Austin’s Infinite Monkey Theorem outpost now opened

Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. The Infinite Monkey Theorem's colorful tasting room is decorated in graffiti art by local artists. It's an inviting space meant to encourage people to stay awhile.
Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. The Infinite Monkey Theorem’s colorful tasting room is decorated in graffiti art by local artists. It’s an inviting space meant to encourage people to stay awhile.

Visitors to the new Infinite Monkey Theorem winery and tasting room in South Austin, which opens today, might wonder if they’ve accidentally walked into the wrong place.

The urban winery, tucked into a residential area just off South Congress Avenue, doesn’t exactly look like the picturesque setting we’ve come to expect from our wineries: sprawling rows of vineyard grapes flanking elegant, well-decorated tasting rooms in the Texas Hill Country. Infinite Monkey Theorem’s eclectic, off-kilter look, however, is on purpose — mirroring the spirit of its larger flagship space in Denver with colorful graffiti on the walls, classic board games and other activities available for the 80-person seating area, and decor that includes vintage radios and typewriters stacked tall behind the bar. Kegged and canned wine is served here, in addition to traditional bottles.

All of that is so you’ll have “a raucous good time” when you visit the Infinite Monkey Theorem, Meredith Berman, the director of Austin operations, says. She and her husband, Aaron, the winery’s CFO and co-founder, moved from Colorado to Texas to make sure this second location stands out as a funky place to hang out, listen to live music and not take the art of making wine quite so seriously. That’s in keeping with the winery’s philosophy, a mathematical theory from which it gets its name.

All these permutations are possible in life, and eventually they lead to something, like a piece of art or a bottle of wine,” Berman says about the basics of the theorem, which posits that a bunch of monkeys in a room with typewriters and an infinite amount of time will, at some point, type out the words of Shakespeare. “(Chaos is) the essence of the actual theorem and really what winemaking is. So many things can happen, during growing season, transporting the grapes from the vineyard to the winery, even when the wine gets processed. So out of those variables, you do what you can and let nature influence the taste, and out of it, you get your art.”

Winemaker Ben Parsons, who founded the original Denver location in 2008, is doing in Texas what he does in Colorado: sourcing the grapes from vineyards around the state. Namely, Texas’ High Plains. He’s already begun to develop relationships with the grape growers there and has gotten a bounty of red and white fruit from this year’s harvest.

When the tasting room opens today, though, visitors will find only one Texas wine on the menu — a rosé made from Cinsault grapes. The rest, including a Chardonnay, a Malbec and even a dry-hopped pear cider, all hail from Colorado. (They’ll slowly phase out as more Texas wines are produced, starting with whites.)

Parsons, a Brit who moved to Colorado to get into winemaking, has never been conventional with his winery. In Denver, its home is a large warehouse in an industrial part of the city now booming with entrepreneurial businesses like his. A good portion of the 18,000 sq. ft. of production space is devoted to canning Infinite Monkey Theorem wine — something he’s done since 2011 to move wine drinkers in this country past the “oenophile stuffiness that too many vintners have cultivated alongside their grapes,” according to a Denver Post article. Making wine accessible at ballparks, campgrounds and other places canned beers have been dominating is a goal of his, one that continues in the Austin space.

Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. This little room off the main tasting area is an homage to the mathematical theory from the Infinite Monkey Theorem gets its name.
Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. This little room off the main tasting area is an homage to the mathematical theory from the Infinite Monkey Theorem gets its name.

Kegged wines are also better than bottles in bars and restaurants, helping to contribute less waste and keeping the wine fresh, so that’s another program Parsons and the Bermans push. In Denver, the Infinite Monkey Theorem is able to keg other wineries’ products for them.

Another key tradition of the Infinite Monkey Theorem is that visitors to the tasting room can help out in the winery. In fact, the Bermans are counting on having volunteers, starting in the spring, who want to contribute to making the wine. They’ll be able to crush grapes and bottle the resulting wines.

Part of the way we’ve built this winery is with the volunteers, which generates a lot of interest in us,” Meredith Berman says, noting that the size and the enthusiasm of the volunteer pool in Denver contributed to Parsons moving the Infinite Monkey Theorem “to a much larger back alley” in 2012. 

