Headed to Saturday’s beer and music festival in Big D? Here are a few beers from the West worth trying — and a couple of music recommendations, too.
Since its 2012 beginnings, Untapped Festival has brought together craft beer and emerging independent musical acts for a day of fun, first in Dallas and later spreading to other Texas cities: Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.
As in past iterations of the fest, the music lineup Saturday mainly skews toward indie rock, with Oklahoma psych-rock weirdos the Flaming Lips headlining and jangly folk-rockers Dr. Dog and Los Angeles alt-hip-hoppers The Pharcyde prominent on the billing as well. But there is a little something for just about everyone.
This time, country music fans will want to arrive promptly for more than just the rare beer samplings sure to run out early in the fest: Fort Worth, Texas’ Jake Paleschic takes the stage at 2:40 p.m., just 10 minutes after gates open for general admission ticketholders. Paleschic’s music incorporates elements of acoustic folk, hypnotic fuzzy rock, and traditional country for a unique sound that will surely pair well with those first sips of the day. Later in the day — 5 p.m., to be precise — Elle King should amp things up with her raucous band. You may recognize the name from her single “Ex’s and Oh’s,” which has a throwback soulful rock sound along the lines of Adele and Amy Winehouse. But much of her work, such as “Catch Us If You Can” from the soundtrack of Hot Pursuit, has more of a country and rockabilly sound.
As for the beer, there are many, many more options to sort through, as more than 400 beers will be available to sample from about 100 breweries. Many of those will be from Western brewing hot spots, particularly Colorado, California, Washington, and Oregon, as well as the Lone Star State. Of all the breweries represented at the fest, here are a few booths that, in our admittedly West-favoring opinion, you’ll definitely want to visit.
Alaskan Brewing Company
Alaskan (from Juneau, Alaska) will have samples of its 2005, 2010, and 2015 Smoked Porter. The rauchbier is a treat on its own, and stands out for its use of local alder wood. The chance to compare this year’s version to vintages from five and ten years ago, though, is an exceptionally rare opportunity. Smoking is an age-old way to preserve fish and meat — but does it work on beer? Only one way to find out.
Ballast Point Brewing Company
San Diego, California’s Ballast Point makes Sculpin, an outstanding IPA that many critics consider the best of its style. At Untapped Dallas, the brewery will offer the grapefruit-enhanced version of the classic beer. Sounds strange, but the tartness and citrus flavor of the fruit complement the hop characteristics without amping up the bitterness to unpalatable levels. There will also be a barrel-aged version of the already-wonderful Victory at Sea imperial porter.
Oskar Blues Brewery
Oskar Blues, from Longmont, Colorado, is best known for Dale’s Pale Ale. That will be available, but the real treats Saturday will be Ten Fidy, an excellent imperial stout that is just the thing for a cool, cloudy day, and a whiskey-barrel-aged take on the already boozy G’Knight, which is an imperial red ale or American strong ale, depending whom you ask.
Stone Brewing Company
The pride of Escondido, California, came out of the gate strong in 1996 on the forefront of the craft beer revolution with its flagship Arrogant Bastard, an American strong ale bold enough to live up to its name. But so confident is Stone that its best-known brew won’t even be on tap Saturday. Instead, enjoy the 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Belgian-style IPA from its 20th Anniversary Encore Series or the appropriately named Delicious IPA.
Peticolas Brewing Company
Naturally, Dallas breweries are strongly represented at this Dallas event. Picking one in particular is tough, but we’re going with Peticolas just for the audacity of the brews it will have on hand. For starters, five of its seven beers are 9 percent ABV or higher. Then there’s a ghost pepper-spiked version of the brewery’s otherwise tame brown ale called Ghost of Alfred Brown. You can try Wintervention, a holiday-spiced English strong ale that is one of Big D’s most eagerly anticipated annual releases. And the brewery’s infamous Velvet Hammer will be available, casked with “experimental hop 06277,” according to Peticolas’ website, or “experimental hop 07200” going by the Untapped program. However the experiment turns out, we want to be in the lab.
For a full list of breweries and to purchase tickets, visit the Untapped Dallas website.