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.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Traditional Wassail Recipe

Yes my cheery friends, wassail was originally made from ale.  Want to try something different?  Try this recipe from Alton Brown and enjoy your holiday.


  • 6 small Fuji apples, cored
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 72 ounces ale
  • 750 ml Madeira
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 10 whole allspice berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 2-inches long
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 large eggs, separated


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the apples into an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish. Spoon the brown sugar into the center of each apple, dividing the sugar evenly among them. Pour the water into the bottom of the dish and bake until tender, about 45 minutes.

Pour the ale and Madeira into a large slow cooker. Put the cloves, allspice, and cinnamon into a small muslin bag or cheesecloth, tied with kitchen twine, and add to the slow cooker along with the ginger and nutmeg. Set the slow cooker to medium heat and bring the mixture to at least 120 degrees F. Do not boil.

Add the egg whites to a medium bowl and using a hand mixer, beat until stiff peaks form. Put the egg yolks into a separate bowl and beat until lightened in color and frothy, approximately 2 minutes. Add the egg whites to the yolks and using the hand mixer, beat, just until combined. Slowly add 4 to 6 ounces of the alcohol mixture from the slow cooker to the egg mixture, beating with the hand mixer on low speed. Return this mixture to the slow cooker and whisk to combine.

Add the apples and the liquid from the baking dish to the wassail and stir to combine. Ladle into cups and serve.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Our Picks for the Top 5 Christmas Ales

If you are at all like me you have a love/hate relationship with Christmas.  Whereas most of those who celebrate Christmas love to get together with their families, sharing the season and exchanging gifts, my oddball family is not one that I, nor any of you, would enjoy spending your time.  Festivus is sounding better and better to me every year.  However, I do so love the underlying message of Christmas, you know, love, peace and having good will toward all.  For me the getting together with the family part can only be achieved with imbibing in copious amounts of fortified brew.  My Christmas spirit comes in a bottle.  If you are of a kindred spirit with me OR you are a non-celebrator who just can't wait for all of this to be over you are in luck, because the Christmas ales will help you get past this agitation in a delicious haze.  Here is our top 5 list of liquefied Christmas spirits to help us get through the season.

5.  Affligem Noel (9% ABV)- Affligem is brewed in the Belgian village of Opwijk (not misspelled, just odd) in the Benedictine Afflegim Abbey founded in June of 1062.  Even though the brewery has the name of the abbey, the beer is actually made by Heineken, but don't be influenced by their typical swill, this is fine beer indeed.  The style is a Belgian strong ale like a dubbel.  Dark and rich with aroma of dark fruits, brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves.  You will find it sweet, with nutmeg and other spices.  It is a bit sweeter than most of this style but will put a silly grin on your face that will get you through the day.

4.  Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome (6% ABV) - Let me start by stating that Samuel Smith's brewery does not make a bad beer.  Every beer that they make is spot on and you can be assured that whichever beer of theirs you choose you will not be disappointed.  The great thing about the Winter Welcome is that it is made to appeal to a wide range of beer lovers and while it will probably not be the greatest beer that you open at your get together, it will appeal to the broadest range of drinkers.  The broad malt base is balanced by Fuggle and Golding hops, giving the brew a wonderful complexity.  There are not much in the way of spices that you usually associate with a Christmas ale, but the complex character will make for a good session drink and will pair well with almost any food.

3.  La Chouffe N'Ice (10% ABV) - How could be ignore our friends from Brasserie d'Achouffe?  It is a good thing that we don't have to, because this ale is a dandy brew.  At 10% it won't take long to get you into a warm, fuzzy haze where you can tune out the mayhem around you.  The strong dark ale is unfiltered and allowed to re-ferment in the bottles which will give you lots of floating goodies to admire while you thank everyone again for the new underwear.  It is very well balanced sweetness, malts, thyme and curacao used to hide the alcohol burn.  Superb and gorgeous in the glass.

2.  Scaldis Noel (12% ABV) - What?  You're not interested in the peace and love crap and want to get wasted?  This beer will have you snarling at your in-laws and tripping over wrapping debris in no time.  "Created in 1769 by Joseph Leroy, the maternal grandfather of current manager Hugues Dubuisson, the Brasserie Dubuisson is the oldest brewery in Wallonia and is still situated on the same spot. Eight generations of brewers have succeeded each other in a direct line and the Brasserie Dubuisson is today still 100% independent."  This brew is a bit more aggressive and stronger than your typical Christmas ale.  The copper colored brew smells of caramel, malts and peach.  Taste the huge malts, the brown sugar, the dark fruits, the yeast, the spices and the anise.  Marvel at the warming sensation in your mid-section shortly after you begin drinking.  The alcohol is not hidden and you will definitely notice it as your sip, but that is not a bad thing.  Lovely, lovely beer.

