One long, long year ago, some boys at The Common Table had a dream about a little craft beer party out on the patio. "Well, maybe it'll extend to the street," Corey Pond thought (or something close to that). That was back when little burgeoning hobby called "craft beer" was for a secret society of hopheads. So much has changed! In craft beer years, 2012 was like parachute pants: ages ago, yet the start of something beautiful.
Since then, the DFW-based production company Spune has stepped in and partnered with Paste Magazine to take the music and beer event national.
Untapped has extended its reach into Fort Worth, Houston and Atlanta, along with the smaller Canned in Denton. Last year the Untapped festival in Dallas filled an entire block like an overstuffed chile relleno pepper, with a line of hopefuls clogging the street near the entrance hoping to get in.
This year the organizers have moved the party over to Gilley's on Lamar to allow for a bit more elbow room.
"As with any new festival, we are focusing on a better overall fest-goer experience," says Annette Marin with Spune. "We'll have more bathrooms, more food trucks, shorter lines and quicker event entry."
There will be more than 60 breweries serving samples of more than 200 beers, while Delta Spirit, Freelance Whales, Blackalicious, Cults and Leagues perform.
A few other amenities were also added to the event this year.
"Again, fest-goer experience is front and center as we focus on adding texture to the event," Marin says. "The Real Ale beer garden and Goose Island VIP lounge will be a great option for fest-goers to relax and enjoy their favorite craft brews. We also have brand new partners that will provide perks like snack samples, giveaways and a phone charging system."
So if your phone is old and loses its charge every two hours, you're covered.
Tickets are $28 for just the concert (you can buy beer). The beer/concert combo play is $35 and gets you 12 two-ounce samples, a tasting cup and all the music your ears can handle. For all you fat cat high-rollers, $62.50 for the VIP treatment, which allows for early entrance, in-and-out privileges, a special viewing patio area, access to indoor bathrooms (on that account, I might put my money here even though it feels elitist) and special "beers to be announced."
In terms of the beer list, well, goodness: Every local brewery will be there, including new beers from Community, Numb Comfort and 2013 Wealth and Taste from DEBC. Franconia will have a fifth anniversary Belgian strong ale (10.5 percent ABV). Lakewood Brewing will have Lion's Share barrel-aged imperial IPA and Punkel surprise cask (a pumpkin ale). Peticolas will have the usual goods, plus a Rye't On Cask (American pale ale). And Rahr will have a 8.5 percent 2012 barrel-aged Winter Warmer (an English strong ale). Revolver will certainly have samples of Blood and Honey, but also look for Grid Iron (Rauchbier) and Sidewinder (Ameican Pale Ale). We could go on. It's like trying to pick a favorite kid. Just impossible.