#texasbeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
Once a phrase linked solely with Oatmeal Stouts, the term ‘breakfast beer’ is now applied to beers ranging from Milkshake and Smoothie Fruited Sours to Oat IPAs. Of course, what you may or may not consider to be a true ‘breakfast beer’ invariably depends on what you choose to have for breakfast, but the link between oat content and breakfastiness in a beer remains undisputed.
Austin Beerworks La Verdad is undoubtedly a champion of Texan Mexican Lagers. Its annual release heralds both Cinco de Mayo and the arrival of our sweaty summer season when lying by the pool or floating lazily down the Guadalupe is as much exertion as the weather allows any time after midday here in Central Texas. Now in its fifth year, the La Verdad was last year’s lockdown savior and kept us from parching even when we weren’t allowed in the water.
In Episode 38 of the “Boys Are From Märzen” podcast, Kindsey Bernhard converses with Pam Catoe, owner and chief contributor of Craft Beer Austin and Southwest regional editor for PorchDrinking.com.
Who doesn’t love a bake sale? All manner of excitingly delicious, affectionately prepared offerings to tempt the taste buds, with any guilty feelings of over-indulgence thoroughly negated by the knowledge that one is stuffing one’s face to fundraise for a most-worthy charitable cause. A winning fundraising formula employed by school boards, scout troops and religious institutions across the nation, the bake sale has taken on a new and exciting beery form, courtesy of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild.
When we think about women in beer, it’s important to remember that beer is an industry like any other, made up a wide range of roles and responsibilities. Increasing representation of women in beer and creating an equal working environment means encouraging and supporting women in all areas of the industry, including fields that aren’t specific to beer itself, because the very nature of genuine diversity involves ensuring it exists across the board. One area women are making huge strides, both in numbers and in prominence, is the arena of beer writing. Once just as male-dominated as the brewhouse, the field of beer journalism has opened up significantly in recent years, with women putting themselves forward, and supporting and enabling their peers through a network of mentorship, collaboration and education. One of the women leading this particular charge has been PorchDrinking’s own Southwest editor, Pam Catoe.
Texan Fruited Sours tend to fly deeply, almost suspiciously under the radar. Not because we’re not proud of them – on the contrary. The truth is that they are so lip-smacking-tasty that we want to keep them all to ourselves. Choosing just one Fruited Sour from a truly dizzying array of outstanding options was a small challenge in itself, but when we heard about new kids on the block Urban South HTX’s ultra flavor-dynamic collaboration with Pennsylvania’s Imprint Beer Co., we heeded the call. Spilled Schmoojee was the result of their collaboration.
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.
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.