Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Record Number of Texas Breweries at 2014 GABF

The brewery registration process was tweaked a little for this year's Great American Beer Festival to try and avoid the "race to register" process that initially locked some breweries out of attendance last year (most were eventually accommodated). Instead, of the first come, first served process, all breweries wanting to enter beer for judging were able to register and indicate if they also wanted a booth on the convention floor. After the registration period closed, the total number of competition beers each brewery was allowed to enter was determined by dividing the number of competition entries that can be judged by the number of breweries that applied. And if demand for booth space exceeded supply, booth selection would be determined by lottery for each region. 

These changes should have made sure that all breweries who wanted to enter beers in the competition were able to enter, but there may be booths from a few of your favourite breweries missing if the number of requests exceeded the maximum and they didn't win the lottery. But, these are the issues that have to be dealt with then there are now over 3,000 operating craft breweries (and almost 2,000 more in planning stages) in the country.

Perhaps due in some part to the changes in the registration process, Texas has it's largest showing of craft breweries again this year:

(512) Brewing Company Austin
903 Brewers Sherman
Adelbert's Brewery Austin
Armadillo Ale Works Denton
Austin Beerworks Austin
Big Bend Brewing Co. Alpine
Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery Austin
Branchline Brewing Co.  San Antonio
Brazos Valley Brewing Company Brenham
Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. Houston
Circle Brewing Co. Austin
Community Beer Co. Dallas
Cornel's Brewing Company Beaumont
Deep Ellum Brewing Company Dallas
Flix Brewhouse Round Rock
Four Corners Brewing Co Dallas
Hops & Grain Brewing Austin
Independence Brewing Co.  Austin
Kamala Brewing at the Whip In Austin
Karbach Brewing Co Houston
Lakewood Brewing Company Garland
Live Oak Brewing Company Austin
Martin House Brewing Company Fort Worth
Middleton Brewing Driftwood
No Label Brewing Co Katy
North by Northwest Austin
Oasis, Texas Brewing Company Austin
Pappy Slokum Brewing Co. Abilene
Pedernales Brewing Co. Fredericksburg
Peticolas Brewing Company Dallas
Pinthouse Pizza Craft Brewpub Austin
Rahr&Sons Brewing Co. Fort Worth
Real Ale Brewing Company Blanco
Revolver Brewing Granbury
Saint Arnold Brewing Company Houston
South Austin Brewery Austin
Spoetzl Brewery Shiner
Texas Beer Refinery League City
Texian Brewing Co Richmond
The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company Austin
Twin Peaks Brewing Company  Dallas
Twisted X Brewing Company Dripping Springs
Uncle Billy's Brewery & Smokehouse Austin
Zio Carlo Magnolia Brewpub Fort Worth

Assuming this list is correct, there will be 47 Texas breweries this year, up from 36 in 2013, 30 in 2012 and 22 in 2011.  As a recap, the following Texas breweries won medals in the 2013 GABF competition:

Medal Beer Name Brewery Style
Gold Black Thunder Austin Beerworks German-Style Schwarzbier
Bronze Elba Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery Herb and Spice Beer
Gold Cedar Creek Belgian Style Dubbel Cedar Creek Brewery Belgian-Style Abbey Ale
Gold Public Ale Community Beer Co. Extra Special Bitter
Bronze Atrial Rubicite Jester King Brewery Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale
Gold Bitterama Namaste Brewing at the Whip In Herb and Spice Beer
Bronze Blind Jake Pinthouse Pizza Brown Porter
Silver Brewers Cut Altbier Real Ale Brewing Co. German-Style Altbier
Bronze Saint Arnold Weedwacker Saint Arnold Brewing Co. German-Style Wheat Ale
Silver Saint Arnold Summer Pils Saint Arnold Brewing Co. Munich-Style Helles

Good luck to all breweries who have beer entered in the competition this year and I look forward to sampling your beers on the convention floor.

Monday, July 21, 2014

July Beer Dinner at Rudyard's Pub Featuring Independence Brewing

This month's beer dinner at Rudyard's Pub will be featuring beer from Independence Brewing of Austin, TX. Joe Apa, formerly of T’afia and Plum Easy Kitchens, will be carefully crafting 5 courses paired with 5 different Independence beers, including White Rabbit, Stash IPA, Austin Amber, Convict Hill Stout and the recently released Hell or High Lager (brewed to commemorate their 3,000 batch of beer). This month's dinner is also a pet food drive for a local homeless pet shelter, so please bring along a bag or a few cans of pet food so the animals can eat too.

