Neon Lone Star Beer sign by Choconancy1 of flickr.com

Neon Lone Star Beer sign by Choconancy1 of flickr.com

I just got back from an action-packed trip to Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; or more commonly known to the locals as DFW. I was spending a four day weekend down south in my hometown. The main point of my trip was to go and see a friend get married. This is someone I consider the third little sister I never had. She is the same age as the older of my two younger sisters. Her older brother and I have known each other for more than 20 years, driven to school together and of course shared many a fun beer-fueled evening with one another. We also often enjoy our summer vacations in Mexico together. Our two families have been friendly neighbors for nearly 25 years. Being that we were going to be hanging out again, I knew it was a chance to do what we’ve always done before – enjoy good beer. Old habits die hard I guess. What I didn’t know was that several other people who were going to be there were huge beer nerds like myself and a few of them were home brewers too. Happy days are here again.

Another cause to celebrate was that I was heading down to DFW and would be able to meet up and share some brews with our very own Jakob, the 3rd Coast Blogger. This was to occur early during my stay, but conflicting schedules made it difficult. Oh well, I thought to myself – “Later in your stay. Just plan out your weekend and make time to fit everyone in. You can do this.” Now I can’t go on without telling you first that the moment my flight touched down and I was able to turn my phone on, it was going off the hook. I guess everyone knew I was in town and wanted to make time to see the kid. With my plans already somewhat set, I knew it would be hard to find the time to grace everyone with my presence, but I was sure gonna try. Thursday was a good day. Get off the plane, get picked up by my father (no need to pay for a rental car!) and head home. Being that the parents of the bride lived right across the street, it wasn’t going to be hard to find a party to get into. Another neighbor of mine, a doctor who lived two doors down from them, was also having a get together. We all went and enjoyed various libations – beers of all kinds, wine, margaritas – and finger foods. The start to my wonderful weekend was here! That part of the fun didn’t go on too long, as a few in our group decided to skip out after making an appearance. We had other things to get to – the Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties.

When we assembled for our bachelor shindig, I met the guys in the wedding party – the groomsmen as well as the minister/officiant who would be performing the ceremony. What are the chances that I would find myself among fellow home brewers? Well, it turns out that the minister (his name is Phil) is also a home brewer. We chatted and it blew his mind how in-depth I was getting talking about brewing. He said “Dude, I wish the other Jason was here,” then called him on the phone and went on about how much of a beer encyclopedia I seemed to be. “You two guys gotta meet up.” Oh boy, Jason 1 and Jason 2. This sounds familiar. After high school and into college, my crew had 3 guys named Jason. We had to go by nicknames to properly identify ourselves. Now, there are two of us in The Keg Tap. I guess I’m used to this already.

While I can’t reveal everything that occurred that night, I can say that the bachelor party turned out to be a bunch of brewers and good beer enthusiasts hanging out and talking about – what else? Texas BEER. We crammed a refrigerator full of cases of delicious beer, made sure we had munchies to eat and went to town on all of it. Also on hand was a large cooler full of bombers. What was in these bombers was a nice treat – it was a fairly high gravity Oktoberfest batch that Jason and Phil had brewed. It was delicious and there was plenty of it. Boo-yah.

The Wedding

Fast forward to the wedding, the ceremony was held at Robert Carr Chapel on the TCU campus. I was warned very early  that we couldn’t be doing any drinking beforehand because it is a Christian school and even a hint of booze on your breath is a one way ticket out of the chapel. Best to save that for later. The reception was held at the Hilton in downtown Ft. Worth and had plenty of great food and alcohol on hand – open bar kids! Seriously though, this was four-star all the way. That made up for the dry spell we had to endure before the ceremony. As the night drew to a close, my buddy Jason Kessler hit the scene and joined in on the fun. After the reception, we were picking up a good selection of brews –  a six of Rahr Ugly Pug Black Lager, New Belgium Red Hoptober and Moose Drool Brown Ale by Big Sky Brewing. Reviews will be forthcoming. It was a fun night indeed.

The following morning (Sunday) I was quickly reminded that I couldn’t pick up any beer after noon because in Texas, no liquor stores are open on Sunday. Thanks memory, you sure helped me out on this one. Thankfully though, in Texas you can buy beer and wine in the grocery stores/supermarkets. Only the hard stuff is inaccessible on the day of prayer. I met up with Nichole, a very close friend who I hadn’t seen in probably ten years. We hit Central Market in Fort Worth, where I was able to pick up six bombers of goodness and enjoy a nice lunch all in one shot. I was able to enjoy a bottle of Alaskan Winter while I ate (yet another review soon to be seen). We caught up on old times and new. It was a great afternoon.

Assembling The Keg Tap Texas Crew

The final leg of my trip involved meeting up with Jakob and enjoying some brews at Humperdink’s, a brewpub in Arlington. I’ve always loved this place. You can order beers and watch the game, then look over at the glass wall and see the fermenting tanks where the latest batch of beer is being conditioned. Having an on-site brewery makes any bar better. My favorite flavor had to be the Total Disorder Porter, which was a silver medalist at the 1996 Great American Beer Festival. I could go into greater detail, but I’ll leave that to Jakob. Regardless, he and I had a great time chatting and enjoying some fresh, local craft brews together.

Flying home the next day, I had stuffed my suitcase with the bombers and packed them carefully so they would survive the bumps and bruises luggage typically gets before, during and after a flight. This trip was a great time and one that I needed. Can’t wait to go back again. I have so many more beers to gather from there. Best of all, the beers I stowed away all made it back in one piece. I’ll drink to that. Cheers!

Texas Beer and More

Beers Acquired During Visit   Beers at Humperdink’s
Alaskan Winter (all brewed in-house)
Big Sky Brewing Moose Drool Brown Ale Juan Moore Light
New Belgium Red Hoptober IPA Texas Blonde
Rahr Ugly Pug Black Lager Hefeweizen
Shiner Bock Buttface Amber
Shiner Black
Big Red IPA
Total Disorder Porter

Beers Purchased at Central Market
Jester King Mad Meg Farmhouse Provision Ale
Rahr Snowmageddon Anniversary Ale
Rahr Visionary Brew Imperial Black IPA
Saint Arnold Endeavour IPA
Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest 2012 Wet Hop Ale

 

Sadly, my camera crapped out on me while I was down there and has been sent to the manufacturer for repair. Hopefully when I get it back, I can add the rest of the pics I took. In the meantime, enjoy these. We did…