Fall, the best of seasons aside from Spring. Temperatures cool down, leaves change color, temperatures cool down, children go back to school and most importantly temperatures cool down. With a cooler temperature, it is a world of difference when you decide on going to a large un-air conditioned warehouse for a brewery tour. Some do have temperature controlled areas but most can be as hot as the outside or hotter if there are plenty of bodies jockeying for beer.
This past weekend was a definite nice time for a brewery tour or possibly two tours if you feel up to it. Seeing as though Peticolas Brewing Company and Community Beer Company are roughly one mile away from each other, this seemed like a very doable reality. The tour started at 12pm at Peticolas and last pour is at 2:45. Community does their tour from 2pm-5pm, so times are not a problem.
Peticolas Brewing Company has been brewing for slightly less than two years but has an offering that is not for the weak or uninitiated beer drinker. The beers are very robust, flavorful and higher in alcohol than most beers. I have not met a Peticolas beer to date that I have not respected. At the most recent tour, three beers were sampled, one being a seasonal and one being a rarity. The first beer sampled was the Velvet Hammer, an American strong ale. This is by far my most favorite beer from them as it has a strong malty-cola scent emanating from the dark caramel color. A cloying foam head shows that the beer is just the right level of carbonation. The taste is mild malt with a definite presence of alcohol without the alcohol burn. If you haven’t tried it, you really do need to.
The second beer sampled was the Rye’t On except this American pale ale was aged on whiskey soaked oak chips and casked. This was a rarity being a cask sample and aged on whiskey soaked oak. Scent was very light and did not produce anything that stood out. Color was a medium caramel with a lingering foam head. The flavor was very light, a toasted malty hint with very minute hop presence and very little alcohol bite. A nice relaxing and refreshing offering of the Rye’t On.
The final beer was the seasonal Wintervention. This is the winter ale and it is definitely something you might want to try at home in front of the fireplace. This strong ale is dark deep brown color and gives a spiced winter scent. Flavor is typical of a winter ale with spices being prominent- brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon are the strong ones with some ginger and fig in the background. The alcohol presence to this beer is noticeable with the ABV being 10-11%. This is a great winter ale and it lets you know that. The brewery itself is an experience with foosball and air hockey in the upstairs area with a more warehouse feel to the back lower areas where the beer is poured. Food was available on site but there was no music offering.
The owner, Michael Peticolas, is always present and very approachable for any questions you may have about the operation or the beer. The only downside to Peticolas is the fact that the beers are not offered in cans or bottles. It is possible to take some home from a growler place or sample as many, responsibly, from your local watering hole.
After finishing the tour at Peticolas, I made my way over to Community Beer Company. Community has been open for less than a year but has already established itself in the Dallas beer scene. There were three beers sampled at this tour as well. The first was the Community Public Ale, an English Extra Special Bitter or ESB. A slightly cloudy, medium brown color offered a multi-grain and malt scent. The flavor was slightly sweet malt without a strong hop presence or alcohol bite. A pleasant beer with a nice malt that lingered on the tongue.
The second beer sampled was the Vienna Lager, a beer classified in its’ namesake- Vienna lager. This beer poured a clear amber color with a malt scent. Flavor was light maltiness with a minimal hop presence and almost no alcohol bite. A pleasantly clean flavor overall for this beer. The final beer sampled was the Mosiac IPA. This beer poured a golden amber color with a strong white head of foam that lingered. Scent was normal for an IPA, piney and citrus with whiffs of tropical fruit. Flavor was a smooth malt with a very strong hop note of pine and citrus. Definitely a good IPA for you hopheads out there. The brewery itself was very open, a decent crowd but not very confined. Music played and a food truck was on site. Plenty of canine friends present as well but all minded their manners properly.
While I do not condone trying to overdo a day of great beer by sampling six beers in a five hour time frame, it can be done and enjoyed responsibly with the right amount of food and timing. These beers gave great flavors and wide variety for a typical Saturday.
The tours themselves are a great way to learn about beer and all the magic in making it. If you enjoy collecting glasses, tours are a great way of getting them and the social aspect leaves nothing to change as well. Whether you have friends meeting you at the brewery or perhaps you’ll meet new friends with the commonality of beer being the focus, a brewery tour is a great way to spend a day enjoying new beers or beers you’ve had in the past.
If you still haven’t made a tour, these two are definite musts even if you don’t hit them both on the same day. If a tour is not your thing, definitely check out the beers at your local tap and look for Community at your local beer store in bottles.