Fort Worth’s Martin House celebrates its fourth anniversary Saturday, and it has a good reason to party.
It’s hard to do something unique with beer these days. With new breweries multiplying at a staggering pace, the competition to differentiate continues to get stiffer.
For certain craft brewers, the desire to experiment can help bridge that gap. A healthy imagination and the latitude to branch out can spell success as long as the product is high quality and the business and marketing are sound.
Martin House has certainly gone this route and has continued to push boundaries like few other local breweries have. While some are content with producing a diverse assortment of beers and releasing them as draft only, Martin House clearly has no issue putting them in cans and distributing them for all to enjoy.
Label approvals and printing of shrink-wrap labels for each release can get expensive, and that’s a prime reason why so few breweries take the approach Martin House has.
All this variety might seem a little unfocused for some breweries, but for Martin House, it fits. Sure, its staple beers such as Imperial Texan and Day Break are still king in the Martin House portfolio, but the experimental products have really taken front and center in the last year. Frankly, it’s impressive how many are available in cans.
Mind on My Money, Counterclockwise Swirl, Salsa Verde, Sugar & Spice, Turtle Power — the list goes on. Walk into a more ambitiously stocked beer store and you’ll see nearly a dozen different canned Martin House brews available at any given time.
Luckily, quality hasn’t slipped. It’s easy to get overly ambitious and focus on quantity and lose sight of the product, but Martin House seems to have nailed both.
Saturday’s party runs noon-5 p.m. and it will feature a wide selection of regular and seasonal releases, as well as quite a few variants of several of them. With multiple versions of Queen of the Mist and Salty Lady sounding most intriguing, the event promises something new for even the most seasoned Martin House acolyte.
Knowing Martin House, you might find some of these unique offshoots in cans soon.
Tickets allowing for entry at 1 p.m. are $20 and available at the door. VIP tickets allow for entry an hour earlier, but they are sold out. 220 S. Sylvania Ave., Fort Worth. 817 222-0177; martinhousebrewing.com
Bluebonnet Brew-off: The 31st Annual Bluebonnet Brew-off returns at the Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel, March 24 and 25. As the largest single-site homebrew competition in the United States, the multiday event features tasting sessions, keynote speakers, panel discussions and a pub crawl. Tickets are $40-$50. http://bbbrewoff.com/bluebonnetbrewoff/
Big Texas Beer Fest: The annual Big Texas Beer Fest returns for its sixth year at Fair Park in Dallas. Last year’s fest featured 120 breweries and more than 500 beers, and this year it’s expected to draw about the same. The two-day festival features sessions that run 6-11 p.m. March 31 and 1-6:30 p.m. April 1. Tickets are $35-$60. www.bigtexasbeerfest.com
Burgers, Brews + Blues: In conjunction with the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival, Burgers, Brews + Blues returns with 13 chefs grilling special burger creations and beers from 22 breweries to try with them. Tickets are $70; VIP tickets are sold out. fortworthfoodandwinefestival.com/events/burgers-brews-blues