December 30, 2013

The Brü Revü - Top 13 Albums & Beers of 2013, Part 3

Classics that expand on the originals.  Another coffee Stout, sure, but take the impeccable Stone IRS and add espresso at the hands of Stone and you have pure gold.  I am not ashamed to admit I like Josh Ritter and The Beast in its Tracks is a return to form.  Classic Josh Ritter songs from a great songwriter.

Fruits of their labor.  The (512) FIVE Imperial Stout was the perfect culmination of their past 5 years.  It was deep and rich with layers of complex flavors.  Afraid of Heights shows Wavves ever increasing songwriting prowess as it pushes his skills further into well crafted garage & indie rock gems.  This album kicks ass and has stayed in rotation on my playlists since its release.  

Comfortable.  The Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #13 was a Belgian Quad that was expertly done.  It hit all the right notes and is like putting on a good pair of slippers.  There is something about a Telekinesis album that sounds familiarly nostalgic for me.  While he experimented more with his sound on Dormarion it’s still a perfect fit for my ears.  Now I just need to put on my robe and slippers, crank Dormarion up to 11 and sip my Belgian Quad while I bob my head.

Outrageously sophisticated.  3Beans was a phenomenal brew that pulled together the coffee, cocoa & romano beans expertly.  Monomania was Deerhunters return to punky garage rock that sounds divisively different than their previous effort, but with all the well-thought out and deliberate moves underneath the noise.  Both were well done and well executed.

See Part 1 Here
See Part 2 Here

December 27, 2013

The Brü Revü - Top 13 Albums & Beers of 2013, Part 2

Loud, pummeling & aggressive.  Stone was on a roll this year and RuinTen was their huge Ruination Anniversary beer. The Bronx IV was on constant rotation for almost 2 months after it came out.  Both grabbed your face and wouldn't let go.

Guilty Pleasures.  Austin Beerworks Heavy Machinery IPA series has been the highlight of the local craft beer scene for me.  It has been a joy to grab the latest in the series and the Belgian IPA was easily one of my favorites.  I Checked out Drug Church on a whim and was blown away.  Paul Walker has been in heavy rotation ever since.  There is something about both of these that tickle me in my happy place.

Two more local favorites.  Karbach from Houston added their Weekend Warrior Pale Ale to their regular lineup and this unfiltered hazy beast was a welcome addition.  Corsicana Lemonade sounds like White Denim’s take on classic rock while giving it their own unique freshness.  Down and dirty magic.

Lively and fun.  Green Bullet was very fresh and hoppy when I got it which is great for an IPA and Tripel IPA at that.  It had a very distinct hop profile from the New Zealand hop attack and was a fun beer to drink.  Passafire may be my secret crush as I love everything they put out in their twist of rock and reggae.  Vines continues their streak of great albums that I will continue to listen to constantly.  

See PART 1 Here

December 23, 2013

The Brü Revü - Top 13 Albums & Beers of 2013, Part 1

I love beer and music so here is my 13 best albums and beers for 2013.  These are all beers that debuted in 2013. While there are a few that have been brewed in the past this is their first incarnation in the bottle or in the case of RuinTen with a new name.  A technicality I know.  There are several great beers missing from this list, because I never tried them.  Unfortunately for me I never made it out to Jester King to try their new concoctions and I don’t trade so these were all available in Texas at some point.  Here we go, in no particular order:

Hops and Grain The One They Call Zoe
Hard working, local, dependable, always satisfying.  Describes both of these quite well.  Zoe was a pleasant surprise.  While not flashy or overwhelming it just reigned supreme.  WMMF album was another great album from this local Austin band.

A bit odd but satisfying.  Coffee and an IPA?  It actually worked quite well, and I hope Stone revisits this again.  Mikal Cronin picked up where he left off from his great first album with pure excellence on MCII.  Both are smooth yet strangely wonderful.

Raw, gritty and powerful.  The Double IPA was the first Heavy Machinery IPA available in cans and it started the series off strong.  Surfing Strange is the second album from Swearin’ which expands on their first with melodic fuzzy gems.  Both are basically beautiful.

