Friday, July 31, 2009

Beertown Austin Coverage of Clementine Beer Tasting

Beertown Austin did a great job of covering the Beer Tasting that took place last weekend at Clementine Coffee House in Austin. And for those of us that were unable to make it, they even captured video of the different brewers speaking about their brewery and the beers they produce. Here's our own Justin Rizza speaking about Independence Brewing and the current lineup of beers:

See the Beertown Austin website for videos of Chip McElroy of Live Oak Brewing, Adam DeBower of Real Ale Brewing and Kevin Brand of (512) Brewing.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Independence Brewing Tour and Tasting

This Saturday, August 1st, is the monthly tour and tasting day at Independence Brewing in Austin. Entrance is FREE and includes 3 beer sample tickets. If you buy an Independence pint glass (or bring one with you), you'll get that filled instead of an 8oz sample glass. Don't forget your ID and you may want to bring a lawn chair and shade umbrella or tent (it'll probably be a hot one out there). Entrance to the brewery begins at 1:00pm and beer tickets are only handed out between 1 ~ 2 pm, so get their early. More information, including a map to the brewery, is available on the website.

Belgian Beer and Mussels at the Broken Spoke Cafe

Great news for those who love authentic Belgian mussels and beer. Catherine Duwez, the previous owner of Cafe Montrose, has packed up her mussels and moved them on over to The Broken Spoke Cafe. Cafe Montrose served some of the best mussels I've ever tasted (outside of Belgium, of course) and they had a great selection of Belgian beers to go along with them. Sadly, Cafe Montrose closed last year and I was having to make due with lesser mussels from other restaurants. The new menu featuring Catherine's French and Belgian cuisine is available on The Broken Spoke Cafe's website. And, along with the new menu, they've added Stella Artois and Chimay White on tap and Chimay Blue and Duvel in bottles. The restaurant is BYOB friendly, but only for wine (I was corrected, it does not include Belgian Beers, bummer). I can't wait to get out there and enjoy them again.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Estate-brewed Beer

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has become one of the first American breweries to produce an estate-brewed beer. It all started in 2003 when they planted their first experimental hop yard. After years of growing and tending the hops, Chico Estate Harvest Ale, which was brewed using only their own fresh green hops, was released in 2008. In January of this year they took it one step further and planted 26 acres of two-row barley and the results of that first crop was an unexpected success. They are now in the unique position of being able to produce an estate-brewed beer, a beer brewed with 100% of the hops and barley grown at their brewery.

This is certainly a story that interested me as I have also taken the first steps to produce an "estate beer". Earlier this spring, I planted my first hops in pots in the backyard in an effort to eventually brew a beer using home-grown hops. You can follow the progress at my other blog, Hops In Pots. I doubt my wife would allow me to take the next step of plowing up the backyard and planting two row barley. However, Chris Colby of Brew Your Own (BYO) magazine has done exactly that at his home in Bastrop, TX. Chris had been growing hops at home for years and recently took that next step which you can read about on his blog at BYO magazine.

Friday, July 24, 2009

BYO's 2009 Label Contest Winners

Brew Your Own magazine posted the winners of their 2009 label contest. I created my own label for one of my homebrews once... once! The joy that I felt from seeing my own label on a bottle of beer that I brewed was just not worth an afternoon of soaking and scrubbing the labels back off the empty bottles. A great deal of effort and creativity (and odd senses of humour) obviously went into these winning entries and it's almost inspired me to make my own again... almost.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Beer and Food pairing, Texas Style

Cullen’s Upscale American Grille in Clear Lake is hosting a Texas Beer Dinner on August 21st. Appetizers are paired with Lonestar served in a can which is followed by five courses, each paired with a different Texas brewed beer. Our Independence Pale Ale is paired with Chicken Fried Quail in course 3. The full menu for the evening is available on their website. $75 per guest (+ tax and tip) and reservations are required.

Friday, July 17, 2009

How to Taste Beer

Randy Mosher is promoting his new book Tasting Beer: An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drinkand gave the following interview on a local Chicago station:

I already picked up a copy of his new book and although I've only just started to read it, I'm enjoying it so far.

Randy is also the author of Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

D'oh! The Simpsons an official sponsor of this year's GABF

The Simpsons (yes, those Simpsons) will be one of the official sponsors of this year's Great American Beer Festival (GABF) as part of the show's 20th anniversary celebration.

The Simpsons will open each session of the festival with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Since festival goers have to be 21 years of age to enter, Bart and Lisa will just have to hang around outside.

I'm a big fan of The Simpsons (at least, the first decade or so of it), but it seems a little odd to have a cartoon show as a major sponsor for a beer festival. I understand there's a connection with Homer's love for beer, Duff Brewery and such, but I have a feeling there's going to be some groups that claim its promoting drinking to kids. Anyway, hopefully they'll have a "Duff Brewery" booth or a mock-up of Moe's Tavern inside.

By the way, its only 72 days until the festival begins and ticket sales appear to be doing well, with the Saturday afternoon session already 65% sold. My plane ticket is purchased and my hotel room is booked.


Funny, I just read the following from Charlie Papazian's article on the

"No there won’t be any Duff Beer at the fest either. Duff is brewed in Belgium (really!) and doesn’t qualify as an American brewed original. Will there be a Moe’s Tavern within the Great American Beer Festival? Not likely."

So, I guess that dashes my hopes of quaffing a Duff with Barney in Moe's Tavern at the festival.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Day at Independence Brewing

Celebrate Independence Day at Independence Brewing in Austin, TX. Saturday, July 4th is also the monthly Tour & Tasting Day at the brewery and what better way to celebrate the holiday then with a cold Independence Pale Ale. Entrance to the brewery begins at 1:00pm and beer tasting tickets will be handed out until 2:00 pm. More information is available on the website.