As summer ends, our thoughts and our thirst turn toward fall. Fortunately, Texas has a bounty of craft breweries that have designed fanciful flights of small batch beauties to enjoy in these cooler months. As Oktoberfest events and Halloween approach, you will not be disappointed in these seasonal brews that are “spiced” just right!
Revolver Brewing | Granbury
Revolver is one of the largest craft breweries in Texas with an impressive list of creative beers such as Blood & Honey®, a deep-golden ale made with blood orange peel and Texas honey. “We call ourselves a world-class brewery in the countryside,” Founder and Brewmaster Grant Wood said. “We like to make interesting, flavorful craft beers that are drinkable. I also pride myself on making beers people like to drink, as opposed to having one and checking it off their list.” Wood’s résumé includes a fifteen-year stint at Samuel Adams before opening up Revolver.
At the time Wood and his business partner launched the craft brewery seven years ago, there were only about half a dozen breweries in North Texas and now there are over 40. Although this fall they will be opening a new brew pub that is part of an entertainment center called Texas Live!, located in Arlington, you will still be able to visit the original brewery in Granbury for a tour every Saturday from noon to three p.m. “We always say if the roads are open, we’re open,” Wood said.
For fall, Wood created some interesting and perhaps surprising flavors. “I hate pumpkin beer, so Yam Dankee is my answer to pumpkin beer,” he said. “It’s a sweet potato IPA made with American Centennial and German Saphir hops, and hopefully we’ll be premiering it when the new pub opens in October.”
Mi Cheve will also be making its debut this fall – a Mexican-style lager with a biscuit toasty malt base that Wood calls the backbone of this beer. The specific style of malt beer is called Vienna. Where does Wood find his brew inspirations? “It’s sometimes from the table,” he explained. “I’m a foodie. I like to eat and cook. The inspiration can come from smelling something interesting or tasting something interesting that I think might have the right flavor profile for a beer. Inspiration comes from all over the place.”
Family Business Beer Company | Dripping Springs
There is more than one great reason to visit Family Business Beer Company, the least of which is that it is co-owned by Supernatural superstar, Jensen Ackles, along with his wife, Danneel Ackles, and brother-in-law, Gino Graul. This destination brewery, which can be found on your way to the famous Hamilton Pool, sits on a fifteen-acre property with a giant oak grove, tap room, and approximately twelve to fourteen house brews on tap at any given time.
“When fall comes around, we start bringing out some of our more malty and dark beers, of course, such as King Biscuit ESB, a British-style beer,” Head Brewer Nate Seale said. They also do a Marzen Oktoberfest. “It’s sort of a traditional way to do it, back in the olden days before refrigeration,” Seale said. “It would be brewed in March and put in barrels and left in a cellar or ice cave for six months before breaking it out in October for the harvest fest celebration, that’s what Oktoberfest is. No one makes it that way, but we’re a little crazy so we decided to do it.” There is currently no name for this one, but it will be an amber lager. Their event, which coincides with Halloween weekend this year, will also showcase their pumpkin beer, the perfect treat for those who do not like pumpkin beer. It is more accurate to say that it is a pumpkin spiced beer, using their Grackle Hill Country Imperial Stout, which will be served in a 100-pound pumpkin.
A barrel-aged Grackle using Garrison Brothers whiskey barrels will also be making an appearance this fall. Fill up your growler or crowlers to take home with you. The next step for this creative team is up to the whim of the ‘family.’ “To be honest, it usually comes down to ‘what do I feel like making next’ or we feel like drinking a lot of next,” Seale said. “It’s all about the beer for us, making a cool place where people can come and visit and drink the beers.” The brewery has plans to open up a second location, so keep an eye out!
Lakewood Brewing Company | Garland
There is a reason why Lakewood Brewing has a line of beers named Temptress, because when you encounter a craft brew this decadent, it is impossible to resist. The brand is known for their stout and darker beers and is the number one selling craft stout in the Lone Star State. “Fall is stout drinking weather,” President and Founder Wim Bens said. “Once the weather starts to turn people get into it.”