The Austin winery is going to make wines that will be available in Texas only, she says. In the meantime, stop by for a visit to the tasting room, outfitted with Craigslist-cultivated furniture by Vagabond Designs’ Kim Lewis, for a glass of wine and a game of chess. (Plus, there’s WiFi.) Eventually, you’ll even be able to enjoy a meal there, once Buzz Mill Coffee opens its second location across the parking lot. The Infinite Monkey Theorem is at 121 Pickle Rd. and opened 4 to 10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 2 to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 2 to 8 p.m. Sundays.

For more information, visit austin.theinfinitemonkeytheorem.com.

Day before Thanksgiving, a Goose Island beer feast at Banger’s

Photo by Tyler Malone. Banger's is offering a Goose Island tap takeover the day before Thanksgiving, featuring beers like the Bourbon County Brand Stout.
Photo by Tyler Malone. Banger’s is offering a Goose Island tap takeover the day before Thanksgiving, featuring beers like the Bourbon County Brand Stout.

UPDATE: The two 2015 Goose Island Bourbon County variations that have been approved for sale in Texas are the original Bourbon County Brand Stout and the Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout. Beer lovers here are missing out on a couple of the others from the 2015 lineup. The tap list at the bottom of this post has been updated to reflect these changes.

EARLIER: Beer lovers are frenzied on Black Friday, too but instead of hunting for the coolest gadget they can get for cheap, they’re after Goose Island beers, the rarest of which traditionally release the day after Thanksgiving.

Regularly considered one of the top beers on review sites like BeerAdvocate, Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout often flies off the shelves at retail stores on Black Friday and subsequent days. But this year, Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden is offering that beer and other sought-after ones in the Goose Island portfolio two days beforehand, on Nov. 25.

“Holy cow, it’s a Goose Island invasion in the very best way!” a Banger’s Facebook event invite crows about the tap takeover.

Going out on one of the busiest bar nights of the year (which has earned the day before Thanksgiving the unoriginal but telling moniker of “Black Wednesday”) might seem like a bad idea, but Banger’s Goose Island tap list might change your mind. In addition to having a variety of the beers on draft, the Rainey Street bar is offering bottles of Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout 2015 that’s been aged for two years in 35-year-old Heaven Hill whiskey barrels.

Here’s the full Goose Island tap list (which you can get more background on in this Chicago Tribune article):

2014 Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Rye
2015 Brand Stout
2013 Brand Barleywine
2014 Brand Coffee Stout, made with Intelligentsia’s Los Delirios Nicaraguan coffee bean
2014 Halia
2013 Lolita
2013 Madam Rose
Sofie
Matilda

The event celebrating the Chicago brewery’s best brews starts at 6 p.m. Nov. 25 at 79 Rainey St. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/bangersaustin.

LaV announces new director of wine, Nick Barb

One of Austin’s best wine programs has someone at the helm of it again.

Photo by Buff Strickland. Nick Barb is now LaV's new director of wine.
Photo by Buff Strickland. Nick Barb is now LaV’s new director of wine.

A few weeks after Vilma Mazaite announced that she was leaving her post as wine director at LaV — to take on the role of executive consultant with the East Austin restaurant — LaV now has Nick Barb, formerly of the Little Nell in Aspen, Colo., taking over the position.

He’s got some big shoes to fill — LaV wouldn’t have such a highly regarded wine program without Mazaite’s considerable talent and influence to start it off — but Barb’s resumé certainly suggests he knows how to step up. At the Little Nell, he was integral as head sommelier there “in building a Wine Spectator ‘Grand Award’ wine list for the hotel,” according to a press release. (Mazaite, before joining LaV, also hailed from that Colorado spot.) Before that, he earned sommelier chops at a New York Michelin three-star restaurant, Eleven Madison Park.

And for LaV, he already has ideas on how to continue transforming the top-notch wine list. He wants to add more wines to it from classic wine regions like France, as well as from “new and exciting, up-and-coming winemakers from around the world,” according to the press release. Plus, keeping many of the wines at an accessible price point for anyone to enjoy is also important to him.

“The most exciting part of my job is being able to connect with people and share my love of wine with them. And I am looking forward to doing that here at laV,” Barb said in the press release.

