Wicked Weed SerenityI’ve never had anything from Wicked Weed Brewing, so when my South Carolina trade buddy offered to send me some, I jumped at the chance.(I’d like to say he probably made out pretty well, too, receiving some Yellow Rose, MHBC Salty Lady, and Deschutes Pine Drops in my part of the deal.). Seeing as I have spent the better part of the last week marathon-watching Firefly on Netflix, Serenity was the first bottle I went for, as far as chilling and opening some Wicked Weed Brewing goodness. Serenity is a 100% Brettanomyces farmhouse ale, clocking in at a scant 5.5% ABV, but seeing as I love Brett beers, AND Farmhouse ales, I figured this was a good place to start.  The label is really pretty, by the way, in case you care!

Serenity produces a decent one-finger-head with a heavy pour, about the color of eggshells. The insanely uneven bubbles in said head speak to the Brett parentage of the beer. Seriously, if Jackson Pollack had done artwork in beer foam, it would look like this. The head recedes in less than a minute, to a ring around the edge of the glass, that leaves almost no lacing when tilted. Serenity is the color of daffodils, in a long-forgotten dream, dosed in morning dew, light golden, and clear as sunrise.

Upon first sniff, pilsner malt is apparent, as well as hints of dill, basil, and citrus peel. Your typical Brett-funk is pretty subdued, yet throws out hints of olive brine, dried meat, and horse-sweat. A goodish bit of herbal hop aroma is apparent as well, most likely Fuggles, or Kent Goldings, if I can continue to trust the old sniffer, and sensory memory. Smells like heaven. Possibly Angel tears. I guess I’ll take a sip…

The palate is, in a word, deep. Being what it is, one wouldn’t expect complexity of this depth. For starters, Serenity is thicker than you’d think in mouthfeel for a farmhouse ale. It literally coats the palate with earthy, herbal funk. The carbonation is prickly, as you’d expect from a beer fermented with Brett, yet also slick, in the sense that every sip just pushes more delicious funk across your tongue. Crackery pilsner malt is there, along with more olive brine notes. My nose was wrong on the hops, as the familiar tickle of Saaz & Hallertau assault my tongue with white pepper. Smoked paprika and barnyard earth are here to say hello, as well, followed by nips of citrus pith and drying white oak. Holy crap, Lois. I’m in love. The dill from the nose is here too, adding an almost pickle-heaviness to this zippy, light-bodied beer.

For my first experience with Wicked Weed, I can easily say I’m blown away, and will be bothering my trade partner for more in the near future. I’ve heard many a story of the sheer excellence that is their “angel” series, and look forward to trying those, and other offerings from this brewery. Serenity is about as perfect of a Brett beer as I’ve had, in quite some time. Many people yammer on and on about the greatness that is Jester King, but if this beer is any indication of how well Wicked Weed can do 100% Brettanomyces beer, then good ol’ JK may have some competition from the East Coast.

All in all, color me heavily impressed. Serenity is seductive, smooth, and utterly delicious. I wish I’d asked for more than one, but you know what, Kiddos? Absence only makes the liver grow fonder! I’ll close this entry by wishing you all excellent beer, great vibes, and pleasant nights. Stay chilly, high-five people more often, and call your mother. (She’s waiting to hear from you. Trust me.) If you have any questions, or want to yell at me for being too long-winded with my beer-shenanigans, feel free to do so at Mattdabeerguy01@gmail.com .
Thanks for reading, and Cheers!!!

<Matt The Beer-Guy>

2 Denton Craft Beer Journalists open their Craft Beer Bottle Shop and Growler Bar

Bearded Monk glass and growlerThere’s no denying that Denton has made its mark on Texas’s craft brewing map. Ben Esely, owner of The Bearded Monk, wants to expand that footprint even further, through beer education and support of the creative culture unique to Denton. Esely has been documenting his love and appreciation for craft beer for quite some time through this blog, Beer Drinkers Society, and on Dallas Morning News and GuideLive – if you haven’t already, go read some of his stuff! You’ll learn a thing or two.

