Sunday, April 21, 2013
Beer bucket list: 10 brews from Untapped Festival to help you brave summer heat
There's nothing like a cold beverage on a sweltering day.
FORT WORTH Beer lovers in North Texas are hardcore festivarians. Saturday, hundreds of hopheads arrived early to Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth decked from head to toe in their favorite brands in hopes of tasting the most exclusive brews at Untapped festival.
The second-year beer and music conglomerate proved equally as successful as the first, selling out of VIP tickets (which allowed patrons preliminary access to the taps), and drawing a hefty number of Dallasites out of their usual beer bubble. How could they resist with more than 50 of the nation’s most reputable breweries in one place?
The spirit of the fest had the city buzzing all weekend, and some began celebrating at Martin House Brewing Co. with breakfast tacos and house samples. When the venue gate opened at 2 p.m., beer enthusiasts sprawled the length of the park and began a daylong taste test to find their new happy hour go-to. Many wore a ring of pretzels around their neck to both cleanse the palete between beers and soak up some of the suds. Other wore lanyards to hold their two-ounce sample glasses while they scribbled notes.
There was a beverage for every taste bud — from rich, bourbon barrel-aged stouts to fragrant and fluffy Hefeweizens — alongside a solid live music lineup. As a rider of the Dallas Brew Bus, which provided a safe, sober, and rowdy ride home at 6:30 p.m., I missed most of the big-name performances; however, that did not take away from the experience. Read a review of the evening's musical performances here.
With warmer temperatures on the horizon, I sought out a variety of craft beers great for summer days by the pool. Check out these 10 stand-out brews from Untapped that are refreshing as well as intriguing.
FYI: Untapped slyly announced the date of the Dallas installment of the fest by printing it on the wristbands. Mark your calendars for September 7 and stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
Revolver Brewing Company’s Sidewinder — Folks at Untapped received a yet-to-be-released treat from the Granbury-based brewery. Sidewinder is a Southwestern Pale Ale bursting with fruity flavors and notes of honey. This brew boasts 6 percent ABV and finishes dry, similar to champagne, so it doesn’t weigh you down in the heat.
Community Beer Company’s Witbier — This straightforward Belgian white beer is light in color but full in body. The seasonal beverage is brewed using unmalted wheat, giving it a cloudy complexion and smooth flavor. At 5.1 percent ABV, Witbier drinks like a Hefeweizen with hints of citrus and spicy undertones.
Lakewood Brewing Company’s Till & Toil — True to its name, this beer is a great way to reward yourself after a hard day’s work in the garden or a long bike ride around the lake. This saison clocks in at 6.3 percent ABV, but the alcohol is masked by a strong wave of lemon that stays with you until the last drop.
Ranger Creek’s Oatmeal Pale Ale — Based in San Antonio, the makers of Ranger Creek’s Oatmeal Pale Ale (OPA) know how to complement hot temperatures with a cold beverage. The beer is sweet and inviting, though not exactly light. Drinkers will taste fruits like coconut, lime, and pineapple that mix perfectly with the nuttiness from the oats. This OPA is 5.8 percent ABV.
Cedar Creek Brewing Company’s Belgian Dubbel — At 7 percent ABV, the Belgian Dubbel out of Seven Points, Texas, packs an unexpected punch. The beer is notably hoppy, though not overwhelmingly so, and full of grapefruit accents. While the flavor is certainly adaptable to the Texas heat, the body may not be. You want to drink one or two of these as opposed to a whole six-pack.
Firewheel Brewing Company's Albino Pumpkin Ale — This beer out of Rowlett may sound like fall option, however, it makes the grade as a summertime staple. As a blonde seasonal, it achieves both smoothness and full body without the heaviness of traditional pumpkin ales. The pumpkin serves more as a spice than the focal point of the beer with equal cinnamon and nutmeg components.
Founders Brewing Company’s All Day IPA — This session beer out of Grand Rapids, Michigan is as aromatic and floral as any IPA, but relinquishes the lingering bitterness. At just 4.7 percent, the All Day IPA is great for pacing yourself during a pool party without compromising taste. The flavor is so appealing, even lighter beer drinkers will find this recipe lovable.
Victory Brewing Company’s Weizenbock — Based in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, Victory's amber wheat beer has more curb appeal than meets the eye. Though it’s bubbling with apple and cinnamon flavors, the beer is unassumingly smooth with a crisp finish. And at 8.7 percent ABV, it goes well with summer BBQ.
Four Corners Brewing Company’s Super Bee — Four Corners debuted its seasonal saison at Untapped, and, most fittingly, it has strong honey overtones. What’s most intriguing about this beer is its aroma — it’s like falling face first onto a bed of honeysuckle. Citrus flavor emerges, giving Super Bee a well-rounded flavor profile for a hot summer day.
Peticolas Brewing Company’s Golden Opportunity — This beer is a North Texas staple by now, but still worth a mention. The beer has a dependable freshness that rejuvenates the palate with every swing. At 4.6 percent ABV, it’s a standard golden ale with a moderate flavor that will keep you coming back to the basics.
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