The First Annual Texas Lagerfest is Coming to Conroe’s Fass Brewing

A trio of lagers at Fass Brewing. Courtesy photo.

Fass Brewing, located at 236 North Main in Historic Downtown Conroe, is crafting some of the best German and Central European-style lagers in the Greater Houston area. On Saturday, September 2, the brewery is celebrating this glorious beverage, which has seen a well-deserved resurgence in recent years, during its inaugural Texas Lagerfest. The event features 40 different lagers from 20 different breweries. 

Tickets for the event are available in the taproom starting Friday, July 28, with online sales launching in mid-August. The $30 general admission ticket includes a branded .2L Stange glass and five beer tokens, while VIP tickets include the glass, 10 tokens, a gift bag, a reserved seat in the air-conditioned taproom, a TXLF t-shirt and early access. VIP tickets are $100 for individuals (bar seating) or $350 for a group of four (table seating). Extra beer tokens will be available for purchase during the festival in packs of five for $15.

From left to right: Aaron Edrington, Tom Emmons and Dylan Emmons of Fass Brewing. Courtesy photo.
From left to right: Aaron Edrington, Tom Emmons and Dylan Emmons of Fass Brewing. Courtesy photo.

Fass Brewing’s president and brewer, Dylan Emmons opened the brewery with his father, Tom Emmons, and cousin, Aaron Edrington, in October 2021. Dylan said he attended brewing school at Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology, as well as the venerable Doemens Academy in Munich, before he and his cousin entered the professional brewing industry. They worked at various local breweries over the years to hone their craft. The trio began looking for the perfect location to open Fass Brewing before the pandemic (the word “fass” means “barrel” in German), and when the The Gentry Building in Downtown Conroe became available, they jumped at the chance to move into the historic locale. 

The taproom at Fass Brewing. Courtesy photo.
The taproom at Fass Brewing. Courtesy photo.

If you talk to a brewer about their favorite beer style, there’s a very good chance they will mention lagers — and they’re likely to also mention that there’s nowhere to hide flaws in this quaffable, austere libation. So, just what are lagers?  In a nutshell, they’re clean, clear, food-friendly styles of beer that let the subtle pleasures of a few simple ingredients shine. The word “lager” comes from the German word “lagerung”, which means “storage.” After fermentation, the lagering (cold-aging) process yields a crisp, refreshing character, straightforward flavors and great clarity. Lagers come in a wide range of alcohol by volume, color, flavor and depth, and examples include pilsners, helles, bocks, Märzenbier/Oktoberfest and schwarzbier. 

The biggest difference between lagers and ales comes down to the yeast used to ferment the wort into beer. Lagers ferment at cooler temperatures and over a longer, less tumultuous period of time than ales, and don’t produce the fruity, spicy flavors and esters that ale yeasts do. 

A liter of Oktoberfest at Fass Brewing's 2022 Oktoberfest celebration. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
A liter of Oktoberfest at Fass Brewing’s 2022 Oktoberfest celebration. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Dylan says the Fass Brewing approach is “all about two separate beer philosophies, the first one being classic, Continental European beers (mainly German lagers) and the other being modern American hoppy beers”. He describes the flagship beer, Miracle City Pils, as being “brewed with all German ingredients and a yeast strain from a monastic brewery in Munich.” For its American beers, Fass uses “almost exclusively Texas-grown grains from a maltster in North Texas called TexMalt.” Fass keeps a wide selection of styles in its regular line-up including but not limited to hefeweizen, London porter, Hazy Double IPA, American Amber and an Altbier with coffee added from Xela Coffee Roasters

Fass debuts a new beer every Saturday in the tasting room, and Dylan recommends following the brewery on Instagram or Facebook for updates. The breweries and food trucks participating in Texas Lagerfest will also be announced in the coming weeks via social media. While the best place to enjoy Fass is fresh from the source — where you can also purchase packaged beer to-go — it also distributes to a handful of bars throughout the Houston area including The Cove Craft Beer & Wine in Kingwood, Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, Hughie’s Tavern & Grille and Big Owl Craft Brew House.

Fass offers scratch-made pizzas every day in the taproom. Courtesy photo.
Fass offers scratch-made pizzas every day in the taproom. Courtesy photo.

Towards the end of summer, Fass will be gearing up for its busy season with a slew of events kicking off after Lagerfest including Oktoberfest, Catfish Fest and its anniversary party in October. During the week, Fass also offers Trivia Night on Tuesdays and a pizza special every Wednesday that includes two beers and a pizza for $20. The pizza at Fass is taken just as seriously as the beer. It’s made from scratch every day and uses a proprietary dough recipe that delivers a consistency between “an airy focaccia and a buttery biscuit”. The pizzas are sauced and topped with hand-shredded white cheddar and mozzarella all the way to the edge for a crispy, lacy perimeter. For toppings, choices include plain cheese, cupping pepperoni or seasonal toppings (when available). Soft pretzels, bratwurst and wines-by-the-glass are also available every day in the taproom.

The taproom at Fass Brewing is open Monday through Thursday from 2 to 9 p.m., Fridays from 2 p.m. until midnight, Saturdays from 11 a.m. until midnight and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

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