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Big Texas Beer Fest lives up to the hype

By: Scooter Hendon  |  04/15/2012

Big Texas Beer Fest lives up to the hype

Questions abounded this past Saturday as the Big Texas Beer Fest approached. Could DFW support a large beer festival? Would the organizers be able to avoid problems that have plagued some other Texas beer festivals? Could this thing live up to the hype of its iconic name?

Fortunately for beer enthusiasts and beer curious folks, the answer to all these questions was a resounding and uproarious “yes.”

Organizing a large event of any kind for the first time is an arduous task. Introduce alcohol service to that organizational quagmire and you have an assignment that few are willing to tackle and even fewer are able to execute successfully. Fortunately, Chad and Nellie Montgomery took their experiences of attending beer festivals through the years to craft an experience that was undoubtedly a victory.

Of course, there were a few issues. Some complained of long lines outside the festival to get in. But from most accounts, that wait was around 30 minutes at most which is actually quite typical for large festivals. Some smaller issues like food availabilty, glass rinsing at each booth and more seating have already been promised as improvements for next year. And it’s obvious from knowing the Montgomerys that their level of detail orientation and passion for an improved experience will produce an even better event next year.

As periodic rolling yells erupted from the festival goers throughout the building corridor on multiple occassions, it was obvious that people were having a good time and learning about new beers. From pouring all day at the Southern Star booth, we can say it’s definitively obvious that thousands of people have been turned on to well-made, delicious craft beers that they never would have tried if not for the sampling atmosphere of the Big Texas Beer Fest.

The live music provided by Fish Fry Bingo and The O’s was fitting and provided an appropriate atmosphere. But what really got the crowd going was the Beard and Mustache Competition organized by Beerds DFW. Some of the biggest, most creative and well-groomed beards we’ve ever seen were in attendance and provided a rowdy show at the end of the festival.

Some highlights of the Texas breweries in attendance were Jester King’s Beer Geek Rodeo, Adelbert’s Dubbel, Rahr’s Vanilla Ugly Pug firkin, Deep Ellum’s dry-hopped cask IPA and No Label’s Don Jalapeno. The best part about a successful festival is that next year is sure to see more breweries participating with more rare beers. Once breweries see that a festival is run well and being done for the right reasons, they will be more willing to dedicate special resources to it, and attendees will be thusly rewarded. Short story: get ready for next year, because it’s sure to be bigger, Texanier, beerier and more festive. We can’t wait.

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