Been putting off a trip to Texas because of the summer heat? Fall is one of the best times to visit the state – cooler temps, a slew of fall restaurant openings and trendy events, and two awesome beer events coinciding on the same week: Dallas Beer Week and Houston Beer Week. From November 10 through 17, these cities pay tribute to both the beer from here as well as special brews from great breweries outside of our country, er, state. Here’s your guide to the best dinners to eat, brews to consume, and breweries to tour in each city during your tour-de-Texas beer.
This year marks the second annual Dallas Beer Week – here’s my rundown of where you need to get your drink on!
Saturday, Nov. 10
The Common Table kicks off the week by enticing beer aficionados to get an early start with their sold-out Avery Brewing Co. brunch. For those who missed the brunch memo, come later for the Avery tap-takeover to get the goods – guests will have the opportunity to sample 20+ Avery brews never before tapped in Texas. The first-day fun continues with a beer week kick-off party at Franconia Brewing Co. – a sip of some of this Texas-brewed German beer is sure to satisfy those who have a stein-shaped hole in their hearts from Oktoberfest.
Sunday, Nov. 11
Ever wanted to homebrew? Texas Brewing Inc., in conjunction with Martin House Brewing Co., 903 Brewers, Rabbit Hole Brewing, & Noble Rey Brewing, is offering a free homebrewing clinic, while Zio Carlo Magnolia Brewpub hosts the inaugural meeting of the Magnolia Homebrew Club. After the morning’s education, you’ll be ready to embrace the Great Divide Brewing Company’s Yeti stout takeover at Flying Saucer at the Lake – or imbibe in $3 Texas drafts for the rest of the afternoon.
Monday, Nov. 12
How much swag can you collect today? Buy a pint of beer and get a Deep Ellum Brewing Co. glass from World of Beer in Arlington, a Peticolas Brewing Co. glass from The Londoner Frisco, a Cedar Creek Brewery glass from Union Bear, and a Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. glass from the Ginger Man Plano.
Tuesday, Nov. 13
Meet & greet representatives from Harpoon, Stone, Oskar Blues, and more at one of the best beer shops in town, Lone Star Beverages. If chatting made you hungry for beer-infused food, head to Jack Mac’s Swill and Grill in Plano for a four-course dinner featuring recipes made with local brews, and revel in their all-Texas taps.
Wednesday, Nov. 14
Today’s one of your last chances to sample GABF winner Peticolas’ take on a Scottish ale – head to The Allen Wickers Pub when they tap his Great Scot! Then head to Rowlett for a Firewheel Brewing Company tour and enjoy signature brews and the newly built mini-Biergarten complete with a fire pit.
Thursday, Nov. 15
Beer and food pairings take center stage with options ranging from a food truck block party at the Ginger Man Dallas with the Sixpoint Brewery crew to a five-course, nine-brew dinner affair at the World Beer Company featuring local breweries Deep Ellum, Peticolas, and Lakewood. If you’ve had your fill of dinners, head to the pre-launch party at the newest brewery on the block – Community Brewing Company.
Friday, Nov. 16
Why should you go on today’s tour of Peticolas Brewing Company (besides an excuse to hang with the cool kids of the Dallas Brew Scene, of course)? Because Peticolas is showcasing his GABF-winning Royal Scandal infused with rosemary – could it get any better??
Saturday, Nov. 17
Grand openings and anniversary parties galore are piled up at the week’s end, making the beer week literally good to the last drop – as well as a test to see if you can manage to hit all the events in a single day. The new Four Corners Brewing Company is hosting its inaugural tour. Deep Ellum Brewing Company turns one and releases a special new brew called Pollenator, an oak-aged honey Doppelbock. And the slightly more distinguished Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. out of Fort Worth pops the top on some rare bottles for their 8th anniversary. Gotta go out with a bang.
Although Dallas Beer Week has my full attention as a Dallasite, Houston Beer Week has a similarly unbelievable line-up of fantastic events, dinners, and tappings happening all week long. Here are a few of the most notable events:
Sunday – Nov. 11: The Hay Merchant, a local craft beer gem, is hosting its inaugural beer dinner featuring Shmaltz Brewing Company, with Shmaltz owner Jeremy Cowan on hand for discussion.
Wednesday – Nov 14: DBW & HBW founders Cathy and Jay Rascoe host Camp Beer XIII, a lecture series that focuses on a different style or theme within the craft beer realm. This year, it’s “Belgian Holiday” and, according to Jay, you have to see the beer list to believe it.
Saturday – Nov. 17: The week culminates with arguably its biggest event – The Draft, an all-day craft beer festival in Guadalupe Plaza Park. The event’s proceeds will support Live It Big, Inc, which funds local charities such as Friday Harbour and Stepping Stones Elementary.
Whatever you chose to partake in after perusing the lengthy lists, you’re bound to have a blast. All in all, the 8-day celebrations are a great opportunity to toast the many new breweries and established flagship brews that are making these cities some of the most exciting up-and-coming beer destinations. And who isn’t going to drink to that?