Monday, November 30, 2009

Divine Reserve 9 released Tuesday; Saint Arnold asks you to share

I just got the press release below:

Saint Arnold Brewing Company Urges Customers to Limit Purchases of Divine Reserve No. 9

Everyone else has Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but Texas beer lovers have Beer Tuesday

HOUSTON, November 30, 2009 – Saint Arnold Brewing Company (, the oldest craft brewery in Texas, wants to make sure that everyone who wants to try Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 9 will be able to find it. The brewery has asked retailers to limit sales to two six packs per customer and is asking customers to limit their purchase to a six pack or two. Starting Tuesday, December 1st, a very limited supply of Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 9 will arrive in stores, restaurants and bars in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.

Divine Reserve No. 9 is an Imperial Stout Pumpkin Ale. It is the latest edition in a highly anticipated and sought after series of high-quality, full-flavored single batch beers, each brewed with a completely different recipe. The batches are identified by the number on the neck label.

“Based on past experience and the fact that Divine Reserve No. 9 will be on lots of gift lists, we expect very high demand,” said Brock Wagner, Founder/Brewer of Saint Arnold Brewing. “We set out to brew the best pumpkin beer in the world and we hope people think we made a creditable effort.”

Black with some ruby highlights, Divine Reserve No. 9 is full of pumpkin pie spices with notes of nutmeg, caraway and vanilla.

“It tastes like a chocolate pumpkin pie. The taste starts with chocolate malt with a hint of spice and rolls into a warm spicy alcohol taste,” said Wagner. “I recommend serving at 50 degrees or warmer because it brings the spices forward in the taste and the chocolate moves to the finish.”

A total of 1,500 cases and 29 kegs of Saint Arnold Divine Reserve were produced. Saint Arnold’s distributors allocate Divine Reserve to stores, restaurants and bars on the basis of how much Saint Arnold beer they have sold over the previous six months.

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 9 is priced at approximately $16 per six pack. More information on the Divine Reserve series is available at

Friday, November 27, 2009

World's Strongest Beer?

A Scottish brewery is producing what may be the world's strongest beer: Jeez, THIRTY-TWO PERCENT ABV? Yeesh. Of course, there are some tightasses whining about it. Never mind the fact that whiskey is even stronger.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mini-Interview With Travis Poling, Beer News

My semi-monthly beer news column is in this week's Austin Chronicle (which is on the stands today, a day early due to the holiday), as is my mini-interview with Travis Poling, who was at the Draught House recently promoting his new book, Beer Across Texas: A Guide to the Brews and Brewmasters of the Lone Star State, which he coauthored with Paul Hightower. That's Poling in the photo, enjoying something hoppy at Draught House. (photo by me)

If you follow beer blogs and like Texas brews, you're probably familiar with both authors: Poling does the Beer Across Texas blog, and Hightower produces Texas Beer. I recommend the book as a holiday present for the Texas craft beer lover in your life.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wanna buy a brewery?

Looks like Mark Cannon at Eola School is looking to sell. For the unfamiliar: He bought an abandoned schoolhouse out in West Texas near San Angelo that once served a wide spot in the road called Eola, and converted it into a restaurant, hotel, and brewery, which he apparently runs as a one-man show. It'll be too bad if it goes under, because I never got out there to visit. Plus West Texans need good beer.

Tip of the hat to Machuca and other Austin beer bloggers for tipping me off to the eBay listing.

Monday, November 16, 2009

An Anti-Endorsement

On the whole, I try to keep politics out of this blog, even though my day job is political reporter for Austin's alternative weekly newspaper. Here, I want us take a break from the bitterness that occupies so many other places on the net.

So I'm not gonna use this forum to tell you who to vote for. But I just got some news that compels me to at least tell you who NOT to vote for. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, running for re-election in 2010, just got the endorsement of the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas. Therefore, that makes Perry the enemy of craft beer lovers in Texas.

