Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Oro De Calabaza and lobster. Not too shabby.

Another list

Everyone likes a list. This one is from the Brookston Beer Bulletin:

Top 5

My Top 5 Beers this year in no particular order:

5. Celebration Ale, after returning from unhoppy western Europe (Jan 2008).
4. My first Hercules Double IPA (Mar 2008).
3. Saint Arnold's Divine Reserve #6, cellared for 6 months (Dec. 2008).
2. Real Ale's Devil's Backbone (May 2008).
1. Any Draught House Pub beer (2008).

Wrapping up 2008

Rick Seller has a good article over at DRAFT summing up this past year in beer. No Austin or Texas love, but I feel in two to three years we will be force to reckon with (hopefully).

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Twitter Time

To expand my web presence and to offer you more content, I have joined twitter. Twitter is like a micro blog. The four most recent posts, or twitters will appear over there in the right column. Next time you check the blog and find no new posts, fear not, look right and hopefully I have at least added a few quick twitters. If not, I must really be slacking.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Whoooahh, total blog lag

Sorry about the bloglag. Being here in Orlando, at my parents, is sort of like being in a blackhole. Not that there is no good beer to be found.

Knightly Spirits
is five minutes away. Sometimes I just stop in to stare at the bottles. Other times, I sneak back without my wife and blow 30 bucks without batting an eye. It is very easy to get carried away there. I try not to shop there without a budget.

I am currently enjoying a DFH Palo Santo whilst uploading my holiday photos. Pondering whether a second Palo Santo would be totally decedent.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fire Sale

Flying Saucer's Fire Sales are often pretty weak. But last night was a goodie. Mirror Pond Pale Ale, which makes for a good night. They also had Jasperilla on tap, very tasty. I noticed too late that they had Live Oaks Weizenbock, damn. Who's had it? Good?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Live Oak Weizenbock

Chip from Live Oak will be "debuting" their Weizenbock tonight at Opal Divine's Marina.

So I've heard.


From Saint Arnold's:
We have put on eBay the opportunity for you and up to 3 of your friends to sample Divine Reserve Nos. 1 through 7 with brewer Brock Wagner (beers not included - see below for how that works). Brock will sit down with the group and all 5 people (Brock will be enjoying the beers with you) will taste each beer, discuss how the recipe came to be, the style and flavors in the beer, and how it is aging. These beers proved very popular and all sold out within a day at most retailers. Saint Arnold held back a few cases of each release and locked them up in the cold box for aging. All have aged spectacularly.

All proceeds from this auction will be donated to the Orange Show to support the Art Car Parade, the Orange Show monument, the Beer Can House and other activities of this great Houston organization.

A mutually acceptable time and place for the tasting will be arranged after the completion of the auction. It can be anyplace (office, home, etc.) as long as it is in the Houston area. (If there is interest, we may do this again in other Texas cities, so email us separately about that.)

The beer: The winner of this auction will be earning the right to purchase two bottles each of Divine Reserves 1-7 (thus, 14 bottles total), from a local retailer for the tasting. Only the winner will have the secret password. There will be no other way to purchase these bottles. Estimated budget for this purchase: $40. This expense is separate from and not included in the auction.

Happy bidding!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thirsty Thursday #17

The Czar
by Avery Brewing, Boulder, CO
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 11.73%

Tasty. This is like the fourth Avery beer I've done for Thirsty Thursday. I should broaden my horizons I guess. But this beer is soo good, I couldn't let it slip by without telling you. It is a seasonal so get it now. Avery is distributed pretty far now, so chances are you can get it. Go on now, what are you sitting around for?

It is a pretty standard imperial stout in most regards, but the flavor puts it over the top for me. I pick up caramel and apple, well I guess just caramel apple, whatever. It's delicious.

Better reviews here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I just finished a bottle of Lost Abbey's Gift of the Magi. It is not often I get to enjoy Lost Abbey's offerings. This was a bottle my brother brought back from San Francisco.

