Austin’s drinking events calendar, January 2017

Freedmen's Facebook. On New Year's Day, go out for brunch at places like Freedmen's to recover from the night before and enjoy hair-of-the-dog items like Bloody Marys.
On New Year’s Day, go out for brunch at places like Freedmen’s to recover from the night before and enjoy hair-of-the-dog items like Bloody Marys.

Bubbles & Barbecue Brunch at Freedmen’s, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. The usual barbecue menu is being joined by items like biscuits & gravy, plus bubbly cocktails like mimosas, poinsettias and pomelos.

New Year’s Day Brunch and Football at Uncle Billy’s, 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. NFL games plus the usual college football bonanza on New Year’s – and the brewpub’s barbecue and beer – means football fans are starting 2017 on the right foot.

Irene’s New Year’s Day Biscuits & Booze Brunch, 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. Happy hour specials start extra early. Plus, chow down on black-eyed peas and collard greens for prosperity in the new year.

New Year’s Day Party at Adelbert’s, 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. Start the new year off right by sippping on beermosas while chowing down on grub from Emojis Grilled Cheese Bar.

New Year’s Day Hangover Brunch at Drinks Lounge, 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. No reservations or resolutions required to attend this carb-heavy feast with mimosa buckets and other boozy goodness.

2nd Annual Hair of the Dog New Year’s Day Party at Yard Bar, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. Hairy dog contests, gumbo and Bloody Marys sound like a perfect way to spend the first day of 2017.

Pinthouse Pizza’s 2017 Cellar Series, 6 to 11 p.m. Monday, Jan. 2. This new monthly tradition will feature a rare beer, starting with the Avery Tweak, a bourbon barrel-aged coffee stout.

Id Beer Release at Black Star Co-op, 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3. This hoppy blonde ale is special because it was brewed exclusively with Texas’ first grown and malted barley from Blacklands Malt.

Star Bar Rolling Blackout, 4 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 4 to 11 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5. Enjoy some high-gravity beers from the past two years that will certainly make 2015 and 2016 seem a little better.

Game Night at Apanas Coffee & Beer, 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4. Specials on beer, wine, coffee and food in honor of this game night featuring UNO, Cards Against Humanity and more.

First Friday Firkin at Uncle Billy’s, 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6. The winter seasonal, Shakolad Chocolate Imperial Stout, gets a peppermint perk with the addition of candy canes.

Pints for Pups at Texas Beer Company, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6. Take a drive to Taylor, east of Round Rock, for a night supporting the Taylor Animal Shelter. $1 per pint will go toward the shelter.

Trivia Night at the Hive, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6. Win prizes at Meridian Hive Meadery’s trivia night featuring teams of 3 to 6 people powered by mead.

Greater Good Coffee Roasting’s Open House, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7. Celebrate the roastery’s new tasting room with live music, brunch goodies from local vendors, and coffee from the big-hearted company.

Vox Table’s Hangover Brunch, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8. Brunch will be extended with a $25 brunch sampling menu and $1 mimosas.

Hops for Hunger at Mort Subite, 2 p.m. Sundays in January. For every glass of Bavik sold, the Belgian beer bar will donate $1 to the Central Texas Food Bank.

Paint Your Own Pale Ale at Real Ale Brewing, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8. Paint your own interpretation of Real Ale’s Four Squared Dry-Hopped Pale Ale can.

Lone Pint Pairing Dinner at G’raj Mahal, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10. This four-course pairing dinner features Lone Pint brews and starts with an all-you-can-drink happy hour.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Treaty Oak brewmaster Chris Lamb has put a lot of work into crafting easy-drinking beers, and he's finally ready to say they're ready for Austin drinkers.
Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Treaty Oak brewmaster Chris Lamb is introducing locals to Treaty Oak beers at Little Woodrow’s locations.

Treaty Oak Tap Takeover at Little Woodrow’s, 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11. Taste Treaty Oak Distilling’s new beers at the Parmer location of Little Woodrow’s. Plus, meet the brewer.

Coffee, Beer & Birthdays at Banger’s, 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12. Celebrate Shiner Beer’s 108th birthday with a new release: the Cold-Brew Coffee Ale, made in collaboration with Chameleon Cold- Brew.

Viva Texas Vino, 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12. The Bullock Museum is hosting a talk by certified sommelier Jessica Dupuy and a tasting featuring Texas Fine Wine.

Lazarus Brewing’s Grand Opening, 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14. Welcome East Austin’s newest brewery by enjoying coffee, tacos, live music and beer, including the much-anticipated 40 Days & 40 Nights American IPA.

Flying Saucer Austin’s 9th Anniversary Party, 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday, Jan. 15. Toast the birthday with Austin Beerworks El Sputniko and other special brews, as well as ‘90s trivia and costume contest.

Lobster Brunch at Craftsman, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15. Enjoy drink specials like champagne and beer buckets with Garbo’s beloved lobster rolls.

Peat Week at the Blackheart, 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15 through midnight Sunday, Jan. 22. The Rainey Street bar loves Scotch whisky so much that it’s devoting an entire week to it.

The Craft Series at 1886 Cafe & Bakery at the Driskill, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16. This month, the beer pairing dinner will feature beers from Last Stand Brewing.

Moebius Release at Black Star Co-op, 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17. The brewpub is putting a very special beer on tap: Black Star’s Woodford Reserve Whiskey barrel-aged imperial stout.

Lord Admiral Gravitas Release at Blue Owl Brewing, 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18. This Balcones barrel-aged beer takes the Admiral Gravitas beer up a boozy notch.

