Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beer & Cheese Tasting at Saint Arnold Brewery

Saint Arnold Brewing along with the Houston Dairymaids is hosting a cheese and beer tasting featuring cheeses made by local Texas Cheesemakers. The event takes place at the brewery on Wednesday, August 11th from 6pm ~ 8pm. Tickets are $25 per person or $184 for a reserved table for eight. Call or email Ann ( or 713-686-9494 x205) with your credit card to make a reservation.

I love having cheese with my beer, particularly an aged Canadian cheddar with a hoppy Pale or IPA.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Stash IPA on Cask at Anvil on Friday

The Stash IPA from Independence Brewing will be available on cask at the Anvil Bar & Refuge starting at 5PM this Friday. This is the first time Stash IPA has been released on cask and only the second time a beer from Independence Brewing has been available on cask. Their first cask beer was the Convict Hill Stout at the Petrol Station a couple of months ago.

The Anvil is located on Westheimer just West of Montrose Blvd. Check their website for directions and parking information and click here to see what other tasty beers they currently have on tap.

*** Update ***

The following are a few photos from the event and the first one is of Rob Cartwright, co-founder and Brewmaster of Independence Brewing. The Stash IPA cask was served using a beer engine with a sparkler making the beer very smooth and creamy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Belgian Independence Day / Christmas in July at Ginger Man

The Ginger Man is celebrating Belgian Independence Day on Wednesday, July 21st with special glass giveaways (in addition to the scheduled Malheur glasses) starting at 2pm. They're also celebrating Christmas in July with special winter ales available on draft and in bottles.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tickets for Camp Beer IV - Stoutapalooza on Sale

Tickets for Camp Beer IV - Stoutapalooza are now on sale on the the website. Camp Beer is a fund raising event put on by Live It Big, a non-profit organization that assists small and start-up charities to grow by raising money for them and providing administrative assistance. Tickets are $52 per person which includes a lecture about the beer from Kevin Floyd (the beer master at the Anvil Bar & Refuge) and free samples of the beer discussed.

Here's the list of Stouts that will be sampled and discussed during Stoutapolooza:

St. Arnold's Divine Reserve # 5
Avery Black Tot
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
Founders Breakfast Stout
Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
Hoppin' Frog B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher
Three Floyd's 2010 Dark Lord IRS
Three Floyd's 2009 Dark Lord IRS
Three Floyd's 2008 Dark Lord IRS
Deschutes 2009 Abyss IRS
Deschutes 2008 Abyss IRS
Deschutes 2007 Abyss IRS
Rogue 2008 XS Series Imperial Stout

They're all some pretty incredible stouts, but the highlight will certainly be the vertical tasting of Dark Lord which is a highly sought after beer.

*** Update 07/16/10 - 2:00pm ***

All 60 tickets for Stoutapalooza are now sold out!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sorachi Ace from Brooklyn Brewing

I find Saisons to be particularly refreshing on a hot day and we've had no shortage of those lately. The daytime temperature have been well over 100 degrees lately with the heat index. In other words, it was the was perfect time to try the new Sorachi Ace from Brooklyn Brewing that I had just recently found at my local Spec's.

The Sorachi Ace is a classic Saison style and the name comes from the fact that it's brewed entirely using Sorachi Ace hops. The Sorachi Ace hops are actually a cross between the Brewer's Gold and Saaz hop varieties that was developed in Japan in the late '80s. Its this hop that gives the beer its distinctive lemony flavours and aroma. However, the lemon is not overpowering as flavours of pepper, coriander and lemon grass still come through in the end. Finish is crisp and dry. Excellent on a hot day and would pair very well with light salads and seafood.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Saint Arnold Beer Dinner at Pappadeaux

Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen on Richmond at Kirby is hosting a Saint Arnold Beer Dinner on Tuesday, July 20th. For a price of $45 (plus tax and tip), you will receive hors d'oeuvres and three courses paired with various beers from Saint Arnold. The full menu can be viewed by clicking on the image to the left.

