Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. is the oldest brewery in Dallas-Fort Worth, residing in the latter, and Lakewood Brewing Co. has been around only five years, but has made a big name for itself in Dallas. The special part about them doing this beer together though, is Wim Bens, the founder of Lakewood, began his beer career at Rahr and Sons under the tutelage of Fritz Rahr.
The beer itself is a Baltic porter brewed with Bens Belgian candy sugar while Rahr contributed a German malt blend. It is then aged on oak rum staves and sweet cherries. This series is thought to be the first collaboration between two Texas production breweries and both Bens and Rahr both hope that this sets the tone for more collaboration like this to take place.
Last year’s beer was brewed at Rahr, a Belgian-inspired dubbel.
DFW pours a deep dark brown with a little bit of a red hue. The head is a sort of khaki color that disappears very quickly. The beer looks heavy in the glass; the Belgian candy sugar gives it a stronger appearance than the alcohol.
There’s a really interesting nose on this one, I am getting mostly sweet malts, but tucked away are also aromas of cherry and oak. The cherry and oak are much more subdued, but are definitely present; I am also getting some chocolate notes presumably from the grain used in the porter base.
I personally liked the beer more than a lot of the other reviewers did. I thought it held up well for the style despite the lower ABV, it is pretty sweet, but delivers, for the most part, on the additional ingredients. I’m pick up mainly on the cherry aspect; it’s sort of like a chocolate covered cherry to some extent. I taste more earthy notes than specific oak, it’s not a bad thing, but I don’t get a lot of the oak/barrel character.