BMD on Tour: Untapped Beer Festival in Dallas, TX

untappedfest_top

Place visited: Paste Untapped Indie Music & Beer Festival: Dallas, TX at Gilley’s
Date visited: 09/07/13
BMD on Tour Song of Choice: VENOM – Welcome to Hell

Saturday, September 7th, 2013 was the date I found myself attending my very first Beer Festival. Before really diving into the craft beer world, the only festivals I ever talked about were Metal Fests. Talk about a complete opposite and culture shock change this was for me. We usually only make the journey to Dallas, TX in May for the annual Texas Frightmare Weekend, but this was an exception, well… It’s a Beer fest, Dammit!

This was a great way to spend my Saturday, a nice road trip to another town to drink beer. What a life! After we spent some time in the hotel pool, and picking up some local BBQ grub, off to the fest we went! We arrived a bit before gates opened, and there was a small gathering of people who were waiting impatiently along side us in the blistering heat! As soon as we walk in, we walk the grounds and check out the layout of the grounds. We find that all the Texas breweries and some nationals are gathered on one part of the area near the 2nd stage, all the rest of the national breweries are grouped by the main stage.

With more than 60 breweries present, armed with well over 250 beers, we knew we needed to focus on the breweries and beers that are hard to get our hands on in San Antonio. So we hung out mostly on the side where the local Texas breweries were. Plus, we really enjoyed the fact that at the Texas brewery booths, the people pouring and talking were the actual brewers and/or staff from the brewery versus distribution reps, or volunteers as some of the national brewery booths had. The local breweries were more knowledgeable and were able to answer questions from the guests, ranging from obvious, easy questions to the more complex beer geek questions. Some of the reps working at the national booths had no clue about the beers they were pouring. There was such a wide variety of beer being poured, mostly into the given 2 oz sampling cup, which definitely helped me be able to taste so many excellent beers. Here is a list of the beers that I had:

Community Beer Company:
Mosaic IPA – A well balanced  American IPA, not overpowered by hop bitterness. (1st beer I had for the day!)
Pale Ale – A hop forward American style Strong Pale Ale made with 4 different hops from 3 different countries.

Deep Ellum Brewing Company:
Cherry Chocolate Double Brown Stout –  Their Double Brown Stout made with red tart & dark sweet cherries and cocoa nibs, made in small batches.
Wealth and Taste (2013) – Their 1st barrel aged release. It is a strong, golden Belgian style ale brewed with Muscat grape juice, grapefruit peel, rose hips, and chamomile flowers. Aged in Missouri White Oak  barrels which held Chardonnay in Napa.
Numb Comfort – American Barleywine Style Ale that according to their website, everything has been turned up to 11.

Four Corners Brewing Company:
El Chingon – An IPA brewed with several varieties of American hops balanced with Munich malts.
Local Buzz – A Honey Rye Golden Ale brewed with locally sourced honey.
Red’s Roja – A classic American Red brewed with caramelized barley.

FireWheel Brewing Company:
StrIPA – an American style IPA brewed with fresh strawberries. Good mix of strawberry in this beer. Nothing was really overpowering.

Martin House Brewing Company:
SeptemberFest – A hoppy, Oatmeal Brown Ale that has nothing in common with Octoberfest beers.
The Imperial Texan – A Double Red Ale brewed with almost two of hops per barrel.

Peticolas Brewing Company:
Great Scot! – Scottish Ale
Royal Scandal – English Pale Ale that leans more towards an English Bitter.

Texian Brewing Company:
Summer Sandia Watermelon – American Pale Wheat Ale brewed with watermelon.

903 Brewers:
Chosen One Coconut Ale – American Ale brewed with toasted coconut.

Real Ale Brewing Company:
Brewer’s Cut No. 0008 Maibock – At the time, this wasn’t officially out yet!

Revolver Brewing Company:
Blood and Honey – American Wheat Ale brewed with blood orange zest, local Fall Creek Farms honey and other spices.

Franconia Brewing Company:
Kolsch – A light golden refreshing German Beer.

Armadillo Ale Works:
Quakertown Stout – This version I had was infused with cocoa nibs, toasted coconut, mulling spice, and cinnamon.
Greenbelt Farmhouse Ale – This version was infused with orange peel, dried strawberries, dried pineapple, hibiscus flowers.