Barb is joining the restaurant at a time of change. Shortly after Mazaite’s shift in position was announced, two other LaV staffers departed: Award-winning executive pastry chef Janina O’Leary and her husband, interim executive chef Sean O’Leary, decided to part ways with LaV at the end of last month.

Manor’s Banner Distilling bottles up a wheat whiskey

Two locals launched Banner Distilling a few years in a small building in rural Manor with the goal of bottling up a Texas-made wheat whiskey. But it was only earlier this year that their dream was realized.

Although Banner co-founders Logan Simpson and Anthony Jimenez released a vodka first — because an unaged spirit is an easier way to bring in revenue early — they’ve finally gotten the whiskey on the market and have already seen it become award-winning.

Contributed by Banner Distilling Co. Banner Wheat Whiskey is aged in American white oak barrels and released in very limited batches.
Contributed by Banner Distilling Co. Banner Wheat Whiskey is aged in American white oak barrels and released in very limited batches.

Banner Distilling’s wheat whiskey recently took a silver medal at the New York International Spirits Competition. The spirit also earned a bronze medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in the spring. They’re two gratifying wins for the Banner duo whose operation is so small that the whiskey is released at less than 150 bottles at a time, after aging five gallons at a time in American white oak barrels.

Simpson and Jimenez decided to play with wheat as the dominant grain in the whiskey, rather than the more commonly used corn or rye, because of their desire to keep ingredients as local as possible. Their distillery is located in an area where farmers told them, early on, that they’d be willing to grow whatever Banner needs.

“There are wheat fields all over the place here, so it just makes sense for us to do it,” Jimenez said during a visit to the distillery last year.

In addition to winter wheat grown in nearby New Sweden, the 92-proof whiskey also features malted barley from Leander’s Blacklands Malt and rainwater harvested from Smithville’s Texas Rain. “We literally use Texas air, sun, soil and rain to make the whiskey,” Simpson said in a recent email. “We like to say it has Texas in the bottle, not just on it.”

The result is a complex aged spirit with notes of toasted cherry and black pepper. The wheat, Jimenez said in an email, is a flavor “impossible to mask. It’s (akin) to sipping on a glass of freshly baked bread with a sweet, peppery finish,” shining through and breathing new life into classic cocktails like Old Fashioneds or Manhattans.

Simpson noted that it’s only been getting better with each batch. “We anticipate gold next year,” he said.

For more information, visit www.bannerdistilling.com.

Events: Austin Home Brew Festival returns Nov. 14

Professional brewers don’t have all the fun in this town.

The Austin Home Brew Festival is returning with more local homebrews competing for the hearts of judges and patrons alike.
The Austin Home Brew Festival is returning with more local homebrews competing for the hearts of judges and patrons alike.

Homebrewers, who are crucial to craft brewing and are often how many brewers get their start, try to enter in competitions to test their brewing prowess — and there’s one in Austin that doubles as a fundraiser for an area school. For the second year in a row, the Austin Home Brew Festival is open to locals interested in tasting some good homebrew and voting on their favorite ones.

From 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 14, the Austin Home Brew Festival will also offer a silent auction, light bites from Gourdough’s Public House and live bluegrass and American folk rock by Silo Road, the Wheelwrights and Rusty Razors. Like last year, it’s at the Getaway Motor Club, 3700 Thompson St., in East Austin.

All the while, judges from three local breweries and the American-Statesman will be evaluating each of the brews to ultimately award a Best in Show, a Silver Brew and a Bronze Brew. I’ll be joined at the judges’ table by Josh Hare of Hops & Grain, Rus Hall of South Austin Brewery and Jason Watkins of Live Oak Brewing.

The homebrewers participating include local homebrewing stalwarts like Keith and Pam Bradley, Corey and Angela Martin, and Chris Rauschuber and Whitney Roberts — the latter two who may well be entering in their last homebrew competition. They’re about to go pro with the slated launch of their North Austin brewpub, the Brewtorium Brewery & Kitchen, sometime next year.

To attend the fest, purchase a one-year membership of the Austin Home Brew Appreciation Society for $45 or VIP membership to the group for $90. The VIP membership comes with some perks: invitations to craft beer events across the country and early admission (5:30 p.m.) to the Nov. 14 festival, as well as a chef’s tasting with Gourdough’s throughout the fest. All membership proceeds will be donated to the AHB Community School, a small progressive nonprofit.

