Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.

We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Oktoberfest Bier

If you are even vaguely the same as us in the love of beer, you will change your beer selection with the seasons. Stouts and porters in the winter, holiday ales during the holiday blitz at the end of the year, saisons in the spring, and of course, Oktoberfest beers in the fall. Mmmmmm, Oktoberfest beers. There are several Oktoberfest beers available right now at your local vendor, but did you know that there are actually 2 types of Oktoberfest beers?

The one that is sold here in the U.S. is the Märzen (5.8% ABV) style beer.  It is an amber beer style that was developed over 200 years ago to celebrate the original Oktoberfest. The Märzen name comes from “March beer” because it was historically brewed in March to be at peak flavor for the Oktoberfest celebration. Today this style is available year round in the US due to popular demand. This full bodied beer with its rich malt flavor and dark toffee note, has an underlying fruitiness and masterful hop balance.

The second Oktoberfest beer is less well known because it is not sold here, but is only available at the festival in Munich. This golden Oktoberfest lager is the only beer served in Paulaner Oktoberfest tents today. It also happens to be the best-selling Oktoberfest beer in Germany.  Brewed once a year, and only available while supplies last, Oktoberfest Wiesn is the pinnacle of German brewing: deep golden color, full-bodied and wonderfully mellow, with a balanced harmonious taste and the pleasant fragrance of hops. At 6% ABV, it is stronger and bolder that the usual lager.  I drank 7 liters of this delight while in Munich and was so very proud that I was still vaguely functional at the end of the evening.

Whichever beer brand you choose is irrelevant in that all of the German Oktoberfest beers are fairly similar, but try them while they are still available.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Great American Beer Festival 2017

Another GABF on the books and Texas is again well represented with medals of excellence.  The Dallas/Fort Worth/North Texas area also has a smattering of breweries scoring medals and making us proud.  Rahr and Sons, however, are a perennial winner at the GABF with multiple awards virtually every year.  Love those guys.  Here are the local winners and please take the time to visit these breweries, drink their beer, and congratulate them on their success.

Metroplex Winners:

Silver - It's Always Something, Peticolus Brewing Company, Dallas         
Belgian Strong Spec.Ale

Silver - Oktoberfest, Rahr and Sons Brewing Co. , Fort Worth 
German Style Marzen

Bronze - Honey Please, Armadillo Ale Works, Denton         
Honey Beer

Gold - Real Heavy, Rahr and Sons Brewing Co. , Fort Worth   
Scotch Ale

Texas Winners:

Gold - La Muerta, Freetail Brewing Company, San Antonio     
Aged Beer

Silver - Shiner Bock, Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner               
American Amber Lager

Bronze - Blue Bridge, Galveston Island Brewing Co., Galveston         
Amer. Amber/Red Ale

Gold - Buckle Bunny. Eureka Heights Brewing Co., Houston           
American Cream Ale

Gold - Rocket 100, The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company, Austin
American or International Style Pilsener

Gold - Amandus, Lazarus Brewing Company. Austin             
Belgian Style Strong Ale

Gold - Velvet Revolution, The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company, Austin             
Bohemian Style Pilsener

Gold - Bearded Seal, Pinthouse Pizza North, Austin             
Classic Irish Dry Stout

Bronze - Holler ESB, Holler Brewing Company, Houston           
Extra Special Bitter

Bronze - Weedwacker, St. Arnold Brewing Company, Houston            
German Wheat Ale

Silver - Firemans 4, Real Ale Brewing Company, Blanco              
Golden or Blonde Ale

Silver - Luchesa Lager, Oasis Brewing Company, Austin
Kellerbier / Zwickelbier

Gold - Super Awesome Lager, Austin Beer Works, Austin, 
Light Lager

Silver - Lux Mundi, Save the World Brewing Company, Marble Falls    
'Other' Belgian Style Ale

Gold - Pumpinator, St. Arnold Brewing Company, Houston          
Pumpkin/Pumpkin Spice

Bronze - Barrel-aged Marfa Light  Big Bend Brewing Company, Alpine              
Wood or Barrel Aged Strong Stout

Friday, September 15, 2017

Shield Biter Scotch Ale

Our friends at Rabbit Hole Brewing has a new release that you may wish to find and try.  Shield Biter Scotch Ale (8% ABV) is a draught only release available now. Cheers, Bon.

