Deep Ellum is always a popular place to be on weekends, but on Saturday, it'll be really hopping with the Fall Into Deep Ellum Block Party and the biggest event of the year at BrainDead Brewing: Festicle, an outdoor beer and fried chicken festival that takes over the parking lot next to the Main Street brewpub.
"Festicle is a truly unique event in North Texas," says Sam Wynne, owner of BrainDead. "Unlike breweries, a brewpub can sell beer to go directly to the consumer. Festicle started as a release party for Hammer of the Gods, our bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Wheat Porter, but we wanted to throw the best party possible so we save up kegs of all of our favorite beers from all year long and tap 'em all in the parking lot next to our building. It’s an event inspired by Three Floyd’s Dark Lord Day and Cigar City Hunahpu’s Day. We’re a brewery that loves to celebrate other breweries."
A $40 general admission ticket gets you admission to the fest, access to discounted limited-release beer and a tasting card for 12 samples that lets you taste from a selection of more than 40 beers, including beers from BrainDead, Firestone Walker, Funkwerks, Lakewood Brewing, Real Ale, Clown Shoes and more than a dozen other breweries. And these are no typical beer-fest brews — we're talking barrel-aged beers, sours, limited releases and fun one-offs like a Belgian golden strong ale aged in Chardonnay barrels. A lot of these brews will pack an ABV-heavy punch, too. For craft beer fans who often have a hard time finding something new and notable to taste at classic beer fests, Festicle is the answer — a real beer-lover's beer fest.
"I’d say I’m most excited about We Are Your Overlords, a Texas brown ale aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels," Wynne says. "It was incredible straight out of the barrel, but Drew (Huerter, BrainDead's chef brewmaster) is also doing a banana and cacao version too."
The festival, now in its fourth year, also has a food component: fried chicken, an easy finger food that will keep you full enough to sample plenty of high-octane brews.
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"Good times are guaranteed," Wynne says. "We never sell out, but we will cap it at 500 people. We like to make sure the people don’t outnumber the kegs by more than 10:1. If you come and don’t have an awesome time, I’ll gladly refund your money. Come party with us."
The festival kicks off at 2 p.m. Saturday, and you can buy tickets online. There are also VIP ticket options that also net you six barrel-aged beers and early access, along with unlimited fried chicken. Take a look at the brews on this year's lineup:
Hammer of the Gods 2018
Hammer of the Gods w/ Peanuts and Cocao Nibs
We Are Your Overlords
We Are Your Overlords w/ Bananas & Cocoa Nibs
Appallingly Ironic Outcome
Appallingly Ironic Outcome w/ Candied Ginger & Orange Peel
Memory Hole cask w/ Amarillo hops
Gemütlich cask w/ Hungarian Oak
903 - BA Birthday Sasquatch
Avery - Rumpkin 2017
Avery - Fimbulvvinter 2017
Brash - Hammer Smashed Face
Bruery - Sour In The Rye POG
Champion - Canis Lupulus
Clown Shoes - Bluegrass Billionaire
Collective - S.L.O.W.
Community - Rum BA Legion 2017
Community - Wit 'N' Wild 2017
Coop - Tequila DNR
Destihl - Rye Dosvidanya
Epic - Oak N Orchard
Firestone Walker - Velvet Merkin
Founders - Backwoods Bastard 2016
Freetail - La Muerta 2018
Funkwerks - Oud Bruin
Gigantic - Fantastic Voyage
Great Raft - Smoked & Oaked Old Mad joy
Intrinsic - Fruit Cup
intrinsic - BA Smoked In The Water
Jester King - Grim Harvest
Jolly Pumpkin - Calabaza Blanca
Lakewood - Tennessee Temptress
Lakewood - Lions Share VI
Martin House - The Morrigan
Noble Rey - BA Mother Night
NOLA - Piety Cherry Sour
Oak Highlands - BB Vanilla Porter w/ Tart Cherries
On Rotation - Sweet Chinook Music
Real Ale - MV Scots Gone Wild
Real Ale - MV Cease & Desisyphus
Sierra Nevada - Tequila Otra Vez
Twin Peaks - BA Brown
Upland - Oak & Rose
Upland - Saison Du Trinkle
Victory - Java Cask
Festicle, 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at BrainDead Brewing, 2625 Main St. (Deep Ellum)