Beer and Cheese Pairing Class with Sweetwater Brewing, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18. Taste five beers and three cheeses at Craftsman with the guidance of a Sweetwater representative. $15.

Silverback Pint Night at Doc’s Backyard, 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19. Proceeds from Thirsty Planet’s Silverback Pale Ale support the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund.

Vietti Winery Free Tasting and Pop-up Dinner at Italic, 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19. No reservations are required for this two-part event featuring winemaker Luca Currado and three special dishes paired with three of the wines.

Inauguration Rapture Happy Hour at the Whip In, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20. Whether in total protest or blissful celebration, day drinking because of the presidential inauguration is qualified, so every local beer is $4.

Ruggedman Brewing Grand Opening Weekend, 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20 through 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22. Taste the mainstay and small-batch brews of this newly opened New Braunfels brewpub owned by three Marine veterans.

Pinthouse Pizza’s Fully Adrift Coffee-Infused Bottle Release, 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. It’s the second edition of the Burnet brewpub’s Fully Adrift Double IPA “Lost at Sea” series, this time featuring a coffee infusion.

Gorilla Pub Crawl, 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. Drink Thirsty Planet’s Silverback Pale Ale and save a gorilla at this crawl along Rainey Street, which kicks off at Banger’s.

Out of the Cellar: A Rare Texas Beer Dinner, 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22. Greenhouse Craft Food in Round Rock is pairing five hard-to-find beers from breweries like (512) and Saint Arnold with five courses. $100.

Angel’s Envy Pairing Dinner at District Kitchen + Cocktails, 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23. Enjoy a specially created dinner paired with Angel’s Envy cocktails for an indulgent evening.

Amari Dinner at Olive & June, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23. Sip on craft cocktails highlighting the flavors of Italian amari while enjoying a four-course menu of Southern Italian cuisine. $68.

“Zoolander” Pub Run, 6 p.m. doors Tuesday, Jan. 24. Join Whole Foods and Stateside at the Paramount for this evening featuring Blue Steel photo sessions, dance music, and a costume contest. $20.

Robert Mondavi Winery & Casa Nobles Tequila Dinner at Oasthouse, 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25. The first chef’s tasting menu of the year will feature four courses from Chef Amir Hajimaleki paired with either a Casa Nobles spirit or Robert Mondavi wine. $65.

Cuvee Coffee Bar’s Crowler Cup Showdown, 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26. Six east side breweries are facing off in the hopes of winning your favor. Your drink equals your vote.

Vigilante Gaming Bar’s Grand Opening, 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27. Game rentals will be free at the opening weekend of the craft beer-focused gaming bar. (Grand opening has been moved to weekend of Feb. 17.)

Real Ale Scots Gone Wild + Coffissar Release Party, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. Two more Mysterium Verum bottles are getting released in one weekend. How empty is your wallet getting?

Barrel Bonanza Smoke Out Saturday at Banger’s, 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. Smoked sausage and brisket will pair nicely with barrel-aged brews like Avery Tangerine Quad and Wicked Weed Silencio.

Idle Vine Brewing’s Grand Opening, 12 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. Food trucks, 12 beers on tap, eight brewery-exclusive beers and a special bottle release mean a drive to Pflugerville will be well worth it.

Austin Bacon & Beer Festival, 12:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. Bacon-centric food prepared by local chefs with Texas craft beers – what could be better than that?

Wicked Weed Beer & Coffee Pairing at WhichCraft Mueller, 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. Try five fruited sours and a bourbon barrel-aged stout from the lauded Asheville brewery alongside four different preparations of coffee from Austin Roasting Co.

The Barber Shop 6th Anniversary, 2 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. The small Dripping Springs brewpub is celebrating another birthday with food, fun and, of course, plenty of beer.

Winter Beer Party at Craft Pride, 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29. Stouts, porters, winter warmers, barleywines and more will go on tap to warm you up on a winter’s day.

Austin bars ringing in 2017 with New Year’s Eve celebrations

Tom McCarthy Jr. for American-Statesman. Looking for a classy New Year's Eve experience? The Townsend is offering cocktails and live music from performers like Miss Lavelle White.
Tom McCarthy Jr. for American-Statesman. Looking for a classy New Year’s Eve experience? The Townsend is offering cocktails and live music from performers like Miss Lavelle White.

Whether you prefer beer, champagne or something a little harder to bring in the new year, Austin’s watering holes are making sure you’ve got your drink of choice and more during their New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Not sure where to go? Here are some options and what they are offering during the countdown to midnight.