It was flat. Possibly a bad bottle. The cork made no popping sound when opening. It poured with almost no head, only the slightest bit of lacing. The aroma and flavor were alright, but I just could not get over the lackluster appearance. I didn't not enjoy the beer, it was pretty good, but I am not sure I could fully appreciate it because of it's beginnings.

I want to try another bottle. Where will I get another bottle? Most likely, unless they start distributing here, I will never have this beer again.

Oh, Texas!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Whip In Brewpub - Bring it on!

I was cruisin' the new menu for Whip In and I saw this. Another Austin brewpub? The more the merrier.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

(512) Brewer's Dinner

A bit pricey for me right now. Let me know how it goes. More info here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanks Giving

I am sure this is the first time such a lineup was waiting for anyone arriving into Brownsville, TX. Thanks brother.

Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi
Russian River Beatification
Marin White Knuckle D-IPA

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Boulevard's Smokestack series are available in Austin. Have you had 'em yet? If not, what are you waiting for. I actually just got around to trying the Sixth Glass Quad, which is killer. Boulevard's regular lineup is so-so, but if the rest of the Smokestack series are as good as this one.... forget about it. I think I may pick up the whole series for my Thanksgiving trip to Brownsville next week. Better than Tecate, that's for sure.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thirsty Thursday #16

Kona Pipeline Porter
by Kona Brewing Co., Kona, HI
Style: American Porter
ABV: 5.40%

I gotta say this beer surprised me. I was not expecting much. When Kona first made a splash on the Austin scene I had my reservations. Without hearing any rumblings in the beer underworld, all of sudden every supermarket in town had huge displays of Kona Brewing's offerings. It seemed a bit fishy to me. And it made me wary of their beers. Why had I not heard about this earlier? Just who is pushing these beers on us? .... You know what I am saying?

So I held out, until I saw this beer. I am willing to try any beer and coffee concoction. But coffee beers, coffee porters specifically have not always met my expectations.

This one was different. Kona did the roasted coffee aromas and flavors very well, subtle, not too over the top. If you like coffee, get this beer. If you like beer, get this beer. If you don't like beer or coffee, I feel sorry for you.

Oh, I just had apple pie with ice cream and this went great with it. Try it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Freetail Opening

From Freetail:


Locally owned and operated microbrewery takes flight on Black Friday

November 7, 2008) San Antonio, TX – Freetail Brewing Co. will open the doors of their inaugural location on the corner of 1604 and NW Military in the Hill Country Plaza retail development on Thanksgiving weekend, November 28-30. The opening marks a fresh approach to San Antonio’s brewpub scene combining artisan pizza, salads and sandwiches with a microbrewery featuring unique selections of craft beer. Opening specials will include happy hour prices throughout the weekend.

Friday, November 14, 2008

How come I never knew about this. Brewed in Portland, Maine. That is Joshua L. Chamberlain, civil war hero and distant relative, adorning the bottle.

New bar in Austin

The beer list on their website is most likely incorrect and reflects what they have in their South Bend pub. But I am still looking forward to trying it this weekend.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

52 IPA's

A great blog I came across this morning. It made me incredibly thirsty at 10:30 AM.

I poached the picture from his flickr page. I hope he does not mind terribly.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


This is old. Last weekend was the Texas Book Festival. Much of it was passable. I did not wake up in time for Douglas Brinkley on Saturday. But I was able to catch Mike Renfro the author of Shine On: 100 Years of Shiner Beer. I took peak at the book. Well designed (unlike their bloody website). Nice pictures. Heavy on the history, light on the beer. An attractive book to have around I guess, if yr into coffee table books.

P.S. Stay away from Shiner's annoying website. It will crash yr shit.

Thirsty Thursday #15

Avery's Ale to the Chief!
by Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, CO
Style: Double IPA
ABV: 8.75%

As we watched the election results role in, this was my beer of choice. Quite fitting. Brewed to celebrate the arrival of our next president (who we know now will be Obama). This beer reminded me a lot of Mahraja, Avery's other DIPA. It is a bit too sweet for me. I prefer my DIPAs to be more like Great Divide's Hercules, which is straight up delicious. Avery makes better stouts and porters.

