It’s hard to tell which of a brewer’s favorite recipes will be popular when the brewery opens. Sometimes, a brewer’s mainstay batch that he has been treating friends and family to for years turns into an afterthought once the general public gets a hold of it.
It’s a painful truth: Sometimes, not everyone thinks your kids are beautiful.
In early 2011, founder Wim Bens was still preparing to build a brewery, nailing down branding and figuring out which beers he wanted to launch with when Lakewood decided to participate in Brew Riot in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas.
Brew Riot — which has its sixth edition Sunday — is an annual competition for homebrew teams and breweries that aren’t commercially producing yet. It has hosted several local breweries that made big splashes with the beer-loving community before launching.
That year, Lakewood was adjacent to the also-fledgling Deep Ellum Brewing. But where Deep Ellum hadn’t quite figured out who it wanted to be yet, Lakewood had its logo designed, concept developed and beers named. By introducing White Rock Wit and Pond Hopper IPA, among others, it was apparent Lakewood was testing the waters with real beer brands and semi-final recipes.
While those others have either been renamed or gone by the wayside, the most popular beer for Lakewood at Brew Riot was the imperial milk stout, The Temptress. Despite it being a warm day, Lakewood saw plenty of repeat traffic at its tent for the big, sweet, chocolatey stout, and it became the buzz of the festival. The most surprising thing, Bens said that day, was how popular it was with women. The dessertlike qualities appealed to many a sweet tooth.
A legend was born.
Having tied for first (with Revolver Blood & Honey) in DFW.com’s inaugural Craft Beer Battle, its popularity is well documented. With varieties like Bourbon Barrel Temptress, French Quarter Temptress, Raspberry Temptress and the recently released Mole Temptress, Lakewood is getting plenty of legs out of its flagship. But while all the variants are available only sporadically, the original is always available in four-packs ($9) and on draft. We can give in to its seductive power any time we want.
Brew Riot details: Sunday will see amateurs from across the state competing for the people’s choice prize in the homebrew competition. Entrance can only be purchased via membership to the Texas Homebrew Society, $25. If you don’t buy ahead of time (at brewriot . com), expect long lines for memberships at the gate.