Legal Draft Beer Company Out Of Arlington Provides A Strong Opening Statement With Its Accused.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on Legal Draft Beer Company’s Accused Amber Lager.

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Fast Facts on Legal Draft Beer Company Accused Amber Lager.
Style:Vienna Lager.
ABV: 5.5 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): Not available.
Color: Light Copper.
Availability: Cans.

Overview.
Cans from Legal Draft Beer Company have popped on to the shelves at my big box liquor store in Dallas, and I feel giddy seeing another fresh start from a new DFW brewery on the scene!

So, let’s talk about the origins of this new operation out of Arlington. As with a lot of microbreweries in the U.S., this brewery started with a couple of friends hanging out, drinking beer and dreaming about going pro. Fast forward several years, the dream was still intact and the same couple-a dudes opened a brewery. I mean, I guess? At least that’s what I can find on its website. Anyway, Legal Draft has started its practice with five legal-themed beers in its initial proceedings, which, while impressive, is almost expected these days. It also seems that Legal Draft is on its distributor game early, noted by its appearance in Austin a few weeks ago. One more fun thing I see about Legal Draft is that it has wholly embraced the legal theme through and through. In my mind, the legal profession is a noble one, but it is tainted by a few sleazeballs and otherwise boring, litigious boneheads. Love it or hate it, Legal Draft has some pretty kickass legalese in its branding and marketing materials; I voir dare you to find a more buttoned-up brewery theme in DFW.

OK, so let’s get on to providing the opinion on Accused. ontap2Background on Vienna Lager.
Vienna Lager is a bottom-fermented lager style that’s easy to drink — an everyday sort of beer. While the macro industry has bastardized this style (I’m looking at you, Mexican macro-lagers!) with sub-par ingredients like adjuncts, Vienna Lager is intended to be highlighted by its base malt — aptly named Vienna Malt — rather than an overload of specialty grains or adjuncts that get in the way. The flavor should be crisp, bready and complex from a malt perspective, but shouldn’t head over in to the roasty area. Most European versions of this style may be on the sweeter side, while American versions can sometimes be drier and a tad more hoppy. By the book, though, hops should be just barely noticeable, only enough to balance the malt base and nothing more.

Appearance.
Accused pours a light copper color. Without a shadow of a doubt, this beer is brilliantly clear. And to loosely cite the style guidelines, this beer certainly should be clear. The head remains for a while, but doesn’t seem to outlast its normal statute of limitations, which is appropriate for this sort of style.ontap4Aroma.
The aroma profile is exhibited first and foremost by toast and bready notes. It smells like it will finish clean and crisp, without much sweetness. Any hop aroma is almost nonexistent, but the hop flavor becomes more evident through further examination.

Flavor.
Let’s walk through the brief in the flavor department of the Accused. This Vienna Lager has major malty notes that shine through on the sip. I do notice more pronounced bitterness in the flavor compared to the aroma, although the bitterness is here to help balance the rich malt character. The flavor of Accused is the de facto highlight of the sensory experience; the malt is here, but it finishes clean and there is very little sugar to get in the way. The lager character provides some witness, and its clean and crisp character doesn’t head over into sulfur-town. ontap5Mouthfeel.
This is a medium-bodied beer. For its 5.5 percent ABV, it is very nicely malty and round. The carbonation remains in this beer and provides a final bite on the tongue post-swallow. I don’t get any residual sweetness after the swallow, and I feel tempted to take another sip.

Overall Impression.
Let the record show that I am a fan of this beer. It’s not going to be one of DFW’s top beers, no. But it is certainly delicious for what it is. And, hey, don’t cast blame on me! Craft site ratings users just don’t rave that much about the Vienna Lager style, either. So don’t go seeking evidence to further support the claim that this is just a so-so beer. Because that’s simply not the case. Accused is malty, crisp, clean and, for me, it hits all the notes on what a Vienna Lager is supposed to be. I do not detect any off flavors or weirdness on the beer, and I am impressed with my first experience with Legal Draft. It is nice, after all, to welcome another Vienna Lager style beer on to the DFW craft scene.