If you read this blog earlier in the year, you know that WBDT and its lobbyist, Mike McKinney, single-handedly killed off a bill during the 81st Legislative Session that would have allowed microbrewers to sell their product on the premises of the brewery — a sales-boosting opportunity afforded to Texas wineries, but not to beermakers. They also killed a similar bill in 2007 during the 80th session. The wholesalers have a stranglehold on how beer gets from the brewing tanks to you. Understandably, they don't want that stranglehold taken away, but the legislators (and Governor) ought to be serving the public, not the lobby.

So if WBDT is getting whole hog behind Perry, then you can guess how things are gonna go in the unlikely event an on-site sales bill ever reaches his desk.

Now, I'm not going to be disingenuous here: For what it's worth, I'm a big flaming Democrat, and wouldn't vote for Perry anyway. However, I'm not gonna single out one of his opponents for the official I Love Beer endorsement. If you love good beer, vote for whoever you damn well please, just so long as it's not him.

In the Republican primary, Perry is being challenged by U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Larry Kilgore, and Debra Medina. In the Democratic primary, declared candidates are Kinky Friedman, Tom Schieffer, and Hank Gilbert, and Farouk Shami is expected to declare soon. Among Libertarians, you have Jeff Daiell, Kenneth Griffith, and Steve Nichols (no relation to yours truly, as far as I know). Fran Cavanaugh is an independent candidate.

It's been rumored that Houston Mayor Bill White might switch from the U.S. Senate race (to replace Hutchison) and jump into the gubernatorial contest. His campaign firmly denies it, but if he did, I think this photo shows why he would quickly jump to the front for my vote.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Black Star Co-op Unveils Brewpub Location

Exciting news, folks: The Black Star C0-op Brewpub has apparently taken a major step toward transitioning from really neat idea to an actual physical business. On Saturday, they'll host a preview event of what will eventually be their brewpub in the new Crestview Station Midtown Commons development. Sadly, I can't make it, but I'm real fired up about the location, because it's within stumbling distance of my house. Pictured is an aerial rendering of what Crestview Station will look like when it's done; now just imagine a member-owned brewpub in the middle of that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Toast Fail

From my very favorite blog,

see more Epic Fails

Saturday, November 07, 2009

More beers added to Draught House Party

I just got an e-mail saying that these beers have been added to the Draught House 41st anniversary party (see post below):
Bear Republlic Racer 5 (cask)
New Belgium Eric's Ale
New Belgium Transatlantique Kreik
(512) Bruin, which will be randallized with Centennial hops
Avery Duguna IPA
Bear Republic Mach 10

gates open @ 1pm
come out and try a Black and Tan cupcake!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Blowout 41st Anniversary at Draught House

The Draught House will be celebrating its 41st birthday on Saturday with an insane number of fantastic beers, more than any normal human could drink in a day (of course, I suspect I have some superhuman readers).

UPDATE: I was just told that Travis E. Poling, creator of the Beer Across Texas blog, will be at this event to sign copies of his new book of the same name. He coauthored the "guide to the brews and brewmasters of the Lone Star State" with Paul W. Hightower, creator of the Texas Beer blog.
It's time for us to celebrate our longevity again with a big party. We are excited to present a number of special and cask ales to be enjoyed during the festivities. We offer...

Our own House made Double IPA,as fresh as it gets with 3 pounds per barrel of American Hops.
Stone Cali-Belgique- a Belgian IPA hybrid
Stone Self Righteous- a Black IPA
Lagunitas Hop Stoopid- big 'ol Imperial IPA
Dogfish Head 120- the biggest IPA of all time?
Live Oak Treehugger- the 3 year old Barley Wine that we all miss...
New Belgium Tart Lychee-3 year old, aged in oak, blended sour ale with lychee and ceylon cinnamon.

Brooklyn Pennant- classic English Pale Ale
New Belgium Hoptoberfest- hopped up blond ale
Green Flash Hop Head Red- Red IPA?
Green Flash West Coast IPA- the pinnacle of American IPA's
Allagash Curieux- bourbon barrel aged Triple
Saint Arnold Christmas Ale- probably my favorite SA beer. Very rich and great on cask
Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye- excellent rye IPA only made better on cask.
Real Ale Firemans #4- this beer rocks out of the firkin.

these beers can be sampled for $2 each in a commemorative glass
this list will probably increase over the next 2 weeks....

