Unique alcoholic beverages have long made a showing at the State Fair of Texas' Big Tex Choice Awards. In 2010, fried beer won "most creative" in the esteemed food competition, followed by the Funnel Cake Ale in 2014 and the smoky bacon margarita in 2015.
So when this year's list of wacky semi-finalists came out on Tuesday, we weren't surprised to see a few drinks. But we were equally shocked, intrigued and grossed out by one: a Corn Dog Ale.
Seriously? What the heck is that?!
Grant Wood, head brewer at Revolver Brewing in Granbury, says he was musing about which State Fair staples he could embody in a beer when the idea hit him.
"Corn dogs! What else is quintessentially State Fair?" he tells GuideLive. (For the record, it's "corny dog," but we'll let it slide this time.)
Wood then began researching how he could mimic a corn dog flavor without using hot dogs. He landed on a grain bill that includes smoked and caramel malts plus some flaked corn, plus salt, black pepper, brown mustard powder and some "mystery spices" -- fitting since hot dogs are often mystery meat.
The result is what Wood calls a "pale amber smoked beer." But when he first tasted it, he thought something was missing.
"I happened to have a little mustard in the fridge at the brewery and squirted some on my finger," he says. "I tasted the mustard and then tasted the beer and was like, 'Holy [expletive]!'"
You know what that means.
The Corn Dog Ale will be served at the State Fair of Texas with a rim of yellow mustard. Yes, really.
Vegetarians, you're invited to the party, too. Contrary to the name, there's no meat in this beverage.
"No hot dogs were harmed in the making of this beer," Wood says.
Revolver Brewing partnered with Weiss Enterprises to bring the beer to the fair regardless of whether it places at the Big Tex Choice Awards. It will also be available on draft at a few bars in North Texas, Wood says. But that doesn't mean he's giving up on the competition.
"I really have some pretty high expectations," Wood says. "I expect it to do well."