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What to Expect from 2014's Big Texas Beer Festival, Including Rare Local Beers

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It's springtime, and there's so much to look forward to. Pictures in the bluebonnets, more wind and transitioning from sweat pants to yoga pants. Spring is also the time to try new beers. Because, new beers.

This weekend is the third annual Big Texas Beer Fest at the Fair Park Automobile Building, with around 400 beers from over 100 breweries. The final master beer list was just released yesterday.

The Big Texas Beer Festival won the Observer's Best of award last year for beer festivals because of its affordability, location and wide selection of beers, including many special releases. As in previous years, organizers aim to pull local beer under a big enormous umbrella that encompasses beers from around the world.

This Saturday the showroom floor will be broken out by geography, with Texas as bookends. As you work your way along the main highway at the Fair Park Auto Building, you'll start with Texas, then hit breweries from around America, then the International contingent and finally Texas again.

As is usually the case, special releases and sneak peeks from local breweries are worth the wait in sometimes long lines. Lakewood Brewing Company will have a wine-barrel-aged reserve of Brabo's Cut, along with Rock Ryder with fresh lemon and ginger. Rahr & Sons will have Snowmageddon with cocoa nibs. Peticolas will have versions of its award-winning Golden Opportunity and Velvet Hammer that have been cask dry-hopped with Cascade.

The new Rabbit Hole Brewing will have Rapture Randalled with rum-soaked coffee beans. Armadillo Ale Works will have its new-ish Brunch Money, if you haven't tried it yet. Franconia will have a limited amount of its McKinney Champagne and brand-new Tripple Dunkel (it's not even out yet).

The food and music pavilion with have 10 food trucks and live music from The Beef, Grand Ramble and Bravo Max. At 5 p.m. there will be a toast to Belgian Beer Day, which will be simulcast live in the Grote Market in Antwerp, Belgium.

Tickets are $35 for general admission, which gets you a sampling card for 12 two-ounce samples (VIP tickets are already sold out). Additional cards are available for $2 (12 more two-ounce samples). The festivities start at 2 p.m. and last until 6:30 p.m.

And we can't forget about the public transport available to and fro. A DART rail station is conveniently located just outside the building.

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