Lone Pint Brewing Company:
Yellow Rose – A single malt, single hop beer using whole cone Mosaic hops. Now as we did love this beer, This keg was nearing the bottom, and we were desperately trying to get to Lone Pint’s other beer, which just so happens to be one of our favorites, Tornado Shark (American Strong Ale), which sadly was never tapped at this event.

Rahr & Sons Brewing Company:
Visionary Brew – Imperial/Double IPA which is the 2013 version of this very limited release. The person pouring the beer actually made a chuckle when I asked if this beer would ever be in San Antonio. How rude!

New Belgium Brewing Company:
Coconut Curry Hefeweizen (Lips of Faith) – FINALLY got to taste this beer! Funny thing is, since this festival took place, this bottle is now available in San Antonio, and I have one in my fridge! Go figure!

Deschutes Brewing Company:
Armory XPA – The first beer out of their Portland Pub. This Experimental Pale Ale uses Nugget, Northern Brewer, Citra, Cascade and Centennial hops.

BridgePort Brewing Company:
Witch Hunt – A spiced Harvest Ale with subtle hints of cinnamon, and nutmeg. Another beer I had always wanted to try, but I only found this one in full six packs, and I rarely buy a whole six pack of one beer. So tasting it at this event was good for me. Since this event though, one local store finally broke up the packs and I was able to but this as a single bottle.

Kiuchi Brewing Company:
Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Ale – Ale brewed with fresh fragrant raw ginger. I’m not a fan of most Ginger Ales, but this one was surprisingly good. Maybe it was the over 20 samples I had already had by this point when I braved enough to taste this.

Finally, phew… done with my list of beers, well not really. I did have a few others courtesy of Real Ale, and a couple of other local breweries I had the pleasure of meeting and actually talking to. I didn’t feel the need to list them, as I don’t even think I had checked them into the untappd app I use. This fest was definitely about the beer, and in that department, this fest was aces!

This was also a music fest, and seeing as I am a Metal-head, I knew I was in for a very long day of music I would not enjoy. For the most part, that statement is so true. I glanced over at the stage on occasions, but was met with some college radio indie music bullshit! Sorry to be so blunt here, but these organizers need to understand that not every person there can stand that music. I was one of the ones not enjoying it. Here is a list of some of the performing artists who I had, and still don’t have any clue about: Delta Spirit, Freelance Whales, Cults, Leagues, Dark Rooms, and there were more. I don’t feel like going through the whole list. One performance though, did catch my attention. Maybe it was the beer already coursing through my body, but there was a rap group called Blackalicious who had a very interesting sound and style. They were performing on the Goose Island Stage, which was the main stage, so it was on the side with the national breweries. My cup was empty and I really wanted to have more Texas beer, so after a couple of songs, we made our way back to the beer. I mean, it was a beer fest, and we were there for the beer.

We ended our day at the fest hanging out under the Real Ale Beer Garden tent, which turned out to be an amazing time, just in itself. We were shooting the shit about Beer and Metal to none other than, Erik Ogershok, Brewmaster at Real Ale. See the photos below, and see the Oh So Awesome Real Ale shirt he was wearing which just so happens to resemble an old Venom shirt. What a way to end our day.

Now for the bad part of the event. First of all, this event was completely outdoors and it was well over 100 degrees this day and we forgot to take our sunscreen, yay, go team! The main complaint about the event though was the lack of good hospitality. What I mean is, there was no free water. So in order to survive the heat and stay hydrated, a $3 bottle water was for sale out on the grounds, and inside GIlley’s Restaurant, they were $4. So this was a bit disappointing. Last thing to complain about is the abrupt shutting down of the event. According to the Untapped Festival website, Beers would still be poured after 7:30pm while the bands were still playing. Around 7:00pm, festival workers were driving around a golf cart shutting down all the breweries, telling them to pack up. We were still waiting for Tornado Shark (Lone Pint Brewing Co,) at this time, so we were very sad about this. A lot of people left at this time, as did we, so I don’t know exactly what was still being sold at the event. All I know is they shut down all the local Texas side of the event, which is what I was there for anyway.

Overall, my first experience at a beer fest was a good one, and learning experience for us. We now know these types of fests will more than likely be held outside, so bring sun screen! Bring some extra money in case they charge for water. I will definitely go to this event again next year. I know the organizers are putting together a similar event in Houston coming up on November 16th. I hope to get to make it out to that one.

Inspired by the Venom look-a-like shirt witnessed at this event, I had no choice but to make the  obvious choice here. Enjoy some Venom from 1981. Welcome to Hell!!!!

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