For more information, visit www.ahbfestival.org.

Resurrected Lustre Pearl opens Friday in East Austin

The bar that sparked Rainey Street’s colorful nightlife district in 2009 is about to get a second life on the far east side.

Photo contributed by Dunlap ATX. After 18 months, Lustre Pearl East is ready to shine as a quirky Austin bar again.
Photo contributed by Dunlap ATX. After 18 months, Lustre Pearl East is ready to shine as a quirky Austin bar again.

Lustre Pearl East is opening Friday in the same 19th-century house that housed the original bar, before it closed when the property was sold on Rainey. Although the old building has now been joined by a newly constructed one with a kitchen and another bar for a much larger space, owner Bridget Dunlap wanted to preserve the overall spirit of the original Lustre Pearl when she transported the bar to 114 Linden St. at East Cesar Chavez.

“I have real love for this house,” Dunlap, the food-and-drink impresario behind other Austin spots like Clive, Container Bar and Mettle, said in a press release. “Walking in is like walking in your old home; it looks and feels the same — you see the memories that you made at every turn.”

She’s making sure visitors to the new Lustre Pearl East, which will also have an outdoor patio, enjoy a relaxing laid-back environment, just as they did when the bar was on Rainey Street. In far East Austin, it’ll have a food menu of primarily sandwiches and salads from Executive Chef Carson Symmonds, as well as cocktails and other beverage items, according to the press release.

Opening hours starting Friday are 4 p.m. to midnight Mondays and Tuesdays and 11 a.m. to midnight Wednesdays through Sundays. Eventually, Lustre Pearl East will be opened every day starting at 11 a.m.

Another Lustre Pearl location is coming to 94 Rainey St., almost right across the street from the first bar. Dunlap, who seems to like to keep busy with her entertainment projects, has also opened a pizza bar on East Sixth Street called Burn. For more information on her projects, visit http://www.bridgetdunlap.com.

The Golden Goose on South Lamar to celebrate grand opening

Although you won’t mistake the Golden Goose for the bar that came before it, the iconic Horseshoe Lounge that closed earlier this year, it’s stayed true to the dive bar spirit of the original, with low lighting, beer in cans and bottles, and shuffleboard and a jukebox. Now that it’s found its stride, the Goose is ready for its official debut — the owners are throwing a grand opening party on Nov. 12.

The grand opening, starting at 4 p.m. and running throughout the night, will center around live music from Austin band Them Duqaines and include plenty of rounds of shuffleboard and drinks.

Local bar owners Jason Steward, of Bungalow and Bar 2211, and Sean Fric, of J. Black’s Feel Good Kitchen and Lounge, took over the Horseshoe Lounge space in the spring with plans to keep some of the things that made the 50-year-old bar so special to its regulars. But they’ve also added cocktails and other elements to the Golden Goose, creating a comfortable, dimly lit atmosphere complete with a copper tile ceiling, antique church pews and the same worn stone walls of the Horseshoe Lounge.

Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. The Golden Goose offers a menu of straightforward cocktails along with canned and bottled beer.
Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. The Golden Goose offers a menu of straightforward cocktails along with canned and bottled beer.

“We’ve been able to bring in some of the old regulars, as well as newcomers who are just looking for a good neighborhood bar,” Steward said, adding that he, Fric and general manager Jason Wilson have wanted to keep it a dive bar at heart.

Wilson noted that some of the Horseshoe regulars who still stop by regale him with tales of long-ago Horseshoe: that the building, for example, was built in 1953 and used to be known as the Rock Pile. He’s happy to hear their stories, he said; at least the longtime customers keep coming back.

The Golden Goose offers beers like Independence Brewing’s Stash IPA, Austin Beerworks’ Pearl Snap Pils and Uncle Billy’s Humbucker Helles. The cocktails, Fric said, are kept simple and straightforward, like the frozen Moscow Mule made with Deep Eddy Vodka that he said is easily the bar’s most popular drink. (My personal favorite was the Disiac, a striking mix of Hendrick’s gin, fresh beet juice, Cointreau lime juice and soda.)

