Lakewood Brewing Goes Big Box With Andrews Distributing

Categories: Brews News

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Lakewood Brewing Co. has decided to turn over the distribution portion of its business in order to shift its focus solely on the craft of brewing beer. Andrews Distributing announced the new partnership in a news release this morning.

If you've not heard of Andrews, you've almost certainly swilled a few of the brands the company carries. Massive breweries including Shiner Bock, Blue Moon and Samuel Adams are handled by Andrews. Here in the DFW area, Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. holds an account with them as well.

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When Community and Deep Ellum Win Awards at the World Beer Cup, We All Win

Categories: Brews News

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Dianna Storrusten
Because winning at beer is best, last week local breweries put their best foot forward at the World Beer Cup and three of them have been awarded for thier respective feet. The WBC is an international beer competition founded by Association of Brewers' President Charlie Papazian, who is a nuclear engineer by trade and a craft-brewing aficionado by habit. And he also really likes pie. (Fascinating side note on Papazian: He created National Pie Day on January 23, his birthday, simply because he wanted to. And this was back in the mid-1970s before national food holidays were an everyday thing.)



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Four Bullets Brewery, Once Foiled by Dry Laws, Will Bring Richardson its First Microbrewery

Categories: Brews News

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Andrew Smeeton and Jeff Douglas had a pretty good idea for their first brewery in Wylie, Texas. They'd purchased a house and spent a whole summer fixing it up. They redid the deck, and they could see themselves sitting there, watching their customers sipping amber from glasses and basking in the summer heat.

They hoped the whole thing would turn out a bit like the famed Jester King brewery outside of Austin that had been built into a barn. Then they went to TABC and learned that despite working continuously with the mayor and the zoning board of Wylie, and even having a Wylie mailing address, all this hard work had been carried out in a dry part of Collin County. There would be no beer in the house where they had swung hammers together all summer long. Tears were shed.

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The Beer We Liked and the Beer We Didn't from Big Texas Beer Fest

Categories: Brews News

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Rhombi Survivor
On Saturday, the third iteration of Dallas' Big Texas Beer Fest went down at the automotive building in Fair Park. Every year that Chad and Nellie Montgomery have hosted the event, it has sold out -- a testament to the huge interest in craft beer in North Texas and their work to secure great local brewers and obscure kegs.

"There hasn't been a better time to live in Texas," Nellie told me. "At one point, we could only hope to travel to a different state to be able to try breweries like Firestone Walker and Odell. They're on our grocery store shelves now."

Just a few years ago, you would have also had to travel if you wanted to attend a world-class beer festival like the Great American Beer Fest or a handful of others. After one of these pilgrimages, the Montgomerys realized that with the craft brew explosion in Dallas, their hometown could probably support a similar festival. Nearly 4,000 people came the first year.

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Lakewood Brewing's Wim Bens on What's in His Fridge and His "All-Consuming Adventure"

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Wim Bens founded Lakewood Brewing Company in 2011, riding one of the early craft beer waves to wash over North Texas. He sold his first keg of beer in August of 2012, and his brews now pour through busy taps all over the city.

Bens was born in Belgium but moved to Texas when he was 7. He's traveled back to Belgium often and developed an appreciation and taste for the beer there. After graduating from SMU, he moved to East Dallas, where he fell in love with the vibe and decided to make really good beer for the neighborhood.

Here's a recent chat as part of a series of interviews with local brewers:

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What to Expect from 2014's Big Texas Beer Festival, Including Rare Local Beers

Categories: Brews News, Events

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Mike Brooks
Scenes from Big Texas Beer Fest 2013 to be recreated this weekend.
It's springtime, and there's so much to look forward to. Pictures in the bluebonnets, more wind and transitioning from sweat pants to yoga pants. Spring is also the time to try new beers. Because, new beers.

This weekend is the third annual Big Texas Beer Fest at the Fair Park Automobile Building, with around 400 beers from over 100 breweries. The final master beer list was just released yesterday.

The Big Texas Beer Festival won the Observer's Best of award last year for beer festivals because of its affordability, location and wide selection of beers, including many special releases. As in previous years, organizers aim to pull local beer under a big enormous umbrella that encompasses beers from around the world.

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An Idiot's Guide to Growlers, with Some of Dallas' Growler-Filling Experts

Categories: Brews News

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Steven Harrell
The old-timey glass containers known as growlers may be bulky and don't necessarily fit well in your cabinets, but they do allow you to do something magical -- enjoy fresh draft beer at home. Once only known to your beer-nerd friend who just got back from some microbrewery tours in Colorado, it seems like every other bar and grocery store that has opened in Dallas now offers a range of customized growlers and the option to fill them on-site.

As a Dallas craft beer-enthusiast, there's no doubt you've already jumped on the bandwagon and invested in a growler or two for yourself. But what are you supposed to do once the delicious liquid is drained from the bottom? How does one clean and store such a thing?

We sat down with a few local experts on the subject to get some real answers on how to make the most of your growler experience and avoid pissing off your bartender.

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Community Beer's Weekly Open House Is the Kind of House I'd Like to Live In

Categories: Brews News

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Photos by Steven Harrell
Community Beer Company started brewing in January 2013 in Dallas' trendy Design District. Over the course of a little more than a year, they've released ten different beers, installed a bottling line, and racked up a half dozen national awards. Every Saturday, they host a Brewery Open House & Tour from 2 to 5 p.m. $10 in advance or $15 at the door gets you inside the brewery, a plastic cup, and tickets good for three beers.

I visited Community on a recent Saturday. It was much more of an open house with a (very) optional tour toward the end, with hundreds of people soaking in the weather and beer.

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Martin House Is Now Shipping the Toadies' Rubberneck Red Beer in Cans and Kegs

Categories: Brews News

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Earlier this year the Fort Worth brewery Martin House collaborated on a duet with the local band The Toadies. The result was a double red ale called Rubberneck Red that comes from the water. It all started when the band, who is hitting the road this year to promote the reissue of their 1994 album, Rubberneck, wanted an official beer to take along. Band members Vaden and Rez met with the brewers, and, voila, a new beer was born.

After a special release party and concert earlier this month, the beer is now ready to be shipped to the world. Kegs left the brewery this past weekend, so look for it on tap at your favorite bar. Martin House reports they might not be able to deliver to every regular customer due to limited supplies and demand, so you might want to call ahead.

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Community Releases Minivan Wheat Wine, a New Beer from a Dallas Brewery on the Rise

Categories: Brews News

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Steven Harrell
Last year was the year of Peticolas Brewing Company. They burst out of the shadows of the Design District to take the beer universe by storm, becoming the first North Texas brewery to win a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2012 after only being in business for less than a year. Spurred by this victory, Peticolas went on to win just about everything in 2013, including several best North Texas brewery awards and another half dozen medals at the U.S. Open Beer Championship.

I'm not a prophet or the son of a prophet, but it seems like Peticolas' Design District neighbors Community Beer Company are poised to have a similar run of success in 2014. Last October, they won Dallas' only 2013 GABF medal (a gold) for their Public Ale, after only being in business for less than a year. This year, they've already released Ascension Coffee Porter to favorable reviews and look set to grow even further. There don't seem to be too many hard feelings, though, as the Peticolas crew was sitting at the same table as the Community crew while they both waited to see if their names would be called.

Community released its latest offering last week: Minivan Wheat Wine.

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