Record Breaking Heat in Dallas? No Problem, the Beer is Nice and Cold!

When I found out that one of my best friends was getting married to a fantastic girl, I was so excited! When they told us that they would be getting married in Dallas, I got excited not only planning on being there for the wedding, but planning out where we were going to (eat and) drink while we were there!

I visited the two of them in Dallas about two years ago when the University of Delaware football team made it to the football championships in Frisco, and loved the area. January is a great time to visit Dallas. Of course we were really there for all things wedding related, but managed to squeeze in some time at some very cool places, including a few suggestions that Bill from Victory had told us about!

With record breaking heat happening during our visit, there wasn't much to do other than stay inside, and drink of course! And that's pretty much what we did! 

When we arrived to Dallas we needed to do two things, grab lunch and find a place to get some good beers to stock our hotel room's fridge with! Our first stop was lunch. We found a great counter service place called Bottlecap Alley Icehouse Grill. You have to love a place where you basically check off what you want, turn in the sheet, and your order is placed.  Bottlecap Alley is your basic burger and hot dog place, and reminded me a little of Fuddruckers. I went with their so-good Black Bean Burger, topped with Avocado and Chipotle Mayo.  Eric had the Avocado Burger, which had avocado, pepper jack cheese, diced onions and chipotle mayo on it. Everything was really good, service was quick, and it was pretty inexpensive as well! Their tap list was a little shy of a good number of craft beers, so we both went with a Ziegenbock Amber, which ultimately is owned by Anheuser-Busch, cleverly disguised as ABinBev. (As soon as we saw the other drafts and the relatively inexpensive price for such a large beer, we had a feeling it was one of the big guys trying to pass as a little guy!) We were happy with it though, as we'd been up and on a plane for most of the day already, and it was barely 11:30am (and already like 100 degrees that day mind you!) The beer was cold, the beer was big, and it was 3 bucks - we were happy!

As we left Bottlecap Alley, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a World Market. There used to be a World Market in North Wilmington, but it closed several years ago. This was a major bummer for me, as I used to shop there often. As soon as I saw it, not only did it trigger all the fun stuff I've purchased there, but also the fact that stores in other parts of the country carry BEER! And do they ever! 
It was a GOOD trip back to World Market!
Thankfully our room in the first hotel we were staying in had a nice size fridge, and we planned on using that to our advantage to ensure we had some great beer choices during our stay! Check out the list of beers we managed to find during out trip to World Market:
Our beer supply in Dallas!

Much of the next day and a half was all about the wedding - and it was a blast! I couldn't have been more honored and more excited to be be a part of the such a special day for our friends!  It didn't hurt that we got enjoy a few Shiner Bocks during the reception!
Shiner Bock at the wedding!

Now a little side note about the wedding gift we gave. I'm not a very traditional present giver. I think that drives some people nuts, but I just want them to have something personal and something that is a little more significant than a more traditional gift...and it's more fun for me! Last year, during University of Delaware Alumni Weekend, we sat in on a Dogfish Head tasting. We were pretty familiar with the beers they presented, but not all of the fun stories behind them. One that stuck with me was the story behind Midas Touch. I couldn't wait for one of my craft beer drinking friends to get married so I could include this as part of their wedding gift!

My favorite wedding gift to give!
Because my friend had moved to Dallas from our great little state, I wanted to give their gift a local Delaware feel. I included not only a 4-pack of DFH Midas Touch, but also two Dogfish Head Shaped Pint Glasses and some wines from vineyards in the area.

Here's the little tidbit of information on Midas Touch that was included in their gift: "Midas Touch, a cross between wine and mead, is part of Dogfish Head’s Ancient Ales series. It is a sweet yet dry beer made with ingredients found in a 2,700-year-old drinking vessel from the tomb of King Midas. The story of King Midas makes this beer perfect for a newlywed couple. Mead has been associated with many magical (and not so magical) powers. It has been called an aphrodisiac, giving drinkers wisdom, strength, and courage. It many cultures it has been associated with mythical properties. Bees are considered sacred messengers of the gods because they produce honey, a key ingredient in mead. Even the word honeymoon is thought to have been derived from the custom of giving the newly wed couple mead as a gift before they went on their moon, or month of seclusion. As you embark on your honeymoon, start it off with a Midas Touch! P.S., Midas Touch boasts as 9.0% ABV, you’ll want to sip and enjoy this beer!"

I hope they loved their gift as much as I loved putting it together for them. I'm thinking if they follow this little poem about the wines and bubbly, they will! 

