Beer to Go and Labor of Love 

September 1st was a celebration all over Texas. We celebrated with poppin’ tops and getting growlers filled to the top.  OMG! We partied and people lined up at their favorite brewery to get beer.  The reason why we celebrated was due to signing a bill into law that would allow small brewpubs and breweries alike to manufacture and sell beer to go up to one case per customer a day. The Texas House got it right for once.  YAY! 
A lot of people didn’t understand why we were so excited, but previously breweries couldn’t sell beer to-go in cans, growlers, etc. The smaller craft beer distributers were feeling the sting in comparison to the big industry giants having fair game at the market.   Texas was the only state that had this law on the books. That’s what I love about going to another state.  When I find that a wonderful beer I can at least bring a tallboy home to share with my friends.  We always have bottle shares and had to sadly explain that we can only drink in the tap room because beer to-go wasn’t an option.  Now, we are no longer under that ruling and appreciated Texas Craft Brewers Guild and the Beer Alliance of Texas for all the hard work in lobbying.  They gained over 15,000 endorsements that proclaimed, “Yes, we want beer to-go and we want it NOW!”  So, if you saw your timeline going crazy last weekend don’t mind us; it’s a Texas thing.
On that same triumphant day we went to Labor of Love Homebrew festival hosted by Deep Ellum Brewery. Labor of Love is a tasting and competition for those home brewers to show their skills.  There were some I’m very accustomed to, some I’ve heard of and intrigued to try and some I’ve never heard of before in my life. The cost to enter was $10.00 and unlimited pours until sold out is a steal.   
 So, with a steady liver and faux locs atop my head I was ready to go forth and conquer.   It’s was an extremely hot day so I was elated that the event started at 5:00pm.  The first thing I came upon was a “Welcome” beer from Deep Ellum.  They had a nice ice cold tub of three beers to choose to allow you to cool off and set your strategy of this open field.   I’ll share with you my favorite picks of the day.  I started off with 2nd Hand Beers.  They had a version of Michelada called Le Reina (The Queen) 5.25% abv. I absolutely loved it.  I’m a Bloody Mary fan for any version you give me. I could have even had a little more heat to it.   Our own North Texas Ambassador, Jerry with NTX Beer, did a collaboration called Refresca-Te’ (Refresh Yourself).  
It’s a matcha tea blonde at 5.12% abv.  It’s great by itself or a beer cocktail would work nicely with this brew.  Next was Strange Bruwith their Dunkel Weizen.  If chocolate and banana danced; this would be their beer two-step.  Very even and drinkable, smooth with light chocolate on the nose.  The banana is subtle and only 5.00 % abv.  
Smittox Brewing Co. always comes to shut things down and this was no exception. Every beer he had was amazing.  We all know about the Short Order Porter but what had the line backup was Nibs and Butter Milk Stout 6.4% abv.  It will have you dreaming about a peanut butter cup when you inhale your glass.  We were cautioned to try it with a couple of pretzels.  It truly opens up the flavor of the beer.  Smittoxcares and knows what he’s putting you through because you just want more.  We wanted more, and hence that’s why the line just continued to grow.  By my next trip, I got smart and finished my 2nd helping of Nibs and Bitter to try Feeling Good/Feeling Great.  It’s aptly named after themovie, Trading Places.
It’s a kettle sour with watermelon, blackberry and yuzu 5.3% abv.  Absolutely delicious. These sold out quickly.  I know I helped.  
The highlight of my evening was Driveway Brewing.  They’re offering was a Peaches ‘n Cream so full of peach aroma before I even get it close to my nose.  It was lovely at 5.5% abv.  It was light and easy drinking.  The Rico Radlerwas the game changer at 4.00% abv!  It gave honor to Jarritos drink with hints of grapefruit, slightly floral and crushable.  This beer hit me in the best way because I didn’t really know what to expect.  I wanted to know where could get it, because I needed pronto.  Can I celebrate Beer to-go with Driveway Brewing putting a case of this in my backseat?!  Also, it was only for the competition, and maybe if we catch them at another event we could get more.  Yes, we totally closed his shop down by drinking Rico Radler or telling every person that would listen to stop and make their way to Driveway’s tent. 
This was an awesome event to start Labor Day weekend.  If you missed out remember it’s the same time next year.  If you don’t have anything to do this weekend, check out Dallas Observers’ Brew Fest.  It starts at 7pm and this is when the brewers get to come out and play.  If you have a favorite beer you’ll be able to talk to the person or group of folks that helped to create it.  Ask them questions or just thank them for all their hard work.  
Until next time Happy Beer Hunting!


  1. I am a friend of this brewer(Driveway). I remember you and the lovely ladies with you. All of you were the highlight of our evening. We talked about how awesome Driveway’s rattler was! Thanks for being so nice and upbeat on such a HOT day!
    Jake D.

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