Get To Know Lakewood Brewing Co. Before Its One-Year Anniversary Next Month,
Lakewood Brewing Co. may already be thought of as one of the veterans of Dallas' still-quite-young craft brew scene, but here's a little perspective: The brewery is still yet to officially turn a year old.
That won't happen until August 4, when the brewery once again takes over Good Friend Beer Garden & Burger House for its first anniversary party. That East Dallas gastropub, you may remember, was the site of Lakewood Brewing's launch last year, wherein the company debuted their now popular Rock Ryder and Hop Trapp brews. That nighttime party ended being one of Goodfriend's busiest nights ever.
But this next time Lakewood commandeers Goodfriend's taps, Lakewood founder Wim Bens expects the event to be an even bigger affair, with the brewery tapping a series of special one-off beers all day long.
Before that big day, though, let's all take a minute to really get to know Lakewood Brewing Co.
Despite its name, Lakewood Brewing Co. is actually located in the City of Garland. The name actually comes from the brewery's humble beginnings in Bens' garage at his Lakewood residence.
“We were home brewers for about five years,” Bens says. “We entered a lot of competitions, we did really well at competitions, [and we] won on a national level.”
Those days aren't completely behind him — in a manner of speaking, anyway. Bens still keeps his old home brew setup around at the brewery and uses it when creating pilot batches of new brews.
Pour One Out.
Lakewood's growing roster of brews includes four year-round beers, four seasonals, and a series of special, single batch beers called “The Legendary Series.” The four year-round beers include the Hop Trapp, a Belgian-style IPA that, despite its name, is pretty sessionable; Rock Ryder, an American rye wheat beer named in honor of White Rock Lake cyclists; Lakewood Lager, a Vienna-style lager; and The Temptress, a dense, chocolaty, full-bodied Imperial Milk Stout that boasts a surprising 9.1 alcohol by volume percentage.
“Our beers are deceptively easy-drinking, even with the amount of alcohol that's in them,” Bens says.
So far, the brewery has released two beers in its Legendary Series, which is inspired by Dallas and/or Belgian legends. The first was Brabo's Cut, a Belgian-Style Dark Ale inspired by the Belgian tale of Brabo, who slew the sailor-terrorizing giant Antigone in Antwerp. And, released last month, their La Dame du Lac, a French-style Biere de Garde derives its name from the legend of the lady of White Rock Lake.
It's a Flemish Thing.
You'll often see the word “Schol!” printed on the brewery's packaging and marketing materials. Bens, who was born in Belgium and lived there until her turned 6 years old, thought the Flemish word for “Cheers!” was an apt nod to his heritage and Lakewood's largely Belgian-inspired brews. For instance, Hop Trapp, which Bens likes to call “the thinking man's IPA,” is brewed with coriander, a spice commonly found in Belgian witbiers.
A Taste Is Worth a Thousand Words.
You'll never taste a fresher glass of Rock Ryder or Hop Trapp than at one of Lakewood's weekly Saturday tours, which run from noon to 3 p.m. Even better? You never know when they'll have special, one-off, tour-only beers, like last week's cask of Till and Toil aged in barrels of Syrah.
“Beer tastes better closer to the brewery,” Bens says.
Lucky for everyone involved, then, that Goodfriend is pretty close to Garland.