Also important to Fric and Steward was the shuffleboard table that runs along one wall of the bar. Although it’s not the same one that used to be at the Horseshoe Lounge — this one’s new and professional-grade from shuffleboard pro Don Valk — the shuffleboard table has already seen many a game play out, including ones between friendly competitors Fric, Steward and Wilson.

Against the opposite wall, the jukebox holds more than 1,500 tracks — “jumping from Frank Sinatra to Tupac to local guys the Crooks” — Fric said, all songs that he and Steward carefully compiled. “We didn’t just want the greatest hits from each artist,” he said.

Above all, he, Steward and Wilson are looking to create a cozy little sanctuary on South Lamar Boulevard.

“We’re happy to take over an iconic spot,” Wilson said. “We just want to do right by the neighborhood. That’s what we’re going for.”

Located at 2034 South Lamar Blvd., the Golden Goose is open daily from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information, follow the bar on social media at @TheGooseAustin.

Sour beer stronghold Cascade Brewing coming to Texas

Photo by Brian Gurney. Cascade Brewing is expanding from the Pacific Northwest to Texas.
Photo by Brian Gurney. Cascade Brewing is expanding from the Pacific Northwest to Texas.

Sour beer fans clamoring for Portland’s Cascade Brewing no longer have to travel to the Pacific Northwest to get a taste of the funky brews.

The brewery announced today that it’s partnering with Dallas-based Favorite Brands to bring the Northwest-style sour ales to Texas for the first time — a move that has been a long time coming for the Oregon brewery.

“We’ve been working for 10 years to get to the point where we can supply sour beers to a worldwide market, and we’ve finally arrived at that place,” Cascade founder Art Larrance said in a press release.

Cascade Brewing specializes in sour ales with “a clean lactic acid profile produced by a house culture of lactobacillus bacteria.” Another big component of their beers, according to the press release is the use of ingredients grown in the region, including cherries, apricots, berries and grapes, and barrels in their blending house — which currently has more than 1,500 French oak, Kentucky bourbon and Pacific Northwest wine barrels, as well as nine foudres (much larger casks).

“At Cascade, we produce beers from our own style,” Cascade brewmaster Ron Gansberg said in the press release. “We have no guidance other than our own palate and what comes out of our cellar. Each beer is drawn from several individual barrels and features a balanced level of fruit, acidity and nuances from each barrel. We marry these beers together so they truly soar to great heights.”

As soon as the brewery gets TABC label approval, a process that can take some time, it’ll start bringing down bottles of the beers, including Apricot, Blackberry, Blackcap Raspberry, Blueberry, Cranberry, Elderberry, Figaro, Kriek, Manhattan, Noyaux, Sang Noir, Strawberry and the Vine.

For more information, visit www.CascadeBrewing.com.

5 Texas barrel-aged brews worth seeking out

Photo by Ralph Barrera / American-Statesman. Adelbert's Brewery's Tripel Treat is in stores now, so grab a bottle before they're all gone.
Photo by Ralph Barrera / American-Statesman. Adelbert’s Brewery’s Tripel Treat is in stores now, so grab a bottle before they’re all gone.

In tomorrow’s Austin American-Statesman, I explore the barrel programs at local breweries and distilleries, which often rely on each other to continue their wood-aged projects by swapping barrels — hot commodities that can sometimes be hard to find. (The story is already online here.)

Sadly, I didn’t have room to include all of the barrel-aged brews that have resulted from area brewers’ efforts, but consider this list your starter guide to ones that you can find around town right now.

Adelbert’s Tripel Treat: Adelbert’s Brewery founder Scott Hovey likes to go beyond bourbon barrels when aging beers for the brewery’s Vintage series. Because they’re easier to procure than other barrels out there, “bourbon barrel aging has been overdone, so it’s nice to offer something unique to consumers,” he said.

That “unique” beer comes in the form of Tripel Treat, Adelbert’s Tripel B aged in Treaty Oak’s Barrel Reserve rum barrels. It clocks in at a boozy 11.7 percent ABV, which you’ll taste in Tripel Treat’s “exquisite balance of warming rum notes, soft coconut and smooth oak, with a surprisingly fruity nose,” according to the brewery. It’s a good way to learn how barrels influence the beers within them; as Hovey noted, “the rum barrels really made the vanilla notes pop in ways that other barrels don’t.”