Their Peanut Butter Temptress, which will be out this fall, is an Imperial Milk Stout with vanilla, peanuts, and sea salt that is truly sinful, but only if you drink too many. A Bourbon Barrel Temptress™ and a new Salted Caramel Temptress will also be luring beer lovers this fall.
Punkle®, their pumpkin-style and longest running seasonal brew, will also be making an appearance this fall. “It’s just so darn drinkeable,” Bens said. “It’s still a lager, just on the darker side, so it has a brownish-reddish hue with that hint of spice that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.”
The brewery, complete with a taproom that is open seven days a week, is just 20 minutes from Downtown Dallas. Not only do they have incredible craft brews on tap, their kitchen offers small upscale plates. They will celebrate their fall event, “Let’s Get Weird!”, at the end of October. “It’s the day to let our freak flag fly,” Bens said in reference to their experimental beers. However, it seems they need no excuse to shake up the beer scene in Texas.
Dorcol Distilling Company | San Antonio
Dorćol, an urban distillery and brewery located in San Antonio’s arts district, which initially launched with a unique apricot brandy called Kinsman Apricot Rakia, introduced their beer brand in 2015 and never looked back. The Brewer’s Association recently listed Dorćol as the fastest growing brewery in Texas.
“We’re trying to do classic beer styles – Germany, Belguim, England – and do them really well,” Co-Owner Chris Mobley said, who founded the company with his old college buddy, Boyan Kalusevic.
Mobley called what they do “a fool’s dream,” and yet it is a dream that has been paying off. They developed a loyal following of all of their products, not to mention won several awards. Their tasting room and outdoor patio is a hot spot for locals and tourists alike. They feature special events, live music, and exceptional libations. For fall, you will want to get a taste of their Oktoberfest beer, Dunkelweizen, a dark German wheat beer in its fourth seasonal release.
“It’s a unique style that we haven’t seen on the market here,” Mobley said. “It’s one of Randy’s [the brewer] favorite styles of beer. We’ll probably be doing other ones along the way.” In any case, for beer or spirits, Dorćol is one to watch as they continue to pave the way for awe-inspiring Texas craft brews.
Save the World Brewing Co. | Marble Falls
It seems like such a rare occurrence when you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy a good brew while being simultaneously philanthropic, but that is exactly what happens at Save The World Brewing! Guests can join them in their philanthropic beer endeavors as easily as popping the top off their fall offerings.
This humanitarian company began when co-owners Quynh and David Rathkamp decided to quit their jobs as physicians to pursue their passions of brewing and doing good deeds.
This charitable brewery, which produces Belgian-style beer because that is what David enjoys, donates 100 percent of their profits to causes such as Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, and Food for the Hungry. “If Tom’s can do it with shoes, we can do it with beer,” Quynh said.
Belgian beers, according to Quynh, tend to have more flavor and complexity than other styles of beer, without being bitter. They also have a rich history that dates back to the medieval monasteries. “They’re very drinkable and, I think, are the best for pairing with food,” she said. As a certified Cicerone, comparable to a sommelier but for beer, she would know. For fall, they will be bringing back some exciting fan favorites, including their Pumpkin Ale, which has a lovely pumpkin aroma, caramel malt base, and hint of spice. “We age it with bourbon-soaked vanilla beans, so you get that hint of bourbon and vanilla that gives it that extra oomph and flavor,” she said. It does not hurt that it has higher than normal alcohol volume at 8.2.
Also on offer are their Scotch Ale, Double Milk Chocolate Stout, and their Sol Vinum, a golden strong ale aged on crushed wine grapes sourced from a neighboring winery, Perissos Vineyards. Visit their brewery for a tour and tasting, join their beer club if you fall in love, or find them at stores and bars in the Austin, San Antonio, and Hill Country areas. Just remember, you are drinking for the good of humankind.