Off I went to Dallas, Texas last weekend and I’m pleased to say that they have some interesting and tasty beers being brewed there!
But my goodness are they behind when it comes to incorporating them into the day to day drinking lives of the city. This was the most notable difference between Portland and Dallas in the short time I had to make a comparison. I had to go to an alcohol super store to get these beers: everywhere else I went there wasn’t any real variety to be found: the difference between Bud Lite and Coors Light is, effectively, nothing. I didn’t have much time to explore so I won’t condemn the entire city of Dallas in this manner, I can only say that what I did see shows how important the craft brewing culture is to Portland in comparison to Dallas.
These are my (slightly edited) notes.
Franconia Kolsh (pictured)
Corn nose. Whoa. Sweeter beer, but a very crisp finish. Corn in the finish too. I like this beer but it’s on the edge. I would recommend it however, I don’t think that it’s stylistically correct. If they meant to get that corn flavor in there, then this is interesting because why make that choice? If they didn’t, then it is stylistically flawed.
Upslope Brown ale-has a very nice nose; roasty chocolate in there. The taste is pretty good, however there’s a hit of astringency at the finish and it allllmost kills it. The middle of this beer is so good and light that I really want to like it! It just has a finish that gets a little too aggressive and while that makes it stand out from other brown ales, it might be a bit too much. (Additional research note: I was told this was brewed in TX by the store clerk but as it turns out? Colorado. Oh well.)
Cedar Creek IPA-dank nose, has to be Centennial hops but it evaporates rapidly. The beer itself is peachy and not really bitter at the end at all. It’s smooth and easy to drink, maybe closer to an American spin on an IPA, (because of of the citrus) that doesn’t really start to get bitter until at least halfway through the beer. By NW standards, this beer is tame but that doesn’t mean it’s bad at all. I like this different take.
Shiner Wild Rabbit pale ale, and…man, the nose itself is all wrong. So it starts bad, with caramel and…god; sweatsock. It’s just not anything resembling what a pale should be like. The finish is chalky. The middle has some caramel malt in it but it really really just doesn’t work on any level as a pale. It’s like it was a caramel lager that they messed up. Badly.
Martin House Day Break: This is a really nice ale and a surprise, too. I was expecting a darker beer, because of the mention of milk sugars and malt but as you can see in the picture: it’s very light! Day Break has got a nice sweetness to it, and I can get a hint of the honey and milk sugars eaten into the beer, and it’s got a touch of sour? Something…there is a twist to this beer that really helps it finish in a nice, spicy way with a good carbonation to clean it up and I like how it works. Given the spicy quality, I’m going to guess the yeast contributed to this in a positive way.