Pros showing us how it’s done.  I for one am a huge fan of New Belgium’s Rampant Double IPA.  Get Rampant fresh and it’s full of lush tropical fruit tones and dank hops that hit the spot for me.  Modern Vampires of the City continues the greatness that is Vampire Weekend.  Catchy indie music with insightful intelligent lyrics.  Two powerhouses in their respective fields doing what they do best.

Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA sounded like a wonderful IPA, and it was.  Loads of citrus and tropical fruit hops that would have been even better if we had gotten it fresher in Texas. There’s always next year.  Mason Jennings’ catalog is pure gold and I eagerly anticipate his new releases.  Always Been is growing on me more and more and will surely climb into it’s place alongside his other classic albums.

December 19, 2013

The Brü Revü – Austin Beerworks Heavy Machinery English IPA

The hits keep coming with the Austin Beerworks Heavy Machinery series.  The latest is their English IPA which uses English EKG and Fuggle hops to give this IPA a very British flair.  The beer poured a beautiful clear amber with a significant white head.  The aroma was sweet and grassy definitely not the brash and bold American hops punch but with subtle fruity tones as well. The flavor followed the aroma with the fruity grassy tones giving way to a nice palate coating bitterness on the finish. The English IPA was a very light and drinkable IPA with a subtle hop profile that showcased the English hops well.   It was a welcome change to the American style hop bomb, and would be a great summertime thirst quencher too. This was a really well done IPA.

Austin Beerworks Heavy Machinery English IPA

December 15, 2013

Beer Bums Meeting – December 2013 – Holiday Party!

The best Holiday Party of the season.  We always eat well and drink even better.  A large lineup of beers this year that started with two growlers of homebrews from Shawn, an IPA and a trippel and a growler of the NXNW barrel aged holiday beer.  Lots of quads and Imperial stouts with my personal favorites from the night being the Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Aged Quad and the Prairie Artisan Ales BOMB!  Too many great beers to recount in any detail so I'll let the photos do the talking.

Homebrew IPA

Homebrew Trippel 

Next Month, January – Favorites of 2013

December 5, 2013

The Brü Revü – Karbach Brewing Weekend Warrior

Karbach Brewing has given me something to look forward to on my frequent trips to Houston.  It has always been nice to get more of their fabulous beers, and on a recent visit I knew they had just come out with a new year round offering, a Pale Ale called Weekend Warrior.  The Warrior poured a slightly hazy golden amber with a full and fluffy white head.  The aroma had tropical fruit hops with some light citrus hops and sweet malt as well.  The taste followed the aroma with tropical and citrus hops all wrapped in a sweet malt blanket  The overall taste profile is similar to a toned down Hopadillo which is a good thing.  It has a good lingering bitterness and with enough malt to keep it light and easy to drink.  The Weekend Warrior is a well crafted Pale Ale that is a welcome addition to the Karbach line-up.


December 2, 2013

Pint Glass Nights - December 2013

Misc. pint glass nights around Austin for December.  Buy the beer, keep the glass.
Gingerman – Mondays, at 6 PM
Dec 02   Rahr & Sons Winter Warmer
Dec 09 Saint Arnold Christmas Ale
Dec 16   New Belgium Seasonal
Dec 30 Boulevard Nutcracker

Zax Pints and Plates – Wednesdays, at 6 PM
Dec 11 Saint Arnold Christmas Ale
Dec 18   Widmer Brothers Brrr
Flying Saucer  - Wednesdays, at 7 PM
Dec 04   Oskar Blues Glass & Firken (Barrel Aged 10 Fidy)
Dec 9-14 BELGIAN BEER WEEK - Special Tappings and Nightly Glassware
Dec 11 Left Hand Tulip Style
Dec 18   Flying Saucer Christmas Glass Yule Fuel
Dec 25 Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale
Draught House – Wednesdays
Check their twitter page for glass updates
Red's Porch – Thursdays, at 5 PM, Check their events page for glass updates
Dec 05   Alaskan White
Dec 12   Lagunitas