July is one of the hottest months in Texas, but back on July 11 people from all over Austin flocked to get in line for the grand reopening of an Austin legend, Celis Brewery. Anticipation had been building for months when founder Christine Celis, daughter of world renowned Belgian Brewmaster, Pierre Celis, announced the return of Austin’s first craft brewery a little over a year ago.
The devastation in Texas is far reaching and stretches from the coast to communities outside of Austin. Texans are no strangers to disasters, but even the most seasoned residents agree this is one of the most the devastating storms to affect southeast Texas. As reported by craftbeer.com, some breweries have sustained damage, too. But, in true craft beer community spirit, several breweries are hosting events and making donations in order to assist in the recovery effort.
Beer collaborations happen frequently and usually with other breweries; however, over the past few years, I have noticed a different type of collaboration throughout Texas. Breweries all over the state are partnering with various charities in their communities by creating a beer, in many cases inspired by the charity, and donating a portion of their sales to the organization. For this piece, I have chosen six examples from Texas, but these are just a few examples of the many collaborations that occur all over the state. For each of the brews, I reached out to the brewery to find out what inspired the beer and why they partnered with a particular charity.
From the lush green landscape of eastern Texas, through the dusty Llano Estacado in the Texas Panhandles and New Mexico and into the deserts of Arizona, there’s plenty of craft beer, including an abundance of floral, aromatic, tasty IPAs. One would expect the beer to reflect a region so vast, and so diverse — and it does. Here’s a sample of what’s good in the Southwest. Happy National IPA Day!
Two years ago I bemoaned the downward tailspin of craft beer festivals in a piece I penned: Have Beer Festivals Jumped the Shark. It seems in large part that a majority of them have done just that. Two years later, I could expound on an even greater litany of festival organizer faux pas, ranging from a failure to support breweries the day of the festival, to hooking up kegs to the wrong draft lines (I’ve actually seen this happen).
While we can’t pretend to list every new beer release, here are several tasty tidbits that have come across the PorchDrinking.com desk from around the nation. New beers, new packaging, new collaborations and so much more.
Jump to the beer release(s) from the following breweries:
Avery Brewing | Bear Republic | Bell’s Brewery | Brewery Ommegang | Firestone Walker | Forbidden Root | Fremont Brewing | Green Flash | Great Divide Brewing | Modern Times Beer | Moody Tongue | New Belgium Brewing | Reformation Brewery | Rogue Ales & Spirits | SweetWater Brewing | Terrapin Beer Co. | Hopstix
The United States started as nothing more than an idea, a dream and a determination to overcome perceived empire-driven injustices. For the overwhelming majority of breweries, those values presented by our Founding Fathers echo the idea of independent brewing. Sure, there are brewing empires that could lure one to the economic promised land, but the pursuit of “hoppiness” for independent breweries is best served through self-determination rather than corporate funding. As the nation moves toward celebrating its independence, we at PorchDrinking.com wanted to discuss brewing independence with a few breweries who have thumbed their proverbial noses at the King Georges of the world and exercise their freedom to brew.
Diehard craft beer community followers weren’t the only ones shocked to learn of today’s Wicked Weed acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Jester King Brewery Founder Jeffery Stuffings shared his thoughts on today’s acquisition announcing that Jester King would no longer sell Wicked Weed products based on the principal that the world’s largest brewery conglomerate has actively pushed legislation to oppose the interest of Texas craft brewers.
Real Ale Brewing Company has just celebrated 21 years of brewing beer in the Texas Hill Country — and they don’t show any signs of slowing down. The Brewers Association recently posted the Top 50 Craft Breweries in the US by sales volume and Real Ale made the list at number 49. It’s impressive for a brewery whose motto is “unavailable in 49 states”. That’s right, you can only enjoy the popular Firemans #4 or a unique small batch Mysterium Verum release in the great state of Texas. Recently, the brewery announced the launch of the Real Spirits Distilling program that includes Hill Country Signature Whiskey, Grain to Glass Gin, and the highly limited first batch of Single Barrel Whiskey only available at the Real Ale Taproom.
