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Texas Brew Review: Grapevine Lakefire

Posted 9:07am on Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014

When starting a brewery, the first question most brewers get is “What beers are you going to launch with?” It’s a valid query — that first impression in many ways defines the approach brewers will take as they seek to carve out their niche in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

When Grapevine Craft Brewery announced it would launch with Lakefire Rye Pale Ale as its initial draft and eventually first canned beer, it became obvious that its main focus would be to provide something to represent the community that has embraced it since the beginning.

Sure, Dallas and Fort Worth have brewing identities, but the cities in between have been largely underrepresented in the craft beer boom of the last several years. But for a town like Grapevine that has already supported six wineries within its city limits, it makes sense that there’d be room for at least one brewery.

“We’re closing in on around 150 locations after four months of business,” founder Gary Humble said. “All that said, our top three retailers are in Grapevine, Texas. We definitely have mad support from the hometown crowd. Those top three accounts go through some serious amounts of Lakefire.”

Although being labeled a pale ale, Lakefire exhibits far less hops than you might be used to from other American pale ales. This is a very easy drinking beer with a light touch of fruity hops, slightly sweet malt backbone and just a hint of spice from the rye.

“We wanted to come out with a sessionable, approachable summertime, all-the-time backyard beer,” Humble said. “It really lends itself well to that.”

With the community culture built around Grapevine Lake being an obvious inspiration for its style and its packaging, this beer will go perfectly with summer fireworks shows and cookouts on the lake.

Tour the brewery: Grapevine is open noon-3 p.m. Saturdays for brewery tours at its temporary location in Farmers Branch. Along with Lakefire, it will be pouring Monarch American Wheat and Sir William’s English Brown Ale. Tickets are $10 and available at grapevineontap.com.

Quick sips

Texas wins big: The annual Craft Brewers Conference, where brewing professionals from around the world convene for education and fellowship, ended last week with the announcement of the winners of the World Beer Cup. Texas breweries took home eight total medals including locals Community winning gold for its Witbier, Deep Ellum winning bronze for Four Swords Belgian Quad and Rahr & Sons winning bronze for Stormcloud IPA.

Get on the bus: For a safer (and more fun) alternative way of visiting several of the area’s breweries in one day, Dallas Brew Bus will feature several upcoming tours, with the next one a May 3 a tour of Cedar Creek, Deep Ellum and Four Corners. Get tickets ($50) in advance at dallasbrewbus . com.

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