I got a bunch of great pictures from my trip to El Paso last month — wherein we celebrated Bret's birthday at the UT vs. UTEP football game — and I really need to post them all to Flickr. Until I find time for that, entertain yourself with this great pic of Bobnoxious and his burnt orange sombrero that he bought in Juarez. Picture taken in Hemingway's, the best beer bar in El Paso, near the UTEP campus. (Click on pic for a closer view.)
Chris from Seattle is currently drinking his way through Austin. Unfortunately, we couldn't get together because I had a million things going on this weekend, but you can follow his adventures on his blog.
"One purpose of religion is the formation of communities, and our brewery kind of has that effect, of bringing people together. Some of our regulars say going on our brewery tour is going to church." —Brock Wagner, CEO of Saint Arnold Brewing, quoted in the Austin American-Statesman
The Austin American-Statesman had a wonderful interview in today's edition with world-famous former Austin brewer Pierre Celis. The 83-year-old is now retired and living back in his native Belgium, but Statesman writer Brad Buchholz (and not, oddly enough, regular beer columnist Patrick Beach) caught up with him on one of his frequent return visits. Just in case you're not clear on why he's world-famous: He's the guy who revived the Hoegaarden's wit-style (white wheat) beer back in the Sixties. He then came to America and made a big mark in the Nineties on the Austin and American brew scenes with his own Celis label before financial realities forced him to sell out to Miller.
The article also gives a nice nod to Kevin Brand's new (512) Brewing, which models its Wit on Celis' version. It's worth your time to read it.
Wow, who knew the Draught House is almost 40 years old? Certainly not me — I always assumed it was relatively new. But darn it, I probably won't be able to go to their party (see flyer below) because I'll be a single parent that weekend. That makes me sad. (Because, you know, I haven't been to very many beer festivals lately.)
No, not ACL Fest, that's already gone by. Now it's time for the fall beer festivals, what with Oktoberfest time upon us.
North by Northwest's Oktoberfest has always been a favorite of mine, because, much like a scaled-down version of Wurstfest in New Braunfels, it has beer, sausages, and oompah music for me (not to mention cute waitresses in dirndls – that's them in the picture, plus "Pinty the Bear") and activities for my kids (bouncy houses, face painting, etc.). Anything that allows me to drink beer and not have to hire a babysitter is a good thing. That will be Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 4-5).
I'll have to go on Sunday, because Saturday I'll be at the new kid on the block, the Flying Saucer Fall Beer Festival. I don't see anything on their site about kid-friendly stuff, but it will be outside, so I assume the kiddos will have room to run around. (If not, then the Flying Saucer better do some tinkering before next year.)
Damn, this is really going to get me fired up for Wurstfest. And you know, sooner or later I'm going to have to check out Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg, but unfortunately, it's this weekend and I've already made my plans to be here in town. Maybe next year. Those Hill Country towns know how to do their German up right.
(Oh, and speaking of cute women in dirndls, I would be remiss if I did remind you to check out the best blog ever, Oktoberfest Girls, which has been having near-daily updates this month.)