Ready to go beerserk?

Old Norse literature paints the picture of a Berserker, a near mythical warrior, as wild and fierce as an animal. So resilient their skin was said to be able to resist fire and iron, so savage they are traditionally depicted as gnawing on their own shields!
Join us in welcoming our newest beer to the Rabbit Hole catalog: Shield Biter. An animalistic 8% ABV Strong Scotch Ale. Lightly toasted bread and biscuit notes compliment the ruthlessly rich caramel and dark fruit flavors.
Strong Scotch Ales are high gravity versions of the traditional Scottish session beers. They typically showcase a full-body with strong caramel malt flavors, low bitterness and higher alcohol levels. We believe you'll enjoy Shield Biter best with soft buttery cheeses, braised pork, smoked ham, and/or salmon. Just try not to go too wild!
"Shield Biter"
Beer Stats:
Style:  Strong Scotch Ale
ABV: 8%
IBU: 26
Grain: Pale, Munich, Victory, Crystal 60, Crystal 150
Hops: Target

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Latest from the Bishop Cider Company

We have it on good authority that many of you are fans of the Bishop Cider Company.  You may be interested in their latest changes. Cheers, Bon

We've transformed.

New ciders, new cans, and new branding. It also means
we’ve discontinued some ciders. Nectar and High & Dry
got the axe. If those are your go-to, they can still be found 
at some retailers, so you better snag them soon. The new 
branding is focused on giving you a clearer picture of the 
flavor profile even before the first sip. The new cans are 
brighter and bolder

New year-round lineup.

Crackberry - This cranberry/blackberry cider has become our flagship brand. We’ve never been able to produce it fast enough.

Apple Pineapple - We drug our feet for years on introducing a pineapple cider. We wanted to ensure that the recipe was absolutely perfect and it is.

Blood Orange - Over a year ago, we introduced our Blood Orange cider as a seasonal and it was our most popular seasonal to date (excluding the legendary Cinnamango). Now it's here to stay.

The OG - This cider is a straightforward apple cider that inspired the start of Bishop. When Joel and Laura were making cider in their kitchen, this was the recipe that convinced them to take the plunge. There are still bottles in their fridge from 2011 batches.

Like variety?

Our 12 Pack Variety cases left the cidery yesterday and will be hitting store shelves across Texas starting today. Call your favorite retailer to ensure that it is in stock before heading up there. These will be available year-round, but fairly limited over the next few weeks.

Cidery Tour 9/2 @ 12:30PM

Want to see how the cider is made and why we decided to make it in the first place? Come hear it directly from our founder at our next tour. Tours are free with Cidercade admission ($10) and held the first Saturday of each month at 12:30pmat 2777 Irving Blvd. in Dallas.

Visited the Bishop Cidercade yet? $10 admission grants you unlimited free-play on over 125 arcades and we have 24 ciders on tap. Located in Dallas' Design District. Open 7 days/wk.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Belgian Beer Week at the Saucer on the Lake

Yes, yes, yes, we all have heard how wonderful it is to have a plethora of craft brewers all over the Metroplex.  Look, we're old friends here, aren't we? So let's be honest with each other, shall we?  Most of them aren't really very good, are they?  But do you know who makes great beer? The Belgians. The beer produced in Belgium is still head and shoulders above most of what is being produced here.  There, I said what many of us have been thinking, but are hesitant to say aloud.
Belgium's Independence Day is on July 21, and many of us TRUE craft beer lovers celebrate a country that most of us have not visited (yes, we have, several times, thank you) with a week of toasts and celebration.
For those of you on the east side of Dallas you can find specials celebrating Belgium beer week at the Flying Saucer on the Lake.  Here is their press release imparting all the info that you need to know.

Flying Saucer on The Lake is celebrating Belgian Beer Week the right way by releasing rare brews each day from Saturday, July 15 through Friday, July 21. 

