Kris Does Dallas

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Confession: I was born in Texas. In Texas (and perhaps only in Texas) this is a bragging right. In spite of leaving at just six months of age, I am a native. According to Texans. Would you argue with them?

I was especially excited to visit Dallas because of the Deep Ellum neighborhood- home to a brewery and several beer bars- as well as the hip neighborhood Boston’s top beer destination is named after.

In town to speak at a conference related to my day-job, I arrived with a full beer itinerary. I directed my airport cab to The Common Table before I even went to my hotel.

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Inside is like someone’s hip, warm home with large spare rooms for open-yet-private sipping. As always, I sat at the bar. There are 24 taps and not one wasted on BMC beer- the only beer stop in Dallas where this was true. I had a few local tastes: Peticolas Great Scot, Community Regalement, and the Saint Arnold Endeavour. (Houston- so local to TX)

Later that night I went to Strangeways (pictures below; no website unless you count facebook which I do not) which had a great list and the only person I met who knows what Heady Topper is. So much for bringing A+ beer presents! I should have given them all to him.

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Below are the Jester King (Austin) bottle choices at Strangeways and my decision, Wytchmaker, a rye IPA. It tastes even better than its fantastic label would lead you to hope!

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In addition to having the most beer knowledge of my Dallas stops, the bartender, Erik, guided me through Texas: RAHR Iron Thistle (scotch ale, Ft. Worth); Live Oak Primus (winter weizenbock, Austin); Ranger Creek Lucky Ol’ Sun (Belgian Golden, San Antonio); Four Corner (red ale, Dallas); and my favorite of this bunch- Southern Star Buried Hatchet (stout, Conroe).

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Deep Ellum Brewery isn’t always open to the public, so I planned my itinerary around the small window when I could drop by their tasting room. For 10 bucks you get a glass, three tastes (which turn out to be full pours), a brewery tour- which I ended up skipping because of the man playing music in the picture above. He’s called Greg Schroeder. Think of a modern day cross between Hank Williams and Eilen Jewel (well, she is modern day- but work with me here…) Riveting! The context added to it- I left snowy gray Boston and stumbled on some great beer- a rye pils I loved so much I didn’t want to try anything else- sipping outside chatting with a lovely couple I followed around for the rest of the night- each part made all the others even better. Gestalt realized!

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The Meddlesome Moth is more polished- even corporate- than my other visits. When I asked for a tasting of their Texas beers, I was given this everyone-asks-for-that prepared flight. (Above) Nothing wrong with that- just felt a bit…ready. So then I asked for all the other Texas beers, and that’s when I found the gems. Ranger Creek Small Batch #2 and Jester King El Cedro being the show-stoppers. The best non-Texan beer I tried was Lips of Faith, a New Belgian/Dieu du Ciel collaboration made with feijoa (think if pineapple and guava kissed) finishing with a spank on the lips. Nice.

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Above are more Moth images. After this trip I may start bragging about being a native Texan!

6 Comments

Filed under Field Notes

6 responses to “Kris Does Dallas

  1. Brian

    Very cool on the Lips of Faith series.. I hadnt heard they were doing that. I think the orginal Lips of Faith beer was an oud bruin but their crown jewel in my very simple mind is the La folie. I have a tremendous friend who brings some home everytime he visits Colorado.

  2. Anonymous

    Amazed to find such a timely and personally-relevant posting! Like you, I was born in Texas, but was also taken away at about 6 months of age (to the Northeast). My wife however, has been in Dallas on business lately, so I’ll be travelling down for a visit next week. This’ll be my first trip back, so naturally I plan a good walk around the area of my birth, Deep Ellum. While I regrettably won’t have time to include much of a beer itinerary, I certainly now have a particular brewery on the must-see list!

    Thanks again,

    -A fellow “Native Texan”

    • Hope you have a great time! Please let me know if you find more beery places. Or buy boots. Kris

      • Anonymous

        Well, again, thanks are due. Yes, had a great time indeed! Particularly since for the first time in years of giving my wife beers to sample, she finally declared she truly *liked* one! The ground-breaking brew was Deep Ellum’s “Pollenator Bock”. For myself, it took me very much by surprise. Didn’t know quite what to make of it, it’s fruitiness was so different from what I expect in a bock. But then, reading the mystifyingly broad range of reviews for it, I realize this might be the result of a very small brewery producing batches of significant variance. I’ve run into the same thing with our hometown brewery “Brewery Ommegang”. I’ll have to make a point of studying it over a long period of time 😉 As far as my wife goes, it may well be that the honey involved was decisive. My wife being a mead-making hobbyist…

        Anyway, knowing my wife was not a beer fan, I had recommended “Dallas Blonde” for her, while I chose the Pollenator (the Rye Pils, my primary interest after your posting, had run-out the previous week). After trading sips however, it was *I* that was finishing the Dallas Blonde. When I went back for a Pollenator refill for myself, the bock had already been sucked dry, so I opted for the pleasantly grapefruity IPA. Something I’m hoping to try to get here in upstate NY. We’ll see…

        No cowboy boots this time I’m afraid, but I am studying the Cavender’s website! 😉

        -Jeff

  3. Angie and Aaron

    Cheers to the lovely lady from Boston (or should I say native Texan)
    from the lovely couple in Deep Ellum!

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