December 24, 2012

Beer Bums Meeting – Christmas 2012 Party!

The Beer Bums 3rd Annual Christmas party that was another marathon of great beers.  I took notes on the beers as we went so I wouldn’t forget what I thought about each one, but I was having trouble keeping up.  I had to leave early so this is a list of what we had while I was there.  There were many more fantastic beers to be sampled after I left. A good time as always.

Leibinger Zeppelin Bier  The warm-up beer.  A good solid German beer.

Unibroue Trois Pistoles  I have had this many times, and it was as great as ever.

Gavroche  A Biere De Garde that tasted more like an amber.  Still a good beer with good carbonation.

Rogue HazelNut Brown Nectar  Excellent.  Sweet but like a hazelnut flavored coffee.  I need to try this one again.

Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale  Dark and foreboding with lots of spice.  Initially very tasty, but the spices may get overwhelming after a while.

Boulevard Smokestack Series - Harvest Dance Wheat Wine I like this one a lot.  Sweet with the taste of apricots.

New Belgium Lips of Faith - Biere de Garde  It took me a while to figure out what I was tasting in this one.  It was orange.  A tasty tasty orange.

Avery Hog Heaven A dry-hopped barley wine.  Exciting and tasty, although a bit young for a barley wine.  I need to try it again.

Ommegang Goudenhop  I must have had a few by this point, because I thought this was Ommegang’s version of Duvel, but I was totally wrong.  I couldn’t figure out why it didn’t taste at all like Duvel.... because I’m an idiot.

Adelbert’s Tripel B (Bad Boy Brew)  OK, I don’t even remember this one.  Maybe someone else took the picture with my camera? hmmm

December 20, 2012

The Brü Revü – Karbach Rodeo Clown Double IPA‏

Karbach is a Houston brewery that is currently only available in the Houston area. I have heard great things about their beers so on a recent trip to Houston I picked up the Rodeo Clown Double IPA to see what all the fuss was about. It poured a deep copper with a full tan head. The aroma was fruity and floral hops with sweet malts to round it out. The flavor had a good bitter hoppiness that leaned towards the piney side. As it warmed the sweet malt flavors came through with a slight alcohol burn but always ending with the piney hops that coated my palate. The Rodeo Clown was an excellent brew, and it's great to have a local brewery that offers a Double IPA in bottles/cans. This gives me something to look forward to on my trips to Houston and hopefully they will start sending their beers to Austin too!

Karbach Rodeo Clown Double IPA‏

December 16, 2012

The Brü Revü – Green Flash Double Stout

I am just getting into the Green Flash beers and I have been extremely impressed with their ability to brew consistently great beers over a wide variety of styles. Case in point being their delectable Double Stout. I knew that they had their hoppy beers under control with their West Coast IPA and Hop Head Red, but this takes their mastery in a new direction. The Stout poured a pitch black with a substantial tan head. The aroma was full of roasted malts and maybe a trace of hops. The taste was deep and complex with layers of nuttiness, chocolate and coffee undertones and more of the roasted malt flavor. For such a foreboding brew it had a medium body that I found to be easy to drink despite the full flavor profile that enveloped my palate. This was a great stout that I could drink regularly and a perfect elixir for the cold months ahead. 

Green Flash Double Stout

December 10, 2012

The Brü Revü – Karbach Brewing Hopadillo IPA

Karbach Brewing is a Houston based brewery that distributes only in Houston. So, of course on a Thanksgiving trip to Houston I had to try their Hopadillo IPA, and I was thoroughly impressed. It poured a golden amber with a full and substantial head. There was loads of citrus and dank hops in the aroma and it was my first indication I was in for an IPA that I was really going to enjoy. The taste had plenty of hop bite with a solid malt body that gave the Hopadillo a well rounded and balanced flavor profile. The hops were heavy with tropical fruits and citrus and a bit of dank hops that I always enjoy. The Hopadillo was an excellent IPA from Karbach and shows a lot of depth and sophistication from such a young brewery. They will definitely give me something to look forward to on any visit to Houston.