Monday, July 12, 2010

List of Texas Breweries Attending GABF

The list of breweries attending the 2010 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is now available on the GABF website. There are over 460 breweries serving beer with 56 attending for the first time. Texas also has the largest showing ever with the following 19 breweries listed:

(512) Brewing Company ~ Austin
Draught House Pub & Brewery ~ Austin
Independence Brewing Co. ~ Austin
Jester King Craft Brewery ~ Austin
Live Oak Brewing Company ~ Austin
Lovejoys ~ Austin
North by Northwest Restaurant & Brewery ~ Austin
Thirsty Planet Brewing Co. ~ Austin
Uncle Billy's Brew & Que ~ Austin *
Real Ale Brewing Company ~ Blanco
Southern Star Brewing Company ~ Conroe
Humperdink's Restaurant and Brewery ~ Dallas
Rahr & Sons Brewery ~ Fort Worth
The Covey Restaurant & Brewery ~ Fort Worth *
Fredericksburg Brewing Company ~ Fredericksburg
Saint Arnold Brewing Company ~ Houston *
Blue Star Brewing Company ~ San Antonio
Freetail Brewing Co. ~ San Antonio
Spoetzl Brewery ~ San Antonio

* Medal winners in last years competition.

Gold (Kellerbier/Zwickelbier) - Hell In Keller by Uncle Billy's Brew & Que
Gold (Munich Style Helles) - Summer Pils by Saint Arnold Brewing
Silver (German-Style Wheat Ale) - Weizenbock by The Covey Restaurant and Brewery
Silver (Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale) - 100 by The Covey Restaurant and Brewery

Craft Beer in British Columbia

My wife and I recently returned from visiting my parents in the Okanagan Valley of Southern British Columbia which also included spending a day and a half in Vancouver. The weather was definitely cooler then normal, but it was a great relief from the 90 ~ 100 degree temperatures we're experiencing here. Although the Okanagan Valley is a well known wine region, I did manage to find and try some good regional craft beers.

My Dad had couple of cans of this in the fridge, so I had to try it. It's a basic pale lager brewed by Pacific Western Brewing of Burnaby, BC. I'm not familiar with the brewery, but they appear to produce mostly mainstream lagers. I also tried their Carboos Honey Lager which was basically just a sweeter version of the Carboos Genuine Draft.

I've had a few beers from Tree Brewing on previous trips and I've been pretty happy with them. This time I picked up their Character 8 Pack which included 2 of the Thirsty Beaver Amber, Kelowna Pilsner, Cutthroat Pale Ale and Hefeweizen. My favourite was the Cutthroat Pale Ale, but its more fun to say the name Thirsty Beaver.

While in Vancouver, we wandered into the Yaletown Brewing Co for lunch. Its located in an area filled with very trendy and contemporary shops and eateries. They didn't have anything particularly special on tap, but the couple of beers that I tried were pretty solid and our food was great.

We also eventually made our way over to Granville Island which allowed me to try a few beers at the Granville Island Brewery Taproom. Founded in 1984, Granville Island Brewing was Canada's first microbrewery. However, it was recently purchased by Creemore Springs which is a wholly owned subsidiary of MolsonCoors. Although most of their beers have been brewed at their facilities in Kelowna for years, its my understanding that they still produce some of the seasonals here. My wife left me there long enough to try several of their beers while she browsed the local shops. The limited release GI Bitter was definitely their best which had an earthy and toasty malt flavour that gave way to a lingering hop bitterness.

The weather couldn't have been better on our last day and we spent most of it in Stanley Park. We grabbed lunch at the Tea House which was serving the Stanley Park 1867 Amber on draft. I couldn't find very much information about this beer other then its brewed by Turning Point Brewery which appears to be part of some larger alcohol conglomerate. It was actually a pretty good beer and reminded me of New Belgium's Fat Tire.

In addition to these beers, I also brought back a few others that I'll review and post about soon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July Glass Nights at the Ginger Man

The Ginger Man has released their list of Pint Glass Nights for the month of July:

July 7th - Lefebvre Hopus
July 14th - De Koninck
July 21st - Malheur
July 28th - Piraat

The glasses are available starting at 5:30pm and only one glass per person with purchase of the beer of the day. As always, the glasses are subject to change and only available while supplies last.