Tedo from BarleVine liked it more than I did and had some good things to say:

This is much more of a straightforward hop bomb. One of the more interesting characteristics was the spiciness of these beer, it was pretty intense white pepper notes among other things that I couldn't place. It added a different flavor profile than what I'm used to, it was rather pleasant though. There's also some citrusy bitterness, that along with the hoppy resin really saturates ones mouth. Even with all this intense character it went well with our dinner of hatch chili turkey burgers on ciabatta bread with fried potatoes.

Monday, November 3, 2008

BA Tasting: November 2008

It was another nice one. A good amount of sours:

Schneider Hopfen-Weisse
Deschutes 20th Anniversary Wit
Southern Tier Pumpking
Portsmouth Hop Harvest I
Southern Tier Unearthly IPA
Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Hop Harvest
Olfabrikken Porter
Southhampton Imperial Porter
Jolly Pumpkin La Roja Artisan Amber Ale '07
Panil Barriquee
Lost Abbey Isabelle Proximus
Jolly Pumpkin Autumn Fire '07
Flossmoor Station IPA
Stone Double Bastard '06
Delirium Tremens
Mikkeller It's Alive!
Lost Abbey Judgement Day
(this is where I left)
Dogfish Head Shelter Pale Ale
Left Hand Twin Sisters DIPA
Super Baladin
Liefmans Goudenband
Schlafly Biere de Garde

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thirsty Thursday #14

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.8%

Oh yeah!!! I love this time of year. Celebration time! I saw this at HEB tonight and snapped it up without looking towards any other beer.

This is the first beer I had after returning from Europe last year. We were in Spain for the last month of our trip and there were no hoppy beers to be found in the entire country (save for the one pale ale I found at a beer bar in Valencia, and even that was a stretch). Towards the end of our journey I was quite homesick and longing for that bitter bite of the hop. This was the beer I pined for. And who knew, it's even available in Brownsville, TX, lucky for me.

Easily one of my all time top five IPAs. Homeless, this one is for you!

Freetail Opening in November

They even got their signs up. Am hoping it's done by the time we are driving through for Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thirsty Thursday #13

Deschutes Jubelale
by Deschutes Brewery - Bend, Oregon
Style: Winter Warmer
ABV: 6.7%

It's not even November and the winter beers are rolling out. This is one of the first I've seen in these parts. I had one last night and I am saving the rest for colder winter nights. I find it sort of odd that Deschutes released this beer in Texas when we only get two other beers from them (black butte porter and mirror pond pale ale) and this is a seasonal. They have many other year round beers I wish they would distribute here. Maybe this is a sign of more to come. Or maybe this is being released because it an important beer in their lineup: the first they ever bottled, according to their website.

The artwork on the bottle and the packaging is sick. I wish I took a picture of the six pack carton. About the artwork:
Every year Deschutes Brewery selects a Northwest artist to create an image evocative of the season’s festive atmosphere. In 2008, Pam Jersey Bird, who lives in Sisters, painted a winding, abstract river running through the open spaces of Central Oregon’s desert, surrounded by fluttering snowfall.

It was really unlike any other winter warmers I've had, not a lot of spice flavor. Very malty, which is nice. Super smooth, silky. It reminded me of a porter, almost milky. A bit of a hop bite. Overall not bad, but I was expecting a little more to tell you the truth.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Draught House in Statesman

Blurry Picture totally stolen from Statesman's website. Seriously, what's up with that photo, horrible.

Check out this article on the 40th Anniversary of Draught in the Statesman. I saw this first on BA.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Not much goin' on around here. I am pretty much just biding my time until Draught House's 40th Anniversary Party this saturday. I am really looking forward to that. The picture above was my Thirsty Thursday beer that I never wrote up. It was pretty damn good. I enjoyed DR6 more and can't wait until Christmas to pop a few more of those open.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Seen Today...

On BeerAdvocate. Sounds like it is just a homebrewer's pipe dream. I love pipe dreams. Especially beerey ones.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Just picked this up from the library. I'll let you know how it is. My first thoughts: the design is atrocious.

