its first American-style IPA.
Lakewood IPA (7% ABV, 50 IBU) is brewed with a mix of Mosaic, Citra, Mandarina, and Bravo hops. That combination adds notes of papaya, tangerine and grapefruit to a beer the brewery says is a great choice for seasoned hop heads and those who may be new to the style.
"We’re excited to finally release an American IPA, a style many fans have been asking for,” says Wim Bens, founder and president of Lakewood. “It’s bittersweet (no pun intended), as this beer is replacing our retired IPAs – Hop Trapp and Hopochondria.”
A launch party for Lakewood IPA is scheduled for Friday, March 9, at Happiest Hour in Dallas. The evening will feature happy hour pricing on all Lakewood beers from 4-8 p.m., with swag and glassware giveaways to go on while supplies last.
As for when and where you can get it outside of the event, Lakewood IPA is available now in North Texas, both on tap and in six-packs of 12-ounce cans. Shipments to other markets will follow in the coming weeks.
Additional launch events are also in the works, with details on those to be revealed on the brewery's social media channels.
Opening in The Shops at Legacy in 2008, the Plano restaurant represented Gordon Biersch's first foray into North Texas. A Dallas location on Park Lane followed in 2009, but that too closed in October of last year. Both arguably filled a niche by arriving on the scene prior to the current craft beer boom, with Gordon Biersch even opting to distribute bottled beer to Texas for a short time.
With these closures, the Gordon Biersch brand will no longer be represented in North Texas, and the brewpub's parent company, CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, will no longer have an active brewing entity in the area. Craftworks does, however, continue to operate a number of Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom franchises in the region. These can be found in Dallas, Fort Worth, Garland and Cedar Hill.
Come March, that's a question the folks at Shannon Brewing Co. are likely to ask someone looking to try something new. The new thing in this case being a spring/summer seasonal beer by the name of Blackberry Crystal Wheat (6.2% ABV).
Available statewide beginning March 14, Blackberry Crystal Wheat is a kristallweizen brewed with real blackberry puree. The infusion is said to give the beer a refreshing and subtly dry fruit flavor, not to mention a striking purple color.
The official launch of Blackberry Crystal Wheat will coincide with the brewery's annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration, set to occur on Saturday, March 17 (click here to purchase tickets). In addition to food and live music, the event will feature over 20 Shannon beers on tap, including a number of barrel-aged varieties.
Beyond that, consumers can expect to find Shannon Blackberry Crystal Wheat on tap and in six-packs of 12-ounce cans.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. of Fort Worth has announced additional details related to the release of three beers appearing on its 2018 production calendar.
The first of these is Adiós Pantalones, a beer brewed with lemon and lime that Rahr & Sons is billing as a Cerveza de Sesión (session ale). One of two new entries into the brewery's year-round lineup, Adios Pantalones is described as a refreshing, light-bodied beer that can be enjoyed with just about anything.
Also set to join Rahr & Son's regular rotation is Paleta de Mango, a mango and lime beer crafted with Mexican pequin chiles. Originally brewed as a collaboration with Casa Cervecera Morenos of Mexico, it was created for the Cerveza México trade show in Mexico City this past November. The result proved to be popular, so the decision was made to brew it again and make it a new full-time fixture.
These two beers will debut during a special Cinco de Mayo event to be held at the Fort Worth brewery on May 5, 2018. Tickets for the event, which includes an appearance by the world's first metal mariachi band, Metalachi, are on sale now at the following location: https://rahrandsons-brewing-company.ticketleap.com/metalachi/.
As for the last of the aforementioned three beers, Rahr & Sons will package the seasonal favorite, Midnight Cab, for the first time this year. For those who may not be familiar, Midnight Cab is a black saison that's been aged in French oak cabernet barrels. Featuring notes of white pepper, black tea and currants, the beer will hit the market beginning in April. Look for it on tap and in four-packs of 12-ounce cans.
Hibiscus Zinger is brewed with wheat and barley malt, along with a mix of hibiscus, ginger root, lemon and orange peel (Armadillo Ale Works).
Expecting the unexpected is now the norm with respect to Armadillo Ale Works of Denton, as the company continues to embrace the unusual when it comes to the creativity behind its beers. Whether it be in the ingredients or the approach, products like Honey Please (mesquite beans), Dapper Apple (apple juice, apple pie spice), Royal Champ (purple corn, champagne yeast) and Brunch Money (lactose, maple syrup, cacao nibs, vanilla, coffee) have demonstrated the willingness of founders Yianni Arestis and Bobby Mullins to brew outside the box.
The latest case in point is Armadillo's new spring seasonal, Hibiscus Zinger. The name alone may conjure up images of a certain herbal tea producer, but that just makes for a fitting parallel, considering this particular Zinger is being billed as a botanical ale. Or as its tagline artfully alliterates, "it's a wheat beer brewed with a bodacious blend of botanicals to create a zippy pink drink that'll add some zing to your spring."
Recipe components for Hibiscus Zinger consist of hibiscus, ginger root, lemon and orange peel. It's surely a distinctive set of ingredients, and as Mullins implies, any overuse could easily alter the course of a beer.
"It's a bit of a balancing act to blend the traditional aspects of a beer style with unorthodox ingredients or processes and still have a something resembling beer at the end," explains Mullins. "But, we're a brewery and what we make still has to taste like a beer. With that in mind, I try to draw inspiration from traditional styles and/or the BJCP guidelines, then I bend them innovatively to create something that's both familiar and unique."
