Malai Kitchen is Basically Dallas' Only Brewpub, and It Deserves our Love

Categories: Beer
Steven Harrell
Beer comes forth from these handles, or so the Ancient Vietnamese Legend goes

Last summer, Texas laws governing alcohol sales changed slightly -- not nearly as much as they should have -- allowing a brewer operating under a "brewpub" license to produce more beer and, most importantly, sell it outside of their own establishments. This is why we're seeing a rash of new microbreweries popping up with this license -- Shannon Brewing, Collective Brewing -- and traditional brewpubs with an eye toward distribution now in the works -- Small Brewpub and BrainDead Brewpub, among others.

But the brewpub license itself has been around since 1993, allowing restaurants to turn their kitchens into makeshift breweries and make their own beer to serve alongside their food. About a half-dozen restaurants took the bait and gave it a shot in the early mid-90s, but none survived for long in a market that still demanded Bud-Miller-Coors. Several national chains, like BJ's and Gordon-Biersch, have pushed the "brewpub" concept pretty hard in their marketing, despite not actually making any beer on most sites and, also, making bad beer. With Union Bear now (sadly) closed, and none of the newsmakers yet open, I can only find one local Dallas restaurant that's taken up the state of Texas on its brewpub offer: Malai Kitchen in the West Village.

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A Guided Tour of Addison Oktoberfest 2014

Categories: Beer

Videographer Kathy Tran is your guide through the beer and bratwursts of Addison's yearly Oktoberfest. Many, many beers are contained within.

Drink Beer Without Feeling (Quite as) Bad About It

Categories: Beer

Mad Men drinking.jpg
These assholes should feel bad about their drinking. You, on the other hand, should not.

Beer is one of those paradoxical liquids that can make one feel both supremely good and devastatingly bad. In our never-ending effort to help them imbibers of Dallas maximize their good vibes and justify their wrongdoing, we've compiled this list of local craft beer companies that make a point of giving away a portion of their profits to charity. So, the next Sunday morning your hung-over ass is pondering all the bad decisions that led to you feeling miserable, be comforted by the knowledge that your purchase did some good to balance out your debauchery.

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What We Drank at Dallas Observer Brewfest

Categories: Beer

Ed Steele
So. Many. People. Drinking. From. Tiny. Cups.
Steven Harrell is a Dallas freelancer. He writes about beer for the Observer.

On Saturday night, more than 4,000 Dallasites descended on the Farmer's Market for Dallas Observer Brewfest. The event made for great people watching if you want to get to know all of the different kinds of awkward white people that make up our fair city. Fedora-wearing dudes with necklaces for their customized vape pens? You betcha. #basic SMU girls? Yes. $30,000 millionaire bros? This is Dallas, my friend. Very tall women in red pants? In spades. Hipsters, bros, foodies, and smokeless tobacco vendors -- they're all welcome in the big Brewfest tent, and they all look the same when spontaneously dancing to "Baby Got Back" at last call.

See also: The People of Brewfest (Slideshow)

In addition to people, Brewfest is also known for, well, beer. More than 70 breweries were represented, most pouring samples of three or four brews. As the North Texas beer scene has exploded, local representation at Brewfest has also expanded. No fewer than 15 local breweries showed up to introduce themselves to beer drinkers, including old favorites Peticolas and Lakewood, as well as newcomers like Cobra Brewing Co. (Lewisville), Shannon Brewing Co. (Keller), and Grapevine Craft Brewery (Grapevine Farmers Branch).

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Franconia's Oktoberfest: So You Never Need to Drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Categories: Beer

Steven Harrell
Oktoberfest Beer: It's Beer, in September. And October.

While America begins to post about the return of the Pumpkin Spice Lattes on Facebook, craft brew enthusiasts turn their attentions to another autumn-heralding beverage -- Oktoberfests. 

Oktoberfest-style beers (more traditionally known as Marzen) are one of the most popular seasonal releases in the craft beer market.