Karbach Brewing Hopadillo IPA

December 4, 2012

The Brü Revü – Stone Enjoy By IPA 12/21/12

The epitome of Stone and their IPA’s.  They have a known commitment to maintaining fresh beer on the shelves all across the country as it is of tantamount importance to drink your hoppy beers as fresh as possible.  Coming from the kings of West Coast IPAs what better than to print the “drink by” date right their big and bold on the label.  Thus the Enjoy By 12/21/12 IPA.  With the rise of the craft beer movement it has become increasingly difficult to find these limited releases, but I have been pleasantly surprised to see this IPA widely distributed and showing up even at my local HEB (which has a great beer section BTW).  On to the beer:  It  poured a nice golden hue with a subdued white head.  The aroma of hops jumped out of the bottle with fruity citrus notes, a bit of pine and even the dank hops I know and love.  The first taste knocked my socks off!  No kidding, I still can’t find them.  There are obviously a lot of hops which is to be expected from a Stone IPA, but they were handled very well.  Loads and loads, but balanced so as not to give you the bitter beer face or palate wrecking experience of some IPAs.  There were tropical fruits and citrus on the front end with the pine bitterness coming through on the back leaving a nice bitter coating on your palate.  All of these great hop flavors were riding a danky hoppiness that held it all together.  I thought the New Belgian/Alpine Collaberation Super IPA was awesome, but the Enjoy By IPA really handled the hops with a more delicate balance.  This was a fantastic beer and easily in my top IPA’s.  I just need to get more and drink them quickly, time is running out!!

Stone Enjoy By IPA 12/21/12

December 1, 2012

Pint Glass Nights - December 2012

Misc. pint glass nights around Austin for December.  Buy the beer, keep the glass.

Gingerman – Mondays, at 6 PM
Dec 03 Rahr Winter Warmer
Dec 10 Ommegang Three Philosophers
Dec 17   Samuel Adams Winter Lager
Dec 24 NO PINT NIGHT (Christmas Eve)
Dec 31 New Belgium Snow Day

The Tavern – Tuesdays
Check their facebook page for glass updates

Zax Pints and Plates – Wednesdays, at 6 PM
Dec 05 St. Arnold Winter Ale
Dec 19   Franziskaner
Dec 26 Misc. pint glass night

Flying Saucer  - Wednesdays, at 7 PM
Dec 05 Krombacher
Dec 12 Stone 12/21/12
Dec 19   Flying Saucer Christmas Glass
Dec 26 Franconia

Draught House – Wednesdays
Check their twitter page for glass updates

Red's Porch – Thursdays, at 5 PM
Check their events page for glass updates

November 27, 2012

The Brü Revü – Saint Arnold Pumpkinator‏

The Saint Arnold Pumpkinator is sort of a mythical beer in Texas. It's supposed to be one of the best Texas brewed beers and the best beer by Saint Arnold, but it can be almost impossible to find. Basically the beer sells out almost the same day it is released so you can imagine how difficult it can be to find. I was somehow lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time as it was sitting on the shelves at my HEB so I had to grab one. I chose the weekend after Thanksgiving to crack it open since it was a pumpkin brew and seemed to fit the season. The Pumpkinator started as a Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #9 and is different than most pumpkin beers as it is an Imperial Stout as the base beer. It poured an opaque black with very little tan head. The aroma had a distinct spiciness over a sweet maltiness that reminded me of the liqueur BnB. There were hints of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg that were straight up pumpkin pie. The taste had those same spices but much more subdued and well balanced by the dark malty imperial stout. This was definitely a unique beer and the best Pumpkin beer and best Saint Arnold brew I have had. I'm happy I had this when I did as it fits the season well. I will definitely purchase the Pumpkinator in the future if I am lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time again. 

