Franconia Preparing To Bottle, Host Donnie Nelson Meet-and-Greet Saturday, and More Beer News

Categories: Brews News
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His dad may be banned from bringing beers to press conferences, but Donnie Nelson can have one with you.
Dirk Nowitzki may have grown up just a few minutes away from Franconia brewmaster Dennis Wehrmann's hometown in the Franconia region of Germany, but it will be a different Dallas Mavericks personality who chats with tour visitors at the McKinney brewery on Saturday: President and GM Donnie Nelson.

Nelson will pour and pass out beer and field basketball questions from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the brewery. The session will be added to the regular weekly brewery tour and will cost $10, with $5 going toward a yet-to-be-determined local charity.

Wehrmann said a normal tour draws 100 to 130 people, but that he would be comfortable with up to 400 visitors to the brewery.

Read on for more news from Franconia about its bottling plans, plus a chance to pair Lakewood Brewing Co. beers with cheese, a barbecue and tapping at Flying Saucer and an interesting trademark application by Anheuser-Busch that could have a local ramification.

In other Franconia news, Wehrmann says they just put an altbier in the tank and that a batch will come out in the next 10 days, to be followed by a marzen for Oktoberfest to be available in September.

And in great news for fans of the brewery, it is getting closer to realizing its plans to bottle as soon as the end of summer or beginning of fall. The brewery's commitment to environmentally friendly operation complicates things somewhat, but Wehrmann has settled on a way to do it: Hand-bottling 1-liter flip tops, with the plan being to encourage consumers to return them to stores for a bottle refund. So far, Urban Acres, S&K Beverages and Kegs & Barrels are on board with the program, and he's hoping Central Market and Whole Foods can also work a bottle-refund program into their systems.

"Right now I'm thinking we'll bottle our wheat, lager, kolsch and dunkel, and I'm sure we will have some seasonal beers in bottles later," Wehrmann says.

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Stltoday.com discovered that Anheuser-Busch InBev filed for a federal trademark for the digits 314, the area code for St. Louis, along with the area codes for 13 other cities -- including Dallas' 214. A company communications employee, who asked not to be quoted, confirmed the trademark application but wouldn't provide any further information.

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Lakewood Brewing Co. will pair its Temptress Imperial Sweet Stout, Tierra Madre Pale Ale and Lakewood Lager with cheeses at Scardello 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. The tasting is just $5, and you can RSVP via Facebook.

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The Addison Flying Saucer will have its first beer and barbecue festival noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, with rare tappings from Rahr, Franconia, Boulevard, Brooklyn, Avery, New Belgium, Maui and others to be announced.
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