  • Ah Sing Den: Forget the champagne toast at midnight. The Asian-inspired den on East Sixth Street — once East Side Showroom — is offering a free punch toast instead, along with late-night bites available ’til 1:30 a.m.
  • Backbeat: Because of such a prime location with downtown views, the cocktail bar is offering a fireworks viewing watch party from the rooftop, but you’ll want to get there extra early and enjoy a special cocktail and punch menu.
  • Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden: In true Banger’s fashion, the Rainey Street beer bar is readying for 2017 with a Smoke Out Saturday beginning at 6 p.m.
  • Blue Owl Brewing: The party at this East Austin brewery is kicking off a little early with a Wee Heavy toast at 6 p.m. (when it’s midnight in Scotland, the home country of one of the co-founders’ spouses)
  • Dog & Duck Pub: Once again, the beer bar is ringing in the new year British-style — that is, at 6 p.m. with a champagne toast.
  • Drinks Lounge: The 3rd Annual Soul Shindig is returning with the finest selection of funk and soul on black vinyl. Just come dressed up and, if you want a booth, make reservations ahead of time.
  • Easy Tiger: Welcome the new year with $20 bombers of beer instead of champagne, such as Left Hand 2014 Smoke Jumper, Jester King 2015 Hibernal Dichotomous and more.
  • Half Step: Delicious revelry is in store at this New Year’s Eve soiree, which will have live music, punch, a champagne toast at 12 a.m. and even a limbo contest.
  • Hopfields: Whether you’re coming for a five-course dinner to start the festivities or arriving later for the party, make sure you’re decked out in festive garb channeling Frank Sinatra, Havana nights, “Mad Men” and/or the Rat Pack. The French-inspired gastropub is going classy to finish out 2016.
  • Irene’s: It’s hard to find a better deal than $40 magnums of bubbles on the best night of the year for them. After midnight, you can also enjoy black-eyed peas and collard greens for prosperity in 2017.
  • Mean Eyed Cat: Let your final meal of the year be the black-eyed peas, gumbo and $1 chopped beef sandwiches that Stubb’s BBQ is serving at this dive bar devoted to Johnny Cash
  • Mort Subite: The Belgian beer bar on Congress Avenue wants you to party like it’s 1791. That is, that you’re sipping on Dues, the champagne of beers created by Bosteels Brewery, which was founded in 1791.
  • Oskar Blues: It’s the brewery party for music lovers. Oskar Blues is lighting up the final night of 2016 with a couple of Flaming Lips side projects and stellar Austin acts.
  • Red Horn Coffee House & Brewing: Party in the ‘burbs with beers like the Bourbon Barrel Suburban Ninja Imperial Stout and a toast of Red Horn’s golden ale at midnight.
  • Small Victory: Want a cozy New Year’s Eve with a small number of revelers? The cocktail bar is offering just such a haven for no cover charge and tasty wintertime libations.
  • St. Elmo Brewing: One of Austin’s newest breweries, off South Congress Avenue, is toasting at midnight with a free pour of Carl Kolsch for everyone; just buy your ticket in advance or at the door
  • The Townsend: This cocktail bar doubles as one of the best live music venues in town and is proving it with a New Year’s Eve show headlined by Miss Lavelle White. Reserve a ticket in advance.
  • Whip In: Go ahead and embrace those Miller High Life minis you secretly love. Plus, there will be chicken buckets to pair with ’em, a balloon drop, a champagne toast and even a cork popping competition that will get the winner a free bar tab.
  • Whisler’s: The East Sixth Street cocktail bar is throwing it back with a drinks menu of some of Whisler’s greatest hits from the past 3 1/2 years. The night will also have DJ beats and party favors.
  • Whitestone Brewery: In Cedar Park, Whitestone has double reason to party — the brewery is celebrating its one-year anniversary. As such, the fun begins at noon and will run past midnight, with food truck grub, a photo booth, live music, commemorative beer mugs and a midnight toast with Whitestone’s special release of Red Wine Saison. Note that it’s 21 and up after 8 p.m.
Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Mort Subite is offering a Belgian brew considered "the champagne of beers" for New Year's Eve festivities.
Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Mort Subite is offering a Belgian brew considered “the champagne of beers” for New Year’s Eve festivities.

Via 313 owners taking over Longbranch Inn with new bar concept

Kelly West / American-Statesman. The Longbranch Inn is being transformed into Nickel City, which will retain the neighborhood bar vibe of the original space.
Kelly West / American-Statesman. The Longbranch Inn (circa 2005 in this photo) is being transformed into Nickel City, which will retain the cozy neighborhood bar vibe of the original space.

Having successfully launched pizza franchise Via 313 in Austin, brothers Zane and Brandon Hunt are trying their hand at something new: opening a bar in the old Longbranch Inn space, which closed in September after more than 80 years on East 11th Street.

In April or May of next year, the Hunts — along with Craig Primozich of Javelina and another as-yet-unnamed business partner — will debut Nickel City as a neighborhood bar with a heavy whiskey selection and an accompanying food trailer called Delray Cafe at 1133 E. 11th St.

Like Via 313, the food selection at Delray Cafe will be Detroit-style. Delray Cafe, Brandon Hunt said, was named after an old eatery in the brothers’ hometown that is no longer there.

The Hunts have been wanting to open a bar in town and jumped at the chance to take over the Longbranch Inn. They want to make clear, however, that they don’t want to completely destroy the spirit of the longtime institution. Their intent, instead, is to “spruce up” what’s already there, including the antique bar top that originally belonged to the 130-year-old Driskill Hotel but was relocated to the Longbranch Inn.

“I think when people hear that a place they have fond memories of is gone, they get bummed out, especially with the way things are going in Austin,” Brandon Hunt said. “So what’s important to us is that we want to respect the Longbranch and the history there and do it right, but we want to bring it up to date as well. I’m pretty sure that bar hasn’t been touched since it was built.”

One of the new additions to the bar will be draft beer, he said. It’ll also have “great cocktails without the pretentiousness and higher price points,” he said. “Nickel City is going to be the kind of place where you get a handshake when you walk in and a handshake when you walk out, with an old school bar feel to it.”

Nickel City was named after Buffalo, New York, where the unnamed partner — not yet ready to announce involvement in the venture — is from. The food truck, on the other hand, pays homage to food that the Hunts grew up with, such as Detroit-style Coney dogs, cheese fries and sliders. But no pizza: Via 313’s four locations will continue to be the only sites for the Hunts’ thick square pies.

Delray Cafe gives them a chance to branch out, Hunt said.

