Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Shiner 101

SHINER - Spoetzl will continue its anniversary series of beers past its centennial, with the next beer being a Czech-style pilsner designated Shiner 101. This new Shiner beer will be available in January 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Saint Arnold Resumes Tours

HOUSTON - City permits were finally obtained this past week for the new Saint Arnold location north of downtown Houston, allowing the brewery to resume their Saturday tours after occupying the building in late October.

Weekly tours will be held each Saturday from 11am to 2pm and will cost $7. Weekday tours will start on December 28th from 3pm to 3:30pm, but this weekday schedule will be subject to changes depending on how it progresses.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Shiner Fröst

SHINER - Spoetzl's newest seasonal product will be the Shiner Fröst, a Dortmunder-style lager. It will be available January through March of 2010 and follow the Shiner Holiday Cheer as an annual offering.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Three New Austin-Area Brewers

AUSTIN - Three new potential brewers are looking to enter the Austin area within the next couple of years.

Flix Brewhouse, a new brewpub with a movie-tavern model, is planning to open in Round Rock by the summer of 2010. They plan to offer six house beers as well as a selection of 32 microbrews on tap, with an ultimate brewing capacity of 1000 barrels per year.

The Hops and Grain Brewery is currently in the fundraising stage for a microbrewery in Austin. A tasting of their beers is planned for December 10th at Rogue Equipment athletic store.

Pedernales Brewing Company of Spicewood seems to be developing labels for future products. No other information about this venture is available at this time.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

No Label Brewing Leases Site

KATY - The Houston-area start-up No Label Brewing Company recently leased a location that will eventually become their brewhouse. The location includes old rice silos in Katy and will require cleanup and renovation to bring up to city code.

No date is available for when No Label Brewing plans to open.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Real Ale Phoenixx Double ESB

BLANCO - Real Ale Brewing has just received label approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) for bottles of their seasonal Phoenixx Double ESB.

Bottles of this ESB should follow once their Coffee Porter is out, and be available at retailers by the end of the year.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cypress Street Station Opens

ABILENE - The Abilene Brewing Company opened last month operating as Texas' newest brewpub, the Cypress Street Station in downtown Abilene.

Owner and brewer Brian Green decided to open as a brewpub due to his present low-volume capacity. Cypress Street currently brews and serves four house beers with rotating seasonals but has room to expand, if successful.

Southern Star Buried Hatchet Stout

CONROE - Southern Star Brewing has just received label approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) for cans of their Buried Hatchet Stout.

Twelve-ounce cans of this foreign export-style stout should be in stores before the end of this year, and available year-round thereafter.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Jester King Funding Complete

AUSTIN - The Jester King Brewing Company took a major step toward opening as they announced completion of their fund raising goal and have secured land and a warehouse for their planned brewing operations.

The new brewery will sit on four acres of land in southwest Austin off of Fitzhugh Road, with plenty of space for food, beer and entertainment. Jeffrey Stuffings, owner of Jester King, expects to be open and brewing by the summer of 2010.

BJ's Opens in Hurst

HURST - The newest Texas location of BJ's Restaurant & Brewery opened today in Hurst, along Loop 820 outside of North East Mall.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Black Star Announces Location

AUSTIN - The Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery announced its new Austin location to be at Midtown Commons at Crestview Station at the junction of North Lamar and St. John's Avenue. This location takes advantage of present Capital Metro lines and planned MetroRail transit.

Black Star's Saturday event to formally present to the public this new future location for their co-op brewpub is still planned for 1pm to 4pm.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Circle Brewing Purchases Brewhouse

AUSTIN - Start-up brewer Circle Brewing Company has raised enough capital to purchase a 30-barrel brewing system for their future microbrewery in Austin.

Circle Brewing is still in the fundraising stage of operations, and no physical location yet has been secured for their brewery. This new brewing system should arrive within the next four months.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Divine Reserve Release Date

HOUSTON - Saint Arnold has announced that the official release date for the next beer in their Divine Reserve series, No. 9, will be December 1st.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Yard House Opens in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO - The first Texas location of the California-based beer bar chain Yard House opened this past week at The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio.

The Houston location of the Yard House is scheduled to open on November 22nd.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Black Star Co-Op Brewpub

AUSTIN - The world's first cooperatively owned and operated brewpub, Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery, is hosting an event to unveil their new Austin location with a beer social on November 14th.