Things have been pretty slow lately. I picked up a cold, probably traveling to and from Philly last weekend. Stupid airplanes.

I have been on a steady diet of Zicam and Sudafed. As some of you may know, Zicam trashes your taste buds. Everything tastses the same. I've been doing some experiments and have found double ipas are best at blasting through the zinc encrustment.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy Birthday

Just saw this at I Love Beer.

Come for the Barrel Aged Treehugger, the Draught House Double IPA, the Southern Star Rauchbeer, the 512 Pecan Porter or the many cask beers. (via BeerAdvocate)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lancaster, PA Report

Last weekend I was out of town (missing the plethora of Austin beer events) for my cousin, Chris’ wedding.

We arrived Friday. On our way from Philadelphia to Lancaster we had to stop for lunch. Along the path we were we taking I was not seeing much. Thirty minutes into the trip I spotted a boring looking restaurant with the word “bar” in its name and knew it would be my greatest chance at a good beer. Sure enough, they had a decent tap selection, including the seasonal Victory, of course this month their Oktoberfest. It was delicious, spicy for an Oktoberfest. It went well with steak and egg burger…that’s right, steak and egg burger. Hearty food is abundant in these parts.

Later that night, after the rehearsal dinner (where Stella was my drink of choice, not great, but not horrible by any means), we stopped in one of my favorite Lancaster haunts, Quips. Now I remember this place being better. The best they had to offer on tap was Sam Adams Okoberfest and Fuller’s ESB. I chose to stay local and order a Stoudt’s Gold and Victory Hop Devil. Both great beers. Stoudt’s is my favorite PA brewery. Luckily we can get some Victory beers down here. I also had a Sam Smith’s Taddy Porter later. Not a local, but give me a break, it had been a long day and my ordering got a little fuzzy.

Saturday was wedding day. I so badly wanted to visit the Lancaster Iron Hill brewpub, but was never able to fit it in. Later I found out my cousins and friend went without me while waiting for their tuxes to be adjusted (something I stupidly did the night before). Bastards! Around noon, Chris (the groom and my cousin) had us over the house for “relaxed, chill groomsman photos.” Something I scoffed at before arriving. Bless his heart, we arrived greeted by a couple mixed sixers of Stoudt’s (and some of my grandfathers 15-20 year old scotch). Scarlet Lady, Tripel, Double IPA, American Pale. Quite the lineup. We lunched on subs and good beer.

Chris is the man. He served great beer at the reception. Sam Adams Oktoberfest and Dogfish Shelter Pale Ale were the standouts. Me and select few others did our best to polish them off. We failed, but luckily I was able to bring some Dogfish home with me. Following the reception, we met bride and groom at a local bar called Fenz and enjoyed a few more Stoudt’s Scarlet Ladies.

Sunday, flying out of Philadelphia, our plane was delayed of course. It turned out being a bright spot, because I was able to have the best beer of my weekend whilst waiting. Dockstreet Rye IPA. It was the best rye beer I have ever had. Go to Philly and get one.

All in all a good weekend. I really wanted to visit Lancaster Brewing Co. or Iron Hill, but at last I got to drink a good number of Stoudt’s beers. And that made me happy.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thirsty Thursday #12

Boon Geuze
by Brouwerij Boon - Lembeek, Belgium
Style: Gueze/Geuze
ABV: 6%

Another killer beer not available in Austin. I sometimes seriously think about opening a distribution company, just to get beers like this down here. I picked this one up from Knightly Spirits, in Orlando. It is so sad that Orlando has this beer and Austin does not. As far as beer culture goes, Orlando is pretty sad. I really can not understand why they have such great distribution. Knightly Spirits, you rock (and only five minutes from my partents).

About the Gueze style (from BA):
A traditional Belgian blend of young and old Lambics, which are then bottle after blending, then aged for 2-3 years to produce a dryer, fruitier and more intense style of Lambic. There is no hop character, some are filtered and force carbonated if not pasteurized as well. Some say that this is the more harsh lambic as the sourness is pretty intense.