“Definitely Coney dogs and sliders are the focus, but by calling it a cafe, we aren’t limiting it to what we’ll offer,” he said. “We’ll have a fish fry on Fridays, that kind of thing. We still want to represent Detroit with our food.”

The Hunt brothers first opened a Via 313 trailer in late 2011, and the pizzas proved so popular that they now have another food trailer and two brick-and-mortar locations. But the itch to own a bar was never quite satisfied. That’s why they had been searching awhile for an old watering hole, like the Longbranch, to make new again.

“My background is managing bars in Detroit, and it’s every guy’s dream, right, to own a bar, a place they can call their own?” Hunt said.

Jester King’s former head brewer plans new brewery in Texas Hill Country

Photo by Tyler Malone. As the head brewer of Jester King Brewery, Garrett Crowell helped to introduce us to beers like the collaboration with Live Oak, Kollaborationsbier.
Photo by Tyler Malone. As the head brewer of Jester King Brewery, Garrett Crowell helped to introduce us to beers like the collaboration with Live Oak Brewing, Kollaborationsbier.

Earlier this week, Jester King Brewery announced that Garrett Crowell, who had started there as a volunteer and worked his way to the head brewer position, was leaving to pursue a brewery of his own.

The brewery production manager, Averie Swanson, has been promoted and is taking his place as head brewer at Jester King.

But Crowell doesn’t intend to go far. In an interview with beer publication Good Beer Hunting, he said he hopes to open a brewery about 50 miles west of Austin in Johnson City, where he moved last year with his girlfriend Adrienne Ballou, previously the head of the barrel program at Jester King and now pursuing her love of winemaking.

There, he’s also not far from his older brother Todd Crowell, who serves as head winemaker for Yates and Spicewood Vineyards (and joked in an interview with me earlier this year that his influence is the reason Garrett mastered the fermentation process so well).

Unquestionably, Garrett Crowell was integral in making Jester King the powerhouse that it’s become in the category of mixed-culture beers, but he noted in the Good Beer Hunting article that his brewery might not head in that same direction. At least not completely.

“I found that my idea of what I wanted beer to be, and what Jester King wanted it to be, began to slowly diverge,” he said in the story. “That’s certainly not to say there isn’t merit in the direction Jester King has gone, but it’s just a deviation from the path I’d personally like to be on, so I’ve decided to take a turn. Opening a brewery was an inevitable decision, made long ago, and Jester King was an incredible road to travel on to get there.”

As an example of the kind of beer he might make one day — because it’s hard to pigeonhole into one style — he cited Brasserie Au Baron’s Cuvee des Jonquilles.

“It is a beer that inspires me to make something without guidelines,” he said in the story. “It could be a Bière de Garde or it could be a saison, but it doesn’t quite make a difference because it’s just an incredible beer, and that’s all that really matters.”

To him, it’s important to distinguish that ‘mixed culture fermentation’ is a broad term that has come to mean, for many, that these beers are sour, with an “acid-forward” profile. He’s hoping to pursue his own ideas about what that type of fermentation means, noting in an email to me that the main goal is simply to make beer “exciting for us to drink.”

“The beer will most certainly be mixed culture fermentation, but not deliberately ‘sour,'” he wrote in the email. “(We’ll have) some surprises too. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Mexican Lager!”

Sadly, the day we’ll get to try some of those beers probably won’t come until 2018 or later, as Crowell is in the very early planning stages and still looking for the right space.

For more about his brewery vision, check out the Good Beer Hunting article. And for more information about Jester King, visit the Austin360 boozery guide.

Alamo Drafthouse reveals Mueller theater’s carnival-themed bar concept

The new bar space at the upcoming Alamo Drafthouse Mueller is under construction but will open early next year with a carnival theme.
The new bar space at the upcoming Alamo Drafthouse Mueller is under construction but will open early next year with a carnival theme.

Many of the newer Alamo Drafthouse locations have a a standalone bar attached to the theater — such as Lakeline’s Glass Half Full, which focuses on craft beer, and Slaughter Lane’s 400 Rabbits, which opened with a penchant for tequila cocktails.

The Alamo Drafthouse recently announced that the newest Austin location of the locally based chain, in the Mueller neighborhood, is also getting a themed bar space, currently under construction and opening with the rest of the Mueller theater in early 2017.

It’s going to be a family-friendly event space during daytime hours and a bar with barrel-aged brews and craft cocktails at night — and all of it is carnival-themed, complete with carnival games, freak show posters, a big stage for live music and events, and more.

The Barrel O’ Fun space will be “reminiscent of a vintage boardwalk” by day, according to a post on the Drafthouse website.

“When the clock strikes 5 p.m. every day, however, the ‘R-E-L’ on the Barrel O’ Fun neon sign fritzes out and the space transforms into the ‘Bar O’ Fun,'” according to the post. “The carnival games fold into the ceiling to reveal a curated selection of fine spirits and craft beers with an emphasis on barrel aged beers and craft cocktails.”

Alamo Drafthouse Mueller is located in the neighborhood’s bustling town center on Aldrich Street, where kid-friendly places like the Thinkery have made the area particularly attractive to families. The new location, as a result, is blending the needs of both young children and adults looking to have a little fun, too, with the Barrel O’Fun space.

Teenagers aren’t getting left out, either. The Drafthouse announcement noted that Barrel O’Fun will also “serve as a space for teen performances, gaming events, and more.”

Here’s a video rendering of what the Mueller bar and events space will look like.

