I’d been meaning to check out Audacity Brew House since they opened last October, but for whatever reason, just never got around to it. When I heard about the first of their Lil’ D Series Releases, I figured it was the occasion I’d been waiting for. The release party took place on May 19, and offered barbecue, beer, a tour of the brewery, and a chance to support Denton businesses. My husband John and I had just finished up a lazier-than-average Sunday afternoon, and were starting to get pretty hungry (operating the TV remote is hard work). We decided this party sounded like a perfect way to finish off the weekend, and we weren’t disappointed.
Scott Lindsey, Aducaity’s Co-Owner, talking beer on a brew tour.
When we first walked into the taproom, we were greeted by Scott, the owner, and soon after by Doug, the brewmaster. Eric, the taproom manager and bartender, served us our beers – I ordered a flight, and John went with a pint. These guys are friendly, passionate about their craft and about Denton, and also really know their beer science. The taproom atmosphere is casual and inviting. The high ceilings give the room an open, airy feel, while the wooden furniture and string lights are reminiscent of a cozy (but classy!) southern barbecue joint, or maybe even a picnic – appropriate for the occasion, and enough to make anyone feel at home. Behind the bar, they sell chips, sodas, and juice, as well as clothing printed with Audacity’s logotype. They even sell underwear, so you can show off your appreciation for craft beer in the bedroom. I like their style.
They rotate their beers out pretty regularly, and according to Doug, the goal is to introduce one brand-new beer per
Audacity Co-Owner and Brewmaster, Doug Smith
month. That day’s lineup consisted of eight beers, not including the Mesquite-Smoked Chili Ale (more on this one later – we decided to drink ours with dinner). The flight I ordered included the Repercussion, Black Widow, Wallonia, and Three Fiddles, so I got to try half of their offerings right then and there. As an amateur beer nerd, I can’t tell you all of the flavors and aromas of each beverage, but I’ll do my best. I can tell you that I know a good beer when I taste one, and friends, these are all good beers.
-Repercussion: This beer is clean, balanced, and had a nice dry finish, all of which are characteristics of brews crafted in the German Altbier style (so say beer experts). Its flavor is mild, but it’s got good character nonetheless.
-Black Widow: An imperial stout that’s not for the faint of heart, or for those of you who don’t like chocolate (I’ll never understand you, but I’ll do my best to respect you). It’s full-bodied, creamy, and rich, with plenty of coffee, chocolate-y, bittersweet goodness. Probably my favorite of the bunch.
-Wallonia: Apparently, the Saison style is defined more in terms of history (traditionally brewed in the summertime by Belgian farmers) than in terms of characteristics, but this saison is dry and citrus-y, with nice floral aromas. It’s spicy and slightly bitter at first, but finishes smooth.
-Three Fiddles – This Belgian Trippel will punch your tastebuds in the face. It’s got strong flavors of malt, honey, and caramel. As tasty as it is, at 9.2 % ABV, you probably don’t want to down one in under 30 minutes (ask me how I know).
By the time we finished, the meat experts from Bet The House were almost ready to serve dinner. If you’ve been to Bet The House, then you already know how delicious their food is. If you haven’t, go and do yourself a huge favor! For tonight’s occasion, they took it up a notch by customizing some of their recipes. They offered two cuts of brisket, smoked over Post Oak and Mesquite, as well as potato salad, and a coleslaw recipe featuring lime-ranch sauce with adobo and chipotle peppers. Audacity’s Mesquite-Smoked Chili Ale paired wonderfully with the meal, too. It’s got earthy, smoky flavors, and has a hint of heat. I’m a huge fan of spicy foods, and according to relatives, I was known to eat hot salsa out of the jar with a spoon when I was a toddler. That being said, I also like to enjoy the flavors of my food. A meal so hot and spicy that you can hardly taste it defeats the purpose, if you ask me, and the same goes for beer. Compared to other chili ales I’ve tasted, this one is just spicy enough without going over the top. This beer is the first in a series of Audacity releases to be served exclusively in Denton – it won’t be distributed anywhere else in the metroplex. By keeping sales local, Audacity is truly giving our town a product all its own.
Now that everyone’s bellies were full and happy, it was time for the tour. According to Scott, they started up the brewery with just two 500-gallon tanks. Just one look inside their facilities is proof of how quickly Audacity is growing. Currently, the room is filled to the brim with 500, 1,000, and 2,000 gallon tanks, barrels, kegs, bags of malt and hops, and an assortment of machinery and equipment the guys use to make sure every batch of beer brewed is up to their standards. Doug, Scott, and Eric all started out brewing at home, but their approaches to beer are pretty different. Scott likes to experiment, and ends up brewing something different every time. Doug, on the other hand, takes a more scientific approach, aiming for consistent recipes. As for Eric’s style, I’d like to go back and ask him – he was hard at work serving customers during the tour. Either way, It’s clear that Audacity’s combination of scientific dedication and innovation has hit it big here in Lil’ D. You can find Audacity beers at 46 locations throughout Denton, and that number is sure to keep growing.
Paige Gibson is a contributor for Beer Drinkers Society and an amazing photographer.