Texas Craft Brewers Festival unveils list of rotating beers

Photo by Tyler Malone. The Texas Craft Brewers Festival on Saturday has some exciting new additions on tap, including brewers' talks throughout the afternoon.
Photo by Tyler Malone. The Texas Craft Brewers Festival on Saturday has some exciting new additions on tap, including brewers’ talks throughout the afternoon.

With the Texas Craft Brewers Festival only a couple of weekends away — and the full tap list revealed last week — it’s time to share the fest’s rotating tap list: the small-batch specialty stuff, often barrel-aged, sour or otherwise just unusual, that show off the talents of the brewers who make them.

The festival, which kicks off on Sept. 24 at Fiesta Gardens, is the state’s largest beer event featuring Texas-only brews. And it keeps growing. This year’s will have more than 65 breweries pouring nearly 200 of their beers, 27 of those being these special suds. They often draw the longest lines, so decide ahead of time which of them you absolutely cannot miss.

  • 12:30 p.m.: Blue Owl Brewing’s Wine Barrel-Aged Saison Puede. It’s a collaboration with the locally based Infinite Monkey Theorem, with the beer being aged in one of the winery’s syrah barrels. (It taps twice in the day; see below).
  • 12:30 p.m.: Red Horn Coffee House & Brewing Co’s the S.O.N. Double Stout with Coconut. The Son of Ninja is a rotating series of various dark beers, with this one made through an underused technique in brewing called Parti Gyle.
  • 1 p.m.: Circle Brewing’s Doppel Blur. The Blur Texas Hefeweizen has been taken up a notch and made into an amped-up imperial hefe.

    Photo by Deborah Cannon / American-Statesman. Real Ale's 20th anniversary beer, an imperial rye IPA, was barrel-aged for the beer fest.
    Photo by Deborah Cannon / American-Statesman. Real Ale’s 20th anniversary beer, an imperial rye IPA, was barrel-aged for the beer fest.
  • 1 p.m.: Real Ale Brewing’s Barrel-Aged 20th Anniversary Ale. The imperial rye IPA, an homage to Real Ale’s original flagship, was aged for four months in Woodford rye whiskey barrels. This one is being tapped twice (see below).
  • 1:30 p.m.: Community Beer Co.’s Divinity. This barrel-aged wild ale starts as the Trinity Tripel, which matured in a variety of Brettanomyces yeast for more than 6 months with the additions of agave nectar, ginger and lime.
  • 1:30 p.m.: Jester King Brewery’s Atrial Rubicite. You know this one: Jester King’s barrel-aged sour beer re-fermented with raspberries is so beloved, it’s got two special tapping times (see below).
  • 2:30 p.m.: Black Star Co-op’s Ted Talk. This double IPA has a large malt backbone and a touch of rye.
  • 2:30 p.m.: Lakewood Brewing’s Mole Temptress. Be tempted by this imperial milk stout that had ancho, pasilla, guajillo and chipotle peppers, along with cacao and cinnamon, added to it.
  • 2:30 p.m.: Saint Arnold Brewing’s Dubbelganger. The brewery’s Sorachi Ace-hopped Belgian-style dubbel spent 14 months in red wine barrels with Brettanomyces.
  • 3 p.m.: Big Bend Brewing’s Marfa Light. It’s actually rather dark, as an assertive Russian imperial stout.
  • 3 p.m.: Martin House Brewing’s the Sea Witch. You’ll feel bewitched by this whiskey barrel-aged black gose.
  • 3 p.m.: Rabbit Hole Brewing’s Barrel-Aged Rapture Brown. Rum barrels have imparted a slightly spicy and vanilla flavor to the chocolate notes of the Rapture Fusion Brown Ale.
  • 3:30 p.m.: Ranger Creek Brewing’s Small Batch Series No. 12. This is a farmhouse-style saison brewed with barley, rye, spelt and wheat and barrel-aged with a Brettanomyces blend.
  • 3:30 p.m.: Karbach Brewing’s F.U.N. 014 Roll in the Hay. This saison was aged in white wine barrels to impart hints of citrus with aromas of oak.
  • 3:30 p.m. Zilker Brewing’s Bourbon Barrel-Aged Coffee Milk Stout with Espresso Beans. This stout was inspired by the Cafe Cubano and was brewed with lactose and Cuvee Coffee’s Las Mingas coffee beans.
  • 4 p.m.: BrainDead Brewing’s Idle Playthings. This Belgian golden strong ale is a subtle reference to “Futurama.”
  • 4 p.m.: North by Northwest Restaurant & Brewery’s Barton Kriek. With a perfect Austin-centric pun, this beer is sure to please as a Belgian-style lambic with tart cherry.
  • 4 p.m. Shannon Brewing’s Chocolate Rumble Stout. The sweet base beer, Shannon’s Chocolate Stout, is aged in Balcones Rumble barrels, which contribute vanilla notes, figs and a light booziness.
  • 4:30 p.m.: Austin Beerworks’ Sputnik 2015. Oats. Cuvee Coffee. Alcohol. And we have liftoff! You probably know this one, too: Austin Beerworks’ Russian Imperial Coffee Oatmeal Stout is a winter must-have.
  • 4:30 p.m.: Hops & Grain’s Dry-Hopped Brett Saison. This beer began as a traditional Belgian-style saison before getting the barrel, Brettanomyces and souring bacteria treatment. It was then dry-hopped in stainless steel.
  • 4:30 p.m. Real Ale Brewing’s Barrel-Aged 20th Anniversary Ale. The second tapping.
  • 5 p.m.: Blue Owl Brewing’s Wine Barrel-Aged Saison Puede. The second tapping.
  • 5 p.m.: Oak Highlands Brewery’s Chump Change. This imperial black saison was a World Beer Cup silver medal winner.
  • 5 p.m.: Southern Star Brewing’s Black Crack. The brewery’s Buried Hatchet Stout gets the bourbon barrel treatment and thus a caramel sweetness and vanilla notes.
  • 5:30 p.m. (512) Brewing’s Wild Bear. The beer, a double brown sour ale, was (512)’s first (and successful) foray into the world of wild fermentation, with its origins in the fall seasonal known as Bruin.
  • 5:30 p.m. Jester King Brewery’s Atrial Rubicite. The second tapping.
  • 5:30 p.m. Peticolas Brewing’s Sledge Hammer. Consider it the Velvet Hammer on steroids, as a triple imperial red ale/ barleywine.