Lazarus Brewing comes to life in East Austin as brewpub with street tacos

Lazarus Brewing has created a homey atmosphere borne of wood, metal and concrete in an old East Austin building across the street from bars like Whisler's.
Lazarus Brewing has created a homey atmosphere borne of wood, metal and concrete in an old East Austin building across the street from bars like Whisler’s.

For pastor and beer-loving entrepreneur Christian Cryder, Christmas is coming in a big way. His brewpub, three years in the making, is opening its doors for the first time on Dec. 24 in a prime location on East Sixth Street.

Lazarus Brewing will close briefly on Christmas Day and Dec. 26, but starting Dec. 27, Cryder hopes to lure customers into the homey space morning, day and night by serving coffee and breakfast tacos in the a.m., beer and more tacos in the p.m. He drew inspiration for his project from other local brewpubs in town, like the ABGB and Jester King Brewery, which offer so much more than beer.

But beer, of course, remains the centerpiece at those places and at Lazarus, too.

“In figuring out the design for this place, we wanted it to be clear that it’s not a restaurant serving beer,” he said. “We have the tanks visible behind the bar to make it clear that this is a brewery that happens to serve good food and coffee.”

At the helm of the beer program is a veteran of one of the larger U.S. craft breweries. Formerly the brewing manager of Victory Brewing in Pennsylvania, Matt Couch brings lots of crucial experience with him and a proclivity for brewing different styles of beer than the ones that Cryder, a big fan of IPAs, is familiar with making.

As a result of their preferences, Lazarus Brewing — named for the man Jesus Christ raised from the dead — will offer a range of sudsy options.

“Our brewing style, I don’t know how to describe it, other than that it’s eclectic and influenced from a lot of different places,” Cryder said. “We’re not camped in one particular style. The early ones we’re doing, there’s an emphasis on drinkability and covering the bases and demonstrating that we brew classic styles well.”

Expect Lazarus Brewing to open with a Belgian Golden Strong, an English IPA, a double IPA, a West Coast IPA, an English Premium Bitter and a dry stout on nitro. These and other coming beers will primarily be available at the brewpub, but Cryder said some will also go into 750 mL bottles that people can purchase and enjoy off-site. His main goal with Lazarus is to offer what he calls a ‘pints-on-premise operation,’ — essentially, “a model like the ABGB, where the experience is as appealing as the beer is.”

Part of that experience for generous beer fans is the Free Beer For Life program, which will (as the name suggests) give free beer for life to anyone who purchases one of Lazarus’ $1,000 Patron Saint glasses.

For the brewpub, Cryder purchased two buildings at the corner of Sixth and Chicon streets, in between cocktail bar Whisler’s and diner Counter Cafe, but so far only one of them is in use because the other building — the former Cool Store — needs a lot of work and renovation. In time, he hopes that it’ll become the facility where sours, wild ales and barrel-fermented brews get created. In between both buildings is a shaded patio area.

In the main building, a commercial kitchen will whip up tacos, house-made chips and salsa, and other Mexican food offerings fresh for visitors. The food menu, Cryder said, was purposely kept simple.

“I discovered tacos when I moved to Austin,” he said. “A lot of beer places do pub food like burgers or pizza, but to me, tacos seem like a natural food item with beer. I’d also say the cuisine fits in with this community of Hispanic heritage.”

The historically Hispanic neighborhood is also the reason why Cryder chose a bright color scheme for the exterior of Lazarus Brewing, painted to reflect the blend of beer and religion that serves as an important theme for the brewpub.

“We like color and wanted color, which is unusual in the industry,” he said. “A lot of breweries are very industrial, very gray. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we have the steel and the brick and the wood, which we think create textures that are very celebratory. And you can certainly see us from the street.”

He and his wife, Marilyn, also want to serve coffee at Lazarus, which is why the brewpub will open so early each day. She has 10 years of experience roasting coffee beans, so even though the coffee program will start out with only an espresso machine, it might quickly move to having a house roast with a bit of a focus away from third-wave coffee.

That style is all about “bright, exotic flavors like grapefruit, nuts and cherry, but also very acidic, so it has a sharp, almost sour flavor,” Cryder said. The coffee program at Lazarus aims to be more palatable.

Lazarus Brewing, at 1902 E. Sixth St., will open to the public on Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. to midnight. Starting Dec. 27, weekly hours will tentatively be set from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. The brewpub expects to have a grand opening celebration in early January.

For more information, visit lazarusbrewing.com.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. The brightly colored Lazarus Brewing stands out from afar in the hope of attracting visitors once it opens on Christmas Eve.
Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. The brightly colored Lazarus Brewing stands out from afar in the hope of attracting visitors once it opens on Christmas Eve.

This post has been updated to reflect that Lazarus Brewing’s coffee program is a slight move away from the third-wave coffee trend.

Be merry & bright with festive drinks from Austin bars, restaurants

Photo by Ashlyn Allison. Freedmen's Fiddlers Flip features Irish whiskey, Guinness syrup, cream,  egg white and smoked almond vanilla bitters
Photo by Ashlyn Allison. Freedmen’s Fiddlers Flip features Irish whiskey, Guinness syrup, cream,
egg white and smoked almond vanilla bitters

With nine days until Christmas, it’s about time we enjoy a seasonal cocktail or two to get us in the spirit (as if we aren’t already feeling jolly thanks to holiday PTO). To that end, a variety of different local bars and restaurants have just the tipples we’re looking for — everything from traditional eggnog recipes to more original creations full of wintry flavors.

In today’s Austin360, I’ve explored the holiday drinks of three such places more extensively, but here’s a larger guide to all the area spots and boozy potions that will help us feel festive.

