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!

October 21, 2012

The Brü Revü – Roving Report: Alvinne Brewery

This is a Roving Report from my dad who just recently returned from a beer trip to Belgium.  I will add more Roving Reports as he sends them, and I have time to edit them.  Enjoy!

Alvinne Brewery or PicoBrauwerij Alvinne – Moen, Belgium
Before I left for Belgium, I put together a small list of Belgian brewers whose beers I had never tasted and particularly wanted to try. One of them was Alvinne Brewery.  In our first city, Brussels, I was only able to find their beer at the Delerium Café, and they only had one – the Alvinne Extra, which was shown on the bottle to be an IPA (more on this later).  Although I’m not a particular fan of IPA’s, I found the Alvinne Extra was not nearly as hoppy as a typical American IPA, and I thought it was not bad.  It’s made with a combination of Magnum, Chinook, and Cascade hops, and weighs in at 7.0 % abv.  

At our second stop in Ghent, I still had no luck finding any beers from Alvinne, but I had figured out that the little town of Moen, where Alvinne is located, was only about 15 or 20 kilometers off our planned route from Ghent to Poperinge.  They are only open for visitors on two Saturday afternoons per month, and the day we were driving to Poperinge turned out to be one of those days! 

Alvinne was created by two homebrewers, Davy Spiessens and Glenn Castelein.  It started out in a wooden shed in their backyard, and in 2007 they moved to a facility in the town of Heule.  In 2010 they were joined by Marc de Keukeleire, who brought with him the Morpheus yeast which has become their trademark.  Last year they bought an abandoned factory building in the town of Moen, in which they installed a 20 hl brew kit and 6 fermenters.  They do everything themselves, they have no employees, and they all have full-time “real” jobs as well.

The Alvinne brewers like to experiment, and their beers cover a wide range of styles, but there are a couple of things they are particularly proud.  One is that they have selected and cultivated their own house yeast, which they call Morpheus.  The other is barrel aging.  They are experimenting with the effects of American oak vs French oak, new barrels vs old barrels and various combinations of them all.

After a little discussion about our tastes in beer, Marc decided I should try the Morpheus Dark and my wife should try the Morpheus Tripel.  The Morpheus Dark was originally labeled as a Russian Imperial Stout.  Marc explained to me that they originally labeled some of their beers as styles that are popular and sell well, so the Morpheus dark became a Russian Imperial Stout.  He said that after a little more thought, the brewers decided this wasn’t truly a Russian Imperial Stout, but what they would call a Belgian Strong Ale.  If it were made in an abbey, they would call it a quadrupeI.  I don’t care what you call it, but this is my kind of beer!  Made with 7 different malts and weighing in at 10.2 abv, it’s a tantalizing  brew with several layers of flavor.  To continue with the thought of relabeling the beers, the Alvinne Extra IPA I had at Delerium is now called Morpheus Extra RA, and is billed as a Belgian Blonde (which I think is more accurate).

After I quaffed the Morpheus Dark with relish, Marc decided I should next have a Mano Negra.  This is a 10.0 abv concoction that Alvinne is calling a Belgian Imperial Stout.  I believe they’ve invented a new style!  I could get into this.  It is labeled at 80 IBU, but somehow it didn’t seem that bitter to me. 

That would have been a good place to stop, but Marc wanted to be sure we tried one of their oak-aged beers, so he popped open a Cuvee D’Erpigny.  This is an oak-aged amber barleywine, aged in French Monbazillac barrels, that is 15.2% abv!  He poured it out into 3 small glasses for me, my wife, and himself.  It was wonderful – rich, sweet, and  smooth with several layers of flavors that I wish I had the ability to describe.  

Marc was ready to offer us more beer to try, but I still had to drive to Poperinge, so it was time to call it quits.  I had learned through our conversation that even though Alvinne’s beers have been highly acclaimed, they still struggle from month to month just to keep afloat.  The money they borrowed to buy the building and the new brewing equipment is coming back to haunt them.  The tasting and tour were free, but I wanted to make a small donation to the cause for whatever help it would be.  When I did, Marc insisted that I take with me a special beer as a thank-you. 

This was from the first batch of a new oak-aged ale they are calling Cuvee De Mortagne.  It is a quadrupel that is 13.9% abv.  The initial batch was aged in 6 French Pomerol wine barrels that were blended together after aging.  Two were new French, 2 were 5-year old French oak and 2 were 5-year old American oak.  I’ll save the details on that one for a future report.

October 18, 2012

Austin Beer Week 2012

Austin Beer Week
Saturday, October 20th thru Sunday October 28th

Starts this Saturday with tons of great events around town. Check out the website for all the details.

Official Description:
Austin Beer Week 2012, running Oct. 20-28, showcases local, regional and national independent craft brewers. This craft beer congregation serves up daily tappings, rare tastings, food pairings, beer dinners, movies, special events, contests, education and more at beloved bars, brewpubs, restaurants and markets throughout Central Texas. With bloggers, local artisans and celebrated chefs part of the mix, Austin Beer Week attracts craft enthusiasts from Texas and beyond.

