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Meddlesome Moth Hosts April Ale Week, Showcases Texas Breweries

By Matt Goodman, CBSDFW.com
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screen shot 2012 04 15 at 7 18 45 pm Meddlesome Moth Hosts April Ale Week, Showcases Texas Breweries

Meddlesome Moth's managing partner Keith Schlabs. (Courtesy: mothinthe.net)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Last year, when the Meddlesome Moth set about celebrating its first birthday, it may have been a bit overly ambitious.

A week of special tappings and carefully selected beer and food pairings led up to a “complete tap takeover” on the second Saturday in April. As managing partner Keith Schlabs put it, “it was a little bit too much to handle.”

“We did a 40-beer cellar release of things we had been saving all year for this thing; it was some of the biggest, boldest beers,” Schlabs told me last week. “It was a tremendous undertaking and that caused a little bit of unrest with the staff because they had to learn all these different beers.”

There were no total tap takeovers during April Ale Week this year –– it was a smaller affair with a different purpose: Support Texas breweries, especially a pair of newcomers that now exist mere miles from where the Moth carefully pours its brews.

“We thought this would be a fun tribute to Texas breweries because we’re a Texas company, we’re right here locally, to tap a new Texas beer every day of the week including Sunday to celebrate our birthday,” Schlabs said.

So they did.

From newly minted Dallasites Peticolas Brewing Company and the Deep Ellum Brewing Company to the Houston veteran Saint Arnold Brewing, the Meddlesome Moth did its due diligence to bring representation from the state’s newest and finest.

The Design District gastropub brought Houston brewery Karbach –– whose brewmaster, Eric Warner, previously served that post at the highly-regarded Flying Dog Brewery in Denver –– to North Texas for the first time, Schlabs said.

On Thursday, Deep Ellum Brewing’s so-called Sales and Brand Ninja Tait Lifto strolled into the Moth for the cask tapping of the nascent brewery’s cask-conditioned, oak-aged, dry-hopped IPA –– a mouthful in more than one way –– along with its sold out Darkest Hour Imperial Stout, which the Moth patiently saved for this event.

“Is that your cask? How’s it taste?,” Schlabs asked, his inflection brimming with curiosity.

“It’s really good, it was our first wood-aged, so I was really excited to try it,” Lifto responded, clutching his cask ale.

And it was really good –– a bold, hoppy IPA with a smoky yet sweet finish from the apple wood chips it was brewed with. The Moth’s event gave the brewery a place to sell it and the customer a chance to try out a new, one-off beer.

To further the community-minded craft beer motif, on Monday, Peticolas –– located almost exactly one mile from the Moth –– debuted its English Pale Ale. Typically a slow night, Schlabs said the Monday debut had a “pretty strong” reception.

“We’re getting the most excitement on the local guys,” Schlabs said. “I think Dallas is finally just happy to have good breweries to brew solid beers that we can stand behind.”

But April Ale Week did end up leading into a beer-centered large event, it just wasn’t held at the Moth.

Enter the first-ever Big Texas Beer Fest at Fair Park, organized by Chad and Nellie Montgomery who happen to be friends with the Moth. It’s an event that Schlabs feels the area wants and needs; he said he hopes he can do his part to ensure it’ll continue.

“We did it this week so we could showcase Texas brewers leading up to Big Texas, to give them a little support,” Schlabs said. “I really hope that works because that creates a community through craft beer.”

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