The dinner takes place on Thursday, July 24th at 7:00pm and tickets are available online for $50 each or you can contact Rudyard's at (713) 521-0521 for more info.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Central Market Beer Fest

Central Market's annual beer celebration begins today and runs through June 24th.  Scheduled events include in-store tastings and beer dinners, some featuring the owner and/or brewmaster from the brewery.  There is also a Sip & Stroll on June 19th with eight food and beer pairing stations setup around the store.  Check the online events calendar for an up-to-date listing of events (tickets required for some events and can also be purchased online).  And if the calendar of events doesn't get you excited, then perhaps 20% off all beer purchases of $25 or more will help.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Open The Taps at Alamo Drafthouse

On Wednesday, May 21st from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Open the Taps are hosting a fundraising event at the Mason Park location to raise awareness about changing the legislation that prohibits businesses with liquor licenses from selling beer growlers.

Beer loyalists can sample fresh brews from Houston’s favorite craft breweries and learn about how to bring growlers back to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Tickets are $10 each which includes a pint glass and 3 beer samples.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Book Review: The Craft Beer Revolution

As both a brewery owner and active member of two brewing associations, Steve Hindy (co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery) has over twenty-fives years of first hand experience with the industry's inner workings and relationships. His book, The Craft Beer Revolution: How a Band of Microbrewers Is Transforming the World's Favorite Drink, is an insiders story about the rise of craft brewing, the struggles within the industry and it's associations and the relationships with "Big Beer".

Everyone is familiar with the story that Fritz Maytag is basically credited with sparking the craft beer revolution when he bought Anchor Steam Brewing just as it was about to close, but you'll learn about a lot of other people who also deserve some credit. And as an active Director of both the Brewers Association and the Beer Institute, Steve has being working hard to improve and steer the industry as well. There's definitely a lot of historical facts and tidbits that I was completely unaware of, but it may be a little too in-depth for readers who are not directly involved in the craft brewing industry. However, it's those stories that I found the most interesting. The ones that involve Jim Koch of Boston Beer Co. and the apparent running feud with some of the brewers (including Steve) were particularly entertaining (and explain Koch's quote about the book).  It's definitely a great read and I recommend it to anyone who's interests in craft beer go beyond just drinking it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Houston Press BrewFest 2014

The 3rd annual Houston Press BrewFest takes place on Saturday, May 17th from 2pm ~ 7pm at Silver Street Station (the same location as previous ones).  Over 35 local, national and foreign breweries will be serving up a variety of different beers on tap and from the bottle. It's a great festival for trying a variety of beer styles in one place as well as an opportunity to try some of the new craft breweries that are not widely available. There will also be bands playing and local food trucks on-site.

General Admission and VIP ticket options are available and both include eight 3oz sample cards. The VIP ticket includes access to a special area with additional beers and appetizers. Enter Promo Code AllGoodBeer (before noon on Friday, May 16th) and you'll get a discount off the original price.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

National Homebrew Day and Big Brew 2014

May 7th is National Homebrew Day which was created by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) in 1988 as a way to raise awareness about homebrewing. Homebrewers are encouraged to bring together non-homebrewing friends and family on the first Saturday in May as part of the AHA Big Brew event to teach and demonstrate this fun and rewarding hobby. A number of suggested homebrew recipes are selected for AHA Big Brew participants to follow. This year’s recipes, which consist of a pale ale, stout and dark lager, are all gold medal winners from last year’s National Homebrew Competition. And then, at noon CDT, all homebrewers and beer lovers are encouraged to raise a glass of homebrew in a simultaneous toast that celebrates those who craft homemade beer, mead and wine for their friends and loved ones. Although I haven't brewed at home in awhile, I'll certainly try and remember to toast those who are at noon this Saturday. Cheers!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

American Craft Beer Week 2014

Nine years ago, the Brewers Association created American Craft Beer Week to help celebrate and honour the small and independent craft breweries across the country. With more than 2,700 craft breweries currently operating (and plenty more planning to open), America continues to celebrate its love and support for Craft Beer.

This year's American Craft Beer Week starts on May 12th and runs to the 18th.  Although the ACBW website has a list of events, I'd check with your local beer bars and breweries as many local events probably don't get added.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Oskar Blues Brew Nite and Wing Throwdown at Flying Saucer Sugar Land

Flying Saucer Sugar Land is hosting an Oskar Blues Brew Nite and Wing Throwdown at 7:00pm Wednesday, April 9th.

Special beer tappings include a tequila barrel-aged GUBNA Imperial IPA, barrel-aged Ten FIDY Russian Stout and more.

They will also offering wings in four Oskar Blues sauces including:
• Dale’s Pale Ale: Original Wing Sauce
• Deviant Dale’s: Mega Hot Melaguta Sauce
• Mama’s Little Yella Pills: Saaz Hoppin’ Honey Siracha Sauce
• Old Chub: 3 Chili Chipotle Sauce


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pig Dinner at BRC Featuring New Belgium Brewing

The next Pig Dinner at BRC Gastropub will take place on Wednesday, April 9th and features four courses paired with beers from New Belgium Brewing.

Reservations are welcome, but the special Pig Dinner menu is available starting at 6:00pm until it's all gone.  The cost is $50 per person (plus tax & tip).

The next dinner will be May 14 with Firestone Walker Brewing Co.