I’m sure you’ve seen Texas Red in your local grocery store. You can even find them on tap at The Ginger Man and The Flying Saucer, but the real treat is going to the brewery in a small industrial area of Fort Worth for a lot of beer and a little history!
All that I heard about this place was that admission is $10, you get three beers in a nice take-home glass, there is no A/C, and the line for the bathroom can get pretty long. So plan on finishing your pint in line! I’ll be honest, I was pretty nervous about the no A/C and bathroom situation, but three beers for $10…that’s not something I’m going to pass up.
When you arrive you can pay with card or cash and you get a wrist band with three Rahr & Son’s logos on it. After each beer they mark off your logo to keep track of how many beers you’ve had. You’ll walk behind a few stacked-up barrels. (Wait does this place have whiskey? No, but they do have a barrel aged ale) You’ll pick up your glass and then you see the bar with more than 15 taps of delicious hoppy goodness. That’s ideally the best place to get your first beer. There’s a large seating area and huge ceiling fans to cool you off. You can play bean bag toss with your friends or listen to the guy on the stage playing cover music.
As you walk in a little further, you see the large metal fermenting machines and the labeling and packaging line. And my goodness, there’s another bar. There are garage-like doors that open to the outside where the line was forming at the Central Market Food Truck. As you walk down the steps, there’s a third bar, a great place to grab your second beer. Much to my surprise there was a line of port-a-potties. It seems the bathroom situation wouldn’t be much of a problem on this trip. Thankfully, the seating area outside is filled with wood picnic benches. I did see quite a few people with their portable lawn chairs.
After sitting outside for a while, I decided to spend some time by the fan and grab my third beer at the first bar you see when you walk in. I asked to try the Ugly Pug. Not only did it have a cute label, but I heard that it was a dark beer with a light touch. This intrigued me since the other people at the event looked to be drinking black beer. The beertender let me try a sip. I was not 100% about it, so she added a little bit of their Blonde Ale to the Ugly Pug. Ladies and gentleman, what she created was perfection. It had the chocolate earthy flavor of the Ugly Pug, it wasn’t too heavy on the stomach and had a crisp taste to it. Sadly, this was my last beer of the tour, and she drew a little frownie face to mark off my last logo.
Around 2:30 p.m., one of the brewers starts the “tour with history.” The brewer only has one rule: when he drinks, you must drink. (Last call is at 2:30 p.m., so it’s best to get your third beer before the tour.) I don’t want to spoil it for you, but you learn all about Fritz Rahr getting permission from his wife to open up a brewery AND how the business grew from 2,000 to more than 20,000 barrels in just over nine years. The Super Bowl Ice Storm of 2010 gets a mention as well. Our brewer did say there will be a massive celebration of their ten years on Saturday, November 8, 2014.
Overall, I learned more about beer, have a new appreciation for the Rahr & Sons brews and most of all, found my new go-to summer beer, the half Ugly Pug and half Blonde Ale. You can see more information about the Rahr & Son’s brewery tours on their website. They have tours on Wednesday nights from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.