Scenes From The Big Texas Beer Festival.
It didn't take long for the estimated 5,000 attendees of the second annual Big Texas Beer Festival to find their way to Fair Parks' Automobile Building for the event's brew-filled festivities on Saturday. With a promise of 400 of the best craft beers that Texas and the rest of the country had to offer, this crowd was ready to drink — and early, at that.
Once inside the building, the crowds wasted no time in doing so. They had plenty of options, too: Hundreds of makeshift booths lined the center of the spacious room, each offering a variety of brews to satisfy any and all tastes. And with deep, rich stouts infused with chocolate or cherry flavors, enticing lagers drizzled with hints of citrus and berries, and good old-fashioned pale ales complemented with rich hints of wheat and malted barley, no one was left wanting here.
Holding festival-distributed cups cups and $2 stamp cards promising 12 samples, attendees drank their fill — and local, for the most part. Crowds mostly shifted between Dallas' own Community Beer Company and Deep Ellum Brewing all afternoon long, with Oregon's Deschutes Brewery also drawing big numbers with their giant mobile beer barrel.
Interestingly, considering that over 5,000 beer aficionados were in attendance (some of whom deiced to wear homemade pretzel necklaces for an impromptu palate cleanser), the building never felt as though it was too crowded. Most people lined up for their first few samples, then ventured outside where live and local musical performers entertained crowds and food trucks filled their bellies.
It was a good time: The entire event seemed like more of a celebration over the mutual love and shared respect for craft beers than an unlimited beer-drinking extravaganza, which organizers made clear to stress wasn't this event's aim.
Still, throughout the afternoon, strangers became friends, high fives were never refused and a strong sense of camaraderie blanketed the crowd. And, of course, there was the occasional drink-spiller, speech-slurrer and cup-dropper to deal with. More often than not, however, those incidents just drew laughs.
Really, this event went down every bit as smoothly as the delicious ales on tap.