Brewery Names: True Vine Brewing Company and ETX Brewing Company
Location: Tyler, TX
Date of Visit: June 10, 2017
Beers Enjoyed: (From True Vine) Dry Hopped Bon Hefe, Rose City Pale Ale
(From ETX) Passion Fruit Brickstreet, Skull Blossom, Bru-Tea-Licious
Michelle and I were looking to take a road trip last weekend and she suggested we find a brewery to visit. I knew about True Vine Brewing in Tyler, and the distance was perfect for what we were trying to do. As a bonus, I learned of a second brewery in town, ETX Brewing, so we decided to do the Tyler Ale Trail (with a stop at their famous rose garden inbetween).
True Vine Brewing Company
I could tell almost immediately upon walking into The Backyard (the name for their outdoor drinking area) this was my kind of brewery. It was cozy and there was plenty of seating. We had just been in the car for a couple hours, so we took a few minutes to stretch before getting something to drink, but the people working there were immediately friendly and chatted with me as we settled in.
Our bartender Caleb was really helpful and let me taste a few beers before deciding on what to order. My one complaint here is that they do not serve flights. I know not all breweries do it, but that’s not going to stop me from being annoyed that they don’t. I would have much preferred trying four different beers from a brewery that doesn’t (for the most part) distribute in Dallas than having to choose just one (it was a long day and I had to drive).
The beer I chose was a dry hopped (Citra and Summer hops) version of their hefeweizen BON HEFE. For those who don’t know, dry hopping is a brewing process that adds hop aromas to a beer without the bitterness that you’d get from boiling the hops. The result here was a great beer. I’m not usually a big fan of hefeweizens because they typically have a banana flavor that I don’t really care for. Here, the hop aromas drowned out the things that I don’t like about the style and what remained was a good refreshing summer beer with light fruity and floral hop flavors.
I gave Michelle’s beer a try as well, their flagship Rose City Pale Ale. I can’t comment much here, since I only had a few sips but it was a solid pale ale with good floral flavors. I’d drink more if they were selling it here in Dallas.
ETX Brewing Company
ETX was right on the edge of downtown Tyler, and unlike True Vine, the majority of their seating was right out in front of the building on a fairly busy street. We were fortunate to secure a table in the shade, so it wasn’t uncomfortable even in the Texas heat (there is some seating inside, but we wanted to stay outside with the baby).
Now I’m not going to go on another long rant, but they did not do flights either (at least on the weekend) and it’s very disappointing, because their beer was fantastic. The first beer I tried was their Brickstreet blonde ale with passion fruit puree added. The result here was something that tasted less like a blonde and more like a light sour, with a bit of tartness from the passion fruit. I didn’t try the original Brickstreet, but my guess is that it’s a pretty mild beer which works well for flavor additions. I had a small sample of their strawberry version as well, which was also pretty good.
Michelle’s beer was their Skull Blossom double IPA. I only had a sip or two, but it was probably my favorite beer of the day. The beer was a bit hazy in appearance and very juicy with strong fruity and floral hop aromas and flavors.
Finally, I grabbed a glass of their Bru-Tea-Licious, a red ale infused with tea. It was near the end of the day at this point and I didn’t take many notes on it. A low ABV red ale isn’t usually my favorite, but this one had a strong tea flavor that made it unique and delicious. If you like beer and tea, you’d probably enjoy this one. And the name is fun, so bonus points for that.
Unless I happen to be driving through Tyler for some reason, it’s unlikely that I’ll ever return to either one of these breweries. But I wish I could. They were both great kid friendly places to go and have a few beers, and the beer was good. Since it’s unlikely that I’ll be returning out that way, all I can hope for is that they both start distributing out this way!
Michelle took a ton of awesome pictures at the two breweries, including lots of the little guy. Please make sure to check them out on her blog here: