Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Untapped festival was a sold-out success - Dallas Morning News

More than 50 breweries from around the nation, and some from right across town, were represented at Trinity Groves in West Dallas Saturday afternoon at Dallas Untapped, the first-year event formerly called Uptown Untapped that outgrew its Uptown location weeks before it even took place. The event blended indie rock and indie beer into a brew of weekend entertainment.

They’re two things that typically go hand in hand anyway -- live music and beer -- but rarely in this much quantity and quality. The best part of Untapped was the fact that the entire event was set up for exploring spectators. Sure, there were some proven favorites present, but the real charm of Untapped came in the form of finding those pleasant surprises in both bands and brew.

One of those surprises came early on in the form of the Denton group, The Birds of The Night, who joked with the crowd during their stellar set and asked if anyone knew where they could find a Zima, much to the delight of the decidedly pro-craft brew crowd. They were the first part of the musical acts that alternated sets on two stages and featured a mix of local favorites as well as some more nationally known acts like Givers.

Among the other standouts were Dallas’ own Blackstone Rangers and their own brand of power party rock. Not surprisingly, The Burning Hotels of Fort Worth flat out rocked the local crowd, too.

Though, as much fun as it was to bounce back and forth and compare bands, it was nothing compared to the fun of bouncing from booth to booth comparing beers. The best bet was to get hooked up with a specialty shot glass from Untapped and go around sampling the suds one ounce at a time.

The Deep Ellum Brewing Co. booth took the crown as the most popular destination for beer drinkers throughout the afternoon and evening, sporting a green tea IPA and their too-good-to-be-true Dallas Blonde Ale.

Lakewood Brewing Co. out of Arlington offered up a delicious IPA called Hopp Trap that was my personal favorite, but really, how could anyone choose? There was so much good beer at every turn.

Some taps were too precious a commodity to last, like the elusive 120 Minute IPA on tap from Dogfish Head, which didn’t make it past 3 p.m. before the keg floated. Sam Adams' New World Tripel didn’t make it much further.

For the most part, though, the music, the beer, the food, and the merch was all there for those willing to look. The Dallas Untapped festival was not only a realization of its own goals, but it was also a meaningful moment for West Dallas' Trinity Groves project, a new development that will have shops, art studios, and restaurants at the base of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

Hundreds of musicians, brewers, and mobile restauranteurs catered to a sold-out crowd at Untapped. That seems to be exactly what was originally envisioned for the area, and that’s exactly what was happened on Saturday.

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