Dallas' Local Beer Scene Blows Up BrewFest

Remember when BrewFest was something called Brew at the Zoo? I know, the memories are somewhat hazy for me too, but if I search the recesses of my brain for recollections I find pink flamingos, dancing women dressed up like zebras and a lot of big box beer. What I don't remember was local breweries, likely because that in addition to their being scattered throughout the event, there just weren't that many of them. Four years ago we had a handful of local guys slinging suds, and now?

This year's BrewfFest was packed, not just with drinkers clamoring to fill up their tiny glasses, but local breweries enthusiastically waiting to fill them. Local guys took over both sides of an entire row of the event, and many of the brewmasters I talked with had been brewing for less than a year. That tells me the local brewing scene is absolutely exploding right now in Dallas, which makes me excited to think of the coming years.

I loved Shannon Brewing's Blonde and Red Ales as light and drinkable beers that didn't pack too much punch. Bitter Sister's Hissy Fit was another smooth and easy drinking beer I'd happily drink for hours in the sun. Then there was Tupps with their crazy poblano infused Northbound 75. It smelled like salsa. The beer was a bit too crazy for me, but their Steampunk Ale hit the spot. 

There were new breweries and then there were new beers from the breweries that got this all started. Peticolas had a few cask versions of their flagships like Velvet Hammer on tap, and Deep Ellum, Community, Four Corners and the other breweries that got this whole thing started made a great showing as well.

Dallas' beer scene has exploded like an agitated keg in less than five years. It makes you wonder where our local brewing scene will be moving forward. At some point soon, local beer could dominate local events like BrewFest, and if they can do that, they can dominate the taps at bars around town, too. The trend makes Budweiser's ads poking fun at craft brewing seem less like a joke and more like an act of desperation. Hooray local beer!

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Scott Reitz
Contact: Scott Reitz