Saint Arnold Pumpkinator‏

November 26, 2012

The Brü Revü – Green Flash Rayon Vert

The Green Flash Rayon Vert is their version of a Belgian Style Pale Ale.  According to Green Flash the Rayon Vert is a bold layering of hops finds balance from traditional malt.  Bottle conditioning with fresh ale yeast and Brettanomyces finishes the beer, adding a delightful effervescence, dryness and continually evolving character.  All I know is that it is a very unique beer that I couldn’t get enough of.  It poured a hazy gold with a substantial off white head that speaks to the delightful effervescence.  The aroma is all over the place with citrusy hops, some funky sourness, and a bit of Belgian yeast that sets you up for a dynamic flavor adventure.  The taste is all over the flavor map in a good way with the citrus and bitter hops, some sweet fruitiness, along with some funk from the Brettanomyces that is all riding the wave of the Belgian yeast.  Yes it’s all in there and it all tastes great.  The flavors are delicately and deliciously balanced on a creamy medium body with plenty of that delightful effervescence that makes this a truly unique beer.  It’s like a Funky West Coast Belgian Pale Ale, and I dig it, man.

Green Flash Rayon Vert

November 18, 2012

The Brü Revü – Real Ale Brewer’s Cut Batch 002 Black Quadrupel

Wow.  This is a great beer.  Real Ale has really made something special with their Brewer’s Cut Black Quadrupel.  The fact that you can get a local decently priced Quad in a bottle is special enough, but they made it taste phenomenal as well.  It poured a very dark hazy brown with hints of ruby red.  The aroma was dense with the signature Belgian yeast, dark fruits and sweet caramel malts.  The first taste as it hint my tongue was just a huge wow moment.  It had all the flavors of a deep rich Belgian quadrupel with the bubble gum yeast, dark fruits and spiciness to match.  Hidden behind it all was some dark chocolate undertones and the sweet caramel malts.  Definitely a lot going on in this thick and hearty brew that coated my palate with it’s creamy confection.  I still can’t believe this is locally brewed beer and readily accessible without breaking my beer budget.  I hope Real Ale takes this out of the Brewer’s Cut and makes it a regularly featured beer.  I know I would easily drink my share and I bet I am not alone.

Real Ale Brewer’s Cut Batch 002 Black Quadrupel

November 14, 2012

The Brü Revü – Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Imperial Red Ale

The Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Imperial Red Ale was my third beer from the Beer Camp series to try and given the first two I knew I was in for a great beer. This Red Ale was a dark brown copper color with a generous hop nose that had hints of grapefruit and tropical fruits.  The taste starts with a smooth roasted malt and caramel malt flavor that yields to a bitter almost burnt taste that lingers on the palate.  It starts sweet and ends bitter which was different.  The sweet malts and bitter hops were definitely at play although a bit in competition.  I enjoyed the beer but it was not my favorite of the Beer Camps so far.  We’ll see how the Oatmeal Stout goes, but I have a feeling it may steal the show.

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Imperial Red Ale

November 12, 2012

Beer Bums Meeting – November 2012 – Fruit and Veggie Beers

November was supposed to be Pumpkin beers, but the stores ran out of Pumpkin beers before our meeting. So, we added Fruit and Veggie beers to open it up a bit.  A few solid pumpkin beers were represented, and the New Belgium Frambozen was a standout.  The Billy’s Chilies beer was a tough one.  It was hard to finish my sample.

Post Road Pumpkin Ale
Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat
Shiner Cheer
Twisted Pine Billy's Chilies
Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan
New Belgium Frambozen

Next Month, December – Beer Bums Christmas Party!!

November 9, 2012

The Brü Revü – Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Imperial Pilsner

I'm not sure what makes a beer an Imperial Pilsner, but I do know that the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Imperial Pilsner is sensational. The beer poured a bright gold with a strong citrus hop aroma. The first taste blew me away. The Imperial Pilsner had a huge grapefruit flavor that was unexpected but right in my wheelhouse. The grapefruit hoppiness really emphasized the traditional pilsner flavors and ratcheted them up a notch. I guess this is what makes it an imperial pilsner! I couldn't put this beer down and Sierra Nevada should consider putting this into their regular rotation. Simply fantastic.

