#texasbeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
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.
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.
Adaptability is vital for any business to succeed. Adapt to the needs of your customers, supply, market trends, and everything in between. In 2020, the need for brewers to adapt is more pronounced than ever due to the ongoing pandemic and the numerous business continuity problems it presents. One brewer that continues to show its expertise in adaptation is Austin Beerworks, who continue to use their voice and platform to make a difference in the Texas beer scene.
They say that everything in Texas is bigger, and while true, here in Austin everything is more specialized. Austin is a city where folks aren’t afraid to deep-dive into their passions and drill down to create precisely what they love, be it music, food, art or beer. Professor Black is brewed by Blue Owl Brewing, one of the only breweries in the US to both Kettle Sour and sour-mash all of their beers. That’s right, all of them. The brainchild of Jeff Young, formerly of Austin’s Black Star Co-op Brewing, Blue Owl’s unique philosophy of sour-mashing any and every style of beer has made them local legends, especially because they are just so good at it.
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.
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.
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.