Hops & Grain Volumes of Funk: When Josh Hare’s East Austin brewery was about three months old, he purchased a dozen Jack Daniel’s barrels but didn’t start “diving deep” into barrel-aging until Hops & Grain was more established at a year-and-a-half. Now, the brewery has 86 barrels currently souring beers in the tasting room with the help of Brettanomyces and other microbes that are inoculated into the wood — a series of beers called Volumes of Funk. (The other side of the barrel program is Hops & Grain’s PorterCulture and Alteration aging in bourbon barrels for the Volumes of Oak series.)

Photo by Jacob Sanchez. Hops & Grain keeps barrels of its sour beer aging in the tasting room — a decision that has less to do with aesthetics and more to do with contaminating other non-sour barrels.
Photo by Jacob Sanchez. Hops & Grain keeps barrels of its sour beer aging in the tasting room — a decision that has less to do with aesthetics and more to do with contaminating other non-sour barrels.

The current Volumes of Funk beer is a sour brown ale that you can find at bars like the Wheel, on Manor Road, thanks to Austin Beer Week. This one will draw you in with rich aromas of fig and tart cherry and keep you captivated with a keen acidity and an earthy layer of funk. It’s not as easy to find as Hops & Grain’s canned mainstays, but if you do stumble upon it, prepare to relish in its complexity.

Ranger Creek’s Small Batch Series No. 11: In nearby San Antonio, Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling has a particular advantage over its other brewery counterparts: Thanks to its whiskey distillery side, it’ll always have barrels available to use for aging beer.

That’s the case with Ranger Creek’s Small Batch Series No. 11, an apricot sour. The “brewstillery” “blended together barrels of one-year-aged Belgian Blonde ale that was inoculated with a third generation of our house sour barrel,” according to Ranger Creek. “In the beer’s last month of barrel aging, we added over 25 pounds of fresh apricots to every barrel.” The result? A sweetly juicy beer full of warming vanilla, lively apricot and a funky zing.

Real Ale Brewing’s Mysterium Verum: One of the strongest barrel programs in Central Texas, Real Ale’s Mysterium Verum series relies on “new oak and used wine and spirits barrels, as well as (in some cases) secondary fermentation with wild yeasts and bacteria, to produce complex flavors beyond the realm of traditional brewers yeasts,” according to the Blanco brewery.

Photo by Emma Janzen. Real Ale Brewing has a lot of barrels at its brewery in Blanco and cats to watch over them, too.
Photo by Emma Janzen. Real Ale Brewing has a lot of barrels at its brewery in Blanco and cats to watch over them, too.

Current releases to look out for include Devil’s Share, Real Ale’s Devil’s Backbone Tripel; Empire, Real Ale’s Lost Gold IPA; and Highlander, Real Ale’s Real Heavy Scotch ale — all aged in red wine barrels. A particular treat for me is Devil’s Share, which takes on notes of caramel and banana-like esters when aged. The Devil’s Backbone taken up a notch, if you will.

Red Horn’s You Be Forty: The list of house beers at Red Horn Coffee House & Brewing Co. in Cedar Park keeps growing — and the latest one to join the roster is actually the first one the brewpub ever made. You Be Forty, a Belgian-style red ale that aged in red wine barrels from Hilmy Cellars in Fredericksburg, matured just in time for an Austin Beer Week release last week, joining Red Horn’s nine other house beers.

Although it aged for only three-and-a-half months in the Hilmy barrels, You Be Forty retains elements of the wine that came before it in the aroma and the flavor, according to the brewpub, with “dark berries, cinnamon and toffee” other dominating notes in the beer. This full-bodied brew certainly won’t be the last of Red Horn’s growing barrel-aging program, either; there will be plenty more to come.

November drinking events calendar 2015

Cellar Madness at the Whip In, 10 a.m. Mondays in November. Whip In is pulling out some of their best cellared beer and wine selections for your purchasing pleasure throughout this month.

Photo by Dina Guidubaldi / for American-Statesman. The Whip is releasing a bunch of rare beers from the cellars every Monday this month.
Photo by Dina Guidubaldi / for American-Statesman. The Whip In is releasing a bunch of rare beers and wines from the cellar every Monday this month.

Arro’s First Mondays, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2. The Monday tradition returns with a five-course dinner featuring wines of Château Brane-Cantenac of Margaux. $60; $100 with wine pairings.

