What a Week for Beer in Dallas

This is one of the most eventful weeks ever for beer aficionados in Dallas.

First off, yesterday marked the release of Houston brewery Saint Arnold's Divine Reserve 12. Divine Reserve is a series irregularly released special, rare single-batch offerings. Each is inspired by an entry in the Big Batch Brew Bash. This one is an old ale with an ABV of 10 percent, and the brewery recommends aging it for a year or more. I got a six pack yesterday at the Park Place Whole Foods and was told it was the last one -- apparently store employees got the first crack at buying them, and they weren't shy about snatching them up. Release date is something of a social event and competition; Twitter is ablaze with the hashtag #DR12, offering leads on where to score it -- after the tweeter has already procured his, of course. It seems the release will be staggered, as not every store had theirs for sale. Check with your favorite beer stores to see if they have any; Spec's and Total Wine were planning to sell theirs today. It may be worth it to call stores that already said they're out, as it's possible that people who reserved some failed to pick theirs up. I'll offer my thoughts on it after I have a chance to try it.

Yesterday also saw the release of a new Deep Ellum Brewing Co. beer, Wealth and Taste, a 9.5 percent ABV Belgian-style golden strong ale made with muscat grape juice, grapefruit peel, rose hips and chamomile flowers. Half the batch was aged in Chardonnay barrels, then blended with the regularly fermented portion.

As far as I can tell, I'm the only person who didn't like it. It was too sweet for me, and the grapes and white wine taste are very noticeable. It's also tart, almost cider-like. But some very knowledgeable beer lovers raved about it; Chad Montgomery, he of the Big Texas Beer Fest, went so far as to call it one of the best beers to ever come out of Texas.

Hopefully I'll like the next one one better. Dallas Blonde is billed as a "citrusy, balanced session ale," a 5.2 percent ABV American blonde ale, and will be tapped Friday at the Katy Trail Ice House. Even more exciting, Saturday sees the official public release of Lakewood Brewing Co. at Goodfriend. It starts at 4 p.m., with two offerings -- the American rye wheat "Rock Ryder" and a Belgian-style IPA "Hop Trapp." I tried the latter at Brew Riot a few months back and was very impressed.

In other local beer news not involving local or Texas breweries, the latest beer-related holiday is IPA Day tomorrow, August 2. Several bars are celebrating that day, this week or even all of August. Meddlesome Moth taps Brooklyn Blast!, an excellent double IPA, today at 5 p.m. Tomorrow sees the release of Great Divide Rumble, an oak-aged IPA. Check their Facebook page for more. Also tomorrow, Holy Grail Pub in Plano will tap Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA, He'brew Lenny and Stone Ruination 10th Anniversary.

Further out are the Untapped Festival September 8 at The Common Table, a concert featuring Givers, The Antlers, Akron/Family, Burning Hotels, David Dondero and Fish Fry Bingo and beer; more on the beer lineup later. Dallas Observer's own BrewFest is a week later, September 15, and tickets went on sale today. And the second Dallas Beer Week is November 10-17. But let's just see if we get through this week with our livers intact.

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Jesse Hughey
Contact: Jesse Hughey