For the third time in 4 years, Michelle and I (along with our friend Robin for the second straight year) made our way to downtown Lewisville for the Best Little Brewfest in Texas (BLBFIT). I talked to a bunch of people, tried a bunch of beer (20 logged in Untappd but I’m sure there were a couple more I forgot) and we had a great time despite the Texas heat. Read on for my thoughts and to check out some of the great pictures that Michelle took.
We showed up just a minute before the gates opened up at 3 (for those with VIP tickets) and they had everyone’s tickets scanned and waiting for the OK to start our drinking. If there is one thing that is constant at this event, it’s the heat, and it was immediately making an impact on everyone standing there waiting. Fortunately, they have the Lewisville Grand Theater opened and air conditioned, along with a VIP room with food and exclusive beers, which we made a run for almost as soon as we were allowed in. Outside, there were five tented rows where most of the action was, with a couple of music stages set up as well. Being outside became more bearable as the afternoon wore on, with a good cloud cover a lot of the time making it the most comfortable time we’ve ever had at this event.
There were nearly endless options for food this afternoon. To start with, as VIPs we had a couple of offerings in the lounge during the day. Local Pint had their take on chicken and waffles and LUCK had frito pies. The real highlights, though, were the funnel cakes (always a good summer festival treat) and the brisket mac and cheese. I’m not sure where the funnel cakes came from, but the brisket mac and cheese came from Back 40 BBQ and it was amazing. I honestly don’t know if they are just a portable operation or if there is a restaurant out there somewhere, but I definitely need to find them and get more of that sometime soon. What a great combination!
I tried too many to review in detail, so I’ll just talk about a few highlights:
HopFusion Ale Works’ Zombie Crack – This is their Milk Stout (Fur Slipper) aged on bourbon oak and honey roasted pecans. It was very sweet and nutty, and quite strong as well. This one was part of the VIP area, and I may not have enjoyed it as much out in the heat, but it was delicious. I also tried the Fur Slipper later on at their booth, and it was also enjoyable, although obviously toned down from Zombie Crack.
Cobra Brewing Company’s Meen Jo Bean – I usually hunt down their releases so I’m surprised that I hadn’t tried this one yet. Another great beer for the heat, this coffee cream ale tasted just like an iced coffee with cream. They had the keg kept in ice and the beer was very cold and refreshing. I’d love to see this for their next wave of can releases (if there is one).
Great Raft Brewing’s Grace and Grit – Great Raft is new to Texas, and this is the best beer that I’ve tried from them so far. It was a very fruity, very hoppy double IPA and was the perfect beer to greet my return out into the heat. I mostly stuck to Texas beers for the festival, but I’m glad I gave this one a try.
The Collective Brewing Project’s Wood Folk (w/ Peaches) – It was very sour with great peach flavor. Not much else to say but it was delicious. I’m not sure that it has been released outside of festivals yet, but hopefully it will get a wider release!
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Ancho Chile & Cinnamon West Oak Coffee Oatmeal Stout – It sounds like they just threw everything they had into this one. And it was a bit of a mess, but in a good way. The coffee flavor was probably strongest but it was pretty well balanced and the chilies kept it interesting.
Intrinsic Brewing’s Guava Froot Tart – Another good sour beer, with a name that basically sums it up. Not nearly as sour as the Wood Folk, but it was nice and tart with strong guava flavor. It was probably my second favorite beer of the festival.
TUPPS Brewery’s Full Grown Hombre – I don’t know what all they threw in this beer. Kind of like the Grapevine one but extreme. Full Grown Man was already a fantastic beer and now there is a stronger coffee flavor along with vanilla and a bit of spice as well. This was the best of the fest as far as I’m concerned.
It’s hard to adequately describe everything that we did and saw in our afternoon here, there was so much going on. Lots of good food, beer, and conversation filled up our day, and made us forget about the heat. This was the biggest BLBFIT yet, and they keep getting better. I already can’t wait for next year’s festival!
P.S. Michelle took so many great pictures. Way too many to include here. Fortunately, she put them up on her website, so if you’d like to see more, please do click through to these links for the full galleries: