Five years ago, the very idea of a beer festival focusing on Texas brands seemed unimaginable. There just wasn't enough beer. Outside of the Austin area, which was home to Real Ale and a handful of others, the only additions to the roster of Texas breweries were Saint Arnold and Southern Star in Houston, along with Rahr and Franconia here at home. Needless to say, keeping track of what was happening in the local or statewide brewing industry didn't take up a significant amount of time.
Today, it's a whole different ballgame. In the Metroplex alone, over the course of the last 24 months we've gone from 2 local brands to 14, which translates to a growth rate of 600%. Combine those numbers with similar expansion in other cities, and you'll find there are more than 60 production breweries currently active in the Lone Star State. Suddenly, talk of a beer festival focusing on Texas brands becomes a much more interesting conversation.
For years, folks in and around Austin have enjoyed just such an event in the form of the Texas Craft Brewers Festival. Now, thanks to those behind Paste Untapped and the Big Texas Beer Fest, North Texans will have a similar experience all their own.
Texas Brewvolution comes to Centennial Hall in Fair Park on Saturday, November 9th. Set to kick-off NTX Beer Week, organizers say it "will presumably be the largest collection of Texas craft brewers in one place in North Texas". So far, over 25 of the state's brewers have signed on, including nearly every one local to the Metroplex. Regarding participants attendees might not be familiar with, Corey Pond (Paste Untapped/The Common Table) says, "We really searched the entire state for some of the more esoteric brands you just don’t ever see up here in our neck of the woods....we’re particularly excited to have Argus Cidery from the Austin hill country participating; these guys have some neat farmhouse-style ciders we don’t typically see in North Texas.”
Served alongside all of this local flavor will be a handful of products from some of the best breweries around the world. According to Chad Montgomery of Big Texas Beer Fest, the ability to deliver world-class brands comes from working "very hard to maintain great relationships with breweries and distributors by putting on great events, as [they] are becoming more selective on who they choose to work with."
Like the Big Texas Beer Fest, a portion of the festival proceeds will benefit the North Texas Food Bank. It was the natural choice according to Montgomery's wife Nellie, who was also his partner in crime for Big Texas Beer Fest. “It seemed like the perfect match for a Texas-themed festival, to support this local charity where we've personally witnessed their commitment to feed hungry North Texans.”
Additional attractions will include live music from Shotgun Friday, the Hanna Barbarians and the Roomsounds, as well as a selection of local artisan food and craft vendors. Tickets are available by way of Eventbrite at a cost of $35 for general admission, or $60 for VIP. Benefits of the latter include early entry at 1 p.m., first access to festival rarities and in-and-out privileges for the day.
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