By Kayla Roberts
Craft beer lives in its own world, it seems. With an entire dictionary of lingo to learn, a diverse list of types to choose from and — not to mention — a whole city where craft breweries abound (that is, Fort Worth), it helps to know what you’re doing when you get into the world of craft beer. Not understanding the common terms will make it impossible to identify flavors and the different types of beers. If you’re wanting to try craft beer but don’t know where to start, here is a guide to help begin your journey.
Before exposing your taste buds to the complex world of craft beer, there are a few common terms you need to know that will help you identify specific characteristics of your beer.
Body - refers to the fullness or thickness of a beer
Malty - refers to the sweet grain taste
Hoppy - refers to the bitter, sometimes fruity taste from the use of hops
Crisp - refers to the refreshing drinkability of a beer
A simple tweak of a few ingredients can give you an entirely new type of beer. Knowing specific types ensures you don’t order the wrong one for your taste.
Blondes - lighter bodied, no dominating malt or hops
IPA - bitter, lots of hops, often fruity
Stout - bold and bitter, tastes of coffee and caramel
Lager - clear, light, crisp
Amber - medium to high maltiness, more caramel flavor, less hops
Sour - tart, refreshing, fruity
Bock - medium to high maltiness, smooth
So, you want to hop right into taste tests? First, you must know where to get your beer. There are a few different ways here in Fort Worth, including tours, taprooms, brew pubs and bars.
At a tour, simply purchase a signature glass and you will usually get three to four beers to taste. Martin House, Rahr & Sons, Panther Island Brewing and Wild Acre are all known to offer tours.
Martin House Brewing Company
220 S. Sylvania Ave.
The thing to get: Salty Lady (crisp and tart)
Tours available: Thurs. 2 p.m.-8 p.m. and Sat. 2 p.m.-5 p.m.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
701 Galveston Ave.
The thing to get: Iron Thistle (dark and malty)
Tours available: Wed. 5 p.m.-7 p.m. and Sat. 1-3 p.m.
Panther Island Brewing
501 N. Main St.
The thing to get: IPFNA (bitter, in-your-face hoppy)
Tours available: Fri. 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Sat. noon-5 p.m., and Sun. 2 p.m.-7 p.m.
1743 E. El Paso St.
The thing to try: Billy Jenkins (light with malty backbone)
Tours available: Mon. 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Thurs. 5 p.m.-8 p.m., and Sat. 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
Taprooms are breweries that allow you purchase glasses of beer at their venue. A couple places to try are HopFusion and Collective Brewing Company.
HopFusion Ale Works
200 E. Broadway Ave.
The thing to try: Feisty Blonde (sweet, easy to drink)
Hours: Tues.-Thurs. 4 p.m.-11 p.m., Fri. and Sun. noon-11 p.m., and Sat. noon-12 p.m.
Collective Brewing Project
112 St. Louis Ave.
The thing to try: Petite Golden Sour (smooth, tart, delicate)
Hours: Wed.-Fri. 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m.-10 p.m., and Sun. noon-6 p.m.
Craft Brew Pub
Craft brew pubs are more like a cross between a restaurant and a taproom. While there aren’t many in Fort Worth, Chimera is one of the best known craft brew pubs in the city.
Chimera Brewing Company
1001 W. Magnolia Ave.
The thing to try: Hellfire (slightly spicy, very crisp)
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-12 a.m., and Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
It’s a special experience to enjoy a craft beer actually in the brewery itself; however, they have limited hours so knowing bars in the area is important. Some of the best local bars with the largest selection of craft beers in Fort Worth include Shipping & Receiving, The Social House, World of Beer, Lone Star Taps and Caps, and Flying Saucer.