Tuesday, January 22, 2008
This past holiday weekend found me in Fort Worth, Tx visiting with my family. While there, I thought I'd try out a place I've been hearing about for quite some time but never had made it too. With that, one of my best friends, my wife, and I headed to Covey Restaurant and Brewery in downtown Ft. Worth. The Covey touts itself as a Texas wild game restaurant and brew pub. This means that they serve things like elk, quail, buffalo, venison, etc. We arrived around 7 pm, as we entered my eyes were immediately drawn to the small brew room in the middle of the room containing about 5 tanks, along with the mash tun, kettle, etc. On the right side of the brew room was a pub, the other side was a dining room full of white clothed tables. The pub was full so we headed to the dining room and looked over the menu, seeing items like quail quesadillas, wild game stuffed poblano, buffalo strip steak, buffalo burgers, and wood fired pizzas. Prices range from $11 for appetizers to $13-16 for pizzas, and up to $36 for the buffalo steak. Each item on the menu has symbols next to it that correlate to Covey's beer list, helping patrons out with food and beer pairings. We quickly made our appetizer orders, my friend and I split the quail quesadilla, my wife had the wild game lettuce wraps filled with smoked duck, quail, and venison. With the quesadilla I had Covey's Kent IPA made with Kent Hops. It took about 15 minutes but finally our beer arrived. My IPA was about 7.5% abv, poured a cloudy amber orange, with a great foamy frothy head. Good earthy notes, hops, and some toasted pale malts. The mouth was smooth, creamy, hoppy. This is not an overpowering IPA, very subtle, very good, very smooth, a beer I enjoyed. The beer went really well with the quesadilla, filled with quail, Gorgonzola and caramelized onions. It was a pretty good quesadilla, I could have done with a little more quail, and a little less cheese as the cheese flavors tended to overwhelm the quail. My wife's lettuce wraps were pretty good as well, however the sauce again tended to overwhelm the meats.
For dinner I had the Chicken Diablo Pizza that came with Mesquite Smoked Chicken, chipotle sauce, roasted poblano's, and red peppers. With all these smoked flavors I was excite to try the one beer they had that I knew would go with it: Covey's Rauchbier. Rauchbier is a smoked beer, descended from German brewing tradition, specifically from the town of Bamburg. My buddy had the Buffalo Pizza topped with strips of Buffalo sirloin, my wife had the French onion soup. The food again took a while to make it to our table, however it all came with the drinks. My Rauchbier was amazing. Very dark with a cappuccino colored head. Smokey malt's raisins on the nose. The mouth is smooth, smokey peaty, roasty. At 7.0% abv its very smooth. There's a small dusty taste from the smokey flavors, but its understated. A very good Rauchbier. The pizza was great. The dough made with Covey's amber ale, was crisp throughout, not soggy from the toppings. The smokey ingredients on the pizza paired incredibly well. Everyone enjoyed their entrees.
After Dinner as we headed out, we ran into the brew master Jamie Fulton. We got to talk to him a bit, as with most brewer he was incredible nice and was happy to talk beer with us. He mentioned that he was in the process of making a Triple, but it would be a few weeks more before it was ready. I mentioned I was disappointed that I wouldn't get a chance to try it since I was heading back to Houston. He told us to stay put and headed into the brewery for three tasting glasses of the triple. Wow is all I can say. Even though it needed some time, you could tell it was very good, very crisp, clean, white raisins, fruity, very similar to Victory's Golden Monkey. We thanked him for the beer and headed out into the night.
Overall The Covey is a GREAT addition to Downtown Ft. Worth. A very good restaurant, but an even better brewery. The beer's that I tried are not over powering and in your face, they are subtle, full of flavor, and hide their alcohol very well. Now if only we could get something like this in Houston.