| Beer |

3 Nations' Horchata Beer Is the Best of Both Delicious Worlds

3 Nations' imperial milk stout series gets particularly tasty with a horchata-flavored brew.EXPAND
3 Nations' imperial milk stout series gets particularly tasty with a horchata-flavored brew.
courtesy 3 Nations Brewing
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Perhaps the most common question one can overhear from another table when visiting one of the dozens of local brewery taprooms is “Ooh, now what’s that I’m tasting here?”

Thanks to the ever-expanding number of craft breweries in North Texas, each with its own ever-expanding list of selections both permanent and seasonal, local beer lovers are getting their mouths around beers with more flavorful ambition than much of what was brewed in the early days of Rahr and Sons in Fort Worth, Franconia in McKinney or Deep Ellum Brewing in Dallas just under a decade ago.

Over the summer of 2018, I found myself asking the aforementioned question (to myself, as I was drinking alone, and no, that is not sad in any way) after ordering a pint of 3 Nations' Lady Luck Horchata Ale. As the beer’s name more than suggests, the answer to my self-posed question was “horchata,” generally speaking, and it was a revelation.

While there are many flavors of horchata, the one most popular around here for sure is the Mexican-born horchata de arroz. Commonly found in taquerias and Mexican paleta shops, this addictive drink is made with rice and milk and offers strong hints of vanilla and cinnamon.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago during a visit to my favorite shop in town, and what did I spy? Indeed, not only did I catch “horchata” noted prominently on a four-pack of cans, but it sat under the 3 Nations logo again. At that time, a horchata-flavored version was the latest in the Farmers Branch brewery’s Devout Imperial Milk Stout series (also available in a chocolate hazelnut version). Of the smorgasbord of fruits, berries, peppers, nuts and assorted sweets one can now put into beers for the masses, it’s noteworthy that the milky, cinnamon, vanilla-enriched flavor of horchata seems to have captured 3 Nations’ fancy.

“We first used the horchata flavors when we only had three beers on tap at our brewery in order to fulfill a fourth beer,” 3 Nations owner Gavin Secchi says. “Back then, we were using cinnamon, vanilla and coffee on our 5.5 percent ABV Bull's English Brown Ale. It was a hit, so then of course when our Imperial Milk Stout was born, we deemed it horchata-style because we used milk sugar with the Devout IMS.”

That was in winter 2016, and it led Secchi and his team to look for other ways to employ the horchata flavor. In March 2017, the pairing of the key horchata elements with a base of Belgian golden ale proved to be a well-timed recipe for the coming spring and summer drinking seasons.

But why horchata? As is the case with the best beers, there’s a personal connection between the maker and the product.

“I worked in restaurants growing up and was first introduced to horchata while making friends with the kitchen staff at my parents’ restaurant several years ago,” Secchi says. “The drink was delicious, so we incorporated it into beer as a trial basis. I'm glad that we did.”

Unsurprisingly, the flavor train isn’t slowing down anytime soon for Secchi and 3 Nations. Horchata is just a stop on the line, albeit a deliciously stellar one.

“We just released a one-off keg at the taproom of a Chocolate-Covered Strawberry IMS for Valentine's Day,” Secchi says. “And we have a Bananas Foster Devout coming out on draft in March, which is a personal favorite of ours. I would like to say that the possibilities are endless.”

3 Nations Brewing, 2405 Squire Place, Farmers Branch

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.