Monday, May 14, 2012

American Craft Beer Week

American Craft Beer Week kicks off today with events in all 50 states. From simple tastings to beer dinners to beer festivals, America is celebrating its continuing love and support for Craft Beer this week.  The official website has a list of events in your area, but also check with your local beer bars and breweries as all events may not have been added. And don't forget to sign and proudly display your copy of the Declaration of Beer Independence.  If you're an active user on Untappd, be sure to check in this week while enjoying an American Craft Beer to receive the special badge.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Local Craft Beer and Burger Pairing at The Counter

Earlier this year, I posted about the The Counter featuring a special Beer and Burger Pairing Menu. At that time, I also indicated that I would have liked to see more local craft beers used in the pairing. I received a pretty quick response on Twitter from them after my post indicating they would use more local beers in their next pairing. It looks like they held true to their word as I just received notice that their Beer and Burger Pairing Menu for May and June features four beers from No Label Brewing of Katy, TX:

Pairing 1
Burger: Beef mini, shaved cucumber, kalamata olives, feta, tzatziki sauce
Beer: El Hefe - A traditional German Hefeweizen.  This beer is light and refreshing with strong notes of banana, cloves, and citrus. Pairs well with the fresh summer flavors of this Greek inspired mini-burger.

Pairing 2
Burger: Beef mini, carrot strings, shiitake mushrooms, red bell pepper, scallions, kung pao sauce
Beer: Pale Horse Ale - Pale Ale with a significant amount of malts and hops.  The hop bite accentuates the kick in the kung pao and the bitterness in the malts balances the earthy meatiness of the shiitake mushrooms.

Pairing 3
Burger: Beef mini, lettuce blend, tomato, sharp provolone, fried onion strings, sun-dried tomato vinaigrette
Beer: Mint IPA - This IPA has 11 hop additions using 5 different hops. The bouquet is of strong citrus and pine with a hint of spiciness and soothing mint at the back end.

Pairing 4
Burger: Beef mini, thinly shaved celery, blue cheese, fried onion strings, buffalo wing sauce
Beer: Ridgeback Ale - Dark American Amber with strong flavors of roasted malts. The bitter notes from the malts pairs nicely with the tanginess of the blue cheese and spiciness of the buffalo wing sauce.

The new pairing menu runs from May 3rd to June 28th, but is only available on Thursdays. The owners of No Label Brewing, Brian and Jennifer Royo, will also be on hand at The Woodlands location on May 10th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm and the Washington Ave. location on May 24th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm to answer questions and talk about their beer.

Buffalo Bayou Previewing Summer Ale at Cinco Drinko Party

If you didn't get a chance to try their beer at the recent Texas Beer Festival (or if you did and want more) Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. will be previewing their summer ale this Saturday during Berryhill's Cinco Drinko event at their Post Oak location. The festivities begin at 2:00pm with live music and discounted food from Berryhill.

Buffalo Bayou Brewing is one of the newest craft breweries to open in Houston. Having only been open since December last year, they're already making a name for themselves by producing unique beers such as their Gingerbread Stout and Chai Porter along with their year-round beer called 1886.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Camp Beer XI - Ciders

For the first time, beer will not be the center of attention at Camp Beer. With the hot summer days quickly approaching, ciders will instead be in the spot light. The craft cider market has also been on the rise lately and can be a refreshing alternative to a cold beer on a hot day. Tickets are $55 each and are available for purchase online starting at 9:00am Thursday, May 3rd. A list of the ciders being sampled and more information about the event is available on the Camp Beer webpage.