10 Texas beers to enjoy all summer long

Texas brewers know just the kinds of beers we need to combat the heat. Here are 10 mostly Austin beers (and a cider-wine hybrid because it’s divine) to keep you cool all summer long.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Brazos Valley Brewery, in Brenham, has made a peach wheat with a couple of sneaky musical references.

Austin Beerworks Einhorn: The essential summer beer of Austin was recently put into powder blue cans decorated with unicorns (‘einhorn’ means unicorn in German) and sent all over town. Crisp, a little tart and very refreshing, the Berliner Weisse-style brew might not be as rare a find as the mythical horned horse now, but it’s not any less beloved. The North Austin brewery has even helpfully supplied a map to help us locate a six-pack, although you don’t have to rush out to find it: Einhorn will be available throughout the summer.

Live Oak Hefeweizen: A lot of the beers on this list are new, seasonal or small-batch, or some combination of the three. This one’s on here because it’s trusty — easy to get both in cans and on draft and always the straw-colored, aromatic gem we expect — and we should never take it for granted. Go get some.

The ABGB’s Rocket 100 Pilsner: This one is another reliable Austin brew and one of the beers that helped to cement the ABGB’s win as the Great American Beer Festival’s Brewpub of the Year. A pre-Prohibition example of a pilsner, it’s brewed with corn, one of the ingredients that German immigrants to our country would have used. Take it home in a growler or, better yet, a three-pack of crowlers.

Hops & Grain River Beer: Modeled after light lagers like Coors Banquet, with corn in its grain bill, River Beer is intended to accompany you on all your boat rides on Lake Travis, your tubing trips down the San Marcos River, anytime you are in or over a body of water in Texas. With it, Hops & Grain is hoping to attract people who drink the likes of Coors and Budweiser, but it’s flavorful (even a little sweet, thanks to the corn) and will no doubt be the favorite of regular craft beer lovers, too.

Adelbert’s Mango Wit: As I noted in a roundup of beers suited for springtime imbibing, the year-round Mango Wit is especially suited for the spring and summer months thanks to its sweet tropical notes. Now that it’s summer, let me just go ahead and quote myself: Adelbert’s made the Mango Wit with lemon peel and real, true, juicy mango, and let me emphasize the word “juicy” again. That’s exactly how this beer tastes: as if Adelbert’s filled cans with the sweet liquid squeezed from pounds of mangoes, threw in some citrus for balance and carbonated the result.

Brazos Valley Millions of Peaches Peach Wheat: Probably, the Brenham brewery is making a reference with the name and the can design to the Allman Brothers’ “Eat a Peach” record. But the six-pack I stumbled on at Whole Foods immediately made me crack a grin because Millions of Peaches is, to me, a nod to the insanely catchy ’90s diddly “Peaches” by the Presidents of the United States of America.

I bought the cans for the memory of belting out “millions of peaches, peaches for me” the summer in between high school and college and that alone, without knowing a thing about the beer, but fortunately it’s delicious. In the wheat beer, the sweet nectar of one of Texas’ most beloved fruits is preserved without being overly cloying, a danger that some fruit beers can face.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Got any outdoor summer activities planned? Don’t leave your six-pack of Oasis at home.

Oasis, Texas’ You May All Go to Helles and I Will Go to Texas: Are your Texan heartstrings tugging yet at this Davy Crockett reference (and well-placed beer pun)? Even if they’re not, the Lake Travis-area brewery has crafted a beer, light and thirst-quenching, that seems tailor-made for our state. The cans are a limited release, so don’t miss them.

Zilker Brewing’s Parks & Rec Pale Ale: Brewed in collaboration with the Austin Parks Foundation to celebrate Zilker Park’s 100th anniversary, the seasonal pale ale, now in cans, doubles as a good cause. A portion of the proceeds from the beer, made with old-school hops like Centennial to emphasize bright citrus notes, is being donated to the Austin Parks Foundation for Zilker Park’s upkeep. Not that you needed an extra reason to go buy it, right?

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Zilker Brewing’s newest canned beer was made to highlight Zilker Park’s 100th anniversary.