With the opening of The Bearded Monk, a craft beer shop, bar, and

Owner Ben Esely and Manager Ben Webster just can't take themselves seriously.

Owner Ben Esely and Manager Ben Webster just can’t take themselves seriously.

growler filling station, he’ll be sharing that love and appreciation with beer novices and experts alike. The shop will host classes, with a focus on what Esely calls Compassionate Beer Education. He spoke about some of the harsh online criticism towards people new to the craft beer experience, who want to try something beyond the Big Three macrobrews but don’t yet know the difference between an IPA and a porter, for instance. “If I saw some of this harsh behavior taking place in person, I’d be appalled. We should all be encouraging people to try new beers and praising each other’s experimentation, as well as warm, snuggly hugs.”

As great as hugs are, Esely and company have even greater things planned for the shop this coming autumn. The Bearded Monk will open sometime during the next few weeks, with 21 taps of craft beer for pints and growler fills and 1,000 different beers in bottles and cans to tote off to the Square or your next event. And, word is that Esely has big plans for the coffin races, a staple of Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival, which takes place this year on Saturday, October 24 (it involves a giant barrel). They’ll also be participating in North Texas Beer Week and its Brewer’s Ball on November 13, along with other fine folks of the Denton craft brew scene, from Oak St. Drafthouse, Midway Mart, East Side, Harvest House, Audacity Brewhouse, and Armadillo Ale Works.

Bar FrontIn the meantime, Esely and his manager, Ben Webster, are hard at work finishing up the inside of the shop. It already has a distinctively Denton vibe. Tables and counters are being methodically covered in craft beer labels, all pulled from a giant collection Esely and others have been saving up for the project. It’s definitely a labor of love. A rotating art wall and a Rube Goldberg-style mural depicting the brewing process are also in the works. This marriage of artistic expression and education will be a major focus for The Bearded Monk. Esely recognizes that education is a process, much like craft brewing, and that if you carefully see the process through, you’ll have fantastic results. “To those who come up to me and say, ‘Man, I love Blue Moon!’ I might say, ‘Here, try this comparable craft beer!’ Messaging is tough”, he says. “The information should be easy to understand, and without a lot of jargon. For many people, when they hear ‘craft beer’, they hear ‘too hoppy’. But I think with education that will change. We can show the glory that is craft beer.”

Cheers to that!

Paige Gibson is an amazing photographer and contributor for Beer Drinkers Society.

Disclosure: Ben Esely and Ben Webster are two of the five original founders of Beer Drinkers Society.

Three Rules for Hiking with Craft Beer

Long TrailWhen I first had the idea for this article, I didn’t imagine a scenario where I partially tumbled down a mountain in the rain. But, that’s what happened here when I summited the chin of Mount Mansfield, the highest point in the state of Vermont, on my 30th birthday. This article on hiking and enjoying craft beer is more of a cautionary tale for those like me who enjoy the outdoors and great beer. Heed my warnings and rules, but above all, I encourage you to try out what’s good for you and change them to fit your hike.


Rule 1: No glass. Canned beer or no beer.
Unlike my previous article on kayaking with craft beer, your Nalgenes while hiking should be solely for water. You don’t want to waste any bottle space with beer. Any good hike will need as much water as you can carry. On our hike, we began our summit of Mount Mansfield from the VT108 trail head of the Long Trail and followed it up to the chin. It took us around 2 hours to reach the final hiking shelter before the chin. And a lot of this was some very intense hiking. We drank a lot of water. Using water rationing, our 2 quarts of water barely lasted us until the lodge. If it wasn’t for a brook near the peak, we would have been screwed. Now, imagine if we had a Nalgene with beer instead of filled with water. We probably would have had to turn around. Cans resting in the bottom of your day hike bag or in a dry sack are the right decision here.

The added bonus of cans is that you don’t run the risk of broken glass in your pack when you fall over into a river (which also happened to me on this hike.) In addition to durability, once you are done enjoying your beer, you can crush the can and put it back in your pack so it takes up even less room. Every square inch of space in your pack on a hike is precious. “Pack it in, pack it out” is an essential part of Leave No Trace philosophy and should be adhered when drinking beer as well.