  • Cantine: As the story notes, the Italian restaurant offers a couple of different holiday drinks, including the Poinsettia (vodka, pomegranate juice, lemon and sparkling wine)
  • The Carillon: Get cozy at the seasonally focused restaurant with mulled wine, served warm. (Or make it at home with this recipe)
  • Craftsman: On East Cesar Chavez Street, warm up with hot cocktails like an Irish Coffee, Mint Hot Chocolate, Hot Buttered Rum and a Hot Toddy
  • Drink Well: The North Loop bar’s winter menu features a twist on the classic flip: Save Room has cognac, orgeat, coffee, ancho chile liqueur, cinnamon and a whole egg
  • Four Seasons Austin: The downtown hotel is once again spreading holiday cheer with the gin-based Dust of Snow Cocktail, a frosty potion topped with bubbles
  • Freedmen’s: You wouldn’t guess from the subtle cocktail names that the campus-area barbecue joint has a quartet of holiday drinks, like the Sukker Plum (blanco tequila, lemon, plum and ginger syrup, vanilla extract and an absinthe spritz)
  • Hopdoddy: The burger bar’s Hot Apple Sidecar (mulled apple cider, Grand Marnier, apple slice and cinnamon stick) has returned

    Photo by Julia Keim. The Sheraton Hotel in Georgetown has created the Candy Cane Cocktail, with Absolut Vanilla Vodka, Godiva White Chocolate, white cremé de menthe, white chocolate syrup, and half and half.
    Photo by Julia Keim. The Sheraton Hotel in Georgetown has created the Candy Cane Cocktail, with Absolut Vanilla Vodka, Godiva White Chocolate, white cremé de menthe, white chocolate syrup, and half and half.
  • Hotel Ella: On the morning of Dec. 18, enjoy special cocktails during Santa’s Workshop brunch, including White Apple Sangria and a Peppermint Mojito (white rum, minted simple syrup, fresh lime and seltzer)
  • Houndstooth Coffee: They aren’t boozy, but red- and green-colored cappuccinos, the Rhum Nut and Cinnamon Spice, will make your morning more merry at both locations of the coffee shop
  • Icenhauer’s: The Rainey Street bar is again offering seasonal specials named after Christmas movies, such as Clark’s ’Nog and Buddy’s Buzz Brew (coffee and vanilla-infused bourbon, muddled orange, simple syrup and bitters)
  • Lucky Robot: South Congress’s sushi bar has created holiday favorites with Japanese flair in the Apple Rum Sake Cider and the Rum Sake Egg Nog
  • Odd Duck: The barrel-aging program this time is maturing eggnog. One is already ready, while another one will be released after Christmas. Order a cup and it’ll come served with a fresh gingerbread man.
  • Peche: In the Warehouse District, the French restaurant is midway through the Six Weeks of Eggnog special, which features an original recipe of eggnog by one of the Peche bartenders each week
  • Revelry Kitchen & Bar: Shortly after hiring a new beverage director, the East Sixth Street spot has a small menu of seasonal sips like the Apple Cider Toddy (Jim Beam Honey, housemade apple cider, honey, lemon cinnamon)
  • Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center: A trio of tipples — the Yule Tide Mule, the Hob-noggin and the Candy Cane Cocktail — are downright infused with the holiday spirit
  • Small Victory: Keeping it as classic as ever, the downtown cocktail bar is happy to whip up traditional winter offerings like Tom and Jerry and even an aged eggnog

Seven local products to buy for the booze lover in your life

Photo by Kevin Hobbins. Real Ale has now bottled two beers in the elusive Mysterium Verum series: Tenebra Aeterna and Benedictum, the most recent one now on sale at Texas retailers.
Photo by Kevin Hobbins. Real Ale has now bottled two beers in the elusive Mysterium Verum series: Tenebra Aeterna and Benedictum, the most recent one now on sale at Texas retailers.

Not sure what to get your picky friend or family member for Christmas? Chances are good that they’ll be happy to receive a bottle of booze — especially if it comes from an Austin-area producer.

Here are a handful of suggestions with a seasonal focus. With many of these, you won’t want to delay in grabbing a bottle.

Texas Keeper Cider's winter release was aged in oak with pecans and orange peels.
Texas Keeper Cider’s winter release was aged in oak with pecans and orange peels.

Texas Keeper Cider’s Cider Noir: Apples are a key fall flavor, but the fruit hadn’t displayed its full potential so well this time of year until the trio behind the far South Austin cidery got a little inventive.

For Texas Keeper’s winter release, Cider Noir, they decided to age Baldwin and Idared apples on oak. That’s not all they’ve done to make the cider a seasonal stunner — the apples are first double-fermented with Belgian candi (which is typically used in dubbel and tripel ales) and then aged with toasted pecans and orange peel. As a result, it’ll pour as dark as a porter and as boozy as many a stout, at a robust 10.1 percent ABV.

You can find it at the cidery at 12521 Twin Creeks Rd. or at one of the many retail shops where Texas Keeper can be found.

Real Ale Benedictum: The Black Friday release of Tenebra Aeterna, the first Mysterium Verum beer to be bottled, seemed to indicate Christmas had come early for many fans of the Blanco brewery. Now, it really has, as Real Ale is releasing another in the series of sour and barrel-aged brews this week.

Benedictum, an award-winning sour brown ale with cherries, can now be found in stores across the state. Or, if you want to get it closer to the source, Real Ale is hosting a bottle release party on Saturday encouraging you to pick up Benedictum at one of two nearby stores and then driving to the brewery to get the bottle signed by the people who made it. That’s an extra special touch if you want to gift it to a lucky loved one.