Jester King Foudreweizen: The brewery’s big and boozy Boxer’s Revenge, a a barrel-aged sour strong ale, releases this weekend, but it’s not exactly conducive to summer drinking. Buy a few bottles of that to go, since it ages so nicely, but don’t miss out on Foudreweizen. The collaboration between Jester King and Live Oak Brewing is also back and so nicely captures what both breweries do best.

It was made when wort brewed at Live Oak and inoculated with its hefeweizen yeast was taken to Jester King to transform at the hands of the native yeast and bacteria, alive in the walls of the farmhouse brewery’s foudres, and the resulting Foudreweizen tastes in essence like a funky wheat beer — bonkers good.

A crowler of Pinthouse Pizza’s latest IPA: Both locations of the brewpub are producing fresh examples of the hazy, juicy IPA they’ve perfected, from the This Is Juice at the flagship on Burnet Road to the Electric Jellyfish IPA that the South Lamar brewpub can’t seem to make enough of. IPAs generally aren’t my go-to style on hot summer days, but Pinthouse makes the beer low in bitterness, albeit with the aroma and flavors that hops can impart. Like the ABGB, both locations have crowlers.

Texas Keeper Cider’s Grafter Rosé: The best drink of 2016 is back in bottles and available at the cidery starting tomorrow afternoon, where you can sip it while enjoying barbecue from the new LeRoy and Lewis. This year’s Grafter Rosé, dry, spritz-like and tart, is made with Rome Beauty apples and Texas-grown Tempranillo and Carignan grapes.

Central Texas brewers react to AB InBev’s acquisition of Wicked Weed Brewing

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. A variety of Wicked Weed beers arrived at Jester King Brewery a few weeks ago, before news of the North Carolina brewery’s acquisition by AB InBev broke. Now, Jester King will no longer carry Wicked Weed beers.

This morning’s news that Wicked Weed Brewing, one of the country’s most lauded makers of barrel-aged sours and hoppy ales, had been scooped up by Anheuser-Busch, stunned many people in the beer industry who hadn’t seen it coming.

Wicked Weed, based in the beer-loving city of Asheville, North Carolina, joins others breweries — like Seattle’s Elysian, Chicago’s Goose Island and New York’s Blue Point Brewing — in A-B’s craft and import portfolio, High End, a position that gives the brewery a very big step up in funding and more access to thirsty markets.

“In order to innovate, push the boundaries, and grow, we’ve decided to take on the High End branch of Anheuser-Busch as a strategic partner,” Wicked Weed Brewing announced this morning. “Our founding ownership staff will continue to lead Wicked Weed in their same capacities as we move forward and into the future. This decision is a large part of the future for Wicked Weed, and will allow our brand, staff, and beers to achieve their greatest potential.”

But not everyone is happy about Wicked Weed’s decision to sell to the mega-brewer.

It was only last summer that local beer lovers rejoiced when Wicked Weed started limited distribution to Texas, bringing in beers like La Bonté, a tart farmhouse ale with plums. Already, however, one of Wicked Weed’s biggest local supporters has announced that it will no longer carry its beers or collaborate on projects with its brewers.

Jester King Brewery owner Jeff Stuffings announced the decision on social media, noting that a core principle of the Hill Country brewery is not selling beers from AB InBev or its affiliates.

“We’ve chosen this stance not because of the quality of the beer, but because a portion of the money made off of selling it is used to oppose the interests of craft brewers,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “In Texas, large brewers (and their distributors) routinely oppose law changes that would help small, independent brewers. We choose not to support these large brewers because of their political stances, and in some cases, their economic practices as well.”

Austin Beerworks alluded to the Wicked Weed acquisition on Facebook as well, quoting Modern Times Beer founder Jacob McKean to ultimately say that “selling out” is not something the North Austin brewery — which recently opened a much larger brewery and taproom — will ever be interested in, not even for a billion dollars.

“I’m not going to screw the people who made my success possible in the first place,” Austin Beerworks quoted McKean as saying. “That would be an unethical choice I could never be proud of. I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to everyone in this industry, and when it comes time for me to do something else, I refuse to throw a hand grenade over my shoulder on my way out the door.”

