A little love, a lot of generosity and an offer of free beer later, Garland has its very own home-grown brewpub downtown. Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery had its grand opening Saturday, to the delight of craft beer fans who kicked in $30,000 through a crowd-funding campaign to help get the doors open. Particularly happy is anyone who contributed at least $2,000. They get three free beers a day for life.
The moral? Nothing warms the heart and boosts the spirit of giving like an offer of free beer.
Intrinisic is the creation of Cary and Molly Hodson, the husband-and-wife team whose Basil Buzz Hefeweizen took home top honors in the 2014 Labor of Love homebrew contest put on by Deep Ellum Brewing Co. The Garland natives joined with the owner of Junior’s Lone Star Sauce to add food to their pub's menu and meet city requirements for opening in Garland's newly revitalized historic downtown, in a building built in the early 20th century.
Inside the new pub, concrete, steel, brick and wood touches create a space that feels like it's from an older, grittier city. Next to the bar is a patio created in the shell of neighboring storefront damaged by fire.
Intrinsic is offering five house beers on tap and for growler fills. Lunch Date is a 3.7 percent ABV kolsch that is very sweet, with a light body and faintly tart flavor. The yellowish-gold colored kolsch is easy to drink too much of.
G-Town Gratzer, a 5.1 percent smoked wheat, is a strange brew. It's sweet and smokey, but sadly the smoke and its aftertaste overwhelms all other flavors. The medium-light bodied beer is worth trying, but you probably won't have to worry about over-indulging. Just finishing a pint might be tough if you're not a fire-eater.
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IP80, a 6 percent ABV IPA, is a hoppy, tasty, amber-colored standard IPA, and easily their best beer.
Tamarind Habenero, a 6 percent ABV fruit/pepper beer, is a dark amber-colored brew that starts out sweet but wraps up with a spicy aftertaste. With a medium body, this is a unique beer that is perfect for those who enjoy barbecue and spicy beer.
Picker Porter seemed to be the most popular on tap; with a medium body, 4 percent ABV and nearly pitch black color, it could compete with any popular porter in the area.
Intrinsic also offers 10 guest beers on tap, house-made sangria on tap (a potent 8.1 percent ABV) and two house-made sodas. Future offerings will include Stout Stat, a dry stout; Knock Knock, a dopplebock lager; and Land of Gar Braggot, a honey ale.