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Imperial Pilsner

November 6, 2012

The Brü Revü – Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Floral IPA‏

The Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp is a unique competition that allows beer enthusiasts and home brewers a chance to get a VIP trip to the Sierra Nevada brewery and the opportunity to brainstorm and create a unique beer for limited production. Sierra Nevada then chooses four of those beers to release in a limited 12 pack. I have a lot of respect for Sierra Nevada so I was looking forward to this year’s Beer Camp release. I chose the Floral IPA to try first. The bottle says it is a traditional IPA style with the intense aroma of whole cone hop flowers with aromatic natural rose hips and petals for complex aromas and unexpected flavors. The brew poured a golden amber with a decent head. The signature Sierra Nevada hop aroma was evidently present as I poured. There was also a very floral hop aroma that justified the name. The taste had a strong hop bitterness that was thin on the front but quickly coated my tongue and palate. It had a strong floral hop profile that didn't veer to the citrus side but straight ahead floral with a slight pine hop. It had a light to medium mouthfeel which made it easy to drink. The Floral IPA was definitely unique but very tasty and showed the craft of Sierra Nevada. It was a great introduction the the 2012 Beer Camp set of beer and has me looking forward to the rest.

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Floral IPA

November 4, 2012

Pint Glass Nights - November 2012

Misc. pint glass nights around Austin for November.  Buy the beer, keep the glass.

Gingerman – Mondays, at 6 PM
Nov 05 Schneider
Nov 12 Chimay
Nov 19   Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Nov 26 Thirsty Planet

The Tavern – Tuesdays
Check their facebook page for glass updates

Zax Pints and Plates – Wednesdays, at 6 PM
Nov 07 St. Feuillien Speciale
Nov 14 St. Arnold Pumpkinator
Nov 21   Schmaltz/Terrapin Collaboration
Nov 28 Stone Cali-Belgique

Flying Saucer  - Wednesdays, at 7 PM
Nov 07 TBD
Nov 14 Chimay
Nov 21   Turkey Day
Nov 28 Rahr & Sons Stemware

Draught House – Wednesdays
Check their twitter page for glass updates

Red's Porch – Thursdays, at 5 PM
Check their events page for glass updates

November 1, 2012

The Brü Revü – (512) Brewing Company 4th Anniversary Party

Last weekend I attended the 4th Anniversary party of (512) Brewing which is easily my favorite Austin Brewery. Their IPA and Pecan Porter are my go to beers as they are readily available, inexpensive, and always excellent quality. I have been to numerous (512) open houses and anniversaries and have never been disappointed. Although the lines were long they moved fast and those industrious enough could find a quick way to grab a refill. There was a stellar lineup of (512) brews and I left completely satisfied. If you can't tell by the below reviews, I really love their beers!

Here's a quick list of what I sampled:

(512) TWO - Their Double IPA and I love this beer. I have had it many times and it always impresses me. Deep hop flavor with citrus notes and dank hops. Their IPA is one of my all time favorites and their TWO is even better. I just wish it was available more often.  Good way to start the day.

(512) Tripel - This was the first time tasting their Tripel although I have been wanting to try it since their 3rd Anniversary. Maybe a little on the sweet side, but nonetheless it was another solid brew from (512). Of course I have an affection for tripels so I'm easy to please on that front.

(512) FOUR - An English Strong Ale. I don't drink this style much if at all, but this was really good. A subtle bitterness and plenty of toffee malt. Not sure of the ABV but I didn't taste any alcohol. Very solid and highly drinkable. 

