Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Bartenders’ best bets: What’s the best craft beer in DFW?
On your must try list: Velvet Hammer and The Temptress.
With breweries opening all over DFW, the craft beer movement is bubbling over in North Texas.
But what should you drink? Dozens of Dallas-area bars serve locally-made beer, and certainly some are better than others. We polled three local bartenders who do their fair share of sipping to see which craft beers are worth your dollar. The rules were simple: The beers must be made in a local brewery, and consumers must be able to buy them in or around the Dallas area.
Velvet Hammer beer, from Dallas brewery Peticolas, was a favorite of two bartenders. It’s got the perfect name, says Joey Turner, an owner of Brewed in Fort Worth: It’s like velvet in a glass, and it’ll get you hammered. (Drink responsibly, folks.)
Another favorite was The Temptress, a 9.1% alcohol-by-volume beer brewed at Lakewood Brewing Company in Garland. It’s an imperial milk stout – that means dark and thick – but is surprisingly easy to drink, even for those who swear off dark beers.
Plenty of other great beers abound. Take these bartenders’ pointers next time you order a pint.
Favorites from Joey Turner, an owner of Brewed in Fort Worth
Blood & Honey (American wheat) from Revolver Brewing in Granbury: With hints of local honey and orange peel zest, Turner says Blood & Honey is “taking DFW by storm.” It helps that Revolver’s master brewer is Grant Wood, who was a senior brewing manager at Samuel Adams for more than a decade.
The Temptress (imperial milk stout) from Lakewood Brewing Company in Garland: This beer is “like drinking dessert in a glass,” Turner said. He has even added vanilla ice cream to The Temptress to transform it into a true dessert – adults only, of course. The beer carries hints of chocolate and caramel malt.
Velvet Hammer (imperial red ale) from Peticolas Brewing Company in Dallas: Velvet Hammer has elements of caramel and brown sugar. “Drink it slow or you’ll be hammered,” Turner said of the very potent beer.
Favorites from Charles Reis, general manager of Blackfriar Pub in Uptown Dallas
Royal Scandal (English pale ale) from Peticolas: Reis calls it a “fantastically brewed, well-balanced English IPA.” Royal Scandal is hoppier than most traditional English IPAs; it fits Americans’ need for bitter. It’s become a permanent tap upstairs at Blackfriar.
Deep Ellum IPA (American pale ale) from Deep Ellum Brewing Company: Deep Ellum Brewing Company’s flagship beer, Reis says the IPA is “an all-American, West Coast hop explosion-style IPA.” He compares it to the Royal Scandal: “While Peticolas’ is subtle, balanced, and classic, Deep Ellum’s is bold, loud, and challenging.”
Hop Trapp (Belgian-style IPA) from Lakewood Brewing Company: This 6.4% alcohol-by-volume brew is seriously malty. “This has the hops that I crave, but it comes hand in hand with a lot more malty sweetness, a touch of dark fruit, and the signature Belgian yeast that jumps out at the end,” Reis said. Lakewood calls it “the thinkin’ man’s IPA.”
Favorites from Taylor Foster, bartender at Ginger Man Plano
The Temptress from Lakewood Brewing Company: Like Turner, Foster says this beer is one of the best. For a dark beer, she calls it “very smooth and easy to drink.”
Dallas Blonde (American blonde ale) from Deep Ellum Brewing Company: Blonde is a good experiment for people who think they want to drink Miller Lite at a craft beer bar. Dallas Blonde is a light-colored ale with some citrus. “A lot of times, it’s easy for a light beer to be kind of boring and run-of-the-mill, but they’ve got some really nice flavors,” Foster said.
Velvet Hammer from Peticolas: Velvet Hammer, also liked by Turner, is better than your typical IPA, Foster said. It’s best paired with spicy foods.
Revolver beer: Sold in Granbury, Fort Worth, Arlington, Dallas, and Plano. Find a list of the bars where you’ll find it on tap at here.
Lakewood Brewing Company beer: Sold in Dallas, Addison, and nearly every suburb. Find a list here.
Deep Ellum Brewing Company beer: Sold in Dallas, Addison, Plano, Fort Worth, Denton, and several other DFW cities; plus Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and more. Find a map here.
Peticolas beer: Sold in Dallas, Addison, and a few locations in Plano, Arlington, and Fort Worth. Find a list here.
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