#texasbeer – PorchDrinking.com
I’ve done my best this year. Sure, I may have had a few bumps in the road on my way to the Nice List, but what can I say? I’m only human. Besides, a few parking tickets never hurt anyone! Look Santa, I want to reason with you. I don’t need anything too fancy, so you can save the diamond earrings and shiny new cars for the real heroes out there. There is really only one thing I want to find in my stocking this year, and it’s a shiny new bottle of Shiner Holiday Cheer from Spoetzl Brewery. Now, they probably don’t sell this one where you’re from up North, so I’ll give you a few pointers to make sure you know what you’re looking for.
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.
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.
Living in Texas, we never really have a traditional fall season, or a normal winter, with temperatures frequently fluctuating 20-30 degrees in a week. So I always mark the start of fall based on the release of the first Oktoberfest brews, and then I wait patiently for the winter warmers to appear to let me know that “winter” is on it’s way. Regardless of the temperatures, nothing says winter and Christmas like a well-spiced winter warmer.
I’m not sure what age I was when I started favoring breweries to bars. I distinctly remember frequenting the only brewery in my tiny college town more and more, while braving the sticky floors of the dive bars less and less. Not to say there isn’t a time and a place for a great dive bar; however, if you’re reading this it’s more likely that you’d rather drink something exciting, fresh and flavorful than pay for a bottom-shelf vodka soda. What hasn’t changed as I have gotten older is the desire to socialize over a drink.
Enter the neighborhood craft brewery. A far cry from the empty warehouses of my college days. Neighborhood breweries have become gathering places for the entire family, both two and four-legged, to come together to listen to music, play games and explore new styles of beer. However, occasionally these neighborhood breweries transcend beyond just a community hangout by producing extremely high-quality beers.
Flix Brewhouse opened in Round Rock, Texas in 2011 with the unique concept of combining a state-of-the-art movie theater with a microbrewery. Today they operate four locations around the country with plans to more than double that over the next year. I caught up with Greg Johnson, Director of Sales and Marketing for Flix, to learn more about this ambitious expansion.
The holidays are behind us and it’s time to put away the tree and restore the yard to it’s former non-whimsical state. While most folks are scouring stores for deeply discounted wares or decorations for next year, I’ll be driving around town looking for the last of the Saint Arnold’s Christmas Ale. Even though Christmas has officially past, this rich, malty old ale pairs perfectly with cold weather and hearty meals and is only available from October through December each year.
In it’s 12th year, the 2017 San Antonio Beer Festival is gearing up to bring more than 450 premium and craft beers from 150+ breweries around the world to Texas beer lovers. Happening Oct. 21 from 1:30-6:30 p.m., the festival will take place at Dignowity and Lockwood Parks; a portion of the proceeds will benefit the San Antonio Food Bank.
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: 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.
Nugget, Delta hops
We must preface this beer with a short story: In October 2014 we flew to Austin for vacation. Upon arrival, we Ubered straight to a lunch spot that was also, coincidentally, a brewery (The ABGB, for those wondering, where the food, beer and hospitality were all awesome). Sitting at the bar, we talked with another patron, John, who works at Independence Brewing Company. John had just recently returned from GABF in Denver, and we all became enthusiastic about our shared love of the Denver beer scene. Out of nowhere, he graciously offered to give us a tour of Independence’s facilities later on. We told him we’d see him there and parted ways, already feeling great about our first impression of Austin.