If there's one word to describe North Texas' beer scene over the last five years, it's "explosive."
The area's best known contribution to the beer industry used to be Miller Lite, which was first produced in Fort Worth in 1975. Now drinkers can find boundless local beer options from the more than 60 breweries that call North Texas home.
This transformation is not lost on Kevin Carr, founder of Community Beer Co. in Dallas, which celebrates its fifth anniversary on Saturday, Jan. 27. Reflecting on the time it's been open, Carr concedes the market looks so vastly different here, it may as well have been counted in dog years.
"When I wrote our business plan back in 2009, there were only two craft breweries in North Texas, and none in Dallas proper," Carr says. "Today, so many have opened (and are still opening), that I've lost count!"
At GuideLive, we pondered whether the rise in local breweries might be too much of a good thing. Carr believes the industry's boom is likely to slow, leading to a change in what type of breweries open.
"We will continue to see more brewpub openings that offer their own beer, along with other breweries' beer," he says. "If you look at where markets like Denver and Portland are today, we might be seeing the future landscape of North Texas."
Community toasts to the years to come at its party Saturday, and invites local hopheads to raise a glass. The brewery will have nearly 50 beers on tap, including dozens of specialty and one-off recipes. GuideLive got a sneak peek at the menu.
Here are 10 exciting beers you can expect to try:
5th & Flemish: The official anniversary beer, described as a refreshing and complex blend of fruit and spicy elements. It gets its flavor from an assortment of pale malts, rye, and a wildly expressive Flemish yeast strain.
Brett's Get It On: A hop-forward beer fermented with Brettanomyces wild yeast. Expect a slightly tart beer with citrus and berry flavors balanced by a healthy dose of American and New Zealand hops. P.S. This beer will be cans in March.
Coconut Rum Barrel-Aged Legion: Community added coconut to its rum barrel-aged Russian imperial stout.
2 Brewers & A Stack of Pancakes: An experimental pilot batch of golden barleywine with bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup. Expect a big body on this one.
Will's Wheatwine (a.k.a. Minivan): Another huge beer, originally brewed to celebrate the birth of brewmaster Jamie Fulton's third son, Will.
Barrel-Aged Brett Inspiration Dark Strong Ale: Community's Belgian dark strong ale aged in bourbon barrels with wild yeast. Tasting notes include complex flavors of dark fruit, oak, and booze.
'16 Barrel-Aged Divinity: A small batch of our Trinity Tripel aged in a blend of port and whiskey barrels with agave nectar, ginger, and lime zest. The brewery did secondary fermentation with Brettanomyces wild yeast.
Silly Gose: German-style tart wheat ale brewed with sea salt, apricot and tangerine. It's bright and refreshing (and an excellent pairing for summer weather, we might add).
Public Enemy #1: Community's award-winning Public Ale gets aged in whiskey barrels with tart cherries for one year. It's fermented with wild yeast, so this beer is funky with notes of fruit, oak, and, of course, whiskey.
Legion vintages: This is actually four different beers. Community will be serving barrel-aged versions its Russian imperial stout, Legion, brewed in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Each year, the brewery used different barrels, so you may be enticed by the flavors you notice when you taste them side-by-side.
Community Beer Co.'s fifth anniversary is Saturday, Jan. 27 beginning at noon. Tickets ($30-$65) are currently available via Prekindle.