The Texas State Fair is in full swing, which means throngs of people will be pouring into Dallas for the sights, sounds and experiences that go along with it. But, in truth, many people are coming mainly for the stomachache.
With more fried foods than you can shake a sausage-on-a-stick at, the fair has become synonymous with stuffing yourself to the gills with little regard to your health and well-being. Some say the beginning of diet-shredding begins at Halloween, but for State Fair fans, it begins a month earlier.
And while deep-fried beer was an entrant into the gluttony gallery a few years ago, it’s not the only State Fair-related fare when it comes to beer.
Community Beer Company in Dallas has been brewing Funnel Cake Ale for three years now after a fair concessionaire came up with the idea. It won the Most Creative prize in 2014 and has been a hit ever since.
Last year, it was available at the State Fair and on draft at a few places around town. This year, Community ramped up its efforts and put it in cans. It’s still available at the State Fair at booths around the fairgrounds with the same powdered sugar garnish on the glass rim as in past years. It might not be deep-fried, but it certainly isn’t diet food either.
The beer is an English-style summer ale, which means it has a light malty touch and bready notes. Vanilla is added as the beer matures, which helps add much of the funnel-cake likeness. The product is a slightly sweet, savory beer that finishes clean and smooth but remains rich. It’s still fairly light on the palate, so it doesn’t sit as heavy as you might think.
What is perhaps most intriguing about Funnel Cake Ale is how well it pairs with the salty and savory food at the fair. Corny dogs, turkey legs, deep-fried bacon: It all goes well with Funnel Cake Ale. The richness of its texture helps cut the fatty elements of meaty fare, and the sweetness of the beer helps balance the overtly salty aspects.
It might be awhile before it becomes as famous as Fletcher’s Corny Dogs, but it fits the fair in theme and flavor and is guaranteed to be a staple from years to come.
Beerfeast this weekend: Entering its 11th year, Flying Saucer Fort Worth will host its annual Beerfeast at the downtown restaurant. Featuring 120-plus rare beers and food available from Bird Café, the festival runs from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets also include a Beerfeast T-shirt and cost $68 and are only available in advance. saucerbeerfeast.com
GABF is here: Great American Beer Festival arrives this weekend in Denver and, as usual, many Texas breweries will be vying for medals. Check greatamericanbeerfestival.com on Saturday morning for winner updates.