Craft Beer Fans Rejoice With Two Big Events

Two major local beer events are slated for the next ten days that beer drinkers of all shapes, sizes and manner will certainly be excited about.

The Big Texas Beer Fest is Saturday at the Fair Park Automobile Building, where 100 different breweries, including 20 from Texas, will be pouring more than 400 beers. And while last year there was a little snafu with the food, no worries this time around, that's all been worked out. Ten food trucks will be there to help soak up your 2-ounce samples along with music from Fish Fry Bingo, The O's and The Hanna Barbarians. Tickets are still available, but cost less if you buy them now instead of at the gate.

The beer vendors are set up by geography, and organizer Chad Montgomery suggests using that as a guide to explore different tastes from beer produced in different regions.

Then, the Meddlesome Moth is kicking off its third annual Ale Week on Monday, April 8. All 40 taps will be replaced with "wood influenced" beers, a term which is sort of a catchall for beers aged in different types of barrels.

I spoke with the Matt Quenette at the Moth, who said he doesn't want any aficionados to be shy about this event, pointing out that many of these beers aren't heavy and there really is something for everyone.

"When people hear craft beer, they often jump to extreme beer, but really half the menu is on the delicate side," Quenette says. "We have beers that are aged in wine barrels and that have tropical flavors, there are just all kinds."

So, pick a flight (five 5-ounce samples) and imbibe. There are several beer dinners throughout the week as well as special beer tappings Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

"Tuesday at 5 p.m. is the biggest one of the week," Quenette says. "It's going to be a really good week for beer in Dallas."

Quenette sent of a set list that includes all 40 beers, here are just a few, with tasting notes:

DFH/Maui Liquid Breadfruit -- Imperial Golden Ale brewed with 'ulu (local Maui breadfruit) and toasted papaya seeds. Dosed with wild yeast from a Delaware peach farm. Tropical fruits, bready notes. Clean and refreshing. 7.5 percent ABV.

oSKAr The G'Rauch -- Aromas of freshly-peeled orange and apricots with a touch of ... smoke? Juicy citrus and fruit flavors dominate but don't overpower the slightly sweet malt structure. Finish is all citrus rind ping-ponging with some smoky phenols. 8.5 percent.

Great Divide Oaked Espresso Yeti -- Imperial stout with an onslaught of roasted malts, rich caramel and toffee. The addition of vanilla from the oak is complimented by espresso from Denver's Pablo Coffee. Your new breakfast beer? 9.5 percent.

Moa Imperial Stout Pinot Noir Barrel Aged -- Aged in pinot noir barrels, this beer not only displays coffee and mocha charters but also some sweet and spicy notes, a tannin-like finish and an oak-induced mellow bitterness. 10.2 percent.

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