1.  St. Bernardus Christmas Ale (10% ABV) - Absolutely the finest Christmas ale available and in my opinion one of the top 10 best beers being produced anywhere.  I find it difficult to describe this beer so I will let the brewers describe it for you ... "St.Bernardus Christmas Ale is a dark seasonal brewed in the classic 'Quadrupel' style of Belgium's best Abbey Ales. (10,0 % ABV) Similar to all the beers from our brewery, it greets the drinker with the signature aroma of the St.Bernardus house yeast strain (in use since 1946!  Rivaling the complexity of the St.Bernardus Abt 12, St.Bernardus Christmas Ale offers a spicy, mint-like flavor profile exuding the tastes of warming alcohol, fermented molasses, apricots, licorice and marzipan that are highlighted by the perfect balance of brewing sugars. The perfect companion to enjoy a (cold?) winter evening, with or without the company of your friends!"  I have spent many Christmas' marveling at the magnificence of this beer and am never without a bottle or 2 on my aging rack and in the refrigerator.  Stunning.

Cheers and have a wonderful whatever it is that you celebrate.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Beer Review - Warlock

Southern Tier Brewing Company 'Warlock' Imperial Stout - 8.6% ABV

Yes, Halloween is over, but that doesn't mean that all of the beers that we purchased around Halloween are gone.  We tried this beauty as an after dinner treat on Thanksgiving, thinking that the pumpkin in the beer would reinforce the pumpkin pie that we just forced down.  By golly, we were right!

Warlock is another of the high gravity beers that Southern Tier produces in it's Blackwater series.  It is described a double Imperial American Stout, however since they use ale yeast the stout moniker may be a stretch.  They also use two types of hops, 4 kinds of malts and pumpkin in the mix. 

The color is, as you would expect of a stout, black, with a slight hint of dark red.  It pours thick and has moderate carbonation and you will smell the roasted malts and pumpkin.  The flavor is almost overpowering and the mouth feel is smooth and velvety, thick, rich, nice.  Imagine throwing a piece of pumpkin pie in the blender with some chunks of dark chocolate.  Wait, you can't blend that mess, better dump in some coffee liquor as well.  There, that's it.  The flavor is similar to their Pumking, but not quite a hoppy, a bit sweeter and definitely thicker.  As that it is a slow drink we noticed that the flavor improved as the beer warmed and probably best at around 50 degrees.

Southern Tier Brewing Company
2072 Stoneman Circle
Lakewood, New York 14750

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Beers

Here are our recommendations for beers for you to pair with your Thanksgiving Day feast.  Most are readily available in the DFW area.

Appetizer - Let's start out with something light, shall we?  You don't really want to fill up on beer before the gluttony begins do you?  Or do you? 
     - Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale - Lightly hopped so as to not overpower your taste buds, malty, caramel and nutty.  Delightful.
     - Revolver Blood and Honey - A bit sweet and a bit citrusy this one will prep your taste buds for the savory delights to follow.

Main Course - I must admit that I often pair wine with turkey and a light, fruity Beaujolais Nouveau often fits the bill ("Gasp!  Did he say wine?!?  Hypocrite!") but there are a few beers that are perfect pairings with your feast.
     - La Socarrada Cervesa Artesanal De Xativa - La Socarrada may the be the finest beers that I have ever paired with roasted meats.  It is created as a winter ale and made with rosemary and rosemary honey, but lightly flavored and not overpowering in the least.  Superb with Turkey.
    - Saison DuPont - The classic Belgian farmhouse ale.  Perfectly balanced and stunningly complex flavors complements any food that you put in front of it.  The dry finish keeps your tongue prepped for your second and third rounds of feasting.
     - Chimay Grande Reserve - What?  You don't like Turkey and are serving Roast Beef?  Dandy. I promise you that you will never find a better beer to pair with beef than the Grande Reserve.  Dark, powerful, complex and stunningly delicious.  Look for the blue label.

