My summer "Tour of Hefeweizens" had to make a stop to review the local classic Live Oak HefeWeizen. I have had this delicious brew many times around town and take for granted that we have a world class hefeweizen here in Austin. The beer poured an opaque golden yellow with an enormous fluffy white head. The aroma was of bananas, cloves and a fruity spice that hit the perfect hefe tones. The taste was classic Hefe with bold bubblegum, banana, clove and spices that floated on a thick and creamy body with zero bitterness. The Live Oak Hefe is so thick, creamy and smooth its like drinking a beer milkshake. The note perfect hefeweizen flavors were bold and dominate while maintaining a very refreshing and drinkable brew. I can easily drink pint after pint of this on a hot day in Texas. It easily stands up to and exceeds its German counterparts and I would take it over just about any classic German Hefe. Cheers!Live Oak HefeWeizen
July 25, 2014
July 17, 2014
While I don’t drink a lot of ciders, I have had quite a few and know a good one when I have it. Austin Eastciders is fairly new to the Austin scene and are just now getting their ciders out to market in cans. They use vintage bittersweet cider apples rather than regular eating apples which is how ciders were made pre-prohibition and how they are still made in England. The beer poured a crystal clear gold with a small white head. The aroma was of fresh clean apples: sweet and slightly tart. The taste was again sweet and tart with a clean dry finish. The light sweetness is elegantly balanced by the tart bitter sweet flavors that create an excellent cider. There is just enough carbonation to keep the Original Dry Cider lively but not overly bubbly. This was a great cider and the perfect refreshment to the Texas heat. I can’t wait to see what Austin Eastciders comes up with next.
July 15, 2014
It only happens once every four years so we settled on World Cup Beers for July. Any beer from one of the final 8 teams in the World Cup: Argentina, Germany, Brazil, Netherlands, Costa Rica, France, Colombia & Belgium. I may have cheated a little by bringing the Real Ale White as its a Belgian inspired wheat beer, but it was so good everyone forgave me. The Kulmbacher Eku 28 was powerful as well.
Next Month, August – Hops & Grain visit
July 11, 2014
Continuing on my Hefeweissbier journey for the summer I landed on the Julius Echter Hefe-Weissbier. This is a traditional German version brewed per the Reinheitsgebot or German beer purity law using only yeast, malt, hops, barley and water. The beer poured a hazy straw yellow with a significant fluffy white head with little retention. The aroma was pure hefeweiss with strong notes of banana and cloves, but more on the spicy clove side. The taste was light and refreshing with more of the signature Hefe banana and cloves and a hint of bready wheat. The body was less creamy and more effervescent and the low bitterness made for a refreshing drinking experience. Definitely a worthwhile stop on my hefeweissbier journey and setting me up for more to come.
July 9, 2014
SanTan Brewing out of Chandler Arizona is the latest out of state brewery to bring their beers to Texas. They have a strong reputation so I was looking forward to trying their beers. Of course I started with their IPA. The beer poured a deep copper amber with a significant off white head. The aroma kicked in immediately with a strong essence of grapefruit rind and some floral notes with a slight sweet malt underneath. The taste hit me with more bitter grapefruit rind and bits of tropical fruit that was wrapped around the malty sweetness. It all ended with a palate soaking piney bitterness that was right up my IPA alley. The Hop Shock doesn’t pull its bitter punches and socked me into hop heaven. A great IPA and proper introduction to SanTan Brewing. Welcome to Texas!
July 3, 2014
My summer trek through traditional Hefeweizens continues with the Ayinger Brau Weisse. This unfiltered classic hefeweizen poured a deep gold straw yellow with a huge white head that didn’t take on the cloudy opaque texture until I poured the sediment from the bottom of the bottle. I left about a quarter of the beer, swirled it around to activate the sediment and continued to pour it into this wonderful looking hefeweizen. The aroma was much fruitier than most of the traditional hefe’s with the signature spice but the bubblegum & banana notes were missing. Not to fear, the first sip brought the banana notes to the forefront, but with more of a fruity balance along with the spiciness. The smooth and creamy mouthfeel delivered this Hefe masterpiece to my palate where the wonderful flavors danced on my tongue. Very light yet full flavored the Ayinger is another excellent hefeweizen and right up there with the Weihenstephaner.
July 2, 2014
Misc. pint glass nights around Austin for July. Buy the beer, keep the glass.
Gingerman – Mondays, at 6 PM
July 07 Blanche de Bruxelles
July 14 St. Martin Triple
July 21 Duvelmoortgat De Koninck
July 28 Ommegang Hop House
Zax Pints and Plates – Wednesdays, at 6 PM
July 02 New Belgium Snapshot
July 09 Karbach Brewing Weekend Warrior
July 16 Hofbrau Hefe Weisen
July 23 Green Flash Brewing
July 30 Grapevine Brewing
Flying Saucer - Wednesdays, at 7 PM
July 02 Real Ale Hans Pils
July 09 Firestone Walker Pivo Hoppy Pilsner
July 16 Stone Arrogant Bastard
July 23 Dogfish Head Randall
July 30 Brooklyn Brewery
Draught House – Wednesdays
Check their twitter page for glass updates
July 1, 2014
Real Ale’s latest canned offering is a Belgian inspired witbier that is dry hopped at the same level as there IPA, but has a low 4.6% abv that makes it light and sessionable. The beer poured a thick and hazy straw yellow with a light and fluffy white head. The aroma was of wheat and the typical witbier spices of coriander and orange with the fruity hops hiding underneath it all. The taste began with the light witbier of spicy wheat and orange zest and quickly faded into the fruity hop essence. While you could detect a slight bitterness from the hops it is by no means overly dominant. In fact it added a bold juicy fruit tone that directly complemented the orange and spice flavors of the base witbier. While the White maintained a light and easily drinkable body, there was no shortage of flavor. The Real Ale White hit all the right notes for me and the dry-hopping perfectly accentuated the base witbier. It was a bold yet refreshing brew perfect for our Texas heat.