VIP tickets have long sold out, but general admission and designated driver tickets are still available for $35 and $10, respectively. General admission gets you in at 2 p.m. and guarantees you a commemorative tasting cup and 8 sample tickets. Purchase yours at this eventbrite link.

Tamale House East introduces new craft beer program this week

One of Austin’s most beloved institutions is getting into beer in a big way and kicks off a brand-new menu of draft offerings Wednesday with a special pairing event combining beers and tamales.

Photo by David Brendan Hall. Austin Eastciders is one of the new sudsy options available at Tamale House East starting tomorrow.
Photo by David Brendan Hall. Austin Eastciders is one of the new sudsy options available at Tamale House East starting tomorrow.

Tamale House East — owned by the Valera family, who opened the original Tamale House downtown in the late 1950s — recently added a beer bar with 16 taps. To commemorate the restaurant’s focus on mostly Texas brews, stop into Tamale House East beginning at 5 p.m. tomorrow to enjoy “The Tapping of the Kegs: a Taps and Tamales Party.”

The party will have a la carte pricing starting at $5 and the pairings pricing starting at $10. Plus, brewery representatives will be on hand with T-shirts, glassware and giveaways. Here’s the list of beer-and-tamal pairings that will be available (tamal, as our food writer Addie Broyles has noted, being the correct singular version of the word ‘tamales’):

  • Saint Arnold Pumpkinator with a roasted pumpkin tahini tamal
  • Independence Brewing Bourbon Barrel-Aged Convict Hill Stout with a steel-cut oats and bourbon tamal
  • Austin Beerworks Super Awesome Lager with a smoky bacon tamal
  • Blue Owl Brewing Professor Black Cherry Stout with a dried rainier cherry tamal
  • Live Oak Hefeweizen with a brown butter banana tamal
  • Hops & Grain Vienna Lager with a blackened pork belly tamal
  • Austin Eastciders with a burnt brown sugar pineapple tamal
  • Lone Pint Gentleman’s Relish with a dark chocolate tamal
  • Lone Pint Yellow Rose with a Gulf shrimp candied grapefruit tamal
  • 4th Tap Tamarind Wheat with a tamarindo tamal

Other beers on tap include the Karbach Hopadillo IPA, the Zilker Brewing Brutus IPA, Big Bend Brewing Oktoberfest and Avery Brewing El Gose. The event runs from 5 p.m. to midnight tomorrow at 1707 E. Sixth St.

For more information, visit the eventbrite link.

Texas Craft Beer Club brings beer to your doorstep

The Texas Craft Beer Club started shipping Texas brews to members in January, with plans to offer different beers each month.
The Texas Craft Beer Club started shipping Texas brews to members in January, with plans to offer different beers each month.