Desert - There are two schools of thought with desert pairings:  Complement vs. contrast.  The bitterness of an IPA to cut through the sweetness vs. the that of a desert beer that mimics the flavors of the deserts.  As that desert is my favorite course, let's try several.
     - Dogfish 60 minute IPA - Probably the classic example of an American IPA.  This is a powerfully hopped but balanced IPA contains a lot of citrusy character from the hops and will cut through all of that cloying sugar.
     - Lakewood Brewing Hop Trapp - Want to go local?  This IPA is a Belgian style IPA this doesn't have the face puckering power of many other IPA's.  The malty and yeasty background makes this one very complex, but delicious.
     - Southern Tier Pumking - This Imperial Pumpkin Ale really doesn't contain any pumpkins, but it is loaded with pumpkin spices and will complement that pumpkin pie perfectly.
     - Sam Adams Merry Maker - "This rich dark gingerbread stout entices with the aromas of the holidays.  The flavor of gingerbread comes alive, beginning with the smooth sweetness and heartiness of dark roasted malts and a touch of wheat.  But it’s the intensity and spices of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, & ginger that add a wicked kick for a jolly playful brew full of merry mischief."
     - Martin House There Will Be Stout - This thick, rich, chocolaty, malty delight will pair right along with Aunt Ethyl's chocolate cream pie.  Trust me on this one and go local.  On tap only so you will have to haul a growler with you, darn.

Enjoy your holidays and we will see you soon. - Bon

Friday, November 22, 2013

Revolver Brewery 1st Anniversary Party



We just passed our one-year anniversary and

how best to mark the occasion?  Like, Party! 

Our 1-year anniversary party is November 23rd

That is the Saturday before Thanksgiving. 

 Let that sink in….this is the last chance for

you, and possibly someone you have chosen

to hang with, to relax and enjoy a nice

Revolver beer while listening to live music

prior to your kind, intelligent, lovely,

and generally awesome family spending time

 with you.  Let’s all give thanks.
So, the Party.  It will run from noon

to 4pm.  We will feature three bands: Shotgun 

Friday (formerly known as Fish Fry Bingo),

the Sean Russell Band and, get your Jazz

hands ready…the 20 member Tarleton Jazz

Ensemble.  Three different styles, all good

in their own very special way.  We will

be graced by the Piston Slingers hot rod

club, who will have some fine classic cars

 to ogle.

As previously reported, our new limited

release anniversary beer will be on tap. 

It is known as MULLET CUTTER.  It is

an English Style Double IPA.  We

understand the Double IPA is a lifestyle

choice…a beautiful one….so be proud. 

 In the spirit of the glorious Mullet we

will have our often used hair professional,

Cindy Beard, on site.  She will either

give or remove mullets, gratis.  Irwin

M. Fletcher, you choose.

Now for the fine print.  Admission is $15,

you get a special 1-yr anniversary logo’d

beer glass, 5 beer tastings vs. the usual

four (approx. 8oz each), three food

vendors - Big Tony’s barbeque,  Yater’s

Cater and More Puffcorn Please out of

Fort Worth (the salted caramel puffcorn

is crack).  A special anniversary shirt

will be on sale.

Let us not forget about this Saturday at

the brewery.  The brewery tour will run

as normal (noon-3pm) and will feature

 the band Peace Tree.  Big Tony will be

catering.  We will have Mullet Cuter on

tap for those that cannot make the

anniversary party (or if you just want

to get a good start on the party).

Revolver Brewing is located at:
5650 Matlock Road
Granbury, TX 76049


This coming Monday, the tap wall at the Moth will evolve into 37 taps of some of the finest brews around. Moth will launch “The Mothamorphosis,” an entirely new draught menu appearing overnight and available for one week only, starting Monday, Nov. 24 continuing through Sunday, Nov. 30.
Featuring some of Captain Keith’s and Matt Quenette’s favorite draft picks, here are a few highlights of what’s to come and that beer lovers will not want to miss:
·      Green Flash 11th Anniversary Double Dry Hopped West Coast IPA
·      Green Flash Silva Stout
·      Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout
·      New Belgium Le Terroir
·      Firestone Walker Sucaba
·      Founders Backwoods Bastard
·      Karbach F.U.N. 007 Maker's Mark Barrel Aged Hellfighter
·      Boulevard Saison Brett
·      Dogfish Head Black and Blue
·      BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien 2012
·      Prairie Artisan Ales 'Merica
Also kicking off Nov. 24 is the annual Moth Cellar Release, which will continue through Jan. 1, 2014. Each year, Moth saves some of their favorite releases from throughout the year for a bottle bonanza as a way to celebrate the end of the year. There will be more than 40 different bottles released with limited availability. Highlights include:
·      (512) Bourbon Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter
·      Firestone Walker Sucaba, Parabola, 16 and Double DBA
·      Boulevard Terra Incognita, Love Child #3 and BBQ
·      Avery Uncle Jacob's
·      Avery Odio Equum
·      Founders KBS and Devil Dancer
·      Brooklyn Black Ops 2009
·      Saint Arnold Bishop's Barrel #1
·      North Coast Old Rasputin XV
·      Lagunitas Gnarleywine 2011
The Meddlesome Moth is located at:
1621 Oak Lawn Ave.
 Dallas, TX 75207

