Thursday, January 28, 2010

This is awesome

job fail  - secret beer fridge
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My latest "Beer Flights" column

The new Austin Chronicle is out today, and has my "Beer Flights" column. It's basically the same as my review of Shiner Fröst and Real Ale Phoenixx on this blog, but with the addition of some quotes from the brewers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Travis Poling booksignings in Austin area

I interviewed Travis Poling, co-author of the new book Beer Across Texas: A Guide to the Brews and Brewmasters of the Lone Star State, for The Austin Chronicle back in November.

His publicist tells me Poling will be at BookPeople (603 North Lamar Blvd) in Austin for a book signing event on Thursday, January 28th beginning at 7:00 pm.

St. Arnold's is providing beer samples during the event. He's also appearing on KEYE-TV's We Are Austin Live prior to the event, 4:00-5:00 pm.

Travis will also be doing a book signing on Saturday, February 20th at the Barnes & Noble in Round Rock (2701 Parker Road, Bldg A, Ste 700) from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Black Star Co-op Feature

Hello loyal readers, please read my feature in today's Austin Chronicle about Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery, which is attempting to become the first-ever cooperatively run brewpub.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Drink Beer, Do Good

I've blogged before on how Scholz Garten is one of my favorite places to drink beer. This Wednesday, Scholz can not only make you feel good, it can help you do good: It will hold a benefit for Haiti relief that evening, 5-7:30pm, with music from Jimmie Dale Gilmore, James McMurtry, and Jenny Reynolds. I've never heard of Reynolds, but Gilmore and McMurtry are two of my all-time favorites, the kind of talents that help Austin earn its official nickname, "Live Music Capital of the World." All donations go to the Salvation Army's work in Haiti. So head on down there and enjoy a brew under those beautiful old pecan trees.

Bike Pub Crawl

My colleagues over at Beer Town Austin are hosting a bicycling pub crawl on Sunday, Jan. 24. Damn, that combines two of my favorite activities, but I probably can't attend. Maybe you should go in my place.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

From Failblog

This is so disgusting I can hardly stand to look at it, but I just had to post since it features a Texas beer:

epic fail pictures
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Firkin Friday

Firkin Friday is back at the Draught House. Today's offering, as told to me by brewer Josh Wilson:
We have an extra special cask of Green Flash 30th Street Pale Ale, originally brewed for their 6th anniversary. In any other place but San Diego, this would be called an IPA.

tapping @ 3pm as usual.

If you're not quite clear on what a firkin is, or why cask beer is so awesome, read this Austin Chronicle article I wrote last year. (Pictured: A row of casks at the Draught House's 41st anniversary party last year.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Couple of Nice Texas Seasonals

The holiday beer season is over; now it's time for winter seasonals (they're not exactly the same thing). A couple of nice ones have popped up here in Texas:

Shiner Fröst
If you lamented the retirement of the limited-edition Shiner 99, the Munich-style Helles lager, you're in luck: If my tastebud memory is correct, this is essentially the same beer. It's not what I expected from a winter beer: fairly clean and crisp in comparison to most of the rock-heavy, high-alcohol things we often expect to give us a fuzzy blanket against the chill. But then,
the freeze of last week notwithstanding, we don't really have winter in Texas, do we?

Instead, this is a Dortmunder style beer, according to the folks at Spoetzl Brewery:

[It] has the malt profile of a Helles, the hop character of a Pils, but is slightly stronger than both. First brewed in Dortmund, Germany for the hardworking coal miners of the town, this distinctive blend has something you might not expect– a touch of sweetness that quickly fades to a crisp hoppy flavor. Shiner Fröst uses Two-Row Malted Barley, Malted Wheat and Munich Malt for a full bodied flavor. Hallertau Tradition and Spalter Select Hops contribute to the noble aroma.
My own impression: It has that same syrupy sweetness that 99 had, which I didn't consider a bad thing. I suppose the malt profile is a bit higher than a summer beer, but honestly, I think I could drink this any time of year; I'm a little surprised it's being marketed as a winter beer.

5.5 ABV, 25 IBU

Real Ale Phoenixx Double ESB
I didn't have high expectations for this, as ESBs don't usually get me too excited. But I'm really liking this. Much more flavorful than I expected. The first thing that hits you is the heavy malts (giving
"toffee and caramel notes," as their website notes), but it's no dopplebock — very quickly, you start to notice strong, floral hop notes cutting their way through the thick malt jungle, clearing a path that you'll want to explore again and again.

The Real Ale website still says "draught only," so maybe this beer is not new, but it's definitely the first time I've had it or noticed it in bottles. (Bonus points: Snaps to the label designer for the homage to the old black-and-gold Pontiac Trans Am Firebird logo.)

7.2 ABV, 50 IBU

Neither of these beers made my head spin (in the taste sense, not the alcohol sense), but they're solid enough that I'll buy more, especially the Phoenixx. I'd grade both a high B, and worth your money.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Black Star Co-op: Bar Hours With the Board Tonight

Message from Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery:

The mild weather has returned to Austin, so there's no need to brave the cold to go out and have a beer.

In pursuit of that tasty beverage, please join us tonight (1/13) at Snack Bar, 1224 S Congress, for an opportunity to share a pint with members of our Board of Directors. As you know, these events are not formal meetings, but they are a great opportunity for member-owners (and prospective new members-owners!) to meet with some of our Directors and enhance the membership linkage of our Co-op.

See you on Wednesday

When: Wednesday, January 13th, 7-9 PM
Where: Snack Bar, 1224 S Congress

Monday, January 11, 2010

Best Holiday Beer?

I want to make a poll on the best Holiday/Winter seasonal of 2009. Give me your nominations in the comment section and I'll design one. You have until the end of the week.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I promise, I'll be back

Good god, I just realized it's been more than a month since I posted. I'm sorry, dear blog, for cheating on you with those whores Facebook and Twitter. I promise, I'll return to my original true love soon.