#texas Archives – PorchDrinking.com
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.
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.
In the madness of 2020, you’d be forgiven for forgetting the Category 4 Hurricane Laura that decimated the Gulf Coast on August 27. The town of Lake Charles, LA was especially hard-hit, with at least 28 fatalities in the small city. The hurricane hit Lake Charles at a greater strength than Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. (And as of this writing, Hurricane Delta is making a bee-line for Lake Charles.) Almost a month has passed since Laura’s 150 miles-per-hour winds and 15-foot storm surge; yet, nearly 45,000 residents still do not have power. Between huge storms, historic wildfires, and the pandemic, many residents are worried that the world has forgotten about them.
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.
Austin, Texas’ Jester King Brewery is many things to many people—it’s an esteemed farmhouse brewery, popular community gathering space, a bustling farm with pet goats and more. So, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced breweries across the nation to readjust their business models, the popular brewer was well-positioned to adjust in unique ways gives its business flexibility and available acres of Texas farmland. The result is Jester King Reimagined, a veritable Disney Land of Drinking that promises patrons several unique outdoor spaces to indulge in an array of Jester King’s tasty spontaneously-fermented and mixed culture beers, whilst also adhering to current CDC and social distancing protocols. Since opening May 29, the new outdoor drinking concept has been a hit with drinkers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
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.
Belton, TX is a small, quiet town about an hour north of Austin with some excellent food and beer offerings for visitors and residents. Until recently, though, it had no breweries. In 2018, that all changed. Bold Republic Brewing Company has been running strong and offering tasty craft beer ever since, even during these times of quarantines, lockdowns and social distancing.
For many of us beer aficionados, spending an afternoon at a brewery, brewpub or tap house is a common treat. A time to relax with friends and family while tasting the newest beers that may or may not be distributed. For people like this, myself included, it’s easy to forget that many breweries rely solely upon distribution.
Taprooms can be a cash cow for breweries. These direct to consumer sales increase profit margins by cutting out third-party distributors and retailers. Some breweries start and end their business model with a high-profit taproom, while others wait to use the taproom profits to launch distribution. Other breweries like Hedgehog Brewing in Cedar Park, Texas, save the taproom for last.
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.
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
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead celebrations are vibrant, unique events that inspired TUPPS Brewery out of McKinney, Texas to release a beer in honor of the holiday. Day of the Dead is a juicy, hazy Pale Ale dry-hopped with Galaxy, Citra and Mosaic, resulting in a citrus aroma and stone fruit flavors. At only 5.5% ABV, it’s compared to a crushable version of their wildly popular TUPPS DDH series. To capture the spirit of the holiday, all of the cans were designed by local artists. I caught up with Head Brewer Chris Lewis to talk more about the beer and what’s on the horizon for TUPPS.
Many of you know the secret joy that comes from having something special, almost sinful, tucked away in a hiding place so cleverly disguised that nobody will ever discover. Whether it’s a cache of nostalgic trinkets, a hoard of candy or even a small collection of something not so innocent, at some point we’ve all had a stash that we kept all to ourselves. Luckily for Texas, Independence Brewing Company is more than happy to share their Stash with the rest of us.
The phenomenon of the art car has intrigued me for some time. Have you ever seen these things? Cars covered from bumper to bumper with colorful paint jobs and anything from mosaic tile to plastic figurines. Sure, some look like a hoarder hoarked on a hooptie, but there are certainly some examples that truly are mobile art. The layers of detail and creativity are impressive, and it’s that creative spirit that inspired Saint Arnold’s Art Car IPA.
There are a lot of beers on the shelves that hang in the periphery of my vision in my regular quest for hops. I may notice a few of those beers from time to time—the traditional styles—and ponder for a second about trying them but instead, I predictably settle on a sixer of some flashy new IPA or stout. Then, one fine day, I decided to break the cycle. I now see the error of my ways, for where I was once blind, now I see. Pilsners can be downright delicious, too, and Live Oak Pilz is the best example I’ve ever had.
In a crowded craft beer market, breweries are working harder than ever to catch the eye of the consumer walking down their local beer aisle. Breweries are investing in slick graphic design, updated branding and wild flavors. If the outside of the can isn’t enough to make the beer stand out then perhaps what’s inside might intrigue the consumer into a purchase.
Even if you’re not from Texas, you know the state has a rich and storied history. That’s why it’s surprising to realize that throughout all the lore and legacy of the Lone Star state, there has never been a commercially produced beer using only Texas ingredients. At least, not until now. Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery head brewer, Les Locke, seized the opportunity and set out to create the very first all-Texas beer, aptly named Texas Born and Bred.
In a historic win for craft brewers and consumers throughout the state of Texas, the highly anticipated Beer-To-Go measure cleared the Texas senate unanimously as part of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) sunset bill.
To recap: Texas remains the only state that prohibits beer-to-go sales from production breweries. So if you visit a winery, distillery or brewpub, you are free to take your beverage of choice home with you. But if you stop by Real Ale Brewing Company, Austin Beerworks, or a little over 100 other production breweries in the state, you are simply out of luck.