Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Specialty Beer List for Texas Beer Fest

The second annual Texas Beer Festival is only days away and the list of specialty beers has been released. One change for this year is that the entire list of speciality beers will be available from the start of the festival instead of tapping different beers at set times throughout the event. This definitely makes it easier to try the various speciality beers, but also mean that there will probably be a rush on some of them at the start of the festival. You will no doubt need to get there early if there is a specific beer(s) that you want to try. However, that's a pretty impressive list of beers and you can't be too disappointed if you miss out on trying one or two. And don't forget, that doesn't include all the regular beers being poured at the brewery booths. Its clearly going to be long day. Pace yourself and drink plenty of water.

Texas Specialty Items

Saint Arnold - Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
Buffalo Brewing - Black IPA with Jaggery, Coconut and Thai Chiles
Karbach - Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter Firkin
Southern Star - Walloon Dry Hopped with Crystal Hops Firkin
No Label - Don Jalapeno
Real Ale - Fireman's 4 (Firkin)
Real Ale - Real Heavy 2011
Rahr and Sons - Regulator Dopplebock
(512) - Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter
Deep Ellum - IPA (Firkin)
Independence - TBA (Firkin)
Independence - Epanoui
- followed by Braggot
Jester King - Black Metal Stout (Firkin)
- followed by Beer Geek Rodeo (Firkin)
Austin Beer Works - Golden Fist
Ranger Creek - Strawberry Milk Stout
Rogness - Yogi Chai Amber

Out of State Specialty Items

Dogfish Head - 120 Minute (2 ounce limit)
Avery - Samaels (2 ounce limit)
Stone - Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean
- followed by Vertical Epic 11.11.11
Brooklyn - Companion
- followed by Mary's Maple Porter
- followed by the Dry Irish Stout
Sierra Nevada - Big Foot 2012 (2 ounce limit)
- followed by Hoptimum
Oskar Blues - Deviant
Santa Fe - Happy Camper (Firkin)
Clown Shoes - TBA (Firkin)
Utah Brewing - Outer Darkness Imperial Stout
Left Hand - Sawtooth ESB
Lindeman's - Pomme
Rogue - John John Dead Guy Ale
New Belgium - Lips of Faith

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Girls' Pint Out at Saint Arnold

On Wednesday, April 25th, from 6:00pm ~ 8:00pm, Saint Arnold Brewery will be host to Girls' Pint Out benefitting Bel Inzio, an organization that helps disadvantaged women develop self-confidence and life skills through fitness and nutrition.

Tickets can be purchased online for $17 per lady (with $5 of that going to Bel Inizio) and includes a commemorative pint glass and a fresh-baked Slow Dough Bakery pretzel. They will also be accepting donations of new and gently used running shoes and sportswear. Raffle tickets will also be sold for the chance to win hand-crafted, limited-edition Bel Inizio bracelets and Girls Pint Out t-shirts will be on sale.

Sounds like a great way to get more women interested in craft beer and support a worthy cause at the same time.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Get Your Tickets for the 2012 Texas Beer Fest

Have you bought your ticket for the 2012 Texas Beer Fest yet? If you have, congratulations on your good decision making abilities. If you have not, why not?! All you people that complained it was too far away (in Humble) last year have no excuses this year. The organizers couldn't have secured a better spot then Discovery Green in downtown Houston. The festival is on Saturday, April 28th and there's still time to buy tickets (including the VIP Upgrade Pacakge) at a discounted price from the website or else you're going to end up paying full price at the gate (you know you're going to end up going because all your friends are). And if you're waiting for a last minute deal on tickets to show up on Group On, I assure you, there won't be. Still need some incentives? See if this helps:

  • Over 70 Breweries will be in attendance, including many new-to-market and recently debuted Texas breweries whose products are not easily found in the Houston area
  • the Great Brewers Specialty Beer Wall will be tapping hard-to-find craft beers and beers brewed specifically for the Texas Beer Fest
  • Houston Chronicle’s Ronnie Crocker will be signing his new boock Houston Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Bayou City (Texas) (The History Press)
  • eight representatives of Houston’s diverse local craft food industry and food truck culture such as Bread and Batter Baking, CafĂ© Luz, Coreanos Houston, Les Givrals, the Little Baker, Rockwell Tavern, Sammy’s Wild Game Grill, and Wicked Whisk Catering
  • entertaining mix of performers featuring: Handsome Ransome’s indie folk rock with a message, Fish Fry Bingo’s raucous 5 piece hillbilly jug band, Houston’s own award winning Brant Croucher and finally Curtis Grimes (who has performed on NBC’s The Voice, all over Texas, and with artists such as Jack Ingram, Justin Moore, Eli Young Band, Leann Rimes, Josh Abbott, and Kevin Fowler).
  • and finally, because 25% of net proceeds will be donated to the Houston Food Bank

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Marquee Bar Now Open in Whole Foods Bellaire

Whole Foods Market is continuing to insert beer and wine bars inside their stores and the newest one, The Marquee in the Bellaire location, is now open for business. Featuring 8 beers on tap with a focus on local craft breweries, you can slip by for a pint and a nosh of Whole Foods Market fare while shopping or get a growler filled to enjoy at home.  They'll be celebrating the grand opening on April 20th from 4:00pm ~ 7:00pm with local beers paired with small bites and local Brew Masters will be on hand to answer questions and talk about their beers.

I definitely like what Whole Foods is doing, but I need places like Macy's and Target to follow their example.  I'd be much more willing to go shopping with my wife if I was able to follow her around with a pint in my hand.

Top 50 Craft and Overall Brewing Companies for 2011

The Brewers Association just released its annual lists of the Top 50 Craft and Overall Brewing Companies in the U.S. based on 2011 beer sales volume. With it's headquarters in San Antonio, the Gambrinus Company, owner of such brands as Shiner, Bridgeport, and Trumer Pils, earned the top Texas spot at number 4. However, with the exception of Shiner, their brands are actually brewed outside of Texas. Saint Arnold Brewing moved up this year to number 43 from 48 and is followed closely by Real Ale Brewing at number 45 who moved up from number 49.

As of March 26, 2012, the Brewers Association is aware of 250 brewery openings in 2011 (174 microbreweries and 76 brewpubs) and 37 brewery closings (12 microbreweries and 25 brewpubs).