In nearby San Antonio, Freetail Brewing co-founder Scott Metzger — who, with the aid of a master’s degree in economics, has helped change and develop some of Texas’ more recent craft beer-related laws — expressed consternation on Twitter.

“The point is that ABI will eventually push to scale all of these brands to the point of crowding out your local, friendly, neighborhood brewer who works 80 (hours per week) to follow his dream and feed his family simultaneously. Beware,” he wrote shortly after the news broke.

Presumably, the Wicked Weed and AB InBev deal is subject to scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice, which stated last summer upon approving the $108-billion merger between the world’s two largest beer producers, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, that it would “review any future craft beer and distributor acquisitions.”

Thrillist names an Austin-area brewery the best in the state

You can always count on Jester King’s beers, like Snorkel, to have a little funk, which is what makes it the best brewery in Texas according to Thrillist.

Entertainment publication Thrillist has made official what many people already knew: that Jester King Brewery, on the road to Dripping Springs, is royalty among Texas breweries.

In “The Best Craft Brewery in Every State,” Thrillist acknowledges Texas “OGs like Saint Arnold to upstarts like Lone Pint” but ultimately declares that the farmhouse brewery outside of Austin is king of them all.

“Tell you what, get your hands on some Atrial Rubicite, which is made with raspberries and sorcery, and tell us if you STILL don’t like sours,” Thrillist writers Matt Lynch, Andy Kryza and Zach Mack said in the recently published piece.

Atrial has been the beer that gets Jester King a lot of attention, but I’d argue that some of its other fruited sours, like Nocturn Chrysalis with blackberries, as well as less attention-grabbing farmhouse ales like Kvass (made with bread!), reign supreme and deliciously showcase what the brewery does so well.

Whatever beer has you flocking to Jester King on weekends, do you at least agree that it’s Texas’ top brewery, or did Thrillist get it totally wrong? Share your thoughts in the comments.

RELATED

Formerly Untapped, Index Fest reveals full beer list for Austin event

The inaugural Index Fest, which is combining craft beer and live music with art and food components, kicks off in Austin with quite a beer list.

At the May 13 event, there will be nearly 300 beers from 75 breweries in Texas and beyond, including Fredericksburg’s new Altstadt Brewery, BrainDead Brewing in Dallas and Jester King in the Texas Hill Country. Austin’s only meadery, Meridian Hive, will also have some meads available for tasting, and several cideries will also be on hand.

Here are some of the beers you’ll get to taste at Index Fest. The festival’s website has the full list, which you can explore by brewery, style, ABV and booth number (in case you want to plan out your day).

Austin Beerworks
Black Thunder Schwarzbier
Fire Eagle IPA
ACTION! 6th Anniversary Pale Ale (which debuts this weekend at the sixth anniversary party)
Bloodwork Orange Blood Orange IPA
Finkle Berliner Weisse
Pearl Snap Pils

Pinthouse Pizza
Electric Jellyfish IPA
Burro’s Breakfast Mexican Lager
Handlebier American Pale Ale
Joe’s Magical Pils
Old Beluga Amber Ale
Zappy Squid IPA

Founders (Grand Rapids, MI)
All Day IPA
PC Pils
Rübæus Raspberry Ale
Lizard of Koz Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
Sumatra Mountain Brown
Backwoods Bastard Barrel-Aged Scotch Ale

Big Bend Brewing
Tejas Negra Vienna Lager
Balmorhea Berliner Weisse
West of Pecos Helles

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Hops & Grain is one of the breweries featured at Index Fest, formerly Untapped.

Hops & Grain
Dispensary Series: Imperial IPA
The One They Call Zoe Pale Lager
Pellets & Powder IPA
78702 Kölsch
River Beer Premium Lager
A Pale Mosaic IPA

BrainDead Brewing
We Own The Night Imperial Stout
Idle Playthings Belgian Strong Ale
Foreign Export Stout

SweetWater Brewing (Atlanta, GA)
420 Extra Pale Ale
Goin’ Coastal Pineapple IPA
Cool Breeze Cucumber Saison
Sweetwater IPA
Pulled Porter Smoked Bacon Porter

(512) Brewing
Pecan Porter
Stingo Old Ale
SMaSH Cashmere Session IPA

Jester King Brewery
La Vie en Rose
Funk Metal
Cerveza de Mezquite
Fair Voyage

Tickets for the festival are also available at the website and run from $25-$119. Index Fest will take place in the parking lot of the Austin American-Statesman at 305 S. Congress Ave.

