Entering its third year, North Texas Beer Week is bigger than ever. It boasts 350-plus events over 10 days all across the Metroplex, making it a bit daunting to figure out where to tease your palate and test your liver.
For beer enthusiasts, it’s time to get organized. Look through the events on ntxbeerweek.com and figure out what interests you most. But, for those who don’t want to pore through the epic list, here are highlight events that are certainly worth your time.
2nd Annual Brewer’s Ball
As the premier event of Beer Week (and the only one actually hosted and organized by Beer Week), Brewer’s Ball is unlike any other beer event in DFW. It boasts attendance by some of the top names in beer from across the country. Avery Brewing founder Adam Avery, Firestone Walker namesake David Walker and brewmaster Matt Brynildson, New Belgium brewmaster Peter Bouckaert, and brewmasters, owners and founders from many other breweries are expected to be on hand. This is a beer lover’s opportunity to meet iconic national beer figures all in one place.
In addition, each brewery will bring two special, hard-to-find beers for sampling as well as food from some of DFW’s top restaurants. This was an absolute blast last year, and this year should be even better. The price is a little steep at $125 per ticket, but for everything available, it’s worth every penny. 7-10 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel. http://ntxbeerweek.com.
Chimera Barrel Fest
Some call it “hoarding,” others call it “cellaring.” Whatever you call it, Chimera calls it delicious and will unleash much of what it has been saving in its cooler. It’s sure to be the good stuff. 6 p.m. Nov. 14 at Chimera Brewing Co., 1001 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth. Free. facebook.com/chimerabrew.
Serving as Beer Week’s big kickoff yet again, Untapped Dallas will deliver its usual head-spinning beer list as well as some big names in music, including the Flaming Lips and Dr. Dog. This is another one not to be missed. 3:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday at Fair Park, Dallas. $39-$45. http://untapped-festival.com.
Deep Ellum fourth-anniversary party
Deep Ellum Brewing is celebrating mid-week with its anniversary party. With special beers on tap and two complimentary beers when you RSVP, this is a perfect excuse to kick off work early on a Wednesday. 3 p.m.-midnight Nov. 11 at Deep Ellum Brewing Co., 2823 St. Louis St., Dallas. www.deepellumbrewing.com.
Op. Bravo at Shannon
In appreciation of the service of military veterans as well as police, firefighters and EMTs, Shannon Brewing is hosting a homebrew event. The Operation Bravo event allows service men and women to judge in a people’s choice competition. Winners will receive prizes and a chance to have their recipe brewed on Shannon’s system. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday at Shannon Brewing Co., 818 N. Main St., Keller. opbravo.org.
Special beer releases
It wouldn’t be North Texas Beer Week without some special releases. Six to look forward to:
DFW: A Collaboration of Two Breweries 2015
Last year’s Belgian-style dubbel was a delicious take on a classic style from two of North Texas’ most established brewers (Rahr and Lakewood) in the area’s first official brewery collaboration. They’re back again this year with a more ambitious entry. It’s a rum-barrel-aged cherry Baltic porter — the description is just as much of a mouthful as the beer’s name and is sure to be something special.
Revolver Cat Cracker
Mother’s Little Fracker is Revolver’s most recent bottle release, and now Fracker’s newest barrel-aged cousin is being released on draft. Cat Cracker is aged in Woodford Reserve barrels and should be magical.
Four Corners Sausagefest
West Dallas’ Four Corners Brewing celebrated Beer Week last year with a new beer each day. This year is no different, and there are some interesting-sounding ones on the way. No. 1 on the list has to be Sausagefest — an Oktoberfest brewed with sausage spices. No clue what that will taste like, but it’s certainly an eyebrow-raiser that begs to be tried.
Martin House River Horse
River House Saison is one of Martin House’s iconic beers, and River Horse is the wine-barrel-aged, Brettanomyces-inoculated version. This is sure to be an interesting twist.
Noble Rey S’mores Cream Ale
Dallas’ Noble Rey is releasing collaboration beers during Beer Week with Lakewood, Panther Island and True Vine. The collab with True Vine out of Tyler is the most intriguing, chiefly because East Texas’ brewing scene is still young.
Southern Tier XNTX
North Texas brewers aren’t the only ones getting in on the action with special beers brewed just for Beer Week. New York’s Southern Tier brewed a single-hop pale called XNTX last year to help us celebrate, and they’re doing it again this year.