The Newlywed's Guide to Wine 
W e d d i n g N i g h t
The night you have dreamed of is finally here
The future surrounds you with hope and yet fear You’ve wanted so long to find your perfect mate Sip 
this wine and toast this perfect date
The night is meant for you to share
Enjoy each other – a perfect pair!

F i r s t F i g h t
When fights occur and tempers get hot
Pour a glass and be thankful for what you’ve got
If you always agreed it would certainly be a bore
And by asking for Betty’s hand Mike is surely in for more!

F i r s t A n n i v e r s a r y
Been married a year, where did the time go?
No longer newlyweds, now you are pros
Hope the days found you in good health and good spirit Keep saying I love you – one always needs to 
hear it! Now toast this first date, it’s certainly not the last
And as you build your future don’t ever forget the past!

F i r s t D i n n e r P a r t y
Open your home to entertain and eat
Catch up with old friends and new ones to meet When the night is over share this bottle of wine But 
don’t sit down yet – it’s clean up time!!

C h r i s t m a s E v e
A wise man said wine is better than beer
And now is the season for lots of holiday cheer
So pop the cork and relax a bit, and when the night is through, Kiss goodnight, close your eyes and 
Santa will be good to you!

I was psyched when I found out that our friends weren't leaving for their honeymoon until Monday, and that they wanted to go out Sunday afternoon for drinks and then dinner. With all the wedding fun going on, we didn't really get a chance to spend too much time with them, so this was awesome! The plan was to grab a few beers at the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium. This place rocked! There were 14 Flying Saucer locations around the country between Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kansas and North and South Carolina. They have A LOT of taps - over forty of them! We managed to try 4 different brews - and since it was Texas Pints Sunday, we thought it was a great excuse to try a few local beers! We went with (512) Brewing Company IPA and Deep Ellum Brewing Co. IPA. After that we switched to Oskar Blues Mama's Lil Yella Pils and Sierra Nevada Torpedo. If you're in a town where there is a Flying Saucer, and you're craving a good ol' craft brew, Flying Saucer is the place to go!

On Monday, we went to grab an early lunch at Ketchup Burger Bar, located in a great neighborhood in Downtown Dallas. We split the Brie Burger - topped with Brie (obviously!), baby spinach, tomato and house made apple butter Dijon - and the Turkey Burger - topped with white cheddar, jalapeno-corn salsa, arugula and spiced aioli. We also went with the Fry Trio - sweet potato fries, white truffle Parmesan fries and garlic chive fries. Of course they had all sorts of fun ketchups too. We were partial to the Green Tomato Ketchup and the Chipotle Ketchup. The House Ketchup and the Spicy Ketchup were pretty much right up there with the other two as well! My mouth is watering just thinking about that lunch. It makes my yogurt I'm having for lunch seem pretty darn pitiful! 

Once we finished up lunch, we took in a few touristy sites around Dallas, including The Sixth Floor (even on my second trip to this museum, I would go back again and again - it's just amazing). By dinner time, we decided it was time to grab a beer! We went to The Foundry, one of Bill's suggestions, and it was, by far, one of the coolest places we've ever been too! We pulled up, and thought, oh yeah, this place is going to be interesting. It looks like an old run down trailer-like building. When you walk through the door into this awesome. chill courtyard, with a stage and seating sections built out of reclaimed pallets, you just know you're in for a good time. 

The Foundry shares this space with Chicken Scratch, where their way of life is 'slow food fast.' The Foundry doesn't serve food, and Chicken Scratch doesn't serve beer, so you just order from one and go to the other, or sit outside in the awesome courtyard area! Sounds good to us! 

The Foundry + Chicken Scratch, Dallas
We had one of the best beers ever at The Foundry, Peticolas Brewing Company, Velvet Hammer, brewed right in Dallas. This Imperial Red Ale is like no other that we've ever tasted. It was just awesome. Velvet Hammer had caramel and brown sugar notes, yet with a great hop balance. We were both just sort of stunned when we took that first taste, so much that I pretty much called the bartender a genius for suggesting it! Before leaving, we wanted to get a bite to eat, so we went with a small side of the Green Chile Mac & Cheese (heaven on a fork!) and  the Quinoa Salad with the suggested rotisserie chicken on top. I had no idea a salad could be so good, but oh it was! We had one more beer before we left, Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale. It was another great Texan beer, this one from Conroe. It was awesome to see (and taste!) so many fantastic breweries from Texas heavily represented at so many local places!

