Editors note: After years spent wandering in a craft-beer wilderness, North Texas is finally overflowing with choices.
Innovative breweries are popping up like wildflowers, joining pioneers like Rahr & Sons of Fort Worth. Grocery stores and growler stations are expanding their options faster than you can say fill er up. Beer festivals and tastings are becoming fixtures on the calendar. (Paste Untapped is March 8, by the way.)
And that doesnt even begin to consider the roster of restaurants and bars that now offer long lists of craft beer, much of it brewed here in the Lone Star State.
Simply put, we are in the midst of a craft beer renaissance.
This became crystal-clear during our first DFW.com Beer Bracket in November and December. Not only did we showcase some of the best craft beer that was being made in North Texas congrats to our fab final four, Revolver Blood & Honey, Lakewood The Temptress, Peticolas Velvet Hammer and Community Public Ale we became immersed in the always lively craft beer conversation.
Now, in the interest of keeping that conversation going, weve asked for a little help from one of the most knowledgeable beer drinkers we know, Scooter Hendon, founder of TexasBrews.org.
Scooter was instrumental in building the DFW.com Beer Bracket, which included 32 of the best craft beers in North Texas. And now were tapping into his brew IQ even more, with a new weekly column that will tell our readers about new beers, rare beers and even some mainstays you may have forgotten about. Hell also shine a light on the creative work being done at local breweries, answer your questions and help you catch on to the North Texas craft beer wave.
Elissa IPA: An overlooked classic
Beer is an everyman drink. Thats what we like about it. You dont need a Ph.D. to find a great IPA.
But as the beer section at your local liquor or grocery store grows, it can become an intimidating place. And the myriad choices make it easy to overlook a classic.
Like Saint Arnold Elissa IPA.
Sure, youve probably seen the red six-pack a hundred times, but you pass it by whenever you spot something from a spanking new brewery or some zany beer youve never seen before.
This is folly.
Saint Arnold is the first craft brewery in the state (besides Shiner), and every Texas craft brewery since has benefited from its pioneering ways.
Saint Arnold launched in 1994, and after 10 years in business, decided to make an India Pale Ale. IPAs, as theyre referred to, feature a significant amount of hops, and with that comes bitterness.
But Elissa ($7.99 for a six-pack) toes the line and doesnt become so blatantly bitter that its difficult to drink.
Also something to keep in mind: Elissa is a single-hop IPA that only features the Cascade hop. This means the brewery only uses Cascade when making the beer, and the citrusy, floral characteristics of this hop are on full display with Elissa.
If you arent used to highly hopped beers, this is a good place to start. And even if you are, revisit Elissa. Its one of our states best mainstays and is always available.
Plus, Saint Arnolds 12-ounce beers are in twist-off bottles. Whats more everyman than that?