Shaken & Stirred at the Bullock Museum, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5. A martini cocktail party with trivia, prize giveaways and more to welcome the latest James Bond film, “Spectre.”

Smith Story Supper Club at Josephine House, 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6. A night of storytelling, 2014 wine releases from Smith Story Wine Cellars and a paired dinner. $90.

Pinthouse Pizza’s 3-Year Anniversary, 12 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7. Special beer releases and swag, as well as the return of the Elvis impersonator, at this celebration of the pizza-focused brewpub.

4th Tap Brewing Co-op’s Grand Opening, 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7. Celebrate North Austin’s newest brewery with 4th Tap mainstays and new releases and food from Chi’lantro BBQ.

The Draught House’s 47th Anniversary Party, 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7. Rescheduled after getting rained out last month, this party should still have all the rare beers of the first attempt tapping this time around.

Texas Keeper Cider’s Taproom Fundraising Happy Hour, 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7. Texas Keeper has launched a fundraising campaign for their upcoming tasting room; contribute with this happy hour of cider and food from Anjore.

Whip In’s 2nd Annual Bubbles $ Brunch, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8. Enjoy two glasses of sparkling wine and one of three brunch items for $30.

Brooklyn Brewery Mash, 12 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8 through 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15. A week-long series of events, including beer dinners, brewer talks and more from Brooklyn Brewery.

Independence Beer Dinner at the Scarlet Rabbit, 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8. Five-course feast at this Round Rock eatery with Independence Brewing beers, including Reaper Madness Black IPA and Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout. $57.71

Twisted X Brewing Beer Dinner at the Driskill Hotel, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9. A four-course feast featuring Twisted X brews, including Cow Creek and Senor Viejo. $40.

Italic’s Marcarini Wine Dinner, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11. A five-course wine dinner hosted by winemaker Manuel Marchetti and featuring the wines from his Italian vineyard.

Blue Owl Brewing’s Housewarming Weekend, 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13 through 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15. Three days of officially welcoming Blue Owl to the east side with special tappings, portrait drawings and even a Shotgun Friday tour.

(512) Brewing’s 7th Anniversary Party, 12 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14. At this rescheduled anniversary party, expect plenty of rare goodies, including barrel-aged, nitro and sour beers.

The ABGB’s APA! APA #5 Release Party, 12 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14. The fifth beer in the brewpub’s American Pale Ale series that raises money for Austin Pets Alive launches with this party featuring live music, a cornhole tournament and puppies.

Adelbert’s Brewery’s Pig Roast, 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14. $5 tacos, $12 plates and lots of beer.

The Austin Home Brew Festival is returning with more local homebrews competing for the hearts of judges and patrons alike.
The Austin Home Brew Festival is returning with more local homebrews competing for the hearts of judges and patrons alike.

Austin Home Brew Festival, 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14. Tastings from more than 15 local homebrewers, as well as a silent auction and light bites, to raise money for the AHB Community School. $45-$90.

Stay Hoppy 5 Year Anniversary, 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14. Celebrate the beer blog’s milestone birthday at Craft Pride with special brews, including a collaboration IPA between Hops & Grain and Stay Hoppy.

Red Horn & Antonelli’s Beer & Cheese Pairing, 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18. Learn how to pair beer and cheese at this Red Horn Coffee House & Brewing tradition. $40.

Big Reds & Bubbles, 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19. This Wine & Food Foundation of Texas event features foods from some of Austin’s best chefs and more than 100 sparkling and red wines.

Independence Brewing’s Friendsgiving, 12 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21. Bring two non-perishable foods for the Capital Area Food Bank; enjoy limited release beers like the Espresso Stout. Being in the giving spirit can be fun.

The ABGB’s Violet Beauregarde Release Day, 12 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21. The ABGB’s second bottle release is a tart and refreshing sour brewed with Texas blueberries.

Hops for HOPE: Art & Beer Bazaar, 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22. An art show coupled with 36 beers, live music and food to raise money for the HOPE campaign.

Hops & Grain Beer Dinner at Odd Duck, 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30. Limited-edition Hops & Grain beers with a five-course feast prepared by the farm-to-table team at Odd Duck. $70.