See also: Five North Texas Beers to Drink This Fall

Oktoberfest is a German fall festival that, oddly enough, usually takes place in late September. Along with St. Patrick's Day, it's one of those wonderful holidays that can be celebrated worldwide without any regards to historical context or obligation to do anything beyond drink an excessive amount of beer. It probably celebrates the end of summer or a harvest, or maybe some hated Bavarian monarch being trampled by a stampede of drunk horses. It doesn't matter.

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Five North Texas Beers to Drink This Fall

Categories: Beer

B. Miers
Fall has never, ever looked like this in Dallas.

In today's highly saturated beer market, many breweries release seasonals to differentiate themselves, increase their exposure, or maybe because they're already bored of their two-year-old standard. Either way, here's a list of five seasonals to look for in Dallas-Fort Worth this Fall.

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I Really, Really, Really Love Miller High Life

Categories: Beer

Nick Rallo
Thank you, unnatural glow beer.
It's Drinking Week at City of Ate, which means even more stories than usual about our favorite pastime. Check back for more stories about craft beer, killer bartenders and more.

There comes a time in every person's life when you realize you love Miller High Life. When you understand it, when you really know it deep in your bones that you love those squared-off bottles, it's like the breaking of a dam. All those insufferable foodie things you've said in the past -- "I'm really bored by mushrooms" -- wash away in a rush of butterscotch-colored liquid. If beer is one of the greatest inventions of the human race, then Miller High Life is also one of the greatest inventions. Because it's beer.

It somehow tastes like Thanksgiving, with that rich, movie-popcorn-butter color, and like a blazing hot summer. I think there's actually globules of turkey gravy in the bottle. A South Pole-cold Miller High Life, just before the mini glaciers form in the bottle, is incredible with grill-charred, cheesy hamburgers.

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A Graphic Designer Reviews Dallas Beer Labels

Categories: Beer, Drinking

via Barfoot Industries
Graphic designer Jeff Barfoot
It's Drinking Week at City of Ate, which means even more stories than usual about our favorite pastime. Check back for more stories about craft beer, killer bartenders and more.

Maybe you don't care about graphic design. Maybe the only reason you look at a beer bottle label is to see how much you'll have to drink before saying weird things to your brother's wife isn't so weird anymore. But as consumers, we should recognize that product packaging plays an important role in our buying decisions.

The New York Times recently asked Milton Glaser, the design God behind I <3 NY, to lay down the law on craft brew beer labels. His assessment of Shiner Bock's label, saying "even though it's conventional, it's memorable," got us thinking about DFW's breweries and their labels. To help us think -- because we couldn't differentiate kerning from tracking to save our glyphs -- we got Dallas' own design expert, Jeff Barfoot, to weigh in on the letted and layered competition.

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Martin House's Daybreak: It's Beer for Breakfast

Categories: Beer

Steven Harrell
Breakfast Brew? Beer Can, I Accept Your Challenge.

This morning, I decided to do something I haven't done since I was an undergrad in Catholic school: I drank beer for breakfast. But this time, it was for journalism!

In relation to other craft breweries in North Texas, Martin House Brewing Company -- also known as "that brewery in Fort Worth, no, not Rahr & Sons, the other one" -- is practically ancient. They've been consistently releasing quality canned brews, including the Toadies-inspired Rubberneck Red, since 2012.

Last week, as I was doing my regular grocery shopping, I spotted a four-pack of Martin House's recently released Daybreak. The tallboy can identifies itself as a "Four Grain Breakfast Brew," and I immediately decided to take it at its word. Would alcohol-marketing ever intentionally mislead a customer to make a bad choice? Never.

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Behold (and Chug): LUCK's Beer Stout Float

Categories: Beer, Eat This

Beer + Ice Cream + Beer, at LUCK Dallas
Fear not, Dallas citizens, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people aged 21 and over. For unto you is served this day, in the master-planned restaurant complex of Trinity Groves™, a summer indulgence, which you're going to want to pour into your facefront.

This shall be a sign unto you: get your mouth on a stout float from LUCK Dallas, or get thee the hell out of my way. It's beer, it's ice cream -- it's beer ice cream drowning in beer.

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