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.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Beer Review - Kosmos

Shiner Kosmos Premium Reserve Lager - 4.98% ABV

We drink a lot of beer.  Most beers, however, are destined to not grace the pages of this blog.  Sometimes it is because the beer really sucks and sometimes because they are just uninteresting.  Sometimes it is because I forgot my camera and sometimes because I am too drunk to form a train of thought about what I am drinking.  This one I am going to do just out of spite.

"Why do you hate Shiner so much?", came the question out of the blue.
"Why do you think that I hate Shiner?". 
"Because you have never said even one nice thing about any of their beers". 
"I guess that I have never tried one that I like, but to be honest, I don't do a whole lot of Shiner research".
"Try this one then, it is amazing"!

Kosmos Spoetzl DID NOT found the Shiner Brewing Association in 1909, but he did buy it out in 1915 and promptly renamed it after himself.  This "Premium" "dry-hopped" light lager was brewed as a special run to honor the "founder".

Color?  I don't really know, I drank it straight from the bottle.
Smell?  None perceptible.
Taste?  Maybe better than a Miller Light.  Maybe.  Dry hopped beers usually have the flavor of hops, but I'll be darned if I could taste any.  All things considered it is a quite harmless beer.

So there, in answer to your challenge, I can say that I do not hate Shiner beers, I just haven't found any that I like. 

Spoetzl Brewing Company
603 East Brewery Street
Shiner, TX 77984

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reunion Ale

Being a huge fan of Terrapin beers AND the fact that this is a good cause AND that this sounds like a reaaaalllly good beer, I will pass this along.  If you find it locally for goodness sakes let me know so that I can imbibe, too.  - Bon

New York, NY - July 24, 2012 - Teaming up as brewing partners with Terrapin Beer Company and Alan Shapiro (founder of SBS Imports), Shmaltz Brewing is proud to participate for the second year in creating Reunion Ale '12: A Beer for Hope®. Now in its sixth year of production, Reunion® is brewed annually in memory of Virginia MacLean, a dedicated cancer research supporter who lost her own battle with Multiple Myeloma in 2007 and a dear friend and co-worker of Alan Shapiro and Pete Slosberg's (creator of Pete's Wicked Ale™). As a tribute to Virginia, a portion of the proceeds from Reunion Ale '12® is donated directly to the IMBCR. Reunion Ale '12® is now available in 22 oz bottles, as well as limited amounts of draft in the nearly 40 U.S. states that receive distribution from Terrapin and Shmaltz - and in Western Canada, through Shmaltz's distribution network. National fundraising events will occur throughout the summer and fall.

Inspired by a scrumptious dessert at one of MacLean's favorite restaurants, Reunion Ale '12® is a dark brown Imperial Ale brewed with vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa nibs from Nashville, Tennessee's Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Company. Brewmasters Spike Buckowski (Terrapin Beer Co.), Pete Slosberg, Paul McErlean (Shmaltz Brewing Co.), and Shmaltz Brewing proprietor, Jeremy Cowan designed this year's recipe to combine sweet and spicy aromas with a complex malt base and decadent vanilla and chocolate overtones.

Reunion® was initially conceived by Shapiro, MacLean and Slosberg - who all worked together during the early days of Pete's Brewing Company - as a way to increase awareness of myeloma and bone cancer and raise donations for the IMBCR. Although MacLean passed away just four months after the release of Reunion® 2007, the Reunion project has continued the vision of these three friends by raising more than $130,000 for the IMBCR through bottle and draft sales of Reunion®, retailer fundraising events, and private donations. "Virginia emphasized the importance of continuing our support of IMBCR," Shapiro explains. "She believed wholeheartedly in the work of the Institute and understood the value of bringing hope to others." "Every dollar we raise goes directly to IMBCR to fund research," adds co-founder, Pete Slosberg. Beer lovers can also donate money directly through the Reunion website, the Reunion Facebook page, or the IMBCR website.

