The ideas behind Texas Brewvolution resonated with me from the start — small, Texas-centric, intimate. And I have to say it lived up to my expectations.

I was disappointed to hear it didn’t quite hit the attendance or donation goals, but at the same time, I enjoyed having the extra space. We arrived a few minutes after the festival began and were able to walk right inside the gates. It was a little 28 Days Later for just a moment, but we turned the corner, found the fellow beer nerds, and felt right at home.

The lack of lines at tables allowed us to travel from brewery to brewery at our leisure and led to more conversation with the brewery reps. It was nice, even if the roar of the crowd when someone dropped a tasting cup wasn’t as loud as Big Texas Beer Fest. We didn’t feel the need to throw back the last of our current beer to jump in a short line for the next. And taking a break for lunch outside at the food trucks while enjoying the live music didn’t feel like a distraction keeping me from exploring all the beers available.

Brewvolution gave me a chance to try Revolver’s limited edition anniversary beer Mullet Cutter, and a selection of rare Lakewood stock, including Red Wine barrel-aged Till & Toil, French Quarter Temptress, and Lion’s Share. I have to say the Red Wine Barrel Till & Toil is a new favorite. Peticolas had plenty of Winter Warmer to offer. FireWheel featured Cool Beans, an espresso porter, and Texas Pale Ale.

Armadillo Ale Works got creative with randalled versions of both Quakertown Stout and Greenbelt Farmhouse Ale. It was a nice twist on the usual festival fodder, and it made the experience for all their fans more unique than just offering the same beers they always love.

Deep Ellum Brewing wasn’t in attendance because they were busy with their anniversary celebration at the brewery, but, overall, the local scene was strongly represented.

Unfortunately, there weren’t enough Texas breweries to fill the exhibit hall, but I didn’t mind. It left room for some special out-of-state guests.

Prairie Artisan Ales was on hand with a few beers that have only popped up sparingly in Dallas. Prairie Standard, a hoppy farmhouse ale, is definitely interesting enough to try again, but Somewhere, their sour farmhouse, will be sought out when next it goes on a tap wall here in Dallas.

Uinta Brewing’s rep was the life of the party working their table and making sure everyone who approached got the full introduction to Texas’ newest guest from Utah. The same rep was later spotted over at the Firestone Walker table once he’d poured all of Uinta’s finest, still just as excited.

For Uinta’s part, they truly has some big beers, which were worth trying between visits with the local guys. I’ll be snapping up a few of their bottles on my next trip to the bomber store.

All in all, I think the non-Texas breweries added to Brewvolution in its first year, but I do hope they get more representation from Texas, especially all the of the up-and-coming breweries in Austin, next year.

Brewvolution may not have had as many breweries as Big Texas Beer Fest. It might not have been as big of a production as Untapped, but I have to say it was my favorite festival so far.

The room to move around and really visit with each brewer was a truly VIP experience for all involved, and I can’t wait to see it come together again next year, even if there’s likely to be a bit more of a crowd. As long as Brewvolution keeps this spirit alive, it’s a fantastic way to start North Texas Beer Week right.

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