Pedernales Cellars’ Stonewall Glögg: Mulled wine is a popular seasonal beverage that many people like to make themselves. But this year, let a wine expert do it: Texas Hill Country winery Pedernales has bottles of its glögg, a traditional Swedish dessert wine, on sale in the tasting room and at both locations of sister winery Armadillo’s Leap.

I wrote about the glögg for a seasonal drinks story running in Friday’s Austin360, if you want to learn more information about it.

Adelbert’s Brewery’s Barrel of Love trio: The North Austin brewery clearly knows how great the gift of beer is because it’s offering a whole ready-made gift pack of one of its rarer offerings.

This branded gift box, available at the brewery at 2314 Rutland Dr., has a trio of beers inside of it — three different versions of the Barrel of Love, Adelbert’s whiskey barrel-aged quad.

First up is the 2015 Barrel of Love, which has had an extra year of bottle-conditioning to develop deeper, richer flavors. Then there’s the 2016 Barrel of Love, full of “complex fruity notes of figs, raisins and plums with a soft whiskey bite,” according to the brewery. Bottles of this beer are being separately shipped out to the Texas market; only this version is leaving the brewery.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Put this gift box of Adelbert's beers under your tree for the special beer lover in your life.
Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Put this gift box of Adelbert’s beers under your tree for the special beer lover in your life.

Rounding out the pack is the Blackberry Barrel of Love, the first taproom-only bottle release since Adelbert’s switched to a brewpub license early this year. Yes, it’s got lots of blackberries and tastes as such.

Revolution Spirits’ Chocolate Cafecito Liqueur: Although this distillery on the road to Dripping Springs has become recognized for its Austin Reserve Gin, Revolution also makes a variety of experimental products — chief among them the Cafecito Coffee Liqueur, liquid gold for any coffee fan out there.

The most recent release is even sweeter. For the Chocolate Cafecito Liqueur, a new seasonal bottling available from December through February each year, the distillers have macerated fair-trade OKO Caribe cacao nibs from SRSLY Chocolate, adding them to the coffee beans Revolution receives from local Cuvee Coffee.

There’s a lot more coffee than chocolate in the mix, but the chocolate is present enough to satisfy any sweet tooth over the holidays. Pick up a bottle at the distillery during open Saturday hours.

Last Stand Brewing’s Whiskey Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout: Located just yards from Revolution Spirits, the small-batch Last Stand doesn’t bottle many of its beers, which makes the special release Whiskey Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout extra special.

The brewers have had this project in the works for awhile. They “filled two freshly emptied Donner-Peltier LA1 Whiskey barrels one year ago with our first batch of Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout,” according to the brewery, and debuted the results of it last weekend at the taproom at 12345 Pauls Valley Rd. Bldg. I.

Only 200 bottles are available, so if this one looks like the winning stocking stuffer you’ve been looking for, stop by Last Stand during weekend taproom hours to grab one.

Austin Beerworks Sputnik: The seasonal necessity is only on draft for now, as it has been in winters past, but any day now — pending TABC approval — local stores will also receive six-pack cans of the Russian imperial oatmeal stout. Austin Beerworks has been in the midst of a large expansion that has allowed the North Austin brewery to start canning some of its seasonal beers, including Sputnik.

Keep an eye on Austin Beerworks’ social media accounts for news of the can launch. Once the six-packs are in stores, there’s no doubt they’ll go fast.

goBooze launches in Austin as newest alcohol delivery service

Thought the local market was already pretty drenched with on-demand services delivering alcohol to your door?

Not so fast. Austin now has another one, and it’s debuting today, just in time for holiday merrymaking, with the promise that it’s not quite like some of the others — Minibar being the most recent of these, Drizly perhaps the most well-known.

The Philadelphia-based delivery service goPuff has already been available in Austin, although before today, users weren’t able to order beer, wine or spirits from it. Now, goBooze has become part of the goPuff app. Simply click on it or the goPuff website, and you’ll be able to order beer and wine from it, including a limited number of local products. Spirits and a wider variety of local items will become available here later.

goBooze launches Dec. 13 with a supply of craft beer to choose from and have delivered to your door.
goBooze launches Dec. 13 with a supply of craft beer to choose from and have delivered to your door.

It stands out from the other alcohol delivery services (and other on-demand services, period) because goPuff has warehouses in Austin and nine other U.S. cities stocked with everything from “snacks, drinks and ice cream to home goods, beer and electronics,” according to a release.

On the other hand, Drizly and the other booze delivery apps like Thirstie rely on liquor stores around town to bring you your order. The apps merely help you place that order, while the stores are actually the ones to get it to you. But goPuff promises, because “it does not depend on other stores to operate,” that you’ll get what you requested in 30 minutes or less.

goBooze has a flat $1.95 delivery charge, but it’s waived for orders over $49. The service is in business from noon to midnight every day except Sunday, when the delivery time is expanded to 1 a.m. For now, the delivery zone is mostly central and doesn’t serve outlying zip codes. (A full map of the goBooze area is on the website.)

Plus, the app goes above and beyond to make sure you’re 21 and up if purchasing alcohol. You’ll get reminded throughout the ordering process that your ID will get checked, and if you don’t have the proper credentials or aren’t the right age, you’ll be blacklisted from the goPuff app.

The co-founders of goPuff, according to the release, are Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola. They were undergrads at Drexel University in Pennsylvania when “they built the company, inspired by their own frustrations running out of drinks, snacks and supplies when hosting parties.”

