One of my favorite features is that it ranks your top 6 beers — creating, a I guess, your fantasy mix-and-match six-pack. I thought it would be interesting to examine mine:
- Shade Grown Coffee Porter Real Ale Brewing Company American Porter (21)
- Weedwacker Saint Arnold Brewing Company Kölsch (21)
- Winter Stout Saint Arnold Brewing Company American Stout (19)
- Lost Gold IPA Real Ale Brewing Company American IPA (18)
- Rahr's Blonde Rahr & Sons Brewing Company Helles Lager (15)
Clearly, I'm a believer in "drink local" — all six are from Texas breweries. Now, I'm no beer xenophobe — I love beer from outside Texas, and I specifically make it a point when I'm on vacation to explore beers from wherever I am, especially beers that I can't get back home. But I'll also declare that this is a good time to be drinking craft beer in Texas. My homeboys (and girls) just keep getting better, more interesting, and more adventurous. We may never become an Oregon or California, but there's plenty to brag about here (and Texans are good at that).
Plus, my Texancentric bias is skewed by a superstition I have: When I'm watching sports (which is a lot), I always drink the beer most local to the team for which I'm rooting. And that team is usually some incarnation of the Texas Longhorns. It's also the reason Rahr's Blonde got on there: For the first time, I really started following the Texas Rangers, and thus sought out the Fort Worth-based Rahr, especially as the Rangers drove toward their second World Series. I'm glad I did — I used to not think much of Rahr, considering them fairly mediocre, but in giving them another chance I found that the brewery is much improved. This blonde is good stuff, and Rahr's Texas Red very nearly made my top 6 as well. I'm turning into a soccer fan — perhaps if I start following the English Premiere League, you'll see more English beers sneaking onto the list.
In a way, though, I also think the list is deceptive — or at least, it highlights the difference between the beers we drink most and the beers we truly love. Fireman's Four is a good beer. But is it my favorite beer, because it sits atop that list? Certainly not. There are plenty of beers I love more. But of course, the beers I love most cost a pretty penny, and are likely to be seasonal. For me, Fireman's is — as I assume it is for many people — my go-to beer. In Austin, it's always available, it's affordable (not the same thing as "cheap," but certainly cheaper than super-delicious Belgian beers or crazy Dogfish Head selections), and with our ungodly hot weather, it's usually right for the moment.
And for my favorite venues:
Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery Nightlife Spots Austin, TX
- Uncle Billy's Brew & Que Food Austin, TX
- Whip In Convenience Store & Pub Food Austin, TX
- The Ginger Man Nightlife Spots Austin, TX
- Scholz Garten Nightlife Spots Austin, TX
- North By Northwest (NXNW) Nightlife Spots Austin, TX
Not much surprise here. I was head-over-heels ecstatic when I learned that Black Star was going to open up walking distance (stumbling distance?) from my house. There's nothing cooler than having a neighborhood bar that you can just walk or bicycle to. Of course, the Pour House is slightly closer, and has a good beer selection, but it's not a brewpub and I think I just like BSC's vibe a little better. (Actually, most of my beer drinking occurs in my house, but unlike some Untappd users, I didn't create a listing for my house as a venue.)
My total stats: 989 beers, including 310 unique beers. Hmm, I think I see where my daughters' college fund has been going.
Actually, I'm pretty proud of that unique number. That means I tried a different beer almost every day! In general, I strive for culinarily adventurousness, and almost never drink the same beer consecutively.
And now I have it on record.