As the rest of the country slides into winter, Central Texas is still very much in fall mode – and a very welcome fall it is after a scorching summer locked down without the reprieve of our pools and swimming holes. Fall in Central Texas is full of fluctuation – you may need three different outfits in one day, with the temperature taking on the desert-like tendency to drop dramatically once the sun goes down. For weather like this, we brew up a fine selection of Dark Lagers – beers versatile enough to warm us when we’re being whipped by the wind but light enough to refresh us on those remaining sun-drenched days.
Put on that tracksuit, strap on the fresh kicks and queue up “Don’t Stop the Rock”–it’s about to get hype in here. When one of the top breweries in Texas announces a new year-round addition to their lineup, you gotta make some noise. Already providing multiple hopped-up offerings across the spectrum, Real Ale Brewing Co. still managed to drop something fresh that hits all the right notes with their Boombox Double IPA.
Typically the ladies of Pink Boots Society (PBS) come together at the Great American Beer Festival for the Annual Hop Rub. The tradition began in 2017 when PBS partnered with Yakima Chief Hops (YCH) to bring the best of their hop harvest, carefully laid out on tables for attendees to smell, touch and taste, with the goal of selecting the annual Pink Boots Society hop blend.
You probably don’t need and don’t want a reminder, but Thanksgiving is next week. Which means that it is basically 2021, because we all know how fast this time of year goes by. While I’m a firm believer that it’s “always Stout season,” breweries are starting to release all the Stouts that we can handle over the next few weeks! That might be one of the only silver linings to end 2020. Travel plans and family/friend hangouts have likely been postponed, for the better. Be mindful about supporting local as the weather continues to challenge outdoor options for your favorite breweries and restaurants. Some of our local favorites are present this week, so here is What We’re Drinking.
Sometimes you need a beer, and sometimes you need to treat yourself to something special. This Wild Brew Spelt Saison, the result of a 2013 collab between Oklahoma’s Choc Beer Company, the Fellowship of Oklahoma Ale Makers (FOAM) and Prairie …
One takeaway from 2020 is that when it comes to surviving an apocalypse, we all need a reason to keep going. For many of us, beer has been a saving grace in this most trying of years but back in 2009, cult horror-comedy movie “Zombieland”’s Tallahassee (aka Woody Harrelson) got his motivation in the form of a Twinkie – the classic American cream-sponge cake produced by Hostess. These “spongy, yellow, delicious bastards” have, in turn, inspired a Halloween tag-team brewing project from Lakewood Brewing and Intrinsic Smokehouse and Brewery – a salute to the “Zombieland” opening scene in their home town of Garland, TX. In the “Zombieland” franchise, the Twinkie acts as a beacon, a signifier – a sign that survival is indeed possible. And when the world is coming to an end, there are certainly worse things to do than hunt for your favorite snack.
It’s no secret that beer nerds love apps – especially apps with badges, rewards and that all-important score board so you can keep track of what your friends are up to. In response to the devastating effect that the pandemic, lockdown, and some extremely tenuous and controversial decisions by the State Governor and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the Texas Craft Brewer’s Association are fighting back with their very own Texas Brewery Explorer app.
With National Voter Registration Day just behind us and a mere seven weeks until the 2020 Presidential Election, there couldn’t be a more appropriate time for a brewery to highlight the need for all U.S. citizens to get out and vote. 903 Brewing, based in Sherman, Texas, is in the process of brewing its second bipartisan call-to-action I Voted beer. The blueberry-raspberry-cherry Berliner-Style Weisse follows the raspberry-blueberry sweet Cream Ale that kick-started the project during the May Primaries.
The I Voted beers sport equally red-white-blue packaging and are designed to encourage voters of all persuasions to make themselves heard on Election Day. With the original batch of I Voted having sold out swiftly, 903 is releasing an expanded run of its new Berliner-Style Weisse. The latest release will hit supermarket shelves in mid-October in time for early voting, and should be available for Election Night consumption.
As the days slowly blend together, it’s easy to forget about all of the events we’ve missed. Special occasions that have flowed by us without any pomp and circumstance. Its understandable to mourn these events, even in the midst of greater suffering. One of these events was South By Southwest, the two-week arts, culture and technology conference in Austin, Texas. Not only is SXSW a great party, but it is a crucial publicity moment for businesses big and small. One of the many new products that was set to debut during SXSW is the beer Dark Matter, a collaboration between Austin institution Jester King brewery and Chicago coffee shop Dark Matter.