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Deschutes Beer Dinner at the Saucer

Flying Saucer Addison to Host

Deschutes Brewery Beer Dinner


DALLAS, Nov. 15, 2013 — Flying Saucer Draught Emporium will host its last beer dinner of the year with Deschutes Brewery Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. at its location in Village on the Parkway at 14999 Montfort Drive in Addison.

The dinner will feature beers from Deschutes Brewery’s reserve series, paired with a four-course meal. The reserve series beers and food pairings for the evening are:

·         Mirror Pond Pale Ale, tawny-colored American pale ale with Cascade hops and Pale malt.

·         Black Butte XXIV, an American porter with dark chocolate nibs, deglet dates and mission figs.

o   Paired with fig, honey and blue cheese tartlet.

·         XXV Porter, a barrel-aged Imperial porter with a tart berry and chocolate aroma.

o   Paired with cold-smoked bay scallops, candied bacon, bourbon sauce and Southern grits.

·         Abyss Imperial Stout, an Imperial stout with hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors.

o   Paired with boeuf bourguignon a l’abîme, caramelized onion and mushroom.

·         The Dissident Wild Ale, a sour-brown ale fermented in pinot and cabernet barrels for 18 months.   

o   Paired with Greek yogurt cheesecake and pomegranate-cherry compote.


The dinner is $65 per person, including tax and gratuity ($60 for UFO Club members). To purchase tickets, visit Flying Saucer Addison or call 972-991-7093.

Booze Themed Books

I saw several Christmas ales in the stores this week.  Damn, I loves me some Christmas ales.  How do you know which holiday and winter ales to try?  Of course you can read here to find out about a few of them, but there are literally hundreds and I am not sure that my liver would hold out long enough to try them all.  Sure, you can do internet research to find your choices, but I am going to recommend that you 'old school' it.  "Huh?" you say.  Books.  Faster and easier to thumb through a book than go through hundreds of internet sight being bombarded with annoying adds that slow your machine to a crawl. 

Blanca Olivieri reached out to me recently and recommended a few for you to peruse.

The Pocket Beer Guide by Stephen Beaumont and Tim Webb is the most extraordinary, comprehensive, and current guide to a variety of beers from around the world, from tradition favorites to exciting new discoveries! Experts Stephen Beaumont and Tim Webb provide tasting notes on an amazing selection of brews, complete with information on international breweries and each beer’s key characteristics.  Useful tips such as great places to drink the beers when you are in the relevant country are also included in this easy-to-tote essential guide.
The Complete Beer Course by Joshua Bernstein lends a helping hand to all beer drinkers confused by the dizzying array of available draft beers. This thoroughly up-to-date, comprehensive, and utterly witty beer course (the only one currently in print) demystifies the sudsy stuff and breaks down the elements that make a beer’s flavor spin into distinctively different and delicious directions. With this “boot camp for beer geeks,” you’ll go from novice to expert in just twelve easy-to-follow classes! So loosen your lips and try one beer after another, and another.  Sneak peek:
American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye by Clay Risen, New York Times editor, is the only guide devoted solely to US-made whiskey, rye, and bourbon. Arranged as an A-to-Z directory by distillery and/or maker, it offers brief histories, ratings, and tasting notes for more than 200 types of American whiskey. Each main account includes the name and address of the maker along with vibrant color images of the bottles. Discerning drinkers will savor this one of a kind book!
World’s Best Ciders by Pete Brown and Bill Bradshaw gives you everything you need to know about the latest craft “hard cider” trend. Featuring in-depth explanations and tasting notes, it reveals all you need to know about the cider-making process, procedures, and breweries across the globe. Recipes for cider-based dishes and beautifully photographed images of cider centers around the world complete this phenomenal guide. Sneak peek:
We hope that you’ll consider sharing these titles with your readers. If you need any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Blanca Oliviery
Manager, Marketing & Publicity, Sterling
Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.A wholly owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble 
387 Park Avenue South
New York, New York  10016
Direct Line: (646) 688-2548
Main Phone: (212) 532-7160
Follow us: @SterlingBooks, @SterlingKids, @BlancaPR