Tart, funky, and super refreshing.

Draught House

I gotta go to the Draught House. They have a bunch of new beers:

American Ale Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. Amber Ale Missouri 5.1%

Brooklyn Lager Brooklyn Brewery Vienna New York 5.2%

Divine Reserve #7 Saint Arnold Brewing Co. Weizenbock Texas 8.4%

Eric's Ale New Belgium Brewing Company Sour Ale Colorado 7%

Hennepin Brewery Ommegang Saison New York 7.7%

Logger Southern Star Brewing Co. Pilsener Texas

Lost Gold IPA Real Ale Brewing Co. IPA Texas 6.6%

Oaktoberfest Live Oak Brewing Co. Oktoberfest Texas

O'Hara's Celtic Stout Carlow Dry Stout Ireland 4.2%

Olde Gnarley Wine Lagunitas Brewing Company Barley Wine California 9.7%

Pipeline Porter Kona Brewing Company Porter Hawaii 5.4%

Punkin' Ale Dogfish Head Brewery Spice/Vegetable Beer Deleware 7%

Stone Smoked Porter Stone Brewing Company Porter California 5.9%

The Kaiser Avery Brewing Co. Oktoberfest Colorado 10.3%

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Available now in Austin, although I bought this bottle in FL. I brought it back thinking we would never get it here. I was super amped to try this, so to damper my expectations I went to BeerAdvocate and read the lowest reviews for this beer. I do this a lot with beers. It was very good, maybe a bit thin, but the cocoa flavor was pretty damn tasty. I saw this at Whole Foods for $11.50 (ouch!). Enjoy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thirsty Thursday #11

Divine Reserve #7
by Saint Arnold Brewing - Houston, TX
Style: Weizenbock
ABV: 8.4%

Damn you hurricane Ike. Nothing will stop the latest Divine Reserve release.

September 23: The DR7 day. I bought my six pack and the rest of Texas bought theirs. I hear they sold out within the day (maybe). There was much more of a hubbub surrounding DR6, but that probably had something to do with it being a barleywine (a much adored style by beer geeks) or the popularity of DR5, a Russian Imperial Stout (beer geek heaven).

Regardless of the lack of hype, this is a pretty solid beer. If you like chocolate and bananas, this is your shit. Straight up chocolate banana malt. Unfortunately, this beer was only released in Texas. And there are probably none to few six packs left for sale. You still can get down here and try it on tap though. The recipe was developed by Austin Homebrewer Kerry Martin and handpicked by Saint Arnolds for DR7.

From the brewery:
This is a dark, slightly chocolatey weizenbock with an undercurrent of bananas and cloves. There is a slight spiciness from the hops and a balanced malt that hides the strength of the beer. It was brewed with Dark Wheat, Light Wheat, Chocolate Wheat, Pilsner, Munich, Special B and Chocolate malts and Northern Brewer hops. We used a traditional Bavarian hefeweizen yeast which gives the beer its distinctive clove and banana character. It is unfiltered. Enjoy at 45°F or warmer. We are curious to see how this beer will age.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Stone IPA

Presented without comment.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Divine Reserve 7 is out today in Austin. Who got some?

I bought one sixerat Whole Foods during my lunch break. They were passing out samples, this is going to be a great beer for any Oktoberfest celebrations coming up.

Duvel Green

Lew Bryson has a great post on his Seen Through the Glass blog about Duvel Green:

Duvel Green is single-fermented and filtered, where Duvel is fermented
twice (second time in the bottle, both using the same yeast, we were told), and
it comes in at a reduced 6.8% ABV. It is, however, brewed with that same yeast,
same Styrian Golding and Saaz hops, and the same pilsner malt as the original.
It is a completely new beer, not the "Duvel Gefilterd Green," not Duvel without
the second fermentation.