A unique pilsner-like glass will be available during Hibiscus Zinger pint nights during February and March (Armadillo Ale Works).
At the same time, a good foundation is key no matter what elements are added to a beer, which means what's underlying the innovation has to be good as well.
"If you order a steak with a fancy truffle butter sauce, and the steak itself isn't any good, then all the sauce in the world wont fix it," says Arestis. "It's the same way with beer, and it's something we've been mindful of since day one. We are our own biggest critics, so we always want to make sure we have the fundamentals covered before we put our own spin on things."
Judging by a pre-release sample of the beer, Armadillo has hit the nail on the head in both regards with Hibiscus Zinger. A notable backbone of bready malt (i.e. the base beer) sets the tone for a brew that's been infused with the ideal amount of ginger, fresh florals and citrus peel (i.e. the botanicals). And, it's that tasteful touch that makes Hibiscus Zinger a delicate and drinkable blend that strikes a near perfect balance between botanicals and beer.
As for how best to enjoy it, Hibiscus Zinger is a great refresher on its own at a serving temperature of around 45°. Arestis also likes the idea of adding an orange garnish (gasp!) or even using Hibiscus Zinger as part of a spring-themed beer cocktail.
Either way, look for Hibiscus Zinger to debut Friday, February 23, at East Side Denton. After that, the beer will appear on tap at various pint nights set to occur across North Texas.
Friday, February 23
Release Party at East Side, Denton: 6-10 p.m.
Saturday, February 24
Pint Day at Craft Beer Cellar, Dallas: 2-5 p.m.
Wednesday, February 28
Pint Night at Bluffview Growler, Dallas: 5-8 p.m.
Thursday, March 1
Pint Night at Dallas Craft Co., The Colony: 4:45-8:45 p.m.
Friday, March 2
Special tapping at Craft and Growler, Dallas: 6-7 p.m.
Saturday, March 3
Food and Flight Pairing with Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. at Lakewood Growler, Dallas: 4-6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 6
Pint Night at On Tap, Arlington: 5-8 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7
Pint Night at Ron's Corner Tavern, Bedford: 6-9 p.m.
Originally released in 2017 by Dallas-based 3rd Identity Films, Bomb City tells the true story of punk artists in Amarillo that got into a brawl leading to the death of the film's main character, a 19-year old punk musician named Brian Deneke.
As it turns out, Deneke was an avid homebrewer and even traveled with a dog called Stout. Naturally, that's what led to the collaboration, which has resulted in a beer inspired by Deneke's story and a beer he makes for friends during the course of the film.
Sunshine Fist Magnet (11.2% ABV) is an imperial oatmeal stout brewed with molasses and dry-hopped with Amarillo hops. The beer gets its name from Deneke's punk scene nickname and a song that was written about him (of the same name) by the band, Against All Authority.
Available first at the Cedars location of Alamo Drafthouse, Sunshine Fist Magnet will be tapped to coincide with a special one-time screening of Bomb City on Tuesday, February 13 at 8:10 p.m. Representatives from Braindead, along with the filmmakers behind Bomb City, will be on hand at the event to discuss both story and beer during a live Q&A session (click here to purchase advance tickets).
Following that, look for Sunshine Fist Magnet to be available on tap at Braindead.
With brewery news from the east, west, north and south parts of North Texas, this edition of the Conspectus seemingly has all of the cardinal points covered.
Thirsty Bro readies beer for wide distribution Having completed a series of equipment upgrades, Thirsty Bro Brewing Co. of Royse City has ramped-up production as it prepares to introduce its beer to a wider market. Initial shipments to draft accounts are scheduled to roll out next week, with Bro'd Trip IPA, Mo Bro IPA, Southern Belle Porter and Sweet Cherry Blonde making up the initial allotment. Packaged products are in the plans as well, but a move to canned beers won't occur until later this year.
Area's newest brewpub now open in Willow Park
Following a soft opening on Super Sunday, Parker County Brewing Co. is now operating in Willow Park. House beers are a few weeks away, but the brewpub is currently serving guest taps and selections from an Italian-inspired menu. Hours are Monday-Thursday, 3 to 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday,11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Shannon packages Irish Coffee Cream Ale
Shannon Brewing Co. of Keller has released cans of its Irish Coffee Cream Ale. A collaborative effort with Dallas-based White Rock Coffee, the beer is the brewery's Irish Cream Ale aged on coffee and vanilla beans. The finished product is said to feature a nutty element, along with baked fruit notes, subtle vanilla and a rich coffee flavor.
Railport receives TABC approval Set to be the first brewing operation to exist in Waxahachie, Railport Brewing Co. has obtained its production permit from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). Construction on the brewery is still ongoing, but ownership hopes to open the doors sometime in the late February/early March time frame.
Billion Dollar beer on the bill at Four Bullets
Debuting at its taproom taproom on Friday, Billion Dollar Blonde Ale is the latest creation from Four Bullets Brewery of Richardson. The beer promises to be yet another easy-drinking addition to the company's portfolio, at least based on an image posted showing Billion Dollar Blonde in the pose of a poolside potation. A low ABV factors into things as well, with the beer coming in at just under 5.2%.
Image credits (top to bottom): Thirsty Bro Brewing Co., Parker County Brewing Co., Shannon Brewing Co., Railport Brewing Co., Four Bullets Brewery.
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