Clearly — no matter which alcohol delivery app is your favorite — you won’t have any problems staying stocked up during your own holiday celebrations.

Icenhauer’s Sellers on verge of opening as downtown basement bar

The classy Sellers is calling itself a basement bar because the main room is located at the bottom of some stairs.
The classy Sellers is calling itself a basement bar because the main room is located at the bottom of some stairs.

The downtown basement bar Sellers, which will open on Dec. 13, wants to transport visitors to an earlier era with its classy lounge look reminiscent of the 1970s — complete with $13 cocktails named after films from that decade.

Owner Michael Icenhauer, who got his start in the business with his eponymous bungalow bar Icenhauer’s on Rainey Street, wanted his second bar project to have a different vibe. He has gotten it with the 5,800 sq. ft. space at 213 W. Fourth St. in the Warehouse District. Formerly the dance club Qua (you know, the one with the shark tank underneath the floor), Sellers will have lots of lounge seating, a dance floor in the back and a large square bar in the center of the room.

But Icenhauer hadn’t quite known what the concept for Sellers would be until the designer, Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, crafted the sophisticated vision for it, stripping the place down to its original bones of exposed brick, vaulted ceilings and concrete walls for the transformation. The design firm was also responsible for the look of Icenhauer’s in 2010.

The ’70s-style touches are subtle but clear in elements like mustard yellow velvet, tambour wood paneling and brass accents, as well as in the built-in dark leather banquettes that surround the bar. Icenhauer’s one requirement for Michael Hsu, he said, was the back-lit back wall of glowing liquor bottles visible from the entrance a level above the main room.

“This bar is a little more upscale” than Icenhauer’s, Icenhauer said. “We’re kind of playing off the W and the ZaZa, the J.W. Marriott. I describe it as a hotel bar without the hotel. We’ll have a place for people to dance, but we also want it to be lounge-y and serve high-quality drinks.”

Those drinks include a list of twists on classic cocktails (shown below) that Sellers’ general manager Aaron Kolitz enjoyed naming after characters or phrases in defining films of the 1970s, like “Jaws” (That’s Some Bad Hat, Harry), “A Clockwork Orange” (Alex DeLarge) and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (Holy Hand Grenade). Many of these cocktails, like the riff on the bright yellow Harvey Wallbanger, were popular in the decade the bar is drawing inspiration from.

Sellers — which is named after Icenhauer’s grandmother on his mom’s side — also plans to offer wine, beer and spirits, with a focus on specialty gins and whiskeys. The bar won’t have any beers on draft, however.

It’s also not opening with food, but Kolitz, most recently of downtown’s New American bistro the Bonneville, plans to one day curate a small menu of snacks like charcuterie, marinated olives and mixed nuts. He was in charge of creating Sellers’ opening cocktail list, although he wants his bar staff to take on subsequent ones.

“The way I envisioned the cocktail menu is that I wanted it to at least start out with classics,” Kolitz said. “Some of them are kind of personal — the Deeply Religious Experience is Michael’s wife’s favorite cocktail; the Guilty Pleasure is my guilty pleasure. The rest are from my examination of cocktails in the 1970s, like the Harvey Wallbanger, the Vesper, the Manhatttan, and I did a little bit of a riff on them. I brought myself into the menu, how I would want to drink them in 2016.”

Maybe in future menus, he said, the cocktails will have names that pay homage to ’70s TV shows or sports teams. Kolitz has “a wonderful mine of talent for my bar team” who will have a say in the direction the bar program ultimately chooses to go.

Also integral to the entertainment experience at Sellers, Icenhauer said, is the dance floor, which can be cordoned off for private events. The bar is going to bring in rotating guest DJs who will turn up the tunes starting at around 9 or 10 p.m. even on weekdays.

He knows that the space is located along a small strip of gay bars on the south side of West Fourth Street and that it was most recently a gay bar as well, Castro’s Warehouse. Although that’s not the concept for Sellers, he wants it to be clear that “we welcome everyone here.”

“We want to be easy like Austin is, just a little bit higher-end,” he said.

OPENING COCKTAIL MENU

  • Classic Martini: Bombay Dry Gin, dry vermouth, olive
  • The Perfect Italian Martini: Malfy Gin, Lillet Blanc and Rouge, gorgonzola olive
  • Deeply Religious Experience: Ketel One Vodka, dry vermouth
  • Guilty Pleasure: Junipero Gin, green chartreuse, maraschino, lime
  • Alex DeLarge: Pisco Porton, Luxardo Triplum, apricot, lemon, egg white, bitters
  • Autumn Wallbanger: Tito’s Vodka, orange juice, fall-spiced Galliano, orange bitters
  • That’s Some Bad Hat, Harry: Flor de Cana 7 Year Rum, Luxardo Triplum, Lillet, lemon, bitters
  • Evening Prayer: Ford’s Gin, Reyka Vodka, Cocchi Americano, vanilla essence
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Knob Creek Rye, Luxardo Triplum, Lillet Blanc, Aperol, Fernet, elderflower liqueur, lemon
  • Play a Mean Banjo: Elijah Craig Bourbon, Caffe del Fuego, Turkish apricot bitters, mint
  • Smokey Reynolds: Jim Beam Black, Lagavulin 12 Year, Carpano Antica, cherry, bitters
  • Vic’s Island Paradise: Tanqueray Gin, lemon, passionfruit, pineapple, aromatic bitters

Once Sellers opens on Dec. 13, Sellers’ hours will be 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily. For more information, visit icenhauerventures.com.