Additionally we have

DJ Jubal spinning a classic soul set from his vast collection of vinyl
Beer trivia games with prizes sponsored by Austin Homebrew Supply
Bourbon and Coke Pork chops on a stick
Jerk Chicken on a stick
Veggie Kabob with mint and yogurt

Saturday Nov. 7th from 1pm-10pm
4112 Medical Pkwy
Austin Texas
check us on twitter!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Killing Bats = Bad Karma

The Freetail Brewing Company press release below is a lot more charitable about San Antonio Spurs star Manu Genobli killing a bat that was delaying a game than I am. Learn something about the region in which you live, Genobli. A bat is not a "just a mouse with wings" — bats eat the 5 zillion @#$%ing mosquitoes that can make life a living hell in Texas. We need them, a lot more than we need rich sports stars. I wish the damn thing had bitten him. Or at least, I hope the next time he tries to relax on the back porch of his no doubt lavish house, he gets swarmed by hungry mosquitoes.

UPDATE: Ha ha, I just heard on the news that he has to get a series of rabies shots.


Locally owned and operated brewpub seeks to draw attention to the value of Mexican Free-tailed Bats

(November 2, 2009) San Antonio, TX – Immediately after Spurs superstar and San Antonio hero Manu Ginobili killed a bat that had twice delayed the basketball team’s game versus the Sacramento Kings, Freetail Brewing Co. has announced it is willing to broker a peace accord between the veteran guard and area flying mammals.

“Mexican Free-tailed Bats are an important part of our local eco-system and the Texas State Legislature has in fact recognized this by naming them the Official Flying Mammal of Texas. Many people may not realize that the San Antonio area is home to the largest population of Mexican Free-tailed bats in the world,” said Freetail Brewing Co. Founder and CEO Scott Metzger. “A single bat can eat up to eight times its body weight of pesky insects in a single night, making them a vital asset to area residents who love sitting on the patio, enjoying a beer and taking in Texas’s beautiful vistas.”

“I don’t think it was a big deal,” Ginobili said, later adding, “It’s just a mouse with wings.”

Metzger has a difference of opinion. “While I don’t think Manu has any interest in stomping on bluebonnets, burning pecan trees, or spitting on the Alamo – I think he should recognize how important these creatures are to our area,” adding that he would love to see Ginobili contribute to Bat Conservation International which owns Bracken Cave, home to over 20 million Mexican Free-tailed Bats.

Metzger had a final message for Ginobili, saying “We know Manu is a great citizen of San Antonio, and we look forward to seeing him fly for more dunks while the bats fly through our skies at night.”

Freetail Brewing Co. is founded on the pursuit of creating exciting, innovative and unique world class beers and wood-fired gourmet pizzas. We embrace the laid back and fun-loving South Central Texas culture and set out to create products that mirror the lifestyle of our diverse and rapidly growing community. We believe in promoting an increased appreciation of craft beer and its responsible enjoyment. We believe in going above and beyond customer expectations not only through our products, but also through exceptional customer service. We believe in providing a dining and leisure experience unmatched in the local community. And in case you didn’t get it the first time… we believe in having fun.

For more information visit

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Bike Pub Crawl

Now this is right up my alley. I'm trying to save up some cash for my wife's 40th birthday blowout, but I may have to join at least some of this.

Perhaps this is how I'll console myself for missing Wurstfest this year.

New Records!

This post is for statistics geeks only.

The effect of the "In the Can" video continues: A month after boosting me to new records in September, now October has blown those marks away. September's new mark for hits in a month was 5,208, but October more than doubled it: 10,596.

My all-time record for page views was 7,279 last October. This October raised it to 13,009.

Yes, I'm a hit whore. Let's drink a toast to Google.