For more information, visit indexfest.com/austin.

“De-hazed” New England IPA, 8 other beers to celebrate release of new Austin Beer Guide

I’ll be blunt: You might have other ideas about how to spend the night of April 20. But just in case you’re not all about cannabis culture, Austin Beer Guide is throwing its spring/summer release party at the Draught House.

For beer lovers, that’s the place to be on Thursday, when the Austin Beer Guide authors will celebrate the debut of another free issue exploring local beers and the beer community. Several special brews from Austin producers are going on draft, including a collaboration between the Draught House and Austin Beer Guide called Don’t Haze Me Bro. The clarified IPA, done in the juicy style of a New England IPA, will come with free glassware if you order it.

An Chih Cheng / American-Statesman. The Draught House is once again the site of the Austin Beer Guide release party.

Another beer to watch for is Friends & Allies’ new Kick Start Belgian Golden Ale with Flat Track Coffee. That will also be on tap on Saturday during the East Austin’s brewery’s grand opening celebration, but you might want to relish the unusual style early. In it, notes of berry, apple and pear mingle with hints of dark chocolate.

Plus, North by Northwest and Last Stand Brewing have collaborated on Mr. Rogers, an imperial pale lager with Citra and Mosaic hops that the two breweries created for Dripping Springs’ Founders Day this weekend.

Here’s the full list of beers to enjoy starting at 6 p.m. Thursday.

  • Draught House/Austin Beer Guide: Don’t Haze Me Bro
  • Blue Owl Brewing: Saison Puede Farmhouse Ale
  • Hops & Grain: Dispensary IPA
  • Jester King: Super Ultramega Hyperforce
  • Friends & Allies: Kick Start Belgian Golden Ale with Flat Track Coffee
  • North by Northwest: Mr. Rogers Imperial Pale Lager
  • Last Stand Brewing: Oatmeal IPA, double dry-hopped with Citra and Simcoe hops
  • Zilker Brewing: Hellsner, a step-mashed summer lager
  • Independence Brewing: Illustrated Man Dark Sour

For more information about Austin Beer Guide, visit austinbeerguide.com.

6 Austin breweries with outdoor beer gardens for springtime imbibing

Jester King Brewery, located a little outside of town, is one of the most picturesque breweries in the Austin area.

Now that it’s springtime, we want to spend all of our time outdoors, soaking up the sunshine before it gets too hot — in what will sadly be just a short couple of months.

In the meantime, here are a half-dozen Austin-area breweries that will deliver the transcendent outdoor experience so precious to many a beer lover.

Jester King Brewery

13187 Fitzhugh Rd., jesterkingbrewery.com.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the farmhouse brewery in the Texas Hill Country is a veritable oasis, with much of the seating spread underneath the shade of tall leafy trees that are strung with twinkling lights to brighten the night. The surrounding landscape is made all the more meaningful when you realize that Jester King makes beers like the sublime and simple Le Petit Prince with the help of natural features around it, giving it a strong sense of place.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Oasis, TX Brewing has irresistible views of Lake Travis from its upper-story taproom and patio.

Oasis, Texas Brewing

6550 Comanche Trl., otxbc.com.

OK, technically the Lake Travis-area brewery in the Oasis complex doesn’t have the greenery that surrounds many of these other spots, but it’s got the view: Oasis, Tex Brewing is located on a deck high above the lake and guarantees Instagram-worthy sunset photos that will have you gasping in delight. The beers — such as the juicy Metamodern Session IPA — are also pleasing to the palate and light enough in alcohol that you can have more than one.