Rule 2: Only drink during Easy to Moderate hikes.
On those rated Difficult, save your drinking for when you get home or to the tent or Inn. Remember when I talked about how this article is a cautionary tale? Well, here is the part where it is cautionary. When I was planning our hikes for the week, I knew that I wanted to go to the chin of Mount Mansfield. The guide that I found listed this as a moderate hike with only a 600 foot elevation. It turns out that I was reading the description of another trail and was actually doing one of the most difficult hikes in the area with a 3,000 foot gain. If I knew this when I was planning, I would not have wanted to bring a can of Heady Topper with me.

Difficult and strenuous hikes need the utmost preparation for any hiker. Being unprepared can lead one to be hurt or even killed, especially on a difficult section of a long trail like the Long, Pacific Crest, or Appalachian. You don’t need to go further complicating things with a can of beer. On those hikes, save your beer for the night at the Inn as a celebration. If you don’t, you run the risk of falling down boulders you’re supposed to scramble down and be that person. By the way, that person was me. I partially fell down while descending the trail at least four times. I should have brought hiking poles instead of Heady Topper. On moderate hikes though? Crack one open on the summit like a champ. You’ve earned it. As long as you leave no trace and don’t disturb others, you’ll be fine.

Rule 3: Be aware of all alcohol regulations of the area you’re in, especially if it’s in a state park.
With the current explosion of hiking brought on by the movies Wild and A Walk in the Woods (set on the Pacific Long TrailCrest Trail and Appalachian Trail respectively,) many state parks are cracking down on drinking alcohol on the trails and in the park in general. This is mostly as a reaction to the weekend warriors and people that saw a trailer of either movie and thought hiking would be fun. These are also the types that you will see littering on the trail. Do not be that person.

What you do in the park is on you, so I’m not going to tell you to follow every regulation and law of the hiking trail as long as you aren’t harming the trail or the surrounding nature, but you should still be aware of them.

Earlier this year, ultramarathoner Scott Jurek broke the record for the fastest thru hike of the Appalachian Trail in a little over 46 days, which is monumental for a trail spanning 2,200 miles. To celebrate, he popped a bottle of champagne at the terminus of the trail in Baxter State Park in Maine. Later that week, he received a summons for drinking alcohol in the park. No hiker saw that coming. So, be careful out there if you’re using social media.

Craft Beer at The Summit of Long TrailNothing feels better after a long, sweaty hike than a drink. The Heady Topper I had on Mount Mansfield is the best I have ever had. Hiking is an amazing way to experience the wilderness, find solace in solitude at times, and reflect upon the world around you. You are able to dissect every minutia of the beer without any distractions. Every taste of the beer is within your grasp. Every note of hops, bitterness, pine, and citrus of the Heady Topper was right there with me. It lived up to its hype for me, but that may have been influenced by the nearly 4,400 foot mountain I was perched upon.

If you enjoy the outdoors, bring a can of craft with you to enjoy on a mountaintop and learn to love beer and the world again. Just make sure it’s a moderate hike.

Lee Knox is the adventurous Travel Contributor for Beer Drinkers Society.

Atrial Rubicite is Back!

From Jester King:

Sherry Barrel Atrial RubiciteWe’re excited to introduce Sherry Barrel Atrial Rubicite. As the name suggests, it’s our Atrial Rubicite (blend #4) aged for 15 months in a Spanish sherry barrel!

A lot of time went into making this beer. This isn’t to suggest that very long periods of maturation in oak automatically leads to good beer. Far from it. In fact, some of our favorite beers we’ve made have achieved some really nice characteristics in just a few months. However, we’re really pleased with the way Sherry Barrel Atrial Rubicite turned out and are happy it received all the time it did.