How was it? Scary drinkable for 6.8%, as you might expect. Light-bodied,
with a spicy nose (Duvel is a bit heavier and has a more complex nose; more
carbonation, too), very refreshing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Saint Arnolds Goings-on in Austin

News and Events from SA in - Austin style:

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, Divine Reserve #7This is the release of the seventh of the Saint Arnold Divine Reserve series and is a dark, slightly chocolatey weizenbock with an undercurrent of bananas and cloves. There is a slight spiciness from the hops and a balanced malt that hides the strength of the beer.The recipe was created by Austin homebrewer, Kerry Martin, whose entry in the Big Batch Brew Bash won him the honor. Get some at the usual beer stores, but do it soon!Watch the Saint Arnold Video News on the making of Divine Reserve No. 7:

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, City Hall, 6-8pm, Channel AustinPoliticos, engaged citizens and community leaders will revel in the satirical stylings of the Austin Lounge Lizards, feast on decadent hors d’oeuvres from local eateries and experience the spectacular debut premiere of our fellow citizen’s latest and most inspiring Uniquely Austin neighborhood stories.It's also a chance to drink Saint Arnold at City hall.

OCTOBER 3-5, FREDRICKSBURG OKTOBERFEST-Where else would you want to celebrate Oktoberfest than F-burg? Besides brats and kraut, there will be plenty Saint Arnold Oktoberfest and lederhosen.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4, OKTOBERFEST, Dig Pub (Cedar Park). Todd and Christy will be celebrating Oktoberfest in Cedar Park's finest pub with-you guessed it-lots of sausage and beer!!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4, TRIANGLE PARK (Guad./Lamar)-Fall Brew Fest. The good folks from The Flying Saucer are putting this on, and rumor has it there will be some DR7 on tap!!!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, DOGTOBERFEST, Ginger Man, 1-9 p.m. This is the annual benefit for Blue Dog Rescue . It's a family/dog friendly event and will include drinks, food, raffle, silent auction (lots of beer swag) and live music by Hilary York, Graham Wilkinson, Boxcar Preachers, Lost and Nameless Orchestra and Onion Creek Crawdaddies. All donations go directly to Blue Dog Rescue (

MONDAY, OCTOBER 20, Ginger Man, Saint Arnold Oktoberfest Pint Night, 6pm-Come on by for some great company, beer, and a free pint glass (while they last!).

Gingerman's New Spot

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Beers

A couple of Austin's newest available beers. It seems we are getting different beers in Texas every week now. Central Market does not have room for the ever expanding array of beers. This is a good thing—for us at least.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Austin Beer Festival


Around Austin

Independence Brewing
4th Anniversary Party - Saturday, October 4th, 5-9 pmWith live music, and the choicest Independence beers on tap, we are celebrating our fourth anniversary south Austin style!

(512) Brewing
Pierre Celis visits the Brewery and hands out tips on the (512) Wit.

First Seasonal from (512) - Pecan Porter. Those of us at the BA Monthly tasting were able to sample a test batch of this. I am looking forward to the first production batch.

Live Oak
Oaktoberfest – Still can not wait to try this for the first time. Where’s it at?


7th Annual Oktoberfest! - October, Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th
Unfortunately we will be out of town for this, but we will be in lager country – Lancaster, PA

- Sunday, October 12th, 1 pm until 9 pmAll proceeds go to the dogs!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Photo from's photostream

I spotted these crunchy looking hops whilst checking up on my contacts on flickr and just had to share their beauty. Click link for more.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Old, yet good news on the Texas brewing front: Rauchbier! Hell yeah, I really love an excellent smoked beer (Sofia is not a fan) and hopefully Southern Star's rendition will hold up to the better smokies out there. Info from Southern Star:
Name: Rauchbier
Started Production: August 2008
Style: Bamberg Style Rauchbier

Packaging: Draft only (Autumn Seasonal) Release Date Mid-October.
Description: A Lager Brewed with 100% beechwood smoked pils malt (malt smoked in Bamberg, Germany). Pale golden in color, and lightly hopped, this lager is a showcase of the smoked malt, with a great smoked biscuit boquet and a smokey honey taste.
Malt: Wyermann Smoked Malt
Hops: German Tradition
Yeast: Danish Lager
Gravity: 1.060 - 1.010
ABV: 6.5%

While on the topic of smoked beers I might as well throw in this little tidbit. This is Haandbryggeriet Norwegian Wood. I picked it up in Orlando at Knightly Spirits a few weeks ago. It is one of the bottles I lugged back to TX.

