Sunday, January 30, 2011

Jester King Photo Gallery

The Jester King Brewery grand opening party was an absolute blast — great music, great people, cool vintage cars, good food, and of course, excellent beer enjoyed under perfect weather on the really fantastic Hill Country ranch that hosts Central Texas' newest brewery. (Wow, do you think I could have squeezed any more superlatives into that sentence?)

Best of all, it gave me a chance to show off the super-duper mind-blowingly awesome hops-decorated western shirt that Pub Knight and Todd gave me for Christmas.

If you couldn't attend, then please live vicariously through me by checking out this photo gallery I posted to Facebook (you don't have to be a Facebook member to view it).

My thoughts on the beer:

Wytchmaker Rye IPA: I love this beer. The strong hop punch you expect from a good American IPA, but blunted by the mellow rye.

Commercial Suicide Dark Mild: I still can't decide if I like milds. This was okay, but definitely my least favorite brew. It's not a knock against the brewer, but the style (I'm also not crazy about Guy Smiley Mild at Draught House either, and I love Draught House's brews). I'm not sure if I had the regular or whiskey barrel aged version. Sorry, I'm a bad journalist.

Boxer’s Revenge Farmhouse Provision Ale: More sour than what I expected from a saison, but fortunately, I've really learned to appreciate sour beers recently. My buddy bill thought he detected orange peel in the flavor.

Black Metal Imperial Stout:
Without question my favorite beer of the day. I loves me a good imperial stout, and this was done to perfection. Gorgeous coffee and chocolate notes, and served a the perfect temperature (just barely cooled, not cold).

Start looking for Jester King in the bars and stores. These guys are definitely ready for prime time. And go visit them if you get a chance.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jester King Grand Opening Party!

Hey Austin, Jester King Brewery is in business, and they're having a grand opening party this Saturday, 1-9pm that ought to be a blast! Click on that link for details.

This will be an affair worth attending. While any brewery tour is pretty cool, Jester King's location is really something special – set out in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, down a sparsely populated county road, it's on a breathtaking piece of property. The only way this could be any better is if they'd held off until wildflower season started. (I attended a groundbreaking party last year when the bluebonnets were out, and it was amazing, as was the beer.)

In addition to awesome beer, it looks like an interesting lineup of music and other activities. Go check it out, but definitely take a designated driver — that winding county road won't be so fun after you've been drinking, and the No.3 Bus doesn't go out there.

My Review of Black Star Co-op

Hey y'all, I have a review of Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery in today's Austin Chronicle. Please check it out.

(photo copyright of John Anderson; do NOT reprint without his permission.)

Sunday, January 16, 2011


To answer this press release's first question, I have no idea what floorball is. From what I can tell from this photo I downloaded from Wikimedia, it appears to be a non-ice version of hockey. But it is beer-related, and it's being organized by my buddy Bobnoxious, so I'll publish it.

Hey, do you like floorball?

Do you like beer?

If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then you're going to like what we're planning. The Austin Floorball Club is having a Beer Tasting Fundraiser next Thursday, Jan 20. The event is open to anyone 21 and up. Donation request is $30. Our goal is to import some real Floorball boards to Austin and the only way we can do that is by raising some serious cashola. See attached flyer for event details and directions.

· The Beer Theme is Big Beers. Porters. Stouts. Winter Seasonal Beers. Come sample 10 Big Beers from around the world and here in Austin.

· Open to the public, $30 dollars donation request. Bring your friends!!

· All proceeds go towards purchase of floorball rink.

· Pre/post event keg to be provided by NXNW Brew Masters.

· Limited to the first 30 people that sign up and pay.

· First of a series.

We will use the boards in the Austin community; we work with the Boys and Girls Club, events like the annual AISD ActiveLife Fitness fest, youth tournaments with the Texas Stars, and in our weekly youth and adult league. So you would be supporting a small local non-profit type organization. And sampling some tasty beer while doing so.

Registration Info

Step 1- Pay Here:

Step 2- Register Here:

We've got the beer lined up and ready, all we need is you!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Flying Saucer Austin's 3rd Anniversary Party

Hey Austinites, it's been three years since the Flying Saucer chain came to town. They're gonna celebrate on Sunday. Sounds like a good party. Press release from FS:
Flying Saucer to Host Third Anniversary Party

Event will feature special beer tappings hourly from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Austin, Texas, Jan. 14, 2011 – Flying Saucer Draught Emporium will host its Third Anniversary Party on Sunday, Jan. 16 at its 815 W. 47th St. location. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. for a Beerknurd members-only breakfast buffet, and admission for the general public will begin at noon.