The base beer for Sherry Barrel Atrial Rubicite was brewed in 2013. After maturing in oak barrels for about a year, it Sherry Barrel for Atrial Rubicitewas blended during the spring of 2014 and refermented with raspberries. It was then racked to a single 500 liter Spanish sherry barrel for further aging and maturation. In July of 2015, fifteen months later, we racked the beer out of the sherry barrel and bottled it. All together, Sherry Barrel Atrial Rubicite took a little over two years to make. Again, this isn’t to suggest that long periods of fermentation and maturation necessarily equate to enjoyable beer, but in this case, we think it does.

Sherry Barrel Atrial Rubicite was brewed with Hill Country well water, barley, wheat, oats, and hops. It was fermented with our mixed culture of microorganisms consisting of brewers yeast and native yeast and bacteria harvested from the air and wildflowers around our brewery, and refermented with raspberries grown in Washington. Sherry Barrel Atrial Rubicite was pakagd in July of 2015 and is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and 100% naturally conditioned. At the time of bottling, it was 7.0% alcohol by volume, 1.003 specific gravity (0.75 degrees Plato), 7IBU, and 3.3 pH.

Sherry Barrel Atrial Rubicite will be released when our tasting room opens earlier for Labor Day weekend at Noon on Friday, September 4th. It is our first beer packaged in 330ml bottles. We chose a smaller bottle size simply so that there are more bottles to go around. About 1,000 bottles will be available ($12/bottle) with a limit of one per customer per day. We do not anticipate it being available beyond Jester King, aside from a few special events. The label art for Sherry Barrel Atrial Rubicite was created by our in-house artist Josh Cockrell.

Further Exploring the San Diego Craft Beer Scene

By Lee Knox

As another Summer of unbearable heat descended upon Texas and my electricity bill began to spike, I leapt at the opportunity to join my wife on another trip to San Diego, a craft beer loving town that I first visited last year, but knew I wanted to experience more.

Bottlecraft Tap WallOne of the highlights of my trip last year to experience the San Diego craft beer scene was the relatively small bottle shop in Little Italy next to Ballast Point’s R&D taproom called Bottlecraft. During my routine walk down India Street in Little Italy, to get a piece of pizza and taste the newest concoctions at Ballast Point (related: Coral, an American wheat beer with cherries, is amazing and is almost a Rosé of beers), I was delighted to see that Bottlecraft has moved across the street into a much larger location. In addition to an open wall on the shop with patio seating, they are also sporting a 24 tap wall as well! Already excited about this discovery, I saddled up to the bar ready to get a flight of the newest local offerings.

Eager to try the latest and greatest, but maintain my sobriety enough to walk the 8 or 9 blocks to the metro stop in Little Italy, I went with Pizza Port’s Triple Lindy, Coronado Brewing’s 19th Anniversary Ale, and finishing it all off with Craftsman Brewing’s Persimmon Sour.

Because I had already deemed this my Summer of the Imperial IPA, I started off my palate with the Pizza Port Triple Lindy, their new(ish) triple IPA. This beer is the angry Grandfather of their flagship IPA, Swamis. At around 10% abv, this IPA doesn’t mess around. However, it is surprisingly incredibly drinkable and refreshing. You aren’t blown overboard with hops or heat, and experience more of the pronounced citrus and grapefruit notes that West Coast IPAs are known for. I can see many a lazy Sunday watching day game baseball with a glass or two of Triple Lindy.

Happy that my palate wasn’t blown off my face with a Triple IPA, I went to Coronado Brewing’s 19th Anniversary Ale. Though I didn’t know at the time that I would be at their main brewery in a couple days, this was a great way to familiarize myself with them. The 19th Anniversary is an Imperial IPA hopped with 6 or 7 varieties of high alpha goodness. Similar to Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA, the floral, fruity hoppy aroma will drag you in and seduce you before you have your first sip. However, rather than sweet, syrupy taste that can be found in this style, here you have a more bitter, earthy, dry taste. While some DIPAs drink like barleywines or just plain wines, this one is up front about the style it belongs in and is also not a palate wrecker.

With those IPAs out of the way, I decided to throw my palate to the wind and finish off with the Craftsman Brewing Bottlecraft glassesPersimmon Sour. This is an 8% ABV amber colored fruited sour that serves well as a dessert to any tasting flight. A dry, fruit sour that I could lightly sip on for days. I have no idea if this is bottled or not, but if it is, stocking a few in your cellar wouldn’t be a bad idea.