Saturday, July 15: Dry Hopped Saison Dupont, New Belgium French Oak Saison, Boulevard Saison Brett and Dogfish Head Saison Du Buff
Sunday, July 16Southern Tier Belgian Sleeper and Funkwerks Blueberry Provincial 
Monday, July 17: $3 Celis White all day
Tuesday, July 18We're celebrating Christmas in July with Delirium Noel and St. Bernardus Christmas Ale.
Wednesday, July 19Duvel Single
Thursday, July 20De Ranke XXX and De la Senne Taras Boulba 
Friday, July 21We're celebrating Belgian National Day with Chimay Red, White and Blue on draft.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Craft Brewers vs. Corporate Beer

While we know that the large corporate beer companies are buying up craft brewers, and we realize that we need to support real craft brewers and not these corporate giants, how do we know which brewery is really craft and which are not? Well, we are happy that you asked. The Brewers Association has created an symbol that small brewers may place on their label to help you identify real craft brewers. The craft beer lover has a right to know when they are purchasing from an independent craft brewer or from big beer and this symbol will help you do exactly that.

Craft brewers who want the seal do not have to be a BA member, but they need to meet criteria. The criteria are:

1. The brewer must fit the BA craft brewer definition:
•Small – Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales).
•Independent – Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
•Traditional – A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.

2. The brewer must have an active TTB license to commercially brew beer in the United States.

3. Breweries will sign a licensing agreement that will cover many bases, including if a brewery sells. If they are no longer a craft brewer, they aren’t allowed to license the seal. They’ll have to remove it from future packaging.

We ask that you look for this label, we ask that you support the small brewer. Cheers, Bon

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Best Little Brewfest in Texas is coming June 17

Best Little Brewfest in Texas
June 17, 2017
Old Town Lewisville at Mill and Charles
Contact:  Kim Cloud 214-415-4806

Howdy, Y'all.  You are invited to attend the 5th annual Best Little Brewfest in Texas on Saturday, June 17, 2017.
We are an outdoor festival under large tents in the streets of Old Town Lewisville celebrating craft beer.
Beer? Did you say BEER?  We have 95 breweries with great craft beer from Texas and all over the country-sea to shining sea! Other adult beverages include ciders, hard lemonade and hard tea.  Soft drinks and flavored water is available for the designated drivers out there.  Guess what? Ten sponsored breweries will each have at least 6 beer selections, even special one-off beers made just for our event and other rare tappings in the upper grassy area of the Wayne Ferguson Plaza.  These breweries are in a cooler location closer to the music so you can tickle your taste buds and your auditory devices.
At 4 pm we hold our Professional Brewers Competition Award program inside the MCL Grand Theater, where we honor the best beer in about 29 categories from commercially brewed beer in Texas. Join us in the Black Box theater inside the MCL Grand Theater for this exciting event and take a break from the sun.
We have 2 music stages that will feature great local bands (TBA) inside the Wayne Ferguson Plaza on the Main Stage and an Acoustic stage to sooth your soul while cold beer soothes your throat.
Got kiddos? Our target audience is 21+. While not a children's event, some do come with their parents.  Strollers are strongly discouraged due to space concerns.  
Come hungry! There are 6 food trucks as well as items such as kettle corn, shaved ice, beef jerky and spiced nuts to keep you in search of the next best beer you have ever tasted!
VIP admission is $70 and $90 with the shirt. Shirts will be ready for pick-up at the festival, no waiting in line required! VIP festival-goers have access to an air conditioned room with finger food snacks and choice beer selections.  VIP starts at 3 pm, an hour and a half early-get those limited specialty beers before they run out!  
General Admission is $40 or $65 with a special pre-made cool festival t-shirt. GA starts at 4:30 pm and the festival ends at 8 pm-the cooler part of the day!  If you choose a shirt package it will be pre-made before the event and waiting on you. Note: The law allows 12 samples at 2 oz. each, but we have additional tasting cards for only $5 which gives you 12 more samples. You do the math! 
We give back!  100% of our profits support Cloud 9 Charities, a 501(c)3, that distributes the funds to deserving, local non-profit service providers who help needy women, children and families. So bring your family and friends and know that you are helping your community. Bring Dad since it is the Saturday before Father's Day-best gift ever!
Get your tickets now at and join 3-4000 of your closest friends for a fun day all the while supporting a good cause.  Like and Share us on Facebook and follow us for a chance to win free tickets!  Look for us at one of the breweries where our Street Team will have fun give-a-ways and free tickets as well.

Best Little Brewfest in Texas
June 17, 2017
Old Town Lewisville at Mill and Charles