Norwegian Wood is made with smoked juniper berries. The smoke flavor on this beer was restrained, but still noticeable. Almost a spicy smokiness. Very good. Hopefully these and it's Scandinavian cousins will some day make their way to Austin.

And to round out the whole smoked thang - I just picked up my first Stone Smoked Porter in Austin. If you have not heard yet, it is available in Austin now, along with Ruination and Oaked Arrogant Bastard.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thirsty Thursday #10

The Kaiser
by Avery Brewing – Boulder, CO
Style: Imperial Oktoberfest Lager
ABV: 9.37%

It’s that time of year I love: Oktoberfest. With Oktoberfest come my favorite beers: Märzens, or just Oktoberfest.

Avery’s Kaiser is an Imperial Oktoberfest, which is quite a strange duck. Overall it is well made and quite quaffable, but it just does not do it for me as an Oktoberfest beer. It’ll get you drunk (ABV: 9.37%), after one I was feelin’ it. This is what Avery has to say about its two-beers-in-one Oktoberfest:

The Kaiser once said, "Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world." If the Kaiser and his significant other had tipped this bottle, we'd all be "sprechenden Deutsch!" We took all that is good in a traditional Oktoberfest - gorgeous, deep copper sheen, massive malty backbone and spicy, floral, pungent noble hops - then intensified each into this, an Imperial Oktoberfest.

More News From Saint Arnolds

This release is a fine Weizenbock: malty, with hints of cloves, banana and chocolate. The recipe is from Austin homebrewer Kerry Martin's winning entry at this year's Big Batch Brew Bash. Our distributor will begin shipping this to stores on Tuesday, September 23, so come up with your "how to get your hands on a six pack" strategy now!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Finally, an issue I can fight for...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lows and Highs

So I totally forgot about that whole Session thing this month. Shit man, I ain't paid to do this. Expect disappointments. I'll try harder, seriously.

On to better things. Yesterday was the monthly BA Tasting, most often held at the Draught House. You should come next month. A sample of what we sampled:

Full list (thanks to

Oskar Blues Ten Fidy
Brasserie Des Rocs Ambree
Alesmith Speedway Stout 07
Southern Tier Crème Brulee
Singha Lite (06)
Captain Lawrence Captains Reserve DIPA
512 Pecan Porter Test Batch
Stone IRS 05
Jolly Pumpkin Madruga Obscura
Fantome Chocolate
New Belgium La Folie 02
Piraat Amber Triple IPA
Lost Abbey Witches Wit
Foothills Sexual Chocolate 222/500
Alesmith Speedway Stout 08
21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat
Avery Ale to the Chief
Erdinger Weissbier Pikantus Weizenbock
Eel River Ravens Eye Imperial Stout
Carlson Craft Brewery Barsten Ol
Legacy Brewing Hoptimus Prime

Friday, September 5, 2008

News From Saint Arnolds

Release date for this Weizenbock is September 23. More info to come!

Let the insanity begin!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thirsty Thursday #9

Punkin Ale
by Dogfish Head Brewerey - Milton, DE
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 7%

Damn, this a delicious beer. People either love or hate this beer. If you enjoy a nice slice of pumpkin pie from time to time, this is yr beer. The spices you pick up in this one are perfect.

Dogfish has a pretty large distribution area. Chances are, this brew is close to you (sweet rhyme). Go get you one, or five. And remember to save a couple for Thanksgiving.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Again with the Oktoberfests

Last night we had a few more Saint Arnold’s Oktoberfests. While I still like it as a beer, I would not go to it again as an Oktoberfest beer. It has this Fat Tire Amber flavor which I do not want in an Oktoberfest beer. My favorite Oktoberfest has gottta be Ayinger’s and I judge all others against it. Some of my favorites are Sam Adams, Brooklyn and Stoudts. I don’t know how many Oktoberfest beers are going to be available here. Surely we will get all the major German ones, but I am really excited about what domestics we will get here in Austin.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thirsty Thursday #8

Note: This is a series of blog posts from another one of my blogs. I thought I would put them up here from now on as well.