On a clear night in the Texas Hill Country, you can look up into the vast unknown and see more stars than you could count in a lifetime. If conditions are right, and you let your eyes adjust to the night skies, you can even see the colors of the Milky Way swirling through the sea of stars. That’s a spectacular sight to see, and 5 Stones Artisan Brewery Galaxy Shepherd Pale Ale is a stellar brew to pair with the occasion.
It’s time to turn off the news, grab your favorite beer and reflect on what you are most grateful for during this very weird time. I hope you are all staying safe and finding creative ways to move through your days. One fun way is to get a local beer-to-go and raise a glass once again as part of the #NationwideCheers going on every Friday promptly at 5 p.m. wherever you happen to be. Here are some great ideas for beers to cheers with from your PorchDrinking team in this week’s What We’re Drinking.
It seems like so long ago we got together and brewed some beer for the annual Pink Boots Society Collaboration Brew Day. I wanted to publish this article weeks ago, but things were beginning to escalate around the country, and it just didn’t seem like good timing.
Last year, Austin hosted a record number of collaboration brew days, releasing seven collaboration beers in total. For 2020, a full twenty-one breweries signed up to do a collaboration beer, and some of those collaborations have been postponed for a few months. However, several Austin breweries are gearing up to release their collaboration beers, and a few have them available now.
We spoke with Maggie Pace, marketing director at Circle Brewing, Karen Killough, co-founder, Vista Brewing and Libby Brennen, events coordinator at St. Elmo Brewing, about their respective collaborations.
Community Beer Company out of Dallas, Texas came up with a brilliant idea. To support your local craft brewery, buy your favorite local beer-to-go (observing all social distancing requirements), open one up on Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. and take a picture or video to post it on social media with the hashtag #NationwideCheers. By doing so, you will not only be supporting your local craft beer industry, you will also be joining a community of your fellow beer lovers with a virtual cheers.
As the fallout from COVID-19 continues to impact the world in a variety of different ways, high profile events ranging from the NCAA Tournament, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS seasons, to arena concerts and SXSW, have all begun canceling or …
So… you were going to attend the 10-day bacchanal of film, technology, music and gaming known to the world as South by Southwest (SXSW). My condolences: SXSW is the greatest weekend of the year in Austin and we are all still mourning its loss.
However, if you find yourself in a very expensive, nonrefundable hotel room with a purely ornamental platinum badge, I beg you to leave your room and pay for a beer. SXSW brought $355 million to the local economy and it goes without saying that local businesses will be feeling the hit. Many breweries around the convention center are still hosting live music and other events. Below is a list of great places to drown your sorrows over a pint. Don’t forget to tip!
Houston’s beer scene continues to grow with the addition of award-winning Urban South Brewery’s first expansion outside of New Orleans. A satellite brewery, Urban South – HTX will focus on creative experimental beers in Houston’s Sawyer Yards District, including the hazy IPAs they are well-known for.
There is a myriad of possibilities when it comes to making use of coconut. You can put a lime in one and drink ‘em both up, or even bang two empty halves together whilst galloping the length and breadth of the land in search of knights who will join you in your court at Camelot. However, if you’re a brewery, you can do what the clever folks at Brazos Valley Brewing Company in Brenham, TX did and add coconut to an already delicious Russian Imperial Stout. Not since the Samoa Girl Scout cookie has coconut made something as delicious as Slippin’ Into Darkness with coconut.
Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or the long weekend that you are looking foward to most, there will be plenty of delicious independent craft beers out there to quench your thirst. Here’s your PorchDrinking crew’s top picks for What We’re Drinking this weekend.
When was the last time you drank something completely new? Was it the first time you braved a beer with “milkshake” on the can? The first time you confused an IPA for a glass of juice? A beer-infused with CBD and smelling like a college dorm room? Vista Brewing in Driftwood, Texas, has achieved the rare privilege of making a beer that has a unique spin on an established method. The first-ever beer aged in sotol barrels.
Many of the beers produced in the Southwest region don’t make it too far out of the region for a variety of reasons; rarely do you see Texas craft beer anywhere but Texas. Regardless, some of the best craft beer scenes exist in this region, further evidenced by continual Great American Beer Festival wins. At the festival this year, New Mexico brought home seven medals, Arizona won eight and Texas brought home sixteen, including eight first time winners. The Southwest Regional team got together to decide on the best of the best — no easy task! So, here is The 2019 Best of Southwest Craft Brewing