(512) Cascabel Cream Stout - Holy smokes was this a fantastic Stout. I didn't know what to expect but I was floored. Great deep and rich chocolate stout with just enough of the subtle heat from the cascabel chili peppers to really make this a dynamic brew. It definitely lived up to the hype. Fantastic.

(512) Pecan Porter on Nitro - This takes the already pitch perfect Pecan Porter and infuses it with nitrogen rather than the normal carbon dioxide to replicate the smooth and creamy mouthfeel of traditional cask beers. Think of your creamy Guinness and you can imagine the yummy goodness of this beer. It's the best way to have this pint of perfection as it is silky smooth and simply wonderful.

(512) Wild Bear - Wild Bear is a “wild fermentation” of their Bruin which is aged for 10 months in oak barrels with Brettanomyces yeast and Pediococcus bacteria cultures.  Another first for me and this was definitely unique for (512). Loads of cherries, sour and funk that was tasty with some woody oakiness as well. Would have liked to have had it before the Stout and Porter but still good. I could easily have this one again and would like to give it a proper tasting. All in all a good end to the Anniversary party for me.

October 29, 2012

The Brü Revü – What Made Milwaukee Famous and Austin Beer Week

I promise there’s a connection.  First, my wife and I went to the video release party for the new What Made Milwaukee Famous video “Gone And Done It Now” at Mohawk.  We got to be extras in the crowd scenes, since my wife is cousins with the lead singer. The new video and single will be officially released on November 6th with the new album “You Can’t Fall Off The Floor” coming soon. So keep your eyes peeled for the next great album from Austin’s own What Made Milwaukee Famous.  To add: The Mohawk had a surprisingly good tap list for such a limited amount of tap space, and with $3 pints of everything on draft it was a steal.  I ended up with a Sante Fe Java Stout which was excellent.  

We had the rest of the night off, and it was Austin Beer Week, so we had to hit Red’s Porch for one last beer on our way home.  They were having a Sierra Nevada special tap night, and they still had a few other special taps from previous events during the week.  See the menu.  The server was nice enough to give me samples of the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Floral IPA, Deep Ellum Wealth and Taste and New Belgium Dunkelweiss.  I was torn between the Deep Ellum and the Dunkelweiss but settled on the New Belgium which went better with my Java Stout from earlier.  This was a great beer, and very similar to Aventinus which is a personal favorite of mine.  I would love to grab a bottle of this sometime, but being a Lips of Faith series, it’s only a limited batch and this was from 2011.

We had a great night out seeing the video come together and lucky for me it happened to be Austin Beer Week.

October 25, 2012

The Brü Revü – Brooklyn Oktoberfest

Brooklyn Oktoberfest is always an American example of the style that I look forward too every season. It poured a dark copper that had caramel and roasted malts on the nose. The taste was heavier on the roasted malts rather than the sweet caramel malts that are more common in the German versions. As it warmed the sweeter caramel flavors came through, but the roasted malts were dominant. Brooklyn makes great beers and their Oktoberfest is a good American version of the style.

Brooklyn Oktoberfest

October 23, 2012

(512) Brewing Company 4th Anniversary Party

(512) Brewing Company 4th Anniversary Party
Sunday, October 28th, 1-5 PM

I love (512) Brewing and all of their beers are fantastic. I always had a great time at their open houses and Anniversary Parties.  The beer list for this one looks great.

Draft Beer Available
(512) FOUR - English Style Strong Ale
(512) WIT
(512) IPA
(512) Pecan Porter
(512) Tripel 2012
(512) Double IPA 2012
(512) ONE - (Belgian Style Strong,2009)-1pm
(512) TWO - (Double IPA,2010)-2pm
(512) THREE -(Belgian Style Tripel,2011)-3pm
(512) Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter-4pm

Firkins (cask conditioned)
(512) Cafe au Lait (Pecan Porter w/coffee,lactose,vanilla)- 1pm
(512) Double IPA w/special hops-2pm
(512) Wild Bear(2010)-3pm
(512) FOUR-4pm

See you there!