See also: The People of BrewFest
The Dallas Arts District proved to be a natural spot for a street festival during Saturday's BrewFest, even if the boozy crowd winding throughout was by and large more interested in Hooter's wing-eating contests, arcade games and pulled-pork nachos than taking in exhibitions.
Not that I'm pointing fingers here. At one point I stepped into the Crow Collection of Asian Art to use the restroom (where I saw someone had apparently stubbed out a cigar in the urinal -- come on, y'all) and was offered a tour. I declined when I learned I couldn't bring my beer. A friend later showed me a tag for a sample glass he'd left behind while perusing the collection, incredulous that he actually coat-checked a beer.
Art and people-watching aside, I was mainly there for the beer. Here are a few that particularly impressed.
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From Granbury, Revolver Brewing Co. Blood and Honey. Revolver's October 20 Grand Opening is still a month out, but they already have accounts at Libertine, The Common Table, The Meddlesome Moth and a few others about town. Their first offering is an American wheat with blood-orange zest and local (for them) honey. It had a kind of herbal spiciness that made me think of cinnamon or clove. It was crisp with some honey sweetness but would make for a light summer drink. The Ironhead IPA was a great English-style balanced, well-done ale, and High Brass Ale tasted like a light, clean pilsner despite its 6 percent ABV. Deep Ellum Brewing Co. rolled out its new Hop Seeker, which used whole hop cones from fresh hops that were in the field just days before brewing. As expected with fresh-hop ales, it just bursts with hops, piney and resiny and in your face but with a strong malt body to hold it up. You already love their IPA, so you definitely need to try their latest ode to the hop if you haven't already.
Rowlett's FireWheel Brewing had some really long lines throughout the evening. By the time I made it to the table, the intriguingly named Midnight Ninja Black Ale had made its escape. Texas Pale Ale was quite good, though, crisp and sweet with a floral, fruity hop character.
And on an enthusiastic recommendation from Strangeways' Eric Sanchez, I tried La Socarrada, a new-to-Texas Spanish beer with rosemary and honey. The rosemary was really distinct after sipping it alongside the complimentary and complementary manchego cheese the pourer recommended. It was not the kind of beer you drink by the sixer watching a football game, but it would definitely make for some interesting pairing experiments.