Greetings

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.



Friday, October 24, 2014

Dallas Beer Week, First Salvo

Oh come on, it's not like you have a life anyway, just go. - Bon

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BeerFeast 2014 Event Review @ Saucer on the Lake

As that I was not able to attend the BeerFeast as the Saucer on the Lake last Saturday, I enlisted the help of one of our Snobs.  My thanks go out to Flanders Redale for his much appreciated time and effort. Our thanks also to Crissy Lintner and the fun folks at The Flying Saucer for allowing us to pretend that we are real press.  Cheers - Bon


Hiddely-ho, beer people!

Saturday was a beautiful day to be drinking beer (as if there's a day that isn't). We headed out to BeerFeast at the Lake Flying Saucer, looking for the opportunity to sample new beers and enjoy the weather. The weather cooperated (though it was on the warm side), and the beers were quite tasty on the whole.

Most interesting thing I drank: Lakewood Bokkenrijders. This was described as a Doppelsticke (double altbier), which is not a style I have a reference for. It was much sweeter than the traditional altbiers with which I am familiar. It will be the fifth in their Legendary Series, and I look forward to having more than a sampler pour of it.

Most disappointing thing I drank: Ballast Point Rum-Soaked Victory at Sea. The basic Victory at Sea is a fabulous beer. Add the sweetness of the rum, and this should be mind-blowing. Instead, it was meh. The rum brought out more of the coffee grounds flavor in the beer, which is not a flavor I prefer. I would much rather drink the original.

Most surprising thing I drank: Stone Xocoveza Mocha Stout. The most distinct smell is coffee grounds. The first taste is coffee grounds. That fades quickly, and the cinnamon and pepper flavors take over. It's alcoholic Mexican hot chocolate, and it's delicious.

Most hyped beer that is worth the hype: Stevens Point Whole Hog. My better half loves pumpkin beer. I try my best to give her options, and I keep my ear to the ground for people that really enjoy the style. I had not tried Whole Hog, but many people raved about it, and when it was available, I told her that she needed to try it. It was like drinking pumpkin pie. It's a truly amazing beer, and I want a 6-pack of it post haste.

Most overrated trend: Pumpkin beers. At an event with way fewer than 100 beers to try, there shouldn't be five pumpkin beers. I get it...it's October. There's just a limited number of ways that pumpkin and beer can combine. They're popular, I know...but be creative.

Best beer I drank: Adelbert's Contemplating Waterloo. I'm not a big fan of saisons. I'm not a big fan of gin. When Adelbert's announced their barrel-aging program, and that the first would be their Philosophizer aged in Treaty Oak gin barrels, I was dubious. I wanted to try it, but I didn't want to commit to a bomber of it. Now I'll be scouring the local area trying to get my hands on it. It's definitely a gestalt experience.

Until next time, TV viewers...


Flanders Redale

Halloween Events

Ah, Halloween, a good honest 'holiday'.  It's the "Give me some candy or mess with me, I don't care" holiday.  It's also become a "dress up and get wasted" holiday.  Here are a couple of brewery related events where you can celebrate the latter:

First up:  Martin House Brewery

This Saturday from 12:00 to 5:00!

Boo-ery Tour: The Bloody Details…

This Saturday from 2:00 to 5:00 at Martin House

It’s almost here. As always, the beer is the headline, but
 there are plenty of other great reasons to show up. Here
 are details on both!
 
What’s the deal with new beers?
 
Two new Martin House beers: the “Cask o’ Latern” 
(Pretzel Stout with pumpkin & fall spices) and a “Blood Beer”
 (A high-gravity Gateway XPA with a little something special
 for color and kick).
 
Guest brewers Noble Rey Brewing Co, Zio Carlo Brewpub,
 Bearded Eel, and The Other Baldwin Brothers will be there
 with their latest creations.

Get there early because the cool stuff will go fast.

What’s the format for serving the beer?

All drinkers will receive an 8-ounce commemorative taster
 glass. Roam the brewery and get it filled with whatever looks
 good – you’ll have plenty of choices and five hours to explore.

How does the costume contest work?

Our mobile panel of judges will be on the prowl looking for
 the best costumes. We’ll announce the winners at 4:00.
 Prizes are pretty rad: 1st place, 2 cases of beer, 2nd place,
 Tshirt/Hat/5 tour passes, 3rd place 5 tour passes.
Are kids allowed?

Yep, bring the little gremlins out; we’ll have candy available
for them!

How does “Trick or Eat” work?

You can do a la carte sampling tickets (5 for $5) with 6 of
Fort Worth finest food/dessert/snack vendors, or just cut
to the chase and get a full serving. Vendors are Tail
Feathers Wing Wagon, Melt Ice Creams, Crow Bros,
Hunger Struck, Steel City Pops, and More Puffcorn Please.
And the music?

Gary Lee Cox goes on at 12:00 and The Roomsounds
 play from 2:30 to 4:30

How much does all this awesomeness cost?

Merely $15

Will this event happen if it’s bad weather?