Live Oak Brewing

1615 Crozier Ln., Del Valle, liveoakbrewing.com.

The nearly 20-year-old brewery moved from one tiny warehouse space in East Austin at the end of 2015 to a much bigger location built on 22 acres of land near the Colorado River and the local airport. Although there’s plenty of indoor seating in the taproom, you’ll be lured outside on a nice day. The beer garden is nestled, appropriately, underneath a majestic grove of live oaks where you can enjoy the classic Hefeweizen with food truck grub.

Middleton Brewing

101 Oakwood Loop, San Marcos, middletonbrewingtx.com.

When this brewpub south of Austin upgraded to a brewing system 20 times bigger than the previous one, the owners made everything else better, too, by moving into a specially built brewery complete with an expansive patio that has seats in the sun or the shade, depending on your preference. Middleton Brewing is also staffed with dog lovers who often bring their pooches to work with them, and your own furry friends are welcome to run around outside.

Hi Sign Brewing has just officially opened, but it’s already got a patio with pretty wooded views.

Hi Sign Brewing

1201 Bastrop Hwy., hisignbrewing.com.

Not far from Live Oak Brewing, one of Austin’s youngest breweries has a modest acre of outdoor space to play with but has already made the most of it — Hi Sign Brewing’s recent grand opening celebration had a crawfish boil and a disc golf tournament out there. Visitors to Hi Sign, sipping on beers like the juice-like New England IPA, can hang out on the deck or in the tree-lined yard beyond where lights have been strung and tables set out.

Treaty Oak Brewing & Distilling

16604 Fitzhugh Rd., Dripping Springs, treatyoakdistilling.com.

Off the same road as Jester King but much closer to Dripping Springs, this “brewstillery” ranch just about has it all: live music, food, play areas for the kids, plenty of outdoor seating both in the sun and in the shade and, perhaps best of all, a variety of beers and cocktails depending upon what you’re craving. (The distillery added a brewing program that launched at the end of last year.) With so much on offer, you’ll find it hard to leave the scenic serenity that pervades Treaty Oak.

Texas craft brewers have one big goal for the 2017 legislative session

Tom McCarthy Jr. for American-Statesman. Currently, breweries can only sell beer in their taprooms for on-site consumption, but they are hoping the 2017 legislative session will change that.
Tom McCarthy Jr. for American-Statesman. Currently, breweries can only sell beer in their taprooms for on-site consumption, but they are hoping the 2017 legislative session will change that.

In 2013, Texas laws changed to allow breweries to sell their beers for on-site consumption — a step in the right direction — although brewers in the state are hoping that this year proves to be an even bigger boon for them.

Now that the 85th Texas legislature is in session, the lobbyists for the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, the organization that advances the interests of the state’s craft brewers, are going to push for more. Namely, they want breweries to be able to sell beer to-go from their taprooms.

“Having off-premise sales in breweries is our number one priority,” Charles Vallhonrat, director of the guild, said.

The Texas Craft Brewers Guild had hoped to make that bill law in 2015, but that didn’t happen. As a result, the Dallas-based Deep Ellum Brewing sued the state in the fall of that year — a lawsuit that has yet to be resolved.

Currently, Texas law permits brewpubs, but not production breweries, to sell beer in bottles, cans and growlers to-go from their facility. Brewpubs can also offer beers from other breweries on-site, but they are limited in the amount of beer they can produce each year: no more than 10,000 barrels.

The inability to make off-premise sales is something brewery owners believe is unfair, and as a result, some breweries have made the switch to a brewpub license, including Austin’s own Jester King in 2013Adelbert’s last year and, now, Blue Owl Brewing, which just today started offering cans and growlers to-go.)

USE OUR GUIDE: GET TO KNOW AUSTIN’S BREWERIES AND MORE IN THE AUSTIN360 BOOZERY GUIDE

Introducing and then passing a bill that would give breweries more of the same freedoms as brewpubs — not to mention wineries and distilleries, which can similarly sell their products for off-site enjoyment — might not be so easy.

“We’ve been speaking with the distributor lobbies,” Vallhonrat said. “There’s certainly opposition to it, but we’re working through it. We’re also closely watching the Deep Ellum lawsuit. But we will bring a bill about off-premise sales to the legislature.”

