There is something wonderful about picking up a rare IPA while talking to owners of local brew pubs as a jaguar hungrily paces just inches away and the sounds of the 80’s punctuate the air. Craft beer is alive in Dallas, people! Hear ye, hear ye!
This iteration of beer growth appeals to the masses and propels the craft beer movement into the mainstream. While many still believe that beer is beer and all pretty much tastes the same (“yuck! I hate beer!”), tasting events break down stereotypes and allow true comparison that assist in defining a beer palate while discovering how many variations in style there really are.
Beer can be compared to wine, and the Brew at the Zoo event allowed the inaugural crowd to enjoy over one hundred variations all with unique tastes from dark stouts to light, crisp ciders. Each festival attendee had a 3 ounce plastic cup and a fistful of tickets. Lines moved fairly quickly, and beverages flowed.
I spent some time with Brian and Christi Rudolph, owners of the Holy Grail Pub in Plano which just celebrated 2 years open in the past week. We discussed the importance of this event for craft beer in Dallas and how it sets up the upcoming first Dallas Beer Week that will hit the area in November.
Yes, there were a few hiccups for this first time having the Brew at the Zoo event in Dallas: the crowd on the trail to the VIP area was almost entirely impassible. TABC flexed their muscles with a truly bizarre and incomprehensible colored ticket system that seemed to only annoy rather than control any drinking.
Signs and crowd control definitely could’ve been better. But overall, beer flowed, music played and people came in droves. Hundreds of Dallasites swarming to the zoo – a site rarely seen. Greatness.