Friday, November 15, 2013

NTX Beer Week - Friday, November 15th

It's Friday and you are out of excuses and almost out of time.  Here are our top 5 picks of today's events and remember, you can get all of this information and more at

1.  A Night of Romance - Texas Bourbon meets Texas Beer.  Jack will be tapping 5 Texas brews aged in bourbon barrels from Garrison Brothers Distillery. The brews are from 903 Brewing, Cedar Creek & Community. We're gonna blow your mind at Jack Mac's Swill and Grill in Dallas

2.  Ommegang Game of Thrones "Take the Black" Stout tapping.  Brewed specially for the HBO Series, Take the Black Stout will pair well with our Three Finger Hobbs Three Meat Stew, made in house from a special recipe from the Game of Thrones Cookbook. Stew available through Sunday or while it lasts at the Holy Grail Pub in Plano.

3.  Avery Blackout - Flight of Mephistopheles' 2012, Out of Bounds, Uncle Jacob's, Rumpkin, The Czar, 8pm at the Meddlsome Moth in Dallas.

4.  Meet Marin House brewer Cody Martin as he discusses the great beer he produces and the story of his brewery. They will also have their awesome "can" style glassware available, buy the beer, keep the glass at The Pour House in Fort Worth.

5.  Community Brewing Tap Takeover!  Brewery reps will be visiting with you as you enjoy their best beers and take home a Community glass. Mosaic IPA, Public Ale ESB and Inspiration Belgian Dark! Glasses at 7pm at the Dallas Beer Kitchen in Dallas.

Please your local brewery and beer slinger.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

NTX Beer Week - Thursday, November 14

Surely by now you have been out to enjoy some of the special events and are thirsty for more.  Here are out top 5 picks for today's events.

1.  Real Ale Mysterium Verum Tappings - 7pm, Brewmaster Erik Ogershok in house! Kraken (French oak aged Sisyphus(barleywine)) Morgul (Porter) Scots Gone Wild (American Wild) Empire (IPA) Bourbon Barrel Aged RAXV (15th anniversary Russian Imperial Stout) Benedictum (Flanders style) at Zio Carlo Magnolia Brewpub in Fort Worth.

2.  Peticolas Party - Come hang out with brewery owner Michael Peticolas as we enjoy: Velvet Hammer, Wintervention, Alfred Brown, Rye't On, 2012 Great Scot!, & Golden Opportunity at the Common Table in Dallas.

3.  Rogness Brewery Night at the World of Beer, SMU in Dallas.  Honestly, I am not super crazy about their beers, but I love saying Pflugerville.

4.  Rahr night at Banter! 2012 Winter Warmer on draft, Winter Warmer pint glasses and Winter Warmer Koozies. We will also be selling 8oz Rahr glasses with 4oz of 2012 Bourbon Barrel Winter Warmer in them, yes we have 2012 Bourbon Barrel Winter Warmer at Banter Bistro in Denton.

5.  Join us on Thursday November 14th for a very special Deschutes tap takeover. Featuring Hop Trip, Chasin' Freshies, and Fresh Squeezed, Jubelale. Their flagship beer, Black Butte XXV, a 25th anniversary beer aged in a bourbon barrel at the Mellow Mushroom in Southlake.

Please remember to support your local brewery and beer slingers.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NTX Beer Week - Wednesday, November 13

NTX Beer Week is barreling (heh heh heh) on and here are our top 5 picks for today's beer events:

1.  North Texas Craft Brewer's Free Tasting Event - Come visit the best craft beer shop in Texas from 5-8pm to try beers from every North Texas brewery for FREE! We will have representatives from all the local breweries on hand to sample their brews, giveaways, raffles and much more! Don't miss this one!  The Beer Snobs will be there and recommend that you make the drive to Lonestar Beverages in Carrollton.

2.  Beer Week Cellar Release - Come join us as we dig deep into the cellar for some Beer Week treats including: 2011 Avery Samael's, 2010 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, & more TBA at the Common Table in Dallas.

3.  Stone Brewing Special Tapping - Along with the Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, we will be tapping the Stone Suede Imperial Porter, the Stone Double Bastard Ale, and the Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout. We will also have some special Stone vintage bottles available at Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House in Dallas.

4.  $3 select craft drafts all day to support NTX Beer Week at Pour House in Fort Worth.

5.  Real Ale Brewing Co. Pint night and special Firkin Tapping.  Real Ale Brewing Co. out of Austin will be doing a pint night and special firkin tapping at 7pm at the Oak Street Drafthouse in Denton.