Austin beer lovers will not want to miss this event, as a different specially selected beer will be tapped every hour on the hour from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Some of the featured brews include the (512) Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter 2009, Avery Rumpkin Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary - Grand Cru and Saint Arnold Altared Amber.

“For our Third Anniversary Party, we wanted to showcase some great locally brewed beers, as well as some hard-to-find brews for all of our customers who have supported us since we opened in 2008,” said Ted Rowell, general manager of Flying Saucer. “With a full schedule of special beer tappings, we expect a great turnout. The fact that there is no cover charge for the event makes it that much easier to party with us on our anniversary!”

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium was founded in 1995 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Offering a wide variety of imported and domestic quality craft beers, as well as a full pub menu, the Flying Saucer family has now expanded to 14 locations in Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Missouri.

For more information about the event, please call (512) 454-8200 or visit

Friday, January 14, 2011

Awesome Article About Boulevard Label Art

As I've said many times on this blog, I was lucky enough to marry a Kansas City gal, and thus became a fan of Boulevard Brewing Company. The January 9 issue of the Kansas City Star featured a great, visually stunning article on Payton Kelly, the in-house artist responsible for the eye-catching labels and boxes that make Boulevard's brews so easy to spot on the shelves. It's worth your time to read it, and even more worth your time to check out the photos.

Even more important, if you have some way of getting a copy of the paper version of the article, you should do so. While the online version has more photos, the paper version has a really well-done layout, a thing of beauty which will be lost if newspapers ever completely die.

(photo copyright
JOHN SLEEZER of the Kansas City Star, do not reprint without permission)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Beer Bills in the 82nd Texas Legislature

Okay Texas beer drinkers, once again the Legislature is back in session – and it's time for you citizens to stand up for those who provide us with our favorite tasty, tasty beverage.

So far I've found two filed bills related to beer:

HB 602: This is the return of what has become an every-other-year (that's how often the Lege meets) cause among microbrewery fans, a bill to allow brewers to sell their product on the premises. Currently in Texas, brewers (not including brewpubs) must sell their product through wholesalers. Previous attempts to get this right — one that winemakers have, but brewers do not (!) — have been killed or at least delayed in committee thanks to the lobbying group Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas. The bill was introduced yesterday by Rep. Jessica Farrar of Houston (who, I recently discovered, is married to someone with whom I attended high school!). Technically, the bill won't allow direct sales, but it will allow up to two cases of beer as a parting gift upon completion of brewery tour — for which admission may be charged.

HB 660: This bill is sort of the inverse of HB 602. Whereas microbreweries cannot sell directly to consumers, brewpubs can sell only to consumers — in other words, they can't put their product on store shelves. This bill would allow them to sell to wholesalers, so this bill would allow them the right to sell off the premises. This bill was introduced today by Rep. Mike Villarreal of San Antonio (who, as far as I know, is not married to any of my former high school classmates).

What can you do to help make these perfectly sensible laws pass? Contact your legislators and politely tell them that you are a voter, a constituent, and you support these bills. Start with your state representative, since the bill is in the House. Then keep coming back to this blog, and I'll update you on when the bills have been referred to a committee, when the bills will be heard in committee (you may even consider showing up to testify in support of the bills, especially if you're in Austin), and if the bills make it to the Senate, I'll continue following them through the process. (Or, if you're a do-it-yourself type, the Texas Legislature's website allows you to get e-mail alerts on a bill's status sent directly to you.)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Thirsty Planet Making More Progress

Thirsty Planet, one of the newest Austin breweries and seemingly one of zillions starting or hoping to start up in 2010-11, made further strides forward in December. From their newsletter:

The cooperage has arrived!!

While babies have their first steps and first words, breweries have their first cooperage order and their own grain silo... check and check! This week we were the proud recipients of 500 brand new keg shells all the way from France. They took forever to cross the wide Atlantic ocean and into the port of Houston, but made it to the brewery in a large container and then we went to work! Brian, Mike, Jake, and our kick-ass volunteer Ben's many hands made light work and now we have tripled the amount of keg shells we have in our arsenal. They're beautiful, shiny and have our name stamped on them. The grain silo is up in front of the building now and when filled, will hold about 40,000 lbs of two-row malt. Soon we'll have a giant logo on the side to make finding us a little bit easier. The bottling line is inching closer and closer to happening. Plumbing is done, electricity is done, just waiting to get the floor sealed and then putting the beast together. We have a feeling many beers will be needed to make the process a little bit easier on all of us. If all goes according to plans, look for Thirsty Planet in 12 and 22 oz. bottles by Spring!