If you aren’t too busy exploring the East Austin Studio Tour this weekend (and supplementing all that art with some of the liquid variety at nearby bars), these beer events are kicking off Saturday.
The Austin Home Brew Festival started out as a small fundraiser for a private school in Central Austin six years ago, but the organizers are now making it much bigger to bring in more homebrewers, small-batch beer lovers and also commercial brewers as judges. From 6 to 9 p.m. tomorrow, 15 beer brewers and two kombucha brewers will offer one to three of their creations for 3 oz. tastings. You’ll be able to try up to 12 of them (with the possibility of receiving more tasting tickets) while the judges — brewers from the ABGB, Live Oak Brewing, South Austin Brewery and Hops & Grain — will make their selections for gold, silver and bronze awards, as well a prize for the judges’ favorite brew. You’ll have a say in the People’s Choice Award: the brewer who receives the most votes from everyone tasting the beers.
When the festival organizers decided to make it a public event this year, they got in touch with the Austin Zealots, a local homebrew club, to see if some of its members would be interested in participating, said head organizer Wendy Salome (whose husband, Nick Salome, will be providing his kombucha at the festival). “This is the crowd that really loves competing,” she said. “We actually had to turn people away because there were more applying than we had room for.”
She added that as a result, there will be more of a variety of homebrew this year. “We have a wide range of homebrewers,” she said. “One won the Sam Adams Long Shot competition; others just brew for their friends, so it’s cool that all of them get a shot at the competition.”
Among them are a few who want to one day open their own professional brewing operations. You can read about each homebrewer on the festival website.
The Austin Home Brew Festival, at the Getaway Motor Club (3700 Thompson St.), will also include a VIP chef tasting, with food provided by Frank paired with beer provided by the judges’ breweries, a silent auction and a lounge for people to watch football.
If you want to go, there’s a suggested donation of $40 that you can give ahead of time or at the door. All donations are going toward the AHB Community School, the private school that started the festival six years ago.
New York’s Brooklyn Brewery is bringing a week-long celebration of beer, food and fun, the Brooklyn Brewery Mash, to Austin starting on Saturday with a special Dinner on the Farm, a laidback late-afternoon barn party featuring food from Brooklyn Brewery chef Andrew Gerson and chefs from Odd Duck and Barley Swine, drinks from Treaty Oak and Cuvee Coffee, and sweets from Yeti Frozen Custard and Blackbird Bakery. That’s at 3 p.m. at the Simmons Family Farm, 2483 Holz Rd. The cost to attend is $55.
Additional Brooklyn Brewery Mash events include a talk with Brooklyn Brewery co-founder Steve Hindy and local brewers. Twenty-five years into running one of the top craft breweries in the U.S., Hindy looks back with his fellow craft beer comrades — including brewers at Black Star Co-op, Real Ale and Austin Beerworks and beer blogger Caroline Wallace — to discuss the circumstances and ambitions that allowed a handful of people across the country to challenge one of the largest corporate dynasties in American history. Hindy’s new book, “Craft Beer Revolution,” tells the stories of these pioneering brewers. The 8 p.m. talk is at Austin Beerworks, 3009 Industrial Terrace, and costs $6 to attend.
For the full list of Mash events, visit brooklynbrewerymash.com/austin/. The week will offer Austinites ample opportunities to try Brooklyn’s favorite, rarest and newest brews at various local spots, such as Flying Saucer, Easy Tiger and Liberty Bar.
And for those who love wine but don’t know how best to pair it with Thanksgiving turkey, Vino Vino is throwing TurkeyFest Wine Tasting on Nov. 22 from 11 to 1 p.m., providing 40 turkey-friendly wines for people to taste. Visit vinovinoaustin.com/ for more information.