This year’s South by Southwest probably won’t have as many free drinks pouring as past festivals have, but that’s a good thing. Take it easy on the alcohol by going to just a few events this time that center specifically around beer or spirits. You’ll appreciate them all the more.
Here’s a sampling of some of them, along with a couple of St. Patrick’s Day-related festivities, which take place right in the middle of SXSW. Note that the panels will require a badge to attend and some of the other events ask for an RSVP.
“Next Wave Coffee: Technology and the Way We Drink,” 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday, March 15 at the Driskill Hotel. An exploration of the next wave of innovative coffee gear and how people can brew coffee at home that competes with the best from any coffee shop.
“You Can’t Sit With Us: Craft Beer Subculture,” 5 to 6 p.m. Monday, March 16 at the Driskill Hotel. A talk from local beer bloggers Caroline Wallace, Matt McGinnis and Chris Sheppard about what it’s like to be a member of craft beer’s close-knit community. For more about what to expect, read this preview piece about the SouthBites Interactive panel that’s running tomorrow in the paper.
Late Night Cocktails with Dave Arnold, 10:30 p.m. Monday, March 16 at Odd Duck. Arnold, author of the cocktail-making guide “Liquid Intelligence,” will be making cocktails with the Odd Duck bar staff using the innovative, science-based techniques that have set him apart in the culinary world. He’s also a speaker at this SouthBites panel. $50.
The Feast of Saint Patrick, 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 at Hops & Grain. Raise a toast to the Irish holiday with a pint of Hops & Grain’s Dry Irish Stout. $20 gets you a pint glass and four pours.
St. Patrick’s Day at North by Northwest, 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 at both NXNW locations. The brewpub’s offering Irish fare and beer, as well as live Irish music. The beer includes cask-conditioned versions of the dry-hopped Irish Stout and dry-hopped Red Zeppelin Irish Red Ale.
NxNW at B.B. Rover’s, 6:30 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, March 18 through Saturday, March 21. For those who don’t live or work close to downtown and don’t want to deal with the SXSW crowds, the North Austin beer bar B.B. Rover’s will have live music and some really good beer, too.
Big Bend Brewing Co. Unofficial SXSW Showcase, 12 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 20 at Stay Gold. This live music showcase will draw a lot of beer fans, too: West Texas’ Big Bend Brewing, helmed by former Austinite Steve Anderson (brewer at now-defunct Waterloo and ever-growing Live Oak Brewing), is returning to give locals an alluring first taste of Tejas Lager and La Frontera IPA, which are, along with other Big Bend brews, releasing in Austin this summer.
Real Ale’s Tenabrae Aeterna Release Party, 12 p.m. Saturday, March 21 at the ABGB. The debut of Tenabrae Aeterna, a sour porter, plus tappings of special Real Ale casks throughout the day, including Real Heavy Scotch Ale, the Commissar Russian Imperial Stout and the Red King Imperial Red Ale.
Look for updates to this round-up throughout the week as more events pop up (because the SXSW madness is only beginning).