What better way to kick off a week devoted to ingesting copious quantities of quality craft beer than with an all out beer festival dedicated to doing just that all under one roof?
More than 40 breweries were on hand to share their beers with thirsty festival goers. In the spirit of the season, barleywines, winter warmers, stouts and really just a fair share of barrel aged goodness were some of the most buzzed about brews. From Sierra Nevada’s 2012 Bigfoot, to Dogfish Head Bitches Brew, these big beers were out in full force.
Since 2/3 of the Bitch Beer ladies in attendance were hailing from Austin, the festival was a great opportunity to get a taste of some of the newer releases coming from Dallas-Fort Worth breweries, beers like Community’s Trinity Tripel, Lakewood’s Goatman and Revolver’s Mullet Cutter. (This would probably be a good opportunity to give a shout out to our new friend Josh from Fort Worth Brew Scene who steered us in the right direction with a bunch of these.)
While just over half the breweries pouring call the Lone Star State home, celebrated breweries like Firestone Walker, Ballast Point and Avery were also in the house. Uinta Brewing, the most recent out-of-state brewery to enter the Texas market was in attendance pouring some selections from their Crooked Line series–Detour double IPA, Labyrinth black ale and Cockeyed Cooper barleywine.
From these shiny new brews to ol’ Texas standbys, here were some of our liquid highlights:
Stand Out Brews
Caroline: Southern Tier’s 2Xmas, Community’s Trinity Tripel, Martin House’s There Will Be Stout Pretzel Stout….and of course anything I mention in a subsequent category.
Sarah: Martin House Imperial Texan and Pretzel Stout.
Wendy: Community Trinity Tripel, Firewheel Cool Beans Coffee Porter and so many more.
So Glad We Finally Got To Try…
Caroline: Uinta Labyrinth totally lived up to high expectations.
Sarah: Lakewood French Quarter Temptress – although it was embarrassingly my first time, there’s no better way to experience it for the first time than thinking about the Big Easy.
Wendy: Trinity Tripel from Community Brewing. Delightful.
Most Surprising/ Innovative…
Caroline: An Indra Kunindra Michelada at the Ballast Point booth. Bizarre? Genius? Still not sure. But definitely unlike anything I’ve ever drank.
Sarah: Peticolas The Duke was such a drinkable barleywine while still being a dangerous 12.00%, I’d say it was a little surprising, to say the least. But surprising in the best tasting – unexpectedly drunken way.
Wendy: Cool Beans Coffee Porter from Firewheel. It’s made with cold-brewed espresso and gave a little (and much needed) caffeine kick.
The Always Reliable…
Caroline: Lakewood French Quarter Temptress, I try to never miss a Temptress cask at a festival.
Sarah: I always love Southern Tier’s 2X series (2XMAS did not disappoint) and can put back a serious quantity of Unearthly.
Wendy: Jester King Mad Meg. Is it too soon to call it a classic? Who cares? Classic.
Why the hell didn’t we get to the ____booth before the _____ blew?!
Caroline: Missed out on Karbach Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter. This was a low point.
Wendy: I also missed out on the Hellfighter. I’m very disappointed in myself for not being better at prioritizing.
Sarah: I missed out on the Hellfighter as well, but if I’m being honest, the later part of the festival is a little fuzzy… On the upside, I’m not disappointed in myself at all! Ignorance actually is bliss, after all.