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Texas Brew Review: Revolver’s Sidewinder aims high

Posted 5:45pm on Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2014

It’s no secret that Revolver Brewing in Granbury has a big hit on their hands with Blood & Honey. In a little more than a year, the unfiltered wheat ale has taken the area by storm and is available in more bars and restaurants than you can count.

It even tied for first place with Lakewood Temptress in our DFW Craft Beer Battle.

So, it was an easy decision for the Granbury brewers to pick their first beer to bottle last August. Sure, High Brass and Bock are good, but Blood & Honey is something nobody else can offer. With unique flavors imparted by blood orange zest and honey, it’s a totally unique beer that local drinkers just can’t seem to get enough of.

It would be tempting to brew and distribute a half dozen beers at once, but founders Rhett Keisler, Ron Keisler and Grant Wood have grown quickly but conservatively and stuck to their guns along the way. Having mostly focused on expanding distribution and promotion of their core three beers, seasonals and one-off brews have been somewhat infrequent.

Their first seasonal was Mother’s Little Fracker stout, but it was their second that was the most intriguing.

Sidewinder, launched in limited-release in 2013, is making its return tour this week. Calling it a “Southwest pale ale,” Revolver has brought some of the same types of core flavor concepts that have made Blood & Honey such a hit.

Brewed with agave nectar, cumin, lime zest and lemon zest, Sidewinder delivers with unique touches that bring to mind Blood & Honey. Although the two don’t taste similar, it’s easy to tell why this is Blood & Honey’s brew cousin.

Sidewinder, available for now only on local taps, is deceptively easy drinking. Blood & Honey is 7% ABV and can catch you off guard if you aren’t careful; Sidewinder’s 6.5% ABV is nicely (and dangerously) hidden as well. Both have a spicy zip, low bitterness and a refreshing finish that pairs perfectly with hot Texas summers.

Both have unique qualities that appeal to craft-beer virgins and veterans alike.

Revolver’s next bottled beer will be Bock, which is planned to launch on store shelves in the next couple of months. Bock is a fine beer in its own right, but really, it’s Sidewinder that needs to get into bottles and in stores. And fast. It would be tough to equal the firestorm of success of Blood & Honey, but Sidewinder could be poised to try. Enjoy it while it lasts, and maybe if we’re lucky, we can motivate them to start making it full time and putting it into bottles.

Quick sips

Pour House cranks it up: West Seventh Street mainstay the Pour House underwent a big transformation in 2013 by remodeling its interior and becoming a craft-beer hot spot. This Saturday, it will host beer and bicycle enthusiasts for the first Cranks and Craft Beer Festival. Trinity Bicycles and Colonel s Bicycles will be on hand to perform quick fittings and minor repairs. There will also be a raffle for bicycle jerseys and gear that will benefit the Fort Worth Mountain Bike Association. Along with the beers on tap inside, divine rarities Founders KBS, Deschutes The Abyss and Oskar Blues Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy will be pouring.

Starkbierfest: Dallas’ The Common Table will host its fourth annual Starkbierfest on Saturday in celebration of all things German. Bring you lederhosen and an appetite for sausage and German beer. The Common Table is at 2917 Fairmount St., Dallas.

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