Distributors, he said, are opposed to the idea because allowing consumers to buy beer to take home directly from the breweries could, theoretically, take away some of their business. That’s not how the guild sees it, however.

“We don’t see it as an alternative to retail sales,” Vallhonrat said. “People aren’t going to start buying their beer at the brewery all the time. They’ll go for special occasions, when there’s a big release or they have friends in town. Off-premise sales can drive beer tourism. It’s a great way to promote Texas beer.”

The guild is lobbying for breweries to sell growlers as well as their packaged products to-go, for “breweries to have the same flexibility that brewpubs, as retail licensees, have,” he said.

Only seven states in the U.S., Texas among them, prohibits production breweries from selling draft beer in growlers, according to a compilation of growler laws from the Brewers Association, the trade organization for all U.S. brewers.

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.

Here’s your guide to Austin Beer Week 2016

Photo by Deborah Cannon / American-Statesman. Real Ale's Firemans #4, left, is easily the brewery's most sold beer in Texas, allowing it to branch out and offer a wide range of beers.
Photo by Deborah Cannon / American-Statesman. Real Ale Brewing is just one of the local breweries providing a host of Austin Beer Week fun through Nov. 6.

The glorious 10 days of beer-soaked fun known as Austin Beer Week have returned with the usual frenzy of events at local bars, breweries and restaurants, all to celebrate Austin’s close-knit beer industry. The Austin Beer Week website lists all of the things to do around town — and there are a lot — so consider this post your guide to what to choose throughout the next several days.

Austin Beer Week starts Friday with a special kick-off party at Craft Pride and runs through Nov. 6. Here’s a sampling of some of the best events to check out — ones you won’t want to miss.

Friday, Oct. 28

Official Kick-Off Party at Craft Pride: Welcome the week ahead with a beer list that will surely make your mouth water. Is that nearly a whole lineup of Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel brews we spot on there?

ATX Brewpub Collusion: The first of the pale ales being released for this collaboration running the duration of Austin Beer Week is being tapped at Black Star Co-op. It’s one of six local brewpubs that has brewed the same recipe, but thanks to each brewpub’s own personal touches, the beers will all result in different flavors and aromas. Try ’em all throughout the week.

Saturday, Oct. 29

An Chih Cheng / American-Statesman. The Draught House is celebrating another big birthday with a lot of hard-to-get beers.
An Chih Cheng / American-Statesman. The Draught House is celebrating another big birthday with a lot of hard-to-get beers.

The Draught House’s 48th Anniversary Party: Thank the beer gods for another year of this beloved local brewpub with another irresistible beer list, as well as craft ice cream, a live show from the Dead Music Capital Band and an event called the Beer Olympics.

(512) Brewing’s 8th Anniversary Party: Yes, it’s another year of having to choose between this brewery’s bash and the Draught House’s. But (512) makes a good argument for its own — namely, a roster of (512) brews you can’t get anywhere else. If only we could be in two places at once.

Real Ale 20th Anniversary Collaboration at Pinthouse Pizza: Real Ale and Pinthouse have collaborated on making a pilsner together to celebrate Real Ale’s big milestone. Did you know Tim Schwartz, director of brewing at Real Ale, and Joe Mohrfeld, director of brewing at Pinthouse, met at brewing school eight years ago? The beer they’ve made together will showcase elements of what both breweries do so well.

Sunday, Oct. 30

Hans’ Fest at Yard Bar: The pooch-friendly bar couldn’t be a more perfect place to host a celebration of Real Ale’s Hans’ Pils, a beer named after the owner’s beloved dog. Other Real Ale brews will be on tap as well.

Monday, Oct. 31

Hops & Grain’s 4th Annual Halloween Party: The only time the brewery is 21 and up, this boisterous Halloween bash is worth the headache you might wake up with Tuesday morning. Expect a costume contest, extra beers on tap and a DJ for your dancing pleasure.

Tuesday, Nov. 1

Blue Owl Brewing Flight & Seminar: Stop into Easy Tiger from 6 to 7 p.m. for a talk by Blue Owl’s Jeff Young and taste a flight of four sour Blue Owl beers, including the new Wee Beastie, a Wee Heavy with peated malt.