Although not yet prepared nor licensed to brew and sell beer commercially, Black Star is offering the event for media and members to introduce the worker-managed brewpub concept, as well as to show off the future home of the co-op.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Saint Arnold's New Brewery


HOUSTON - With a small amount of ceremony, Saint Arnold officially opened their new brewing facility north of downtown Houston with a ribbon-cutting on Wednesday. Ronnie Crocker covered the event at the new brewery for the Houston Chronicle with "End of a drought: A brewery is back in city center." Photos of the event are also available from the Chronicle online at "A New Home for Saint Arnold."

Houston Mayor Bill White presented Saint Arnold with an formal proclamation declaring Wednesday, October 28, 2009, Saint Arnold Brewing Company Day in Houston.

Due to occupancy permits, Saturday tours at the new brewery are canceled until the matter can be resolved with city inspectors.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Saint Arnold Move Complete

HOUSTON - Saint Arnold reports that the move to their new downtown facilities are nearly complete, and that the weekly tours will be held at the new location from now on beginning this Saturday, October 31st. The tour price has increased slightly to $7 per person, but due to its popularity they are planning to eventually offer a late afternoon tour as well.

Saint Arnold's new brewery is located at 2000 Lyons Avenue just north of Houston's downtown.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

(512) Featured in Rare Magazine


AUSTIN - (512) Brewing earned a feature in the October issue of the Austin lifestyle and entertainment magazine Rare. The feature is a profile of Kevin Brand and (512)'s operations and beers entitled, "Brew (512)."

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Profile of Rahr, Covey on


FORT WORTH - Local brewers JB Flowers of Rahr & Sons and Jamie Fulton of The Covey were profiled by Barry Shlachter for the local entertainment and lifestyle website in a piece entitled, "2 local brewers have caught lightning in a bottle."

Shlachter also profiled brewer Alan Sparkman of Arlington's brewpub Humperdink's in an accompanying piece entitled, "Humperdink's brewmaster Alan Sparkman started as a banker."

And Shlachter provides a short guide to the local beer scene in Fort Worth in a third piece, "6 burning questions about our beer sphere."

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Jester King Tasting in Austin

AUSTIN - The newest brewery currently under development in Austin, the Jester King Craft Brewery, is holding a free tasting of their beers hosted by The Draught House on October 8th at 7pm.

Jester King Craft Brewery is still in the fundraising stage prior to constructing their own microbrewery in Austin. They expect to open their own brewery facilities and begin brewing commercially in 2010.

Update: This event has been canceled.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Texas Brewers at 2009 GABF

DENVER, CO - Three Texas brewers won medals at this week's 2009 Great American Beer Festival. The winners were announced yesterday at an awards ceremony of the annual event in Denver, Colorado.

Recognized Texas brewers include:
Sponsored by the Brewers Association, the craft beer industry's professional organization, the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is the largest professional competition in the United States. This year's competition set records despite a lagging economy, including more than 3308 beers from 495 brewers with an overall attendance of 49,000.

Awards are given in 78 different style categories of beer plus pro-am categories, with the top three beers recognized with gold, silver and bronze medals.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wimberley Brewing Company Closes

WIMBERLEY - The months-old Wimberley Brewing Company closed this week due to financial and family pressures. Owner and brewer Bruce Collie sold the facilities to the former chef, who intends to reopen as a German restaurant.

Collie still has plans to soon reopen his brewpub nearby as a pizzeria and continue to expand its brewing capacity.

Correction: Wimberley Brewing has not closed permanently but has only shut down temporarily while relocating to new facilities nearby.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fourth Annual Fall Beer Fest

FORT WORTH - The Fort Worth Flying Saucer has scheduled its fourth annual Fall Beer Fest for Saturday, October 17th, from 2pm to 10.30pm in the Sundance Square parking lot adjacent to their downtown location. Five tents will feature more than 20 specialty beers on draft, usually including a rare surprise or two.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Covey Brewer on GMT


DALLAS - The Covey's brewmaster Jamie Fulton appeared again yesterday on the Dallas morning show, WFAA's "Good Morning, Texas." He was featured in a segment called "Learn to make pink beer," introducing his new Prickly Pear Wheat and the upcoming beer pairing dinner.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Divine Reserve No. 9

HOUSTON - Fresh on the heels of a new release, Saint Arnold has announced the next beer in their Divine Reserve series (No. 9) will be available in November or December of this year.

The style for this version is described only as "unlike any other Saint Arnold beer we've ever made," but it is reported to be an Imperial Stout Pumpkin