Sunday, November 30, 2008

Texas Brewers in the News

Once again, the media ran another story about the rising costs of hops and grain. Not exactly breaking news any more, but at least Dallas-Fort Worth's NBC affiliate Channel 5 gave some brief prime air time to Rahr & Sons with the video, "Beer Prices Rise Over Hops Shortage."

A number of sources have published news or reviews of the new Spoetzl history, Shine On: 100 Years of Shiner Beer by Mike Renfro. These include the Bryan/College Station Eagle with "Book tells story of Shiner Beer's first century."

Not specific to any particular Texas brewer, the National Beer Wholesalers Organization released a story across the news wire celebrating "Texas Beer Distributors Recognize 75th Anniversary of Repeal of Prohibition." Texas became the 32nd state to ratify the 21st Amendment on November 24th, 1933.

Travis Poling's own story about the upcoming Commemorator doppelbock from Spoetzl was picked up by the Dallas Morning News as "Shiner brewery reveals new beer for 100th anniversary." The same story was also echoed on Draft Magazine's website as "Spoetzl Brewery's 100th anniversary beer."

Poling also covered Freetail Brewing's opening the day after Thanksgiving with his piece in the San Antonio Express-News, "Freetail brewing up taste of Texas."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Freetail Opens in San Antonio

Freetail Brewing Company opened yesterday as San Antonio's second local brewpub. Named after the Mexican free-tailed bat indigenous to the area, Freetail Brewing is owned and operated by local businessman Scott Metzger.

The menu includes brick-oven gourmet pizzas and fresh salads and sandwiches. The brewer is Jason Davis, who has experience with Austin's Waterloo Brewing and Celis Brewing, and most recently as assistant brewer at Blue Star Brewing.

Freetail opened having only other Texas commercial craft beers on tap but with plans for 13 different beers rotating throughout the year. House beers should be available by mid-December.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TABC Names New Commissioner

Governor Rick Perry has named Melinda Fredricks of Conroe to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) three-member board. Fredricks is recently of the Texas Medical Board and has worked as a political organizer, political research analyst and chair for various legislative committees.

Fredricks has a Masters of Science degree from the University of North Texas as well as experience as a math teacher in the Lake Dallas area. She will serve a five-year unrepresentative term that expires in 2013.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Live Oak Plans New Facilities

Live Oak announced that it has acquired 20 acres on the Colorado River north of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport with an intent to construct new brewing facilities. Current plans to install a bottling operation were stalled due to lack of space in their current facilities east of I-35. The new location will provide ample room for expanded production and a long-awaited bottling line.

According to owner and brewer Chip McElroy,"Don’t start holding your breath for bottles yet. Keep looking for our beers on tap. It will take us a couple of years to get the new brewery completed.”

Live Oak Primus Weizenbock

Live Oak announced the release of a new winter seasonal named Primus Weizenbock. Celebrating their one-thousandth batch brewed, this new weizenbock will join their other current products in seasonal rotation. It is named after Jan Primus, the thirteenth-century Duke of Brabant, known today as the legendary royal patron of brewing, Gambrinus.

Primus is brewed using a decoction mash and will have a final strength of 8% ABV. It will be available on tap in December.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

(512) Brewing Fall Open House

(512) Brewing will hold their Fall Open House on Sunday, November 23rd, from 2pm to 4pm at their brewery facilities in Austin. This open house will include the release of their newest beer, the (512) Pecan Porter.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shiner 100: Commemorator

According to sources at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the Spoetzl Brewery has just filed legal label information for the final beer in their series leading to their centennial in 2009. Named Commemorator, or Shiner 100, the beer will be a traditional doppelbock style with an ABV of 6.7%.

Text included on the label reads in part,
Commemorator, our centennial offering, is brewed in the robust classic German "stark" style...
a reference to the stronger stark beer style and related beerfests of M√ľnich. The name is also traditional, maintaining the -ator suffix for the doppelbock style as homage to its originator, Paulaner Salvator.

No release date has been indicated but annual beers in this series generally appear in the February-March timeframe.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shiner Book Published

A new book has been published about the history of the Spoetzl Brewery. Shine On: 100 Years of Shiner Beer, written by Mike Renfro, details the history of the brewery in Shiner, Texas, as they enter their centennial year of operation. The book includes historic photographs as well as Shiner's discovery, reception and place in the Texas subculture.

A brief review of this book recently appeared in the Austin Chronicle. Shine On: 100 Years of Shiner Beer is published this month by the Houston-based publisher Bright Sky Press.