Wednesday, Nov. 2

Everything East at Hi Hat Public House: Love all of the beers made in East Austin? Hops & Grain, Zilker Brewing, Friends & Allies, Blue Owl and more will all be represented at this tap takeover celebrating neighborly love.

Jester King and Jolly Pumpkin Beer Dinner at Hopfields: Sure, it’s $120 per person, but the 8-course dinner is well worth it for the food and the beers (Jester King Cru-55! Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura! and many more!) that you’ll feast on, with rare bottles available for purchase afterward.

Dai Due’s Real Ale Beer Dinner: OK, big decision to make because you can’t attend both dinners. This one’s promising, too: $100 for a meal at one of Austin’s best restaurants, paired with beers — like the new Axis IPA — from our oldest brewery.

Thursday, Nov. 3

Austin Beer Week Discussion: What Is Hoppy?: The week couldn’t be all fun and games. Get serious with hop wizards Will Golden of Austin Beerworks, Joe Mohrfeld of Pinthouse Pizza and Josh Hare of Hops & Grain, who will focus on hops — how to source them, how hopping techniques work and what the future looks like for hoppy beers. Come early for a flight of hoppy offerings from the participating breweries.

Jester King Flight & Seminar: Grab your $25 tickets to listen to Jester King founder Jeff Stuffings discuss his popular farmhouse brewery while you sip on your flight of four Jester King beers, which include Fen Tao and Atrial Rubicite.

Gluten-Free Oktoberfest at Texas Keeper Cider: Take a break from beer (as if you’re sick of it) with this $65 three-course dinner featuring food from Anjore and three ciders, including Texas Keeper’s new Honey Thief Cyser.

Antonelli’s Cheese Pairing Class: Circle Brewing and Antonelli’s have teamed up to demonstrate all the ways that beer and cheese are a perfect match. Not that we ever doubted it, of course. Reserve your $25 ticket ahead of time.

Friday, Nov. 4

Austin Homebrew Festival: You never know — one of the featured homebrewers might one day own your favorite neighborhood brewery. Try their beers at this special fest that raises money for the AHB Community School. The $15 tickets get you access to the event, where you can vote on your favorite homebrew or bid in the silent auction.

Big Mama Red’s Magic & Mayhem: The ABGB is celebrating its biggest beer with a bodacious show featuring burlesque and vaudeville acts. If you purchase a $25 VIP ticket, you’ll be front and center for all the red-hot action.

Photo by Emma Janzen. Pinthouse Pizza is celebrating two years in business in November.
Photo by Emma Janzen.
Pinthouse Pizza has collaborated with Craft Pride on a special new beer.

Craft Pride Collaboration at Pinthouse Lamar: That’s right: Craft Pride made a beer with lots of help from Pinthouse Lamar, where the Alpha Beta IPA will be tapping. It was brewed using new-age hop techniques and dry-hopped with experimental hops. Sounds like a good one.

Saturday, Nov. 5

Contemplating Waterloo at Adelbert’s: The limited-release gin barrel-aged saison has returned, so get it on tap or take it in bottles to go from Adelbert’s, where you can also enjoy free games like giant jenga, corn hole and hula hoops.

Hops & Grain And Grapes: Try three different versions of Hops & Grain’s Alteration at the Brew & Brew, where you can learn about the effects of wine barrel-aging and wine barrel-fermenting. Both processes yield intriguing (and delicious) results if done right.

Sunday, Nov. 6

Pints & Poses at Circle Brewing: Close out the week with a detoxifying hatha yoga class that will help you recover. You can also grab a pint of Circle beer if you’re up for it. And don’t forget your mat! The class and beer are $10.

Events: Jester King’s Funk ‘n’ Sour Fest, Draught House’s 48th Anniversary

Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Lambic fans, rejoice: Jester King is helping to bring the revered beers of Cantillon to Texas.
Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Jester King’s Funk ‘N’ Sour Fest pairs Texas restaurants with cideries, breweries, wineries and bartenders.

