Fort Worth brewery Rahr & Sons' roof collapsed during the February 12 snowmageddon storm, bringing beer production to a screeching halt as the bottling line and glycol chilling lines cooling the fermentation tanks were crushed and demolished.
More than a month later, founder Fritz Rahr said in an interview earlier this afternoon, the brewery's landlord is still waiting on delivery of construction materials to replace the roof.
"We should be receiving them in the first couple of weeks of April," he says. "But when it will be completed, I have no idea."
And while they managed to save currently fermenting batches with a makeshift glycol system, permanent repairs to the cooling system will have to wait until the roof is replaced, as the system is suspended from the ceiling.
But as Rahr explains, they're doing their best to keep their spirits up, their fans happy and the Rahr name visible. It helps that they're handling it in good humor, as the funny "Bored Brewers" video series shows.
But beard-growing contests aren't the only thing keeping them busy.
In lieu of the customary Wednesday and Saturday brewery tours (which are a blast), the company is venturing out to local drinking establishments and arts/cultural venues with "Rahr Road Shows." This is definitely a bonus for local beer lovers, as it means you can try "test beers" and limited-edition brews at a place other than the brewery. Normally, Rahr says, the Wednesday-night tours are the only time such brews (brewed in batches of 5to 100 gallons) are available. Beers going on the road with Rahr include the imperial pilsner Pecker Wrecker, a barrel-aged oatmeal stout, an imperial rye stout, an India brown ale, a Belgian Pug and a 12-to-14-percent ABV Quadrupel Pug.
Rahr crew and fans will meet at the Plano Ginger Man in the Shops at Legacy 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The meet-up coincides with the "Texas Brews" beer tasting going on at the same time, which is $15. On Wednesday March 31, Rahr will serve samples of its barrel-aged brown ale at the historic Thistle Hill Mansion. Future Rahr Road Shows will also include Dallas, Rahr says. Keep an eye on the Rahr Facebook page for future events, and check out the "Raise The Roof" merchandise available at SupportRahr.com.
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In other local beer news...
Tonight's "Pints For Paint" fund-raiser marks the soft opening of Eno's Pub, upstairs from Eno's Pizza Tavern on Bishop Avenue in Oak Cliff -- you may recall the February 26 Hophead column about the place and owner Matt Spillers' support for the Progress Dallas petition drive. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., donors (suggested contribution is $20) can enjoy samples of the specialty craft beers at which the English-style pub will specialize, then try your hand at karaoke. Donations go toward the 7th Street Mural Project.
And in case you missed it in Hash Over, 8.0 Restaurant and Bar in Fort Worth has a Boulevard beer dinner set for 7 p.m. Monday. It's $40 and includes Boss Tom's Golden Bock with calamari, Irish Ale with a brown sugar-brined pork chop and more.
Meanwhile, the Libertine's March beer dinner is 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 31 and (for $50) features Guinness and Smithwick's products. Please, pretty please, tell me that includes the Foreign Extra Stout currently being test-marketed in three top-secret U.S. locations. I think I scared off the Guinness PR rep with my pleadings for samples and more info -- though it was nice of her to send a Guinness dish towel and an autographed photo of brewmaster Fergal Murray.