After leaving The Foundry, we decided to stop by one more ridiculously awesome looking place I had read about, the Meddlesome Moth. I seriously didn't think we could find a place to even come close to being as cool as The Foundry and Chicken Scratch, but some how we did. 

As laid back, chill and just relaxing as The Foundry and Chicken Scratch was, Meddlesome Moth is situated in a trendy neighborhood and is pretty much as opposite as you can get to TF +CS. But they share two great things in common - an amazing craft beer selection, and totally creative, unique, mouth-watering menus!

The Meddlesome Moth, Dallas
The Meddlesome Moth was packed for a Monday night! We were lucky enough to find two spots at the bar, then just had to decide what we were going to try from their 34 taps! We went with Breckenridge Brewing 417 IPA, a small batch, limited edition Double IPA created by the Breckenridge Brewmaster. This was a great brew, with a little bit of a sweet taste to it, but with some serious hoppiness going on (which to me equals happiness!) We also had the Green Flash Brewing Company West Coast IPA, and noticed that they had Dogfish Head Festina Peche and Victory Golden Monkey on tap (which was also on tap at The Foundry!) In bottles they offered Dogfish Head 90 Minute, Indian Brown Ale, Raison D'Etre and Midas Touch. Very cool to see such a good number of our local beers on the menu all the way in Dallas!

Breckenridge Brewing 417 IPA
Admittedly, we were doing some pretty bad eating on this trip (which equated to us working out as much as we could), but what we ate at the Moth was pretty much the epitome of that! Since we ate a little at The Foundry, we thought we'd just split an appetizer and call it a day. As we flipped through the menu, we noticed that they suggested what style of beer would pair with several items on the menu. That's always a pretty cool thing to see. Anyway, back to the food. They had a Roasted Summer Beet Salad that sounded awesome. Mussels that sounded just as great. They had things as simple and delicious sounding as Prosciutto and Peach, located on their Shared Plates section of the menu. Then we got to the section on the menu titled 'Stick Meats.' Uh oh, this is where it all went seriously downhill, especially when we read these three words: Nueske's Bacon Lollipops. Served with mini funnel cakes and a maple hollandaise no less. 
Nueske's Bacon Lollipops. O.M.G.

And yes, we ordered them. And yes, they were as ridiculous and salivating as they sound! As you can imagine, we felt like we had to work out for 6 hours Tuesday morning. But oh how it was worth it! 

After checking out hotel #2, the NYLO Las Colinas, on Tuesday, we figured we'd be tourist once more, and visit the Ft. Worth Stockyards.

Having dinner at Tim Love's The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro was on the top of our list of things we were hoping to do while in Dallas, but we just never had a chance with all the other great things we were doing. I'm pretty sure we would both agree, one of the best parts about our visit to the Stockyards was that this crazy cool chef has a little counter service joint called Love Shack. When we finally came upon it, I, of course, break into the B-52's song, not only because it seemed appropriate, but because I was giddy that we were still going to be able to sample some of Chef Love's goodies for lunch! We split the Heated Dog - one of the best hot dogs we've ever had – topped with Lonesome Dove Pork Green Chili, cheddar cheese and onions – and the chile parmesan chips, washing it all down with fresh, homemade root beer! Man, was this place worth the stop! It’s totally rustic, casual, and well, awesome.

We hung around the Stockyards for a few hours, and then made our way to our final stop before heading back to the airport, The Gingerman. The first Gingerman opened in Dallas in 1992, followed by the Ft. Worth location in 1994, and yes, then the awesome NYC location in Murray Hill, in 1996 (a must stop the next time you're in NYC!) The Gingerman Ft. Worth has over FIFTY taps! It's crazy! 

I think Eric was missing his East Coast brews, as he ordered Victory Summer Love without hesitation! I went with a beer I love to get when I can, North Coast Brewing Company Acme IPA. They also had a Rahr & Sons Brewing Company beer on tap that I was dying for one of us to get - Pecker Wrecker - I mean, the name alone completely cracked me up! This Imperial Pilsner Lager is brewed right in Forth Worth, and was as awesome as it's name! My second brew was a little different than the normal style I prefer. I went with the (512) Brewing Company Pecan Porter, and man, was it good! 

If you ever have a chance to make it to Dallas, you have to stop by these places, and check out the great breweries in the area as well! When we travel, we love trying to include as many craft beer bars and breweries as we can. The more we do, the more we notice how much craft beer is becoming a staple in so many big (and not so big) cities! The industry is growing by leaps and bounds and we love it.