Wow. Lord forgive me for slacking - beer wise. It has been 14 long months since my last Thirsty Thursday. But let me tell you my dear readers, it is back and it is back to stay - no seriously.

Blackjack Ale (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
by North by Northwest - Austin, TX
Style: Belgian Dark Ale
ABV: a good amount (?)

Today we delve into the world of bourbon barrel aging. Sorry folks, this one is only available in Austin. You will have to visit to taste. One snob's review:

Just got this after arriving and finding the Kodiak IPA is no longer available. This ended up being a nice surprise though in the end. Appearance wise, not too impressive, no head, black color. Can pull much of an aroma off this one, too many food smells wafting around the joint. Bourbon right away in the flavor, nice warming. Wet and smooth drinker. Very enjoyable. Went well with my burger.

I wonder if there are any beer flavored bourbons?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008


I had my first Oktoberfest beer of the year tonight—Saint Arnold's. It was a good one to start with. Märzen/Oktoberfest beers are by far my favorite style of beer. I can not get enough of them. I know some are available year round, but I do my best only to have them within their season (fall). It is a little early, but I got antsy and when I saw that Gingerman had Saint Arnold's Oktoberfest on tap I jumped at the chance to try it for the first time.

In the past my favorites have been Stoudts, Brooklyn, Ayinger and Hacker-Pschorr. I am looking forward to trying more southwestern versions of the style this year.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

picture: by blipfish

It's old news by now, but if you have not heard—Boulevard is in town. I have been meaning to try some and today I jumped at the opportunity to pick up a mixed twelve pack at Central Market. I love when breweries do this. Now I just need to decide what I want to drink with dinner tonight (chicken pesto w/ pasta).

Monday, August 11, 2008



(512) Grand Opening

The wife and I made it out to (512) Brewery's grand opening. Unfortunately I oafishly left the camera at home. The crowd was pretty thick when we first showed up and hella busy on our way out. I enjoyed the IPA - it was hazy and a had a soggy hop flavor. My opinion is that is better than Live Oak's IPA, which I also had recently.

Some links for more coverage:

My Fox Austin

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Session #19 Anounced

The Session is a concept thought up by Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer. I have been planning on participating in The Session for the last two months. I have a bad memory, sorry.

The latest session topic as been announced for September. Craft Austin will be there...well that is if I don't forget and considering I have my cousin's bachelor party the weekend before, that is likely to happen.


Daniela, my cousin, hooked me up again. About a month ago she brought me back some Deschutes from Portland. Recently she visited Chicago with her sister Ale and they brought back a few bottles of Goose Island for my enjoyment. Daniela is lately becoming my beer mule. You guys rock.

First up: Pere Jacques. A solid dubble. I rated it a B+ on, but off the top of head I would say it is about a B-. A good American representation of the style.

Then Summertime. Kolcshstyle, not my favorite. Passable. I guess it would go well in the blistering sun, but I have had much better Kolsch beers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

Florida Beers

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was recently in Orlando, FL for my grandfather's funeral. While this was an obviously sad occasion, it was also an opportunity to grab some beers I can not get in Austin. My plan was to fit in a visit to Orlando Brewing or at least pick up some of their beers. Alas, time was tight and I could not swing it. But I was able to stop by Knightly Spirits, a terrific store five minutes from my parents house.

This is what I bought and brought home to Austin. A couple Hopfen Weisse, a Grand Cru, and a sixer of Brooklyn Lager (a beer close to my heart, after living in Brooklyn for four years). I also had a sixer of Two Hearted Ale, but this was finished in Orlando.

I'll be back in Orlando soon and then again for Christmas. I plan on bringing much more back before 2009.