Special Event – Martin House Brewing Sour Fest

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Brewery Name: Martin House Brewing Co.
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Date of Visit: May 6, 2017
Beers Enjoyed: True Love, Salty Lady w/ Jalepeño, Salty Lady w/ Strawberries and Sour Cherry, Reverie, Sea Witch, Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear), Salty Lady w/ Lychee, True Love w/ Red Currant, Sour IPA w/ Lime

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When I saw that Martin House was doing a sour beer event, I knew I had to get out there. Michelle isn’t a sour beer fan, but fortunately they had a good lineup of their regular beers (although she was even sipping on a few sour beers by the end of the afternoon). With another sour beer fan in our friend Robin coming as well, we were ready to see what Martin House had in store.

Atmosphere

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This was our second visit to the brewery, and my main memory from our first visit was about how crowded it was.  That visit was in January, however, and it was completely different today.  Back then everyone was inside because it was cold and wet outside, so I didn’t have any idea how much space they had outdoors.  It is incredible.  They have a huge area that overlooks the Trinity River and this was the perfect day to be outside enjoying the views and the weather.

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In the front, they had a small mobile tap station along with two more in the back by the river and the main tapwall inside.  Their special releases were on timed release a different points during the day.  This was a bit disappointing, since they were coming out a different times from early in the day all the way until 3 PM and we had no intention of staying that long.  Seeing how limited some of these releases were, however, it was pretty clear that this was the only way they could do it and in the end we stayed until their 1 PM releases and got to try a bunch of amazing beers!

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I found my Houston rival.  But it’s beer so we’re all friends!

Beer

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They had a bunch of great food there, from multiple vendors, out in front of the brewery, but we didn’t actually eat anything so I’ll skip straight to the beer.  Essentially this festival was a celebration of the release of their latest sour beer, True Love, which is brewed with raspberry.  They had this one on tap at all their tap stations and this was my first choice for the day.  From what I hear, this is now a year round beer and I think they made a good choice with that.  As far as sour beers go, it is very mild, with just a bit of tartness much like their other year round, The Salty Lady.  The addition of raspberry is perfect though, adding a light fruity flavor that makes this a perfect beer for the summer or any other time.

My next beer was The Salty Lady w/ Jalepeño.  I only got a half pour of this one and I’m glad I did because this beer had some heat!  The jalepeños compliment the light tartness and saltiness of the original beer quite well, and I really liked this one, but I think if I had any more, I’d have had heartburn for days.

Next up wasn’t one of my pours, but Robin got a half pour of The Salty Lady with Strawberries and Sour Cherry.  I got a few sips of this from her and this wasn’t a bad beer. However, the two fruits didn’t really come through much, adding maybe just a bit more sourness than the original beer would have, and some light strawberry flavor on the finish.  True Love is better as a fruity sour!

Around the same time, I was able to get a glass of The Salty Lady with lychee.  This one was a treat.  Lychee is one of my favorite flavors and it complimented this beer perfectly. Even Michelle, who isn’t a fan of sour beers, went and got some of this after taking a taste of mine.  I’d love to taste something like this as a future seasonal from Martin House.

For my next pour, I got half a glass of Reverie, their pomegranate sour ale.  This is one of their micro-seasonals, different beers that are released every month, but I missed out on this one when it came out a few months ago.  Just like the last one, I would say that I prefer True Love for a light fruity sour, as this one had a bit much vinegar flavor for me, but the pomegranate was nice and it’s something a bit different that I haven’t tried in a beer before.  This is probably the only beer of the day that I wouldn’t want to try again.

Next up was Sea Witch, a barrel aged black gose.  I had seen this one on tap a while back but never tried it, and I’m glad I was able to taste it today.  The combination of dark malts and barrel aging almost makes this one taste like a sour stout, and it was wonderful.  I only had a half pour of it, and I wish I had more.  It was the best of the festival for me and I hope this one is released again in the future, maybe as a limited 2 pack can release like they did with Acheron and River Horse.

We were getting close to wrapping things up at this point and I thought this next beer was going to be my last, so we got in line right at noon to try a sour version of their Juice IPA with Lime.  Michelle had just gotten a pour of the non-sour version, which I took a taste of, and it wasn’t bad at all, with lime flavor but no real sourness.  This one, on the other hand was very sour with a ton of lime and a good bitter finish that you almost don’t notice at first with all the tartness.  There was a ton of flavor here and a full pour was the right decision!

Now, by the time we were all finished with our previous beers, it was approaching 1 PM so we decided to stick around as a couple of us still had another drink available.  One of their stations out back was releasing both their Queen of the Mist with Prickly Pear and True Love with Red Currant at the same time so we got in line and decided to split up what we got in order to taste them all.  I honestly couldn’t tell you what the flavor of prickly pear or red currant is, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  What I got in the True Love with Red Currant was probably the most tart beer of the day.  It was good, but didn’t really stand out with all the other great beers on the day.  The Queen of the Mist was outstanding.  I previously tried the version with apricot, and I liked this one even better. this is basically a fruity barrel aged version of The Salty Lady, and it was a perfect beer to end the afternoon with.

Summary

In general, I have stayed away from brewery events.  They tend to be crowded and overpriced and they just aren’t worth it for me.  At $15 for 4 pours (or 8 half pours) and keep the glass, this one felt like a steal.  On top of that, it never seemed overly crowded, as they have a ton of space there when it’s nice enough to be outside.  The beer is phenomenal and I feel comfortable saying that Martin House is making some of the best sour beers in DFW, if not the state.  True Love should be available all over the place now, so be sure you pick some up and give it a try!

Check out all these other great pictures that Michelle took:

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