Reunion Ale '12® is Shmaltz Brewing's second collaboration with Shapiro and Slosberg. Cowan's relationship with the two founders dates back to the San Francisco craft beer scene in the 1990s. "Shmaltz is extremely pleased to be a part of the Reunion family," says Cowan. "Tzedakah (charity) is one of the core values of Shmaltz Brewing. To be able to work with longtime industry friends on this project makes it even more special for our entire company."

National fundraising and featured beer events will commence throughout the summer and fall to raise funds and awareness for the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research. National and regional events will soon be added to the online calendar at


The Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research is dedicated to independent research on developing effective therapies that improve the quality of life and longevity of patients with myeloma and bone cancer. Myeloma and bone cancer are two of the fastest growing diseases in the world, afflicting more than one million people in the U.S. alone.

About Shmaltz Brewing Company

Shmaltz Brewing Company was named "Best American Craft Brewer" and won the "Best In Show 2010" title by Beverage World Magazine, after being named "Breakout Brand" for 2009. Ranked in 2012 as one of the "Top 50 Brewers in the World" by, Shmaltz was also included in the "Top 50 Fastest Growing Bay Area Companies" by San Francisco Business Times, and is a recipient of the "Distinguished Business Award" by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Established in San Francisco in 1996, with the first batch of 100 cases of HE'BREW Beer® bottled, labeled, and delivered by hand, Shmaltz has sold more than ten million bottles of beer to date. Along with their acclaimed line of HE'BREW Beers®, Shmaltz introduced its new line of sideshow-inspired Coney Island Craft Lagers®. Shmaltz offerings are available in more than 30 states through 35 wholesalers at more than 3,500 retail specialty shops across the U.S., including Beverages & More, Whole Foods, Total Wine, select Krogers and Cost Plus.

Arts District Beer Fest

For those of you who braved the hordes at the Zoo Brew last fall, the venue has been changed to accomodate the growing number of beer lovers in the Metroplex.  Dandy.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Belgian Beer Week - The Gingerman

For Belgian Beer Week the Gingerman features:
A’Chouffe Brewery Night
Tuesday, July 17
We’re celebrating A’Chouffe’s 30th anniversary with a brewery night. Buy the beer, keep the McChouffe and/or Houblon Chouffe pint glass, pus special giveaways and lots of fun.

Belgian Tasting
Saturday, July 21 at 2:30pm
All attendees will get 10 beers, cheese / chocolate pairing
and a limited release Ommegang Belgian Independence Glass
(Book now, very limited seating)
Call 214-754-8771.

The Ginger Man
2718 Boll Street
Dallas, TX 75204

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Beer Review - Timmermans Strawberry

Brouwerij Timmermans Strawberry Lambic - 4% ABV

Here is an odd one.  As a rule, I don't particular care for fruity beer.  Lambics are not all that high on my list either.  So when Mrs. Vivant insisted that I try this fruity concoction I must admit that I flinched.  Now don't get me wrong, I fear no beer .... huge hops, no sweat .... high gravity .... bring it on .... Stella Artois, well, let's not get silly.  But fruity beer?  Sigh, OK, pass it over.

The lambic is really bubbly when you pour reminding you of a sparkling Rose'.  Strawberry tartness hits you right on the tongue from the first and stays as the primary flavor all the way through.  Not overpoweringly sweet but with very little alcohol this is more like a fizzy Kool-aid than beer.  The funny thing is that I kind of enjoyed it, but I am quite sure that it is not something I would have ordered or will ever order again.  But if you are challenged to try a fruity beer, pick this one.

