North Texas Beer Week (Oct. 27-Nov. 5) is packed full of fun events. But one of the most intriguing is no doubt the Brewer's Ball, a black tie beer festival that marries the camaraderie of the beer community with exquisite taste.
Now in its fourth year, the annual soiree is moving to the historic Dallas Union Station in downtown where more than 40 breweries will be pouring beer and a dozen local restaurants will be serving bites to soak up the suds. Brewers, brewery owners and founders come from all corners of the country to personally serve some of their best and rarest concoctions at this festival. Past appearances include the highly rated Highlander by Real Ale Brewing Co. and Samuel Adams' Utopias, which can fetch several hundred dollars per bottle.
The Brewer's Ball takes place Friday, Nov. 3 from 7 to 10 p.m., and while there's no official dress code, you'll want to dress to the nines. Consider it an excuse to ditch the branded T-shirt and brewing boots.
In advance of the event, we interviewed some of the beer celebrities that will be there to find out their tastes in beer, trends and more.
Steve Farace, vice president of brand and culture at SweetWater Brewing Co.
What are you drinking right now? TripleTail tropical IPA, fresh off winning a bronze at GABF.
Which craft beer trend are you most sick of? Spiked drink -- taking any random beverage, adding alcohol and calling it "hard."
Tell us about one thing your brewery has done that you're proud to have your brand on? Our support of organizations who clean up our nation's waterways and protect natural habitats like Waterkeeper Alliance, Coastal Conservation Alliance and Trout Unlimited, and advocacy organizations like Brewers for Clean Water.
Have you tried any beers from Dallas-Fort Worth? If so, which has been your favorite? Tried a few from Deep Ellum that were delicious.
If you were a beer style, what would you be and why? Barleywine -- best served in small doses.
Katie Nasiatka, QA/QC, sensory, and research and development at Odell Brewing Co.
What are you drinking right now? Odell's Mountain Standard, Lefthand Brewing Co.'s Fade to Black. Anything dark really.
What was the first craft beer you ever tried and what do you remember most about it? Alaskan Amber and it was my favorite. I would only drink craft after that. Now, as I am older, I will indulge in a Coors Banquet from time to time.
Which craft beer trend are you most sick of? Fruit-added IPA, or beers in general such as raspberry wheat. Less is more.
A perfect beer must be... FRESH!
If you were a beer style, what would you be and why? Friek! Fruity, clean sour, and spontaneously bubbly, this delicious beer is Frieky blend of a lambic and kriek that combines all of the best unique characters in a delicious sour.
Joe Flores, brewer at Lagunitas Brewing Co. (Chicago)
What was the first craft beer you ever tried and what do you remember most about it? A Weihenstephaner hefe-weissbier. That beer didn't have to suck.
What do you think will define the craft beer industry in 5 years? Innovation and strong brand presence in a very crowded craft beer world.
Which craft beer trend are you most sick of? New England IPAs
A perfect beer must be... shared with friends.
If you were a beer style, what would you be and why? IPA. Our IPA is the perfect blend of malt and hops and I try to and strive and find that balance in my life.
Ready to go?
The Brewer's Ball takes place Nov. 3 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Dallas Union Station, 400 S. Houston St., Dallas. $125. Get tickets at prekindle.com.
Disclaimer: CrowdSource, a subsidiary of The Dallas Morning News, owns and operates the Brewer's Ball in partnership with North Texas Beer Week.