Please support your local brewers and beer slingers.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

NTX Beer Week - Tuesday, November 11

Here are our top 5 beer recommendations of special events for today around north Texas for NTX Beer Week.

1. Brooklyn Brewery Beer Dinner ($40) at the Rugby House Pub in Plano.

2.  406 Minutes of Dogfish Head IPA (60, 61, 75, 90 & 120 minute IPAs + glass) at the Meddlesome Moth

3.  Martin House Brewing tap takeover and meet the brewer at the Oak Street Drafthouse in Denton.

4.  Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin Party at the Common Table in Dallas - Velvet Merkin's Texas Debut. Meet Jeffers Richardson, Barrelmeister for Firestone Walker and a true craft beer pioneer. Enjoy several other rarely seen Firestone Walker brews. The first 150 will receive a commemorative merkin.

5.  Lakewood Brewing Tap Takeover & Wing Pairing with Lakewood brews paired with Jack's version of wings at Jack Mac's Swill and Grill in Dallas

Please support your local brewers and beer slingers.

Monday, November 11, 2013

NTX Beer Week - Monday, November 11th

Here are some of our recommendations of special events scheduled for today around north Texas for NTX Beer Week

1.  Oskar Blues 11th anniversary celebration at the Common Table.  As part of their Pour Man's dinners get 4 courses and Oskar Blues beers for only $29.00.

2.  Real Ale tap takeover at the Alamo Draft House in Dallas.

3.  Revolver Appreciation day at LUCK.

4.  Frankonia tap takeover at the Oak Street Drafthouse in Denton.

5.  Lakewood Brewing tap takeover at the Magnolia Motor Lodge in Fort Worth.

6.  Peticolas beer dinner at the Meddlesome Moth in Dallas.  7 beers, 6 courses.

7.  Rahr and Community Breweries special releases at the Flying Saucer in Addison.

8.  Cedar Creek Brewery tap takeover and pint night at the East Side Social Club in Denton.

Please go out and support your local breweries and beer slingers.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Beer Review - Warlock

Southern Tier Brewing Company Warlock Imperial Stout - 8.5% ABV

In honor of International Stout Day and in the spirit if the holiday season we loaded up on a several seasonal stouts that seemed as if they would be interesting and hopefully delicious.  The first that we tried was Warlock by the Southern Tier Brewing Company out of Lakewood, New York.

Southern Tier Brewing has only recently come to Texas and Warlock is the second of their beers that we have tasted.  Their Pumpking beer was our first try and it was delightful ... full flavored and quite enjoyable.  Southern Tier began production in 2002 using old equipment purchased from the defunct Old Saddleback Brewery from Massachusetts.  Phineas DeMink (yeah, sounds like an alias to me, too) and Allen “Skip” Yahn wanted to brew small batch beers using old regional brewing traditions.  Now that their beers are available in 30 states with production growing at an amazing rate I guess the 'small batch' aspect has kind of become a joke.

Warlock is another of their Blackwater Series line of high gravity, intensely flavored beers.  It is described as an Imperial Stout brewed with Pumpkins.  The beer pours out as black as my ex's heart with a brownish/tan head that did not persist.  The smell is amazing ... pumpkin pie, malts and spices.  The beer is surprising light on the tongue with moderate carbonation with a smooth mouth feel. The flavor immediately envelops your tongue and is amazingly complex.  The four malts that they use along with the pumpkin used in the brewing process (pumpkin is often used as a malt substitute in pumpkin beers) make for a malty explosion.  If you are a malt lover this is your beer.  Coffee and dark chocolate are fighting for dominance at the beginning of the sip as well.  The slight sweetness along with the pumpkin spices follow making the flavor even more interesting.  The lingering taste on your tongue is not easily identifiable but I would not surprised to find that they had added anise or licorice to the brew. 

This is a really superb beer.  We served the beer with roasted pork which paired with the beer magnificently.  Stellar.

Southern Tier Brewing Company
2072 Stoneman Circle
Lakewood, NY 14750

Monday, November 4, 2013

North Texas Beer Week

Starting this Saturday (November 9th) north Texas celebrates all things beer.  Special events, rare tapping, giveaways abound throughout Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton.  Local beers will be emphasized but there will also be events featuring prominent national brews as well as international.  So do your liver exercises and get ready for a week of wonder.  Go to:

For a full calendar of events and remember to support your beer monger.

