Great news for fans of Fort Worth's Rahr & Sons Brewing Company this week, as the brewery is just about ready to open up to the public again for its raucously fun brewery tours.
The news comes more than six months after February's snowstorm collapsed the brewery roof, temporarily halting production and tours. The brewery is keeping mum on the exact date until an official announcement Friday, but the reopening date will be before Rahr's inaugural September 25 charity 5K, owner Fritz Rahr said today in an interview. The company has one more inspection to go, he says, though it's "not necessarily building related."
But while he was mum about the date (feel free to speculate or dish in the comments), he shared a few details about the upcoming Oktoberfest 5K run and a few upcoming seasonals -- including an Oktoberfest beer that's far from the typical German-style Oktoberfest märzen.
The 5K run, walk or crawl begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, September 25, with registration starting at 8 a.m. The looping course begins and ends at the brewery (701 Galveston Ave., Fort Worth), where sponsors Central Market and the Ginger Man will both offer free food and where Rahr will offer free beer to participants -- with hopes for a turnout of anywhere from 600 to 1,000. Fish Fry Bingo and possibly another band will perform. But the only way into the party is to run (or donate the entry fee without running, if you're unable or unwilling to exert yourself). Registration is available here or here. The entry fee is $35, which goes to Habitat For Humanity.
A fitting charity, as Rahr joked: "We understand what it's like not to have a roof over your head, and want to help out folks who need it."
As for this year's Oktoberfest beer, though, it seems Rahr is a bit burnt out on typical Oktoberfest brews.
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"There are so many other Oktoberfest beers, and they come out earlier and earlier each year," he said.
Rather than run out last year's lager, this year the brewery will offer an imperial stout of around 8 to 8.5 percent ABV in six-packs and kegs, available around September 14. Rahr compared it to Avery's Kaiser -- a good sign for stout lovers.
The beloved Winter Warmer is just around the corner as well, with availability expected in the beginning of November and followed a few weeks later by the "Whiskey Warmer," to be aged in Maker's Mark barrels and available on draft and in 22-oz. bombers.
But it looks like the brewery is holding no hard feelings toward the snowstorm that so royally screwed the company over. In fact, Rahr will commemorate it in February with an imperial oatmeal stout, also available in bombers and on draft.