All in all, I am excited to see that Bottlecraft is using their new taproom in Little Italy to help showcase some of the best craft beers the state has to offer. And with its proximity to the coastline, you can’t ask for a better patio drinking scenario. However, a close second to the Little Italy patio seating is catching a night game at Pecto Park, home of the San Diego Padres.

If you’ve spoken to me for more than 5 minutes, you would know that in addition to craft beer, one of my passions in life is baseball. A Texas Rangers tattoo graces my right calf and I have 3 shelves full of memorabilia and signed balls in my sports room back home. I take baseball very seriously. Probably too seriously. That’s why I was excited to see that Petco Park, home of the Padres is not only a celebration of baseball, but also local craft beer.

Once inside the ballpark, you won’t have to walk far to find your first local craft beer vendor.  While Globe Life Park in Arlington is only recently dipping their toes in the pool of local beer, Petco Park is doing a cannonball into the deep end. You can find the following breweries in their own vendor locations at the ballpark: Hess Brewing, Stone, Ballast Point, Karl Strauss, Green Flash, and the newest addition- Pizza Port. (A full list of the local beers available at Petco can be found here.)

When I say that Pizza Port is available at Petco, I don’t mean that there’s one tap at a burger stand in left field. I mean that there are 5 separate Pizza Port locations in the ballpark. You can throw Jose Altuve and have a greater than 50% chance of hitting a Pizza Port location. And at every location, in addition to being able to buy their amazing pizza by the slice, you can buy Ponto Session IPA, Swamis IPA, Chronic Amber Ale, Pick Six Pilsner and Petco Park Pale Ale by the can or on tap.  The Petco Park Ale is exactly what you think it is. It’s a ballpark specific beer Pizza Port unveiled this year. The team has fully embraced local beer.

Even though the Padres were being shutout by the lowly Miami Marlins at the time, when I sat there in left field drinking a Swamis while the cool ocean breeze came in off of the water, I couldn’t help but feel content. This is a craft beer lover’s ballpark. Sometimes the score doesn’t matter when enjoying a game.
Padres Super fansOn a whim the next morning, my wife and I decided to hop on a ferry across the bay to check out what Coronado Island is like. I was born and raised on an island in the South Carolina low country, so I’m never one to turn down a trip to an island.

Even though you’ll be one yourself, if traveling around tourists get on your nerves, you might want to pass on Coronado. It’s almost entirely a tourist community on the island. Very friendly people, but tourists nonetheless. After traversing almost the entirety of the island and getting a sunburn on the beach, we decided to stop in at the flagship location of Coronado Brewing Company.

If you blink, you’ll miss this brewery’s location. The taproom is small and with limited seating. However, it’s not impossible to get a couple bar seats if you’re willing to wait for a little while. Being the adventurous travelers that we are, we made sure to get flights of every beer offered. I didn’t expect to be stopping by a brewery that day, and didn’t have my notes with me to log each beer. However, I do remember without a doubt my favorite one there.

Coronado 1Berry the Hatchet from Coronado Brewing Company is a fruit beer for those who don’t even know if they like fruit beers. This raspberry, blackberry, and boysenberry infused ale is somewhere between fuchsia and light purple in color. The taste is a relatively mellow explosion of fruits that take you through each one individually. There is a light tartness, but nowhere near the level of a fruited sour. This is a showcase of fruits. I could drink pints of this alone, mix with another beer, or even make an ice cream float with it. It’s just that good. Beyond pleased with what Coronado had to offer, we hopped back on the Ferry to the San Diego mainland to get ready for a dinner at a bar I’ve been reading about for over a year.

Stretching the entire length of the neighborhoods of North Park and South Park, 30th Street in San Diego might be the best street for craft beer in the entire state of California. From Toronado to the up and coming Fall Brewing Company, this street is a craft beer lover’s dream. And all the way down 30th in South Park, you have Hamilton’s Tavern, our next stop.