Beer Review - Martin House There Will Be Stout

Martin House Brewing Company "There Will Be Stout" - 6.5% ABV

Have you tried any of the Martin House beers from Fort Worth yet?  There Will Be Stout is my first Martin House beer and I have only one comment ... "What in the hell took me so long"? 

Have you seen these kids?  Mother Goose!  I have underwear older than these Martins.  They shouldn't have been able to develop a palate to appreciate full flavored, full bodied beer at their age..  They shouldn't have been able to, but they did.  Anna and Cody Martin along with Dave Wedemeier founded Martin House in late 2011 with the credo of fellowship and good times.  As with most of your better brewers they started making beer in their garage and have grown as their beer becomes more popular and sales increase.  The passion that they have for brewing is evident in the beer.

There Will be Stout is described as a 'pretzel stout' made with 6 pound of pretzels added to each barrel of brew.   Let me tell you what else it is, it's a malt bomb with a face full of flavor.  The chocolate malted and roasted barley help in giving it a chocolaty, coffee taste that compliments the thick, yeasty texture provided by the pretzel.  It is thick, black and chewy.  I am tempted to drop some vanilla ice cream in this one to make a beer float.  The salt from the pretzels is barely recognizable in the background but does add some interest. 

Whereas they call this a stout (the dryness that you would normally find in a stout has been replaced by sweetness) I would be more tempted to place this in the Porter category based on taste and not the brewing process.  Nonetheless it is quite magnificent and we enjoyed it so much that it is now in our top 10 favorite beers produced in north Texas..... nah, make that in the top 5.  You can only find this on tap around the DFW area but find it you should.

Martin House Brewing Company
220 S. Sylvania Ave.
Suite 209
Fort Worth, Texas 76111

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Beer Review - Biere du Boucanier Red

Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. Biere Du Boucanier Red Belgian Pale Ale - 7% ABV

How about some Halloween themed beers for review, eh?  At least I will try to get a couple of reviews in before they start ramming Christmas down our throats, because once they release the Winter ales all is lost.

Brouwerij Van Steenberge (the geniuses that brought you Gulden Draak) have produce another stunning beer for you to try, yet this beer is really quite different that your typical Belgian ale.  The beer pours copper/orangish color with very little head. I must admit that I was kind of expecting a bit more red.  The smell is fruity, malty and with a bit of spice.  The flavor was tart fruit with honey and maybe with a hint of grapes in the background.  The part of the flavor that surprised me was that it had a good bit of hops and was more dry than sweet.  All in all it was quite light and refreshing, quite an easy drink.  I will definitely drink this one again.

Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V
Lindenlaan 25
Ertvelde, 9940

Friday, October 18, 2013

Beer Review - Pere Jacques

Goose Island Brewing Company Pere Jacques Belgian Style Dubbel - 8.7% ABV

The Belgian brewers are the masters of hiding alcohol content.  On numerous occasions I have been blind sided by chugging a couple of high gravity Belgian beers that gave no indication at all of the freight train bearing down on me, leaving me battered and broken and lying in a ditch.  This is not one of those beers.

I typically avoid any Inbev products due to their too often poor quality.  Goose Island is the one line
that I will periodically try some of their specialty beers.  Not that their specialty beers are great, they are just less likely to disappoint. 

This beer was another taken from my aging rack that has been maturing for about a year and I am told that this one peaks at about 3 years and I will tell you why that is a good thing (or a bad thing depending on how you look at it) in a moment.  The smell was of candy sugar, malt and yeasts, which is pretty much matched by the flavor.  The flavor was almost overpowering sweet, which is a bit astonishing as that it had been aging for a year.  Typically the sugars in a sweet beer are devoured by the yeast creating alcohol.  The beer will become less and less sweet as it ages and become stronger and dryer.  This one was still quite sweet after a year, but the alcohol content had gone up considerably, so much so that every time I had a sip I thought, "damn, this has a lot of alcohol".  I think that if I had continued to age it for a few more years that it may have become flammable.  The maltiness is also apparent with a bit of dark fruits in the background.  The Saaz hops that they used are not at all noticeable and as the beer only has an IBU of 26 you hop heads will probably be disappointed. 

Not a great beer but a pretty good beer; I would let it sit a few years to cut into the sweetness.

Goose Island Beer Co.
1800 West Fulton St.
Chicago, IL 60612

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Beer Review - Rigor Mortis

Brasserie Dieu du Ciel Rigor Mortis ABY - 10.5% ABV

Someone pointed out to recently that I had not done a beer review in quite some time.  "Bull pucky"
was my response.  Yeah, they were right, it has been several months since I reviewed any one beer, so I will hit you with a barrage of reviews over the next several days.  My apologies.

