What We Drank at Dallas Observer Brewfest

Categories: Beer

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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

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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


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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

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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

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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

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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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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 39: Barbacoa At Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo

Categories: Beer

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This one requires a trek and some careful timing, but you're worth it.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Snagging a barbacoa taco from Estilo Hidalgo isn't easy. They're only open on weekends and you have to drive way out to Lake June Road to get to the place, past the scrap yard nearby, and some rough and tumble automotive businesses.

But when you open the door you know the trek was worth it. The smells of roasted lamb and toasting masa overwhelm you. So will the dining room, painted brightly and filled with Latin American customers who have definitely been here a time or two before. They sip from bottles of soda and make their own tacos from platters of barbacoa.


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

Categories: Beer, Eat This

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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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Tasting Sir William's Brown Ale, Allegedly Dallas' Best Beer

Categories: Beer

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This is not the greatest beer in the world, this is just a tribute.
As you may or may not know -- or care, for that matter -- last month, D Magazine devoted its cover story to Dallas' craft beer scene. Of the many articles revolving around our favorite brewed beverage, one was a printed listicle of sorts, titled "The Best Beers in Dallas." The editors assured us that they didn't actually try every beer from every brewery in North Texas, but a representative sample. Or some such.

Anyways, after their careful analysis, curated by experts with Cicerone scores far higher than my own, they determined the best beer in Dallas is (pint glass drumroll here):

Velvet Hammer Grapevine Craft Brewery's Sir William's English Brown Ale.

I'm not one to knock other people's reporting, but my initial reaction was, "What the hell, D Magazine?" Or, more specifically, "What the hell, D Magazine's Panel of Experts?"

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Tasting the Beers of Panther Island Brewing

Categories: Beer

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Craft and Growler hosted the Dallas debut of Fort Worth's newest brewery

These days it seems like you can't swing an empty growler in Dallas without breaking a freshly-screened pint glass from a new local brewery. Is our market saturated? Is there room for another new brewery? What makes this one different from the last?

*insert incessant hand-wringing*

Well, I'll tell you how this one is different, greasy-haired-guy-at-the-bar. These guys are from Fort Worth. That's west of Dallas.

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