One of the things I’m learning more and more about San Diego’s craft beer scene is how unpretentious it is. This may be because of a vibrant craft beer scene is seen as the norm there or maybe the cool breeze and temperate weather is keeping everyone chill. You can walk into a seemingly dumpy dive bar off of a street in a residential neighborhood with hipsters smoking Marlboro 100s out front and be absolutely blown away by the tap list. Hamilton’s Tavern is that bar.

If you’re familiar with Colfax Avenue in Denver, picture the South end of 30th as a more residential Colfax and with Hamiltons Signfar less traffic. Hamilton’s Tavern is located in the South end of South Park on 30th Street next door to, you guessed it, a craft brewery called South Park Brewing Company. Across the street are several modest houses with front porches and the occasional jogger. If there are any windows to the street in Hamilton’s, I missed them. On the outside, it looks like your typical dimly lit bar home to the drunks who saddle up to it at 10 AM to drink High Life and watch baseball highlights. Though it is dimly lit, Hamilton’s Tavern is not that kind of bar. It is one of the top 5 craft beer bars that I have ever been to.

The first thing you notice when walking into Hamilton’s besides the mood lighting is the distinct lack of chairs. If you’re coming here looking to have a burger or other pub grub there, show up early or be prepared to vulture someone’s seat as they leave. This place gets packed fast and about 50% of their available space is occupied by pool and shuffleboard tables. Luckily, we showed up at the perfect time and were able to snag two chairs at the bar.

HamiltonsThe tap list on the weekends at Hamilton’s is a cross section of all of the craft beers that make California a destination for beer drinkers. In addition to a semi tap takeover from Nickel Beer Company which is a relatively new craft brewery in Julian, CA, including a firkin tapping, they had everyone’s favorite great white buffalo on tap, Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Elder. Even though I was in California and shouldn’t be as taken back as I was to see a draft Pliny sighting in San Diego, earlier in the day I was told by a few bottle shop employees that Russian River’s beers aren’t making it down this far South with regularity anymore. So, seeing one of my all time favorite beers on tap here was a very welcome surprise.

Besides the wealth of craft beer at this relative hole in the wall bar, the food here is a definite game changer for bar food. Food is ordered through a small window by the shuffleboards where they give you a buzzer to pick it up when it’s ready. Everyone was raving about the brats, but being an almost 100% herbivore, we went with two variations of a veggie burger from their scratch kitchen. If you like good veggie burgers and not just someone throwing a black bean patty on a bun, this is the place to go. The spiciness of the peppers on the burgers added nicely to the explosion of hops we drank our way through as we followed up the Pliny with Nickle’s Vulcan IPA and maybe the freshest Green Flash IPA I’ve ever tasted. Hamilton’s brings it and brings it hard.

I leave our annual trip to San Diego learning a little more about the city and its craft beer scene a little more every year. This year, my greatest lesson was about 30th Street. The unpretentious and casual nature this street and side of San Diego approaches craft beer is commendable. The scene is approachable, affordable, and most important of all, deliciously drinkable. San Diego loves and appreciates its ever growing craft beer scene and it shows. I will continue my exploration of the city every year for as long as my body lets me.

Lee Knox is the adventurous Travel Contributor for Beer Drinkers Society.

A new reDANKulous release from Founders Brewing today

reDANKulous from Founders BrewingWhen I reviewed Founders Centennial IPA, it turns out that some of our readers found issue with my “hoppier than thou” comment. I’d like to remind those readers that I don’t believe there is anything wrong with enjoying that race, and for the beer drinkers who do there is Founders reDANKulous imperial red IPA at an impressive 90 IBUs.