Score.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Legal Draft Beer Company Accused a 7.5.
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What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Sunday, September 4. Labor of Love Homebrew Competition at Deep Ellum Brewing Co.
• Saturday, September 10. Brewfest at Dallas Farmers Market.
• Thursday, September 15-18. Addison Oktoberfest at Addison Circle Park.
• Saturday, September 17. Barks, Brews & BBQ at Intrinsic Smokehouse and Brewery.
• Thursday, September 22-24. Oktoberfest Fort Worth at Panther Island Pavilion.
• Saturday, October 1. Texas Beer Camp at Long Road Farm.
• Saturday, October 1. Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest 5K Run/Walk.
• Saturday, October 8. BeerFeast at Flying Saucer Fort Worth.
• Saturday, November 12. Untapped: Dallas at Fair Park.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
Revolver’s Sangre y Miel: 10.
Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
Community’s Legion: 10.
BrainDead’s Fill in the Blancs: 9.5.
Oak Highlands’ Freaky Deaky: 9.5.
Deep Ellum’s Barrel Aged Four Swords: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Lost Epic: 9.5.
Community’s Ascension Porter: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Temptress: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Goatman: 9.5.
Community’s Public Ale: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
On Rotation’s Jalapeno Saison: 9.
Woodcreek’s Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
Lakewood’s Wild Manimal: 9.
Revolver’s Blood & Honey: 9.
Martin House’s Imperial Texan: 9.
Community’s Trinity Tripel: 9.
Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye: 9.
Four Corners’ Block Party Porter: 9.
Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
Texas Ale Project’s Payne Pils: 8.
Noble Rey’s Bridesmaid’s Tears: 8.
Collective Brewing’s Urban Funk House: 8.
Lakewood’s On Call: 8.
Oak Highlands’ Golden Mustache: 8.
903 Brewers’ Crackin’ Up: 8.
Deep Ellum’s Play Date: 8.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s 11th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Belgian Tripel: 8.
Noble Rey’s SteamPunk: 8.
903 Brewers’ Citra On Top: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Hissy Fit: 8.
BrainDead’s Gritz: 8.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
Cedar Creek’s Fisticuffs: 8.
Lakewood’s Punkel: 8.
Four Corners’ El Chingon IPA: 8.
Martin House’s Day Break: 8.
Deep Ellum’s GOURDzilla: 8.
Peticolas’ The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
Deep Ellum’s Pale Ale: 8.
Revolver’s Bock: 8.
903 Brewers’ Sasquatch: 8.
Peticolas’ Wintervention: 8.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Brunch Money: 8.
Martin House’s Salsa Verde: 8.
Cedar Creek’s Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
Lakewood’s Holiday Bonus: 8.
Lakewood’s Hop Trapp: 8.
Grapevine’s Reserve Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse: 7.5.
Martin House’s Stars Above: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Prickly Pear Wheat Ale: 7.5.
Bitter Sisters’ Knock Out: 7.5.
Four Corners’ Notorious O.A.T.: 7.5.
Noble Rey Golden Rey With Raspberries and Ginger: 7.5.
On Rotation Saved By The Belma: 7.5.
True Vine’s Unicorn’s Revenge: 7.5.
Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker: 7.5.
Four Corners’ El Super Bee: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Hopochondria: 7.5.
Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
Martin House’s Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Antigoon’s Revenge: 7.5.
Community’s Texas Pils: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Zomer Pils: 7.5.
Cedar Creek’s Dankosaurus: 7.5.
Oak Highlands Brewery’s Oktoberfest.: 7.25.
Backcountry’s Double IPA: 7.
Rahr’s Visionary: 7.
Shannon Brewing’s Irish Cream Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Guava Good: 7.
TUPPS Brewery’ Northbound 75: 7.
Rahr & Sons’ Iron Joe: 7.
BrainDead’s I Like Harvey IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Turtle Power: 7.
Collective’s Petite Golden Sour: 7.
Shannon’s Chocolate Stout: 7.
BrainDead’s Red Ale: 7.
Community’s Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
Bearded Eel’s Purple Unicorn: 7.
Noble Rey’s Off The Leash: 7.
Shannon Brewing Company’s Irish Red: 7.
Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady: 7.
Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
Lakewood’s Till & Toil: 7.
903 Brewers’ The Chosen One: 7.
903 Brewers’ Sugar On Top: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway XPA: 7.
Armadillo Ale Work’s Quakertown Stout: 7.
Revolver’s High Brass: 7.
Community’s Pale Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Chump Change: 7.
Martin House’s River House: 7.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s Brown Ale: 7.
Community’s Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
Audacity’s Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
Martin House’s The Juice: 6.5.
Collective Brewing Project’s Mom Azacca: 6.5.
Four Corners’ La Lechuza: 6.5.
Revolver’s Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
903 Brewers’ Trot Line: 6.5.
Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
Wild Acre’s Tarantula Hawk: 6.
Martin House’s Kafkaesque: 6.
TUPPS’ Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Tweedleyum: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Off With Your Red: 6.
Cedar Creek’s Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Lakefire: 6
Armadillo Ale Works’ WunderMelon: 6
Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
Lakewood’s Troll Toll: 5.5.
Martin House’s Hell Below: 5.5.
Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
Martin House’s Mind On My Money: 5.
903 Brewers’ The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
Franconia Wheat: 3.
Miller Lite: 1.

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