Yes, unless a sharknado hits, and even then it may
happen.
Martin House Brewing

Next up:  Rabbit Hole Brewing


We are pleased to announce a couple special Halloween
related activities, plus my 40th birthday party (which you
are invited to)

HALLOWEEN MASQUERADE – Saturday October 25,
2014, 12p-5p, $15 at Rabbit Hole Brewing
We are adding a costume element to our special tour on
10/25 and also have invited Intrinsic Brewing (they won
multiple awards at Labor of Love including the best
overall beer) to come and pour some samples of their
beers.  Also, our brand new ‘Season of Fear’ glass will
make it’s debut and we will have a randalled version of
10/6 (as so declared by the Red Queen). 
·         Intrinsic Brewing samples
·         The Driftin Outlaw Band on stage
·         Costume contest with multiple categories
·         Tex will bring BBQ with his amazing BBQ sauces

Rabbit Hole Brewing
608 Topeka Avenue
Justin, TX

Cheers - Bon

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oktoberfest Travels Part 4 - Tidbits and Useful Information

Here are a few tidbits of information that may (or may not) help you if you have never made the trip to Germany. 


1.  The Food:  You have all seen or heard the clichés about German pounding down sausages, schnitzels and beer.  Those clichés exist for a reason ... it's because Germans eat lots of sausages and schnitzels and drink an ass load of beer.  Vegetarian?  Vegan?  I would highly recommend doing a bit of research before you go because while vegan and vegetarian restaurants exist they are rare.  Not a fan of sausages and schnitzels?  Quit whining Nancy, you can also get a bit of fish. If I hear of you eating at McDonald's (even though they serve beer) while in Europe I will stick my foot up your backside.

2.  Bathrooms:  The good news is that bathrooms are easy to find and usually quite clean.  The bad news is that you will rarely find one that is free.  That's right, Peanut Bladder, expect to pay .50 cents or more every time you tinkle so hold it just a bit longer, OK?


3.  Money:  At the time of this year's Oktoberfest it cost $1.27 to buy one Euro.  What that means is that something tagged as 4.00 is really costing you about $5.00.  My advice is to ignore the money exchange rates and just have fun ... don't do the math.  There is also the 20% VAT (value added tax) added to just about everything you purchase.  There are tricks to getting back the VAT with larger purchases, but we typically just ignore them.  While you are not expected to tip at the 20% rate that we in the U.S. are forced to tip because restaurant owners are too cheap to pay their employees, a tip of between 5% and 10% is usual.  It is also important to note that the comma (,) and period (.) are reversed in Germany so a price will be shown as 1,50 instead of 1.50.


4. Transportation:  The public transportation is Europe is exceptional (http://munich-touristinfo.de/Munich-Public-Transportation.htm).  The cost of taking the S-Bahn (Stadtschnellbahn literally, "urban rapid rail") from the Munich airport to the center of Munich is about 1/5 the cost of taking a cab (though trying to figure out the ticket machine was the most difficult part of the journey).  Once you are in town you may take the trolley (very cool), buses or the subway (U-Bahn with 'U' meaning Underground, where you can't see anything, so don't use it, OK?).  Want to have an idea of the routes check this http://www.mvv-muenchen.de/en/network-stations/network-maps/index.html then print, memorize and eat the maps.  There will be a test.  Our recommendation for travel is to WALK, you lazy bastard!  The city center is small and easily walkable and besides, you need the exercise.

5.  The Language Barrier:  The country is called Germany (actually Deutschland) and they speak German (actually, they speak Deutsch) so don't expect anyone to speak English, even though many of them do.  Take the time before you go to learn a little Deutsch.  Pleasantries, numbers, how to order a beer (ein bier, bitte) and more.  Do not get frustrated or angry because they cannot communicate with you, it's their frigging country.  Just smile, shrug and walk away if you cannot understand.  My usual source to hone my mad language skills are the Pimsleur language courses (http://www.pimsleur.com/Learn-German) which are quite reasonable priced and fairly decent for the minimal Deutsch needed to get by.

Next Up:  Oktoberfest Travels Part 5:  Oktoberfest

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Great American Beer Festival 2014 Winners


Congratulations go out to our Texas breweries wins at this year's Great American Beer Festival with special Kudos going out to our local DFW winners.  Extra special congratulations go out to Community Brewing with 2 medals showing that they are a powerhouse.

Medal - Beer Name -  Brewery  - Category
GOLD! -2012 Great Scot! - Peticolas Brewing Co. -  Aged Beer
Bronze - Shiner Bock - Spoetzl Brewery - American-Style Dark Lager
Silver - Fire Eagle -  Austin Beerworks  - American-Style Strong Pale Ale
Silver -Yellow Armadillo - Thirsty Planet Brewing - American-Style Wheat Beer 
GOLD! - Benedictum - Real Ale Brewing Co. - Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale 
Bronze - Ascension - Community Beer Co. - Coffee Beer
GOLD! - Sir William's English Brown Ale - Grapevine Craft Brewery - English-Style Brown Ale
GOLD! - Public Ale - Community Beer Co. - Extra Special Bitter
Bronze - The Regulator - Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. - German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock
Silver - Lobo Negro - Pedernales Brewing Co. - German-Style Schwarzbier
Bronze - Saint Arnold Weedwacker - Saint Arnold Brewing Co. - German-Style Wheat Ale
Silver - Aloha Pina - 5 Stones Artisan Brewery - Herb and Spice Beer
GOLD! - Quakertown - Armadillo Ale Works - Imperial Stout
Silver - Saint Arnold Summer Pils - Saint Arnold Brewing Co. - Munich-Style Helles
GOLD! - London Homesick Ale Oasis,- Texas Brewing Co. - Ordinary or Special Bitter
Bronze - Jaguar Shark - Pinthouse Pizza Craft Brewpub - Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout