Wednesday, July 28, 2010
At the newspaper for which I write, The Austin Chronicle, we're preparing for our annual "Best of Austin" issue. Which got me to wondering: Now that the number of breweries here is expanding enough to almost say we have an actual brewing scene, I want to know what is your favorite among our locals. Thus, please see the poll in the right-hand column of this blog.
Although I realize an argument could be made that Shiner qualifies as an Austin brewery, I decided I'm limiting it to nothing further away than Blanco – in other words, anything within about an hour's drive of Downtown.
I'm also limiting it to breweries that are actually fully operational and currently putting product out on the shelves and in the barroom taps, so you fans of Black Star and others will just have to wait until next year, when I'll hopefully remember to run another such poll.
Yes, the poll is unscientific, and you could get away with voting multiple times, but I'd really appreciate it if you'd just vote only once. I'm leaving this open for a good long time: a whole month.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Last I talked with the co-opers, they said they were shooting for a September opening date. I'm really excited about it.
UPDATE: Black Star + Thirsty Planet = Yum. Black Star e-mailed me to say that they'll have some brews by Thirsty Planet at this event. How cooperative of them! Having gone to Thirsty Planet's grand opening just a few days ago (I'll update soon) I can tell that will be quite enjoyable.
Friday, July 09, 2010
Obviously, some things have changed since that posting: Perry, of course, got the GOP nomination; Bill White did, in fact, switch from a U.S. Senate run and became the Democratic nominee; and Kathie Glass is the Libertarian candidate. However, my opinions of WBDT and Perry have not changed.
I just sent an e-mail to the White campaign asking for their opinion regarding on-site sales. As of this posting, they haven't yet replied, but I suspect this photo offers a hint. I'll also ask Glass her opinion; I would assume allowing on-site sales would be the logical Libertarian stance.
Rather than write the places up myself, I'm going to be lazy and just link you his reviews, since he pretty sums up the way I felt. Nice places to which I might never return, just for logistical reasons – with NXNW, the Pour House, Billy's on Burnet, and the Draught House all nearby, there just isn't much reason to go that far north. And heck, if I just have a craving to go to a strip mall, Bagpipes and Sherlock's are close by, too. But if I lived out there, Dig Pub and Tap Room would probably be regular stops for me.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Magic Hat Odd Notion Summer '10
Nice seasonal. Unfiltered golden ale. Light, easy drinking taste, very refreshing. Easy on the hops, but noticeable. The real highlight is as you swallow – you get this sharp kick of ginger that’s really delightful. I guess that makes it a ginger ale?
The few Magic Hats I’ve tried haven’t left me real impressed (and frankly, I have some friends who agree, so it’s not just me), but here in the Texas heat, this one does the trick.
Magic Hat Wacko Summer Seasonal
Clean drinking, not a whole lot of flavor, but if you’re looking to put away a few on a hot day, this goes down easy.
Magic Hat Roxy Roller Autumn Seasonal
My initial impression is that the flavor is a bit thin for what seems to be trying for a rich heaviness. It just seems like there ought to be more going on here. I decided to let it warm a bit, which helped. Some caramel notes come out. Toast. Strong hops. A bit of sweet fruit hiding deep within. Still, it just feels like something is missing.
Magic Hat IPA on Tour: Blind Faith
Part of a series of IPAs that Magic Hat has been rolling out. Nice fruit notes, something citrusy going on underneath the hops. Yet, like many Magic Hat beers, it’s just not outstanding. See my comment above about “something is missing,” only even more so.
Deschutes Hop in the Dark
I shared this with friends at a party several weeks ago, and I wish I’d taken better notes. But let me just cut to the chase: outstanding. I can only remember so much, but I just remember everyone going “wow, this is great.” It’s a black IPA, a style that seems to be on the rise (Stone has one as well). I remember it being very mellow, with a very balanced hop bite that is subtle, not overwhelming like some IPAs. A touch of coffee. This is part of Deschutes Bond Street Series, available May-September, and I encourage you to grab some now if you can find it – here in Texas, I think all we get from Deschutes is Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale (seriously, guys, could you at least start sending some Obsidian Stout down here?).
UPDATE: Somebody with Deschutes e-mailed me to say:
You will be getting Hop in the Dark 22oz bottles in Austin. It should be on shelves in Austin by now and a few of the places where you will be able to find it include: Whip In (S. I35), Spec’s Airport, Spec’s Brodie, and Central Markets. Hope this helps and if you don’t see it on the shelves, please ask for it since it should be out until about August.