Brouwerij Timmermans-John Martin N.V.
Dilbeek-Itterbeek, Belgium

Friday, July 6, 2012

Belgian Beer Week

You know that this is our holiday week right?  Oh sure, there are other lesser holidays like 4th of July, Christmas and New Years, but this is the big one.  So we will try to keep you apprised of all that is happening in Dallas as we find it.  First up?  The Flying Saucer's news release:

Flying Saucer Celebrates Belgian Beer Week

Addison bar plans weeklong homage to Belgian ales
Addison, Texas, July 4, 2012 – Flying Saucer Draught Emporium will celebrate Belgian Beer Week to commemorate Belgian Independence Day on July 21 with a week of rare tappings, exclusive guided tastings and special releases from Monday, July 16 to Saturday, July 21 at its 14999 Montfort Drive location.
The Saucer will showcase a diverse range of Belgian beer, releasing a bottle and a draught each day of the week as listed below, with Wednesday’s “Brewery Night” featuring the brewer’s signature logo glassware to be sold to raise funds for Pints for Prostates. The first 144 people at each Saucer location on Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m. will be able to purchase the glass and a pour of the featured beer, and 100 percent of the proceeds from each glass sold will be donated to Pints for Prostates. There will also be an opportunity to enter a drawing to win a beer trip for two to Belgium from Sept. 7-15, 2012. The winner of the Belgian trip will be announced on July 29. Additional Belgian beer and food specials will be available throughout the week beginning at times listed below:

• Monday, July 16 – Duvel Single and Unibroue 17, 5 p.m.

• Tuesday, July 17 – Houblon Chouffe and St. Feuillien Grand Cru, 5 p.m.

• Wednesday, July 18 – Special “Brewery Night” for Pints for Prostates, featuring La Trappe Dubbel and Maredsous Blonde poured into a special Maredsous Blonde signature glass, 7 p.m.

• Thursday, July 19 – Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw and a rare tapping of 2011 Delirium Noel, 5 p.m.
• Friday, July 20 – Trappistes Rochefort 10 and Rodenbach Grand Cru, 5 p.m.

• Saturday, July 21 – Belgian waffles and Beermosas, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., plus Belgian Anniversary Independence Day glass release (only 60 available) from noon until sold out and a drawing for Chimay Grande 3-liter
“Belgian beers are appreciated at the Saucer year-round,” said Bo Peyton, general manager at Flying Saucer. “But Belgian Independence Day allows the opportunity for us to highlight a fantastic selection of Belgian beers for local brewers, beer enthusiasts and the community of beer businesses to enjoy during a special time of the year for Belgian brewers.”

Admission is free, but beer, special glass and food prices vary. Early arrival is suggested for these events, as space and supplies will be limited.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Beer Review - Dead Guy Ale

Rogue Ales Dead Guy Ale - 6.5% ABV

Long, long ago (20 or so years that is) there was a twit (yeah, I'm talking about me) who was delving into a brand new world, a world of flavor that he had not known existed .... and he was re-born.  Bye bye flavorless fizzy water, hello dialysis.  Of course the trip to snobdom is not quick or easy, you have to start slow.  I am quite sure that you, like me, tried Dead Guy Ale early in your experimentation stage and were stunned by how overpowering the beer was.  40 IBU's?  Wow!  Since then you have gone onward and upward on your quest for beer nirvana (get it, a Northwest pun.  Good one, eh?)  and you have forgotten your old friend that helped start you on your journey.  So let's reminisce together, shall we?

Dead Guy is brewed in the style of a Maibock using their unique Pacman yeast that is used in all of their beers.The color is honey-brown with a bit more carbonation than you normally find in the style. You will smell bananas, citrus and something piney.  They use 4 different malts to deliver a facefull of malty goodness along with Perle and Saaz hops to deliver a fine kick of hops to try to achieve the balance that Maibocks demand.  You will taste the malts, caramel, pine, bread, earth, pepper and a bit of citrus. 

I was really happy that I stepped back and had a glass so that I could remember how frigging great this beer is.  Whether you are beginning your journey into the world of craft beer or have earned every beer merit badge and are brewing your own, have a glass of this beer and savor it's golden goodness.  You're welcome.

Rogue Ales
2320 OSU Drive
Newport, OR 97365