October 17, 2012

The Brü Revü – Samuel Adams Oktoberfest

The Samuel Adams Oktoberfest is a surprisingly good interpretation of the style. I shouldn't be that surprised because Sam Adams obviously knows what it's doing, but for me a lot of their beers leave me a little, meh. The Oktoberfest poured a beautiful deep amber with a distinct malty aroma. The taste was a great malt mixture with a bit of the sweet malt and toffee flavors and a touch of that familiar Samuel Adams hop flavor. I really enjoyed this beer and it's malt profile hit all the right Oktoberfest notes for me. It's a widely available brew during the season and one that is worth picking up.

Samuel Adams Oktoberfest

October 15, 2012

The Brü Revü – Real Ale Oktoberfest

Real Ale Oktoberfest was my contribution to the latest Beer Bums Meeting and I chose it because it is easily the best local Oktoberfest.  I think the label pulled me in too, there's something about the silver, light blue and orange that caught my eye.  Enough of that though and on to the beer:  It poured a deep amber with plenty of malt on the nose which is in keeping with the style.  The taste had a loads of caramel malt with a slight nuttiness and a little bitterness on the end to keep it from being overly sweet.  The Real Ale Oktoberfest is an exceptional local take on the style and I found it highly drinkable and refreshing.  There is something about fall and when the weather changes that always makes me turn to the Oktoberfest’s and this brew from Real Ale really hit the spot.

Real Ale Oktoberfest

October 11, 2012

The Brü Revü – Hofbrau Munchen Oktoberfest

It's officially fall which is time for football and Oktoberfest beers. Hofbrau is one of 6 German breweries that supplies beer for the original Oktoberfest celebration in Munich and in Germany the term Oktoberfest applies only to those beers made by brewers in Munich proper Originally these beers were brewed in March using up the last of the previous fall's hops and malt and allowed to slowly ferment over the summer hence the name Marzen or March you see on many of the originals. Most Oktoberfest beers are malt focused with very little hop profile or bitterness. The Hofbrau is an excellent example of the style. It poured a lighter golden color than most German versions. The aroma is all caramel malt with a hint of earthy grassiness. The taste follows with a strong malt profile that has caramel and honey with a slight hoppiness in the middle that keeps it from being overly sweet. This was my first Oktoberfest of the season and I was thoroughly enjoying it. I got my start in craft beer on Oktoberfests and the Hofbrau makes a great example of the style.

Hofbrau Munchen Oktoberfest

October 9, 2012

The Brü Revü – Deschutes Hop in the Dark

I have been impressed with Deschutes beers in the past so when I saw their Hop in the Dark which was their version of a Black IPA, I couldn’t pass it up.  It poured a deep black with a slight tan head.  It was more malty on the nose with the first taste having a slight burnt malt flavor that gave way to a good bitterness.  The IPA hoppiness was matched with the burnt malt bitterness and balanced with a slightly sweet and toasty malt backbone with a hint of dark chocolate.  My taste buds deceived my sight as it looked like a stout but tasted like a dark and rich IPA.  While not as overly hoppy as other Black IPA’s I have had, there was a perfect balance of flavors that I easily quaffed.  This was another excellent offering from Deschutes and a great example of a Black IPA.

Deschutes Hop in the Dark

October 7, 2012

Beer Bums Meeting – October 2012 – Oktoberfest Beers

October and Oktoberfest Beers with all American versions this year.  I really enjoy Oktoberfest beers so I liked all of these.

Harpoon Octoberfest
Real Ale Oktoberfest
Samuel Adams Octoberfest
Brooklyn Oktoberfest

Next Month, November – Pumpkin beers, for Thanksgiving

October 4, 2012

The Brü Revü – Sixpoint Resin

Sixpoint Brewery just arrived in Texas and which beer do I try first?  Their highly rated Double IPA Resin, of course.  Sixpoint is another brewery who puts all their brews in cans, generally in 16 oz. tallboys which is pretty sweet.  The Resin being a Double IPA and pretty high ABV it came in a 12 oz. slim can.  I have to say I was not quite used to the appearance of this tall skinny can in my fridge, but I felt very sophisticated.  The hop aroma sprang from the can as soon as I pulled the tab, and I knew I was in for a treat.  It poured a golden amber with a nice frothy head with plenty of lacing.  The aroma had loads of citrus and floral hops and the first taste exploded with hops that started at the front of my tongue and raced through my palate.  The Resin had a well balanced hop profile with some soft pine notes along with the citrus and floral hops.  The alcohol presence was noticeable, but I quickly forgot all about it as I enjoyed this great Double IPA.  The Resin was a great introduction to Sixpoint and now I will have to work my way through the rest of their line-up.  Welcome to Texas!

Sixpoint Resin

October 2, 2012

Pint Glass Nights - October 2012

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

Gingerman – Mondays, at 6 PM
Oct 01 Rahr Oktoberfest
Oct 08 Kona Pipeline Porter
Oct 15   Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils
Oct 22 Independence Dubbel
Oct 29 Widmer Falconer’s IPA

The Tavern – Tuesdays
Check their facebook page for glass updates

Zax Pints and Plates – Wednesdays, at 6 PM
Oct 03 Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest
Oct 10 St. Arnold Oktoberfest
Oct 17   Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan
Oct 24 Austin Beer Week TBD
Oct 31 Boulevard Brewing Post Road Pumpkin Ale

Flying Saucer  - Wednesdays, at 7 PM
Oct 03 John Lennon Glass
Oct 10 Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest
Oct 17   TBD
Oct 24 Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan
Oct 31 Avery Brewing Halloween Demon

Draught House – Wednesdays
Check their twitter page for glass updates

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