Marc Atnipp’s favorite Texas brewery, Big Bend Brewing, hasn’t gotten its beers as far east as Houston yet, where he lives. Although he can’t regularly pick up a six-pack of the West Texas brews at his local liquor store, his desire for the beer sparked an idea: What if other beer lovers in this state are also missing out on some of their favorite Texas beers?

He and his friend Rob Banzhaf, both in the Woodlands area of Houston, recently started a beer-of-the-month club that focuses entirely on getting Texas beers to members’ doorsteps.

“The goal is to get folks some beers they might not run into on a regular basis,” he said. “Beers that might not be distributed to their area, so maybe they haven’t even heard of them.”

The Texas Craft Beer Club features two breweries each month and sends to members two different styles of their beers. Most recently, for example, people who signed up for the 3-month or 6-month memberships on the texascraftbeerclub.com site received 12 beers of Austin’s Infamous Brewing and Dallas’ Four Corners Brewing, as well as beer-related merchandise like koozies.

Later months will feature 903 Brewers from Sherman, Oak Highlands Brewery from Dallas and Atnipp’s beloved Big Bend Brewing from Alpine. Houston’s 11 Below Brewing is also lined up.

“Oak Highlands is six months old, so they’re just starting to build a customer base. It’s great to be able to help them with that,” he said. “Working with these breweries and helping them get the word out about their products, that’s a big deal to us. We get to know these breweries personally and try to pass that along to our customers.”

In conjunction with the Texas Craft Beer Club, Atnipp and Banzhaf have started up a podcast, Life by the Gulp, that spreads the gospel of Texas beer, with each of the partnering breweries spotlighted.

Beer isn’t the only focus of the business. A portion of the profits are donated to the Will Herndon Fund for Juvenile Batten Disease, a rare, genetic neurodegenerative disorder that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, despite its deadly outcome. Because the fund — and the boy who inspired it — originated from the Woodlands, where both of the beer club founders are from, they’ve known about the disease and want to do their part to stop it.

“So few people in the world have it that when our friend had a child who was diagnosed with it, there wasn’t any research out there about it,” Atnipp said. “The money goes to a team of researchers who are looking for possible cures that may help the children lead more normal lives… It’s a cause personal to us.”

The grassroots movement of the Will Herndon Fund, which has rallied the Woodlands community around the cause, is akin in some ways to the craft beer movement, he said: “They both start on a local level, then grow with a sense of community.”

Already, he said, the Texas Craft Beer Club gained almost 300 members within its first month of business.

The options currently are to buy a 3-month membership for $150, a 3-month membership with a gift pack for $175 or a 6-month membership for $300. Among the extras you’ll get — besides two six-packs of beer, each with two different styles from two Texas breweries — are a branded T-shirt, a pint glass and a club membership card that doubles as a bottle opener.

And as the beer-of-the-month club grows, Atnipp said, expect a variety of regional beers to show up on your doorstep: “beers from new breweries or beers from established breweries that are maybe new or seasonal or limited for a time.”

“It’s been fun working with the different breweries, seeing their passion for their products,” he said.

Texas Beer Company to open in Taylor in Williamson County

The small Texas town of Taylor is eager to have a brewery of its own — so much so, in fact, that the city just approved an incentive agreement to help fund the upcoming Texas Beer Company.

Photo by Claire Osborn / American-Statesman. TheTexas Beer Company owners J.D. Gins and Ian Davis will open a bar and a brewery in Taylor after striking an incentive agreement with the city Tuesday night.
Photo by Claire Osborn / American-Statesman. The Texas Beer Company owners J.D. Gins and Ian Davis will open a bar and a brewery in Taylor after striking an incentive agreement with the city Tuesday night.

As the Statesman’s Claire Osborn reported yesterday, “t

That’s after the brewery raised an additional $33,108 from a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year that co-founder Ian Davis started in the hopes of being able to make a down payment on a pilot system.

“Starting a brewery is expensive, and we need your help,” Davis noted in one of his Kickstarter updates. He and his co-founder, J.D. Gins, actually ended up meeting their initial $10,000 goal early on and were able to raise a lot more throughout the course of the campaign.

With these raised funds, they plan to “,” Osborn wrote.

“This beautiful, historic red-brick building on Main Street is the perfect intersection of Texas’ proud agricultural history and our exciting craft beer future,” according to the Texas Beer Co. website. “Taylor has some of the best farmland in Texas, and we believe local grain from Taylor’s Blackland Prairie will help produce some of the best beer in Texas.”

Davis and Gins have been producing their beers on a much smaller scale throughout the past two years, relying on a half-barrel brewing system to produce ambers, IPAs, kolsches and other styles. The Main Street location will give them a tasting room for fans to come in and try the beers, as well as, eventually, the option to start canning them for distribution.

For more information, visit www.texasbeerco.com.