DALLAS — Sports, TV and beer: a winning combination.
Texas Motor Speedway brought the world’s largest high-definition video board to Denton County two years ago, and now the racetrack aims to be the first professional sports entity to create and sell its own craft beer.
To accomplish that, TMS officials kept it in the county and looked to Audacity Brew House in Denton. The result is No Limits Checkered Past Texas Ale, which will be available at the Fort Worth track on race weekends and at beer retailers across North Texas.
TMS president Eddie Gossage announced the partnership with Audacity on Wednesday during the track’s 2016 media day event at Gilley’s Dallas.
“We came up with it — the hops, the barley, the grains, the whole deal. And we looked around for the right people to produce that beer for us,” Gossage said. “There’s a lot of craft breweries in Dallas-Fort Worth, but we decided on Audacity Brew House of Denton — a great brewer, a great partner and I think it’s a great name. I cannot tell you how many times over the past 20 years people have said, ‘You guys have a lot of audacity.’ Yes, we do.”
Audacity founders and co-owners Scott Lindsey and Doug Smith helped unveil their latest brew.
“If you’re a craft beer fan, you’ll be familiar with the style called steam beer, made famous by Anchor Steam, so we kind of put our little twist on it and call it a Texas steam,” Smith said. “Light and sessionable but with a lot of character, a lot of malt flavor to it, a little bit of fruit from the steam process.
“You’re going to be sitting in the sun, you’re going to be watching some cars go real fast and you’re going to want a beer that’s enjoyable that’s really well done. ... You can have three or four of them and really enjoy your day.”
Lindsey said the partnership with one of the largest venues in the country was the next step for Audacity, which opened in 2014 on Shady Oaks Drive.
“Texas Motor Speedway has had this idea on their radar for a while,” Lindsey said. “Their starting point was to reach out to Ben E. Keith, who distributes our products, and once Ben E. Keith heard that, they set up a meeting.
“It’s been about six months, maybe eight months, and it’s a long, arduous process to make sure everything’s done right and everything looks perfect.”
No Limits Checkered Past keeps with the spirit of Audacity’s business plan.
“When Scott and I started Audacity, one of the most important things coming to Denton ... was to be able to create relationships with other Denton businesses, and they’re pretty close and it ended up being a great partnership,” Smith said. “Denton’s such a wonderful community. We’re always trying to find ways that we can add to the greatness of Denton.
“Pairing with the largest sports venue and really showing that it’s more Denton and less Fort Worth is important to us.”
Lindsey and Smith said after the ale’s official launch at next week’s races, No Limits Checkered Past should start finding its way into retail stores across the region, starting with locations close to the speedway.
The TMS project isn’t the only splash the brewers will make this year. They are partnering with the brains behind Lone Star Attitude Burger Co. and Barley & Board to open Audacity Brew House at Travelstead, which will be on East Hickory Street and bring an Audacity brewing operation to downtown Denton.
“My goals are to grow ... a brand that we can all be proud of, everybody in the city of Denton can be proud of,” Lindsey said. “And if that means working 10 hours a day or 12 or 14, then that’s what we’ve got to do. Sometimes Doug lets us sleep but sometimes we just don’t.”
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Chris Buescher of Prosper, Camping World Truck Series champion Erik Jones and truck racer John Hunter Nemechek were on hand Wednesday to promote the track’s three major race weekends, along with Duck Commander executives Willie and Korie Robertson, who are filming their 10th season of Duck Dynasty.
The Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will cap next week’s TMS schedule April 9, with the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 Xfinity race set for April 8.
MATT CRIDER can be reached at 940-566-6906.