Let's begin with this liver pickler from Canada that I have been aging for a year or so.  Dieu du Ciel is a microbrewery/brewpub located in Montreal which produce a plethora of dandy original beers of which I have been lucky enough to try several and have enjoyed them all.  Rigor Mortis is a brown ale brewed in the style of a trappist quadrupel.  The nose is all malts with a bit of yeasty breadiness in the background.  The ethers from the alcohol are quite evident.  And malty is what you will taste, along with chocolate and caramel.  There is little evidence of hops (which is quite typical of a Belgian quad) but there is a tinge of background sourness.  The beer will go down smooth as there is very little carbonation so be careful.  Delightful, but I would highly recommend aging it for a least 6 months.

Brasserie Dieu du Ciel
29 Avenue Laurier Ouest
Montreal, QC H2T 2N2, Canada

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Flying Saucer Beerfeast - Fort Worth

Any plans for next Saturday?  The Texas State Fair you say?  You know that it is OU-Texas weekend and that there will be more tattoos than teeth, right?  Let me give you an alternative.

The Flying Sauce touring beer festival makes it's stop in Fort Worth on October the 12th.

Over 40 breweries will be represented with live music presented by the Hannah Barbarians, Oh Whitney and Oil Boom.  VIP tickets are $65 and in very limited quantities and with general admission tickets only $30.

The Pour House - Fort Worth

The Pour House in Fort Worth announces the unveiling of it's 70 tap craft beer wall.

Deep Ellum Brewing Company, Armadillo Ale Works, Community Beer Company, Four Corners Brewing Company, Martin House Brewing Company, Rahr and Sons Brewery, Revolver Brewery, Deschutes Brewery, Oskar Blues Brewery and Real Ale Brewing Company and other will be represented.

The Pour House opened in Fort Worth in 1995 and has been in it's current location since New Years day on 2009.  The Owner Eric Tschetter will be happy to see you at the event October 3rd at 7:00 with beer tastings and light snacks. 

See you at:
The Pour House
2725 West 7th Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sharing Beers With American Friends in China

The one thing that you will notice as you travel through China is that beer is not such a popular drink.  You will also notice that when you do find a watering hole the odds of it having a decent selection of beers is quite slim.  So when you do stumble across a bar with some fine brews you tend to set a bit longer to enjoy the bounty that you found.  When we passed by the Piss Bar (I kid you not and am still not sure if the name is intentional or another case of Engrish ( but anyone who places the word piss next to the name Stella deserves my business) in Kowloon we noticed that they had a passable selection of Belgian and German beers to imbibe so we decided to sit a spell.

As we sat enjoying our find we noticed that the table next to us were Americans and that they were drinking shots.  "Why would you wish to scorch you stomach lining with that kerosene when there are so many fine beers on tap"?  We queried the young gents.  "You like those thick, over-powering beers"?  they responded.

Ahhhh, another chance to convert some unbelievers, and in China!  Bonus!  So we convinced the young gentlemen that they should try the Leffe Brune, one of the dandy selections on tap at Piss.  Instant converts.  Win!

Not only were they impressed with the flavor, but they were also quite surprised by the alcohol content.  The 6.5% abv is quite a bit stronger than the watery beers that they had experienced growing up.  Throughout the rest of the evening we enjoyed many other fine beers and had a good old time.
This is not the story, however.  The real story is that of the fine young men that we enjoyed sharing our expertise and swapping stories.  You see these young gentlemen were United States Marines on leave.  Hailing from Tennessee and Georgia, these men, stationed in Okinawa, were trying to relax and forget that they were far from home, missing their families and struggling to understand the Chinese culture.  Their rules of conduct prevented them from getting too wild, but hey, why not get a buzz and laugh a bit? 
The greatest part of travelling is learning about other cultures and sharing stories with people that you are unlikely to ever see again, but who knows, you may make some new friends for life?  Who would have thought that the most interesting people that we would meet on our journey would be Americans?  Their names and personal stories are not for us to share, because people who join the military do so for their own reasons.  An opportunity to go to college using the G.I. Bill?  To get away from a looney ex?  It doesn't matter.  What matters are what these gentlemen represent.  Well mannered, respectful and genuine, these excellent young men represent those who understand their role in American military presence.  They will do what they need to do if, or when, they are called upon.
While I did not choose to serve in the military, I have great respect for those who have.  Gentlemen you have my deepest respect and gratitude and I wish you luck and success in whatever comes next.