“William Jenkins Worth Bock just doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely.”
Back before the Wild Acre Brewery opened its doors to the public in June 2016, founder John Pritchett justified the naming of Billy Jenkins Session Bock with an obvious point. Fort Worth’s namesake sounds exactly like what he was: a decorated hero in the United States Army during the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War.
Perhaps nobody referred to the Colonel as “Billy” back in his heyday, but the history of nicknames is inconsequential to the growth in noteriety of his contributions to our country, and specifically, to Fort Worth.
For that very reason, Billy Jenkins Session Bock is responsible for a resurgence among citizens of Cowtown in acknowledging that the history of this city is connected to more than just the proliferation of the cattle market.
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Shortly after declaring that a series of forts should be built to define the western United States front, Worth died before seeing the plan to fruition. His decree was followed, and Fort Worth was built and eventually grew to be the 16th-largest city in the country.
From its inception, Wild Acre built its brand around embracing Texas culture, and as such, one of its flagships had to be named after Worth. It’s not quite as robust as traditional German bocks of higher alcohol strength, and not weak enough to be confused with the Texas staple Shiner Bock; the brewery wanted to make a beer that Texans would recognize and love without seeming derivative.
Billy Jenkins is easy drinking, but it’s no pushover. With enough malt to give it body but not enough to weigh it down, it’s well balanced, flavorful and refreshing. Slightly sweet, but not enough to keep from finishing cleanly, Billy Jenkins is a refreshing, straightforward lager than asks to be enjoyed several at a time.
The brewery will host a birthday party for Worth on March 1 from 5 to 9 p.m., with plans to make the event an annual affair. For $15, visitors will receive a commemorative Billy Jenkins Mason jar, as well as an opportunity to try an imperial version of Billy Jenkins called “Billy’s Birthday Doppelbock.” Brewery visitors Friday and Saturday will have the chance at the glass and the beer also.
Worth wasn’t born in Texas, but he did die here. Thankfully, Wild Acre is making efforts to ensure that his memory doesn’t stay dead.
Braindead for two years: Much-heralded Dallas brewpub Braindead Brewing is celebrating its anniversary March 5 at the brewpub in Deep Ellum. Featuring special food items, beer and a dunk tank, this should be a good time, if other Braindead soiress are any indication. Entry is free; pay as you go.
Bell’s arrives: With the arrival of largely distributed, big-name breweries like Founders and Firestone Walker a few years back, it seemed inevitable that well-known Bell’s Brewery from Michigan would start distributing to Texas someday. That day has finally come, and Bell’s beers have started pouring in. Look for its iconic Two Hearted Ale, as well as other classics, over the next few weeks.