ABV: 6.8% | IBU: 62
I literally spent the afternoon driving around town and following Twitter to find a Lone Pint Yellow Rose on the shelf for this piece because I think it is one of the most perfect beers brewed in Texas. Named after a popular Texas heroine, Yellow Rose is always in short supply due to the overwhelming popularity of this Single Malt and Single Hop (SMaSH) IPA beauty.
Everyone has their favorite beer drinking spot and their favorite watering hole. The place they can belly-up to the bar, have a great beer and take a load off after a long day with friends new and old.
When: Friday, March 31 from 7 – 11 p.m. (VIP entry 6: p.m.)
Saturday, April 1 from 2 – 6:30 p.m. (VIP entry 1 p.m.)
Location: Fair Park Automobile Building, 1010 1st Avenue Dallas, TX 75226
The 6th Annual Big Texas Beer Fest is back and bigger than ever. Spanning two sessions, this year’s festival features beers from 120 breweries with 500+ beers to sample from. This festival is well known to feature exclusive/rare beers, one-offs and special firkins. Truly committed to making each year bigger and better, this year delivers with a fresh new concept. The festival has partnered with local favorite Noble Rey Brewing Company and Free Play Richardson (a vintage arcade) to bring attendees with a one-of-a-kind experience that will take them back to their youth. An “Arcade Alley” will be on site and will allow attendees to relive those childhood memories with an array of those favorite vintage arcade games loved so much. Let’s see how those Galaga skills holds up after a couple of beers.
Beer is a love language all on its own. This Valentine’s Day, show your love language by indulging in one of these chocolate-infused craft beers oozing with rich, sweet chocolate goodness. This Ultimate Round Up will help you find the ultimate chocolate beers. You can forgo the chocolates and roses this year. We won’t judge.
Avg. Reading Time: 1 min
ABV: 7% | IBU: 70
This year Real Ale Brewing Co. celebrated 20 years of brewing and is the Austin area’s oldest brewery. Recently they released Axis IPA, a brand new mainstay that highlights its ability to continually innovate and produce a wide array of styles. I caught up with head brewer, Schmitty, to find out more about the new release.
ABV: 8.0% | IBU: 10
You have probably heard the old adage, “if you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait thirty minutes”. Quite true, it’s more than typical for temperatures to rise and fall over thirty degrees in a matter of hours; therefore, Christmas in Texas can mean flip flops or fur lined boots. However, one thing that is consistent year to year is the release of one of my all time favorite seasonal releases Primus by Live Oak Brewing Company.
There comes a point in every hobby where you have to take things to the next level. This usually involves investing more time, energy and, most of all, money. I’m someone whose always resisted that for any hobby. With craft beer, it’s been a specific price point. When I started drinking I set a price I was willing to pay for a single bottle of beer from a store. Surely, I thought, I’ll never actually cross that line. Nothing can be that good. Well Porchdrinkers, Prairie Artisan Ales finally blew me to the next level of craft-dom with BOMB!, its imperial stout.
Just like the weather, my palate is confused. Normally at this time of year I would like to be confidently making headway through my stash of last year’s stouts. When I wake up in the morning, I’d love for the house to be cold. I’d love for the last residue at the bottom of the dirty beer glasses on the counter to resemble motor oil. However, Mother Nature seems to be confused. Here in Arkansas we’ve barely had our first freeze and afternoon temps are still climbing in to the 70’s. I can’t make up my mind when paroozing the aisles of my liquor store or the taps at my favorite watering holes. The crisp and easy drinking/sessionable beers of the summer are long since in my rear view but I can’t bring myself to pull out the good stuff and dive headlong into stout season. The solution for a seasonally confused Arkansas beer drinker when you need something local to quench your thirst? Look no further than Fossil Cove Brewing Co.’s La Brea Brown Ale.