It’s about to become a very big month for Austin breweries — as well as for the people who love them. In addition to three anniversaries, October is bringing us Austin Beer Week, running this year from Oct. 28 through Nov. 6 with the usual irresistible lineup of events at bars, breweries and retail stores.

But that’s a story for another day. Here are some other events coming up in the next couple of weeks that we won’t want to miss.

Hops & Grain’s 5th Anniversary Party: Austin fell in love with Hops & Grain because of beers like The One They Call Zoe, but we’re being rewarded with far rarer brews at the party, which has year-round options like Zoe available as well barrel-aged beers, kettle-soured beers and more. The 78702 Kolsch with raspberries? We’re in.

The party kicks off at noon on Saturday, and there’s no need to buy a ticket ahead of time — just fork over $15 at the bar and you’ll get a commemorative anniversary glass and a punch card good for six 8 oz. pours of your choice.

Jester King’s Funk ‘n’ Sour Fest: The celebration of fine food and beer returns on Oct. 20 with more pairings of Texas restaurants with cideries, wineries and breweries (and even a bartender or two mixing up cocktails).

The tickets aren’t cheap — $85 per person — but the cost is worth it if you’re wanting a night under string lights at Jester King’s beautiful Hill Country brewery, with access to some of the best food and drink in Austin. (It’ll also be one of the first tastes of East Austin brewpub the Brewer’s Table.) Reserve your spot in line at the fest with eventbrite.

Here are this year’s pairings.

  • Antonelli’s Cheese with Midnight Cowboy
  • Bullfight with 5 Stones Artisan Brewery
  • The Brewers Table with La Cruz de Comal Wines
  • The Bruery (welcome beer)
  • Bufalina with Blue Owl Brewing
  • Dai Due with Lewis Wines
  • Emmer & Rye with Firestone Walker Barrel Works
  • The Hollow with Jester King Brewery
  • The Mercantile with Argus Cidery
  • Noble Sandwich Co. with the Collective Brewing Project
  • Salt & Time with Texas Keeper Cider
  • The Salty Sow with Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
  • Stiles Switch BBQ with Prairie Artisan Ales
  • Texas French Bread with Live Oak Brewing Co.
Kyser Lough for American-Statesman. Independence Brewing will be bursting with happy beer drinkers on its anniversary party Oct. 22.
Kyser Lough for American-Statesman. Independence Brewing will be bursting with happy beer drinkers on its anniversary party Oct. 22.

Independence Brewing’s 12th Anniversary Party: One of Austin’s original craft breweries, Independence is celebrating 12 years with a day full of rare and special beer tappings, music, food, pinball and more. Keg tappings on the hour include vintage Jasperilla Old Ale, aged Ten Barleywine, barrel-fermented saisons and barrel-aged Bootlegger Brown. The family and pet-friendly event offers a full lineup of live music throughout the day as well as barbecue from Evan LeRoy and tacos from Lotus Joint.

The fun runs from 2 to 10 p.m. Oct. 22. There’s no admission fee to get into the party; just pay for beer and food as you go.

Draught House Pub and Brewery’s 48th Anniversary Party: Nearly 50 years of this bar-turned-brewpub? That’s an impressive milestone you’ll want to toast to — and you can bet you’ll have a hard time choosing which beer to toast with because the Draught House, like always, will be bringing out all the best, rarest and most beloved brews for the celebration.

“Visitors to this British-style pub are sometimes surprised when they catch a glimpse of the tiny-but-mighty, seven-barrel brewery almost hidden in back, where brewer Josh Wilson has been creating a variety of unusual and classic beers for over 20 years,” according to the Draught House. “Creations such as grapefruit IPA and lactic black current stout have earned this neighborhood spot acclaim from near and far.”

At the party on Oct. 29 — which is technically during Austin Beer Week — there will be rare beers, ice cream sandwiches from local shop Moojo, food trucks including Best Wurst and the Beer Olympics: a series of games (yeast balloon toss, crap beer cornhole and keg lifting) for which the winners will get prizes.

The free 48th anniversary party starts at 1 p.m. Saturday and lasts all day.