Beer drinkers tromping around the Untapped indie music and craft beer festival in Fort Worth Saturday came prepared for bad weather. Forecasts all week called for severe storms, but they weren't enough to deter the couple thousand that showed up in rain boots and jackets to the third annual event held at Panther Island Pavilion.
Moments before headlining hip-hop group De La Soul was scheduled to take the stage, however, lightning pierced the night sky and attendees were told to take shelter in their cars, bringing the festival to an abrupt end. (The weather prohibited Lana Del Rey from performing in Dallas, too.)
Luckily, up to that point there had been nothing but the humidity to complain about. This was the largest installment of Untapped Fort Worth yet, with more than 80 breweries pouring close to 300 different beers, many of them new to the market.
This year, breweries were big on funk, with a plethora sour and wild ales available for sipping. There also seemed to be a digression from overloading styles like the popular India pale ale (IPA) with hops, which meant more developed flavors beyond intensely bitter.
With summer on the horizon, I went in search of refreshing brews to pair with the Texas heat. I found more than a handful, but the funny thing about beer festivals is some recipes will likely never be available again because they are rare releases or brewed especially for the event. (Shout out to Peticolas Brewing Co.'s Sledge Hammer triple imperial red ale and Jester King Brewery's Sazerac-inspired Coquetier.)
Here are five solid craft beers I tried that you'll be able to find on draft and at retail establishments in the area.
Love Child No. 5 (Boulevard Brewing Co.)
This barrel-aged wild ale is part of the brewery's limited release Smokestack Series and it's worth getting your hands on if you have a taste for sour beers. According to the website, it's a blend of several Flanders-style red ale vintages that's been aged in whiskey and wine barrels. The first sip is like a punch to the palate. But after the shock wears off, drinkers can appreciate the light, fruity finish and bubbly mouth feel.
MetaModern (Oasis Texas Brewing Co.)
Expect big floral flavors that won't weigh you down from this session IPA. The hops come off strong in the aroma because the beer has been dry-hopped, but they don't necessarily manifest in the flavor. This one's an easy-drinking 4.5 percent ABV ale with a balanced malt presence and clean finish.
Perle White (Odell Brewing Co.)
For those not keen on bitterness, this white IPA is a good introduction to the style and doesn't skimp on bold flavor. Inspired by an experiment on the brewery's small-batch pilot system, Perle White is a well-balanced brew with a full body and refreshing finish. A subdued hop flavor rounds out the profile and gives the beer a mildly herbaceous aftertaste.
Soul Style (Green Flash Brewing Co.)
This IPA is pretty mellow compared to most of Green Flash's offerings, but no less complex. Despite the 75 IBUs, the hops here don't attack the tongue. Floral aromas give way to juicy hop flavors that finish on a fruity note. With its medium body and 6.5 percent alcohol content, this one is a slow sipper worthy of savoring.
Tropic King (Funkwerks)
This Fort Collins, Colorado-based brewery only recently started distributing to North Texas, and its imperial saison will likely be my personal go-to during the hot summer months. This golden-colored ale is citrusy on the nose and light in body. It drinks almost too easily considering the 8 percent alcohol content, and leaves a refreshingly crisp aftertaste.