Founders used the same cara malt technique in the malt bill here as they did with Centennial IPA: that is using Carapils with another roasted barley to increase sweetness and the quality of mouthfeel. Cara malts are hard to identify by taste, but judging by the dark Amber color, I might guess that caramunich malt was possibly used as well to help with the appearance. Regardless, this technique with the use of a neutral yeast strain is no doubt employed here to make for a solid base for the highlight of the recipe, hops- and a whole lot of them.
Chinook, Simcoe, and Mosaic were used in ReDANKulous, and that combination is nothing short of genius. Not only does it reaffirm the dank in the name, but it does so with complexity. Chinook, Simcoe, and Mosaic are just similar enough to work together flawlessly, but different enough to add individual nuances that show through. Founders ReDANKulous has a hop profile that is both complex and pleasingly simple at the same time. In this beer, spicy, piney, citrus, tropical notes combine to make this insane aroma and taste of almost anything that hops can be. I even pick up on some floral hop aroma that surprises me, as floral aromas are usually reserved for noble hop varieties.
The end result here is a whole lot of amazing hop flavor and aroma, but true to Founders’ mastery of brewing that hop flavor still has plenty of support from expertly chosen malts. It’s the same overall balance found in Centennial, but with imperial level malts and A unique combination of hops that will still satisfy those in search of IBUs. When this is released in your area, you really should pick up a bottle- but as a warning one won’t be enough.

Ben Webster is a co-founder and the educational writer for Beer Drinkers Society and manager of The Bearded Monk.

Denton Craft and Whiskey Bar’s 2 Year Anniversary is Proof that Denton’s Craft Culture is Growing Up

East Side Anniversary LogoIt’s that time again, Denton! Tomorrow (August 27th, 2015) we have another example of how our cool little culture is growing up, learning to walk around and…drink good beer…Ok, maybe that analogy doesn’t quite work, but the craft beer scene in Denton really has become something amazing and awe-inspiring to the rest of our DFW brethren. Tomorrow one of our cherished collective meeting places is turning another year older. East Side Denton will be 2-years-old and they are pulling out all the stops for the event!

In the hustle and bustle of gardening, wood working and cellar cleaning, I managed to sit down to look over the tap menu and chat with John Williams, Kregg Ross and Patrick Blancas about tomorrow’s big day.

“We’re all extremely lucky to work here because we get to do what we want…talking craft beer and whiskey. It’s pretty bad-ass. And we get to drink a lot of great beer tomorrow! That’s always fun!”-Ross

“We’re fortunate to have this culture that exists in Denton. Without the uniqueness, love and support of Denton, we wouldn’t have been able to make this thing [East Side] what it is.”-Blancas

All the ties and all the relationships I’ve built made Denton the place to open up shop and be successful. The fact that the community in Denton is strong with a small town feel and overall the people are friendlier and more laid back makes this a great town.”-Williams

The festivities for tomorrow include live music from Hares on the Mountain at 6pm and then Raised Men Right at 7:30pm. The party officially starts at 3 with special tappings every hour until 7pm.

Check out the full list of rare craft beer that East Side is busting out!

4pm Tapping
Barrel-Aged Pumpkinator from Saint Arnold
Early Morning Shakes from Oasis
Firkin of Martin House’s Russian Imperial Stout with Agave
Revolver’s Fracker Barrel One
Deep Ellum Brewing’s Morpheus 1

5pm Tapping
120 from Dogfish
Brunch Money from Armadillo Ale Works
Barrel-Aged Old Chub from Oskar Blues
Divine Reserve 15 from Saint Arnold
Southern Tier’s Warlock

6pm Tapping
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Hellfighter with Vanilla Beans from Karbach
Peticolas Brewing’s The Duke
REX Imperial Red Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels from Clown Shoes
(512)’s 4 Barrel-Aged English Strong Ale
Mikkeller’s Mad Umami

7pm Tapping
Deschutes Brewery’s Black Butte 24
Stone’s 19th Anniversary Thunderstruck DBL IPA
Kentucky Streetwalker Bourbon Barrel Porter from Naughty Brewing
Spectra Trifecta from Founders Brewing

For a full rundown on the beer, food trucks and happenings follow East Side‘s Facebook page and don’t forget to join Craft Beer Downtown Denton! for the latest updates from all your favorite craft beer spots around The Denton Square.

Ben Esely is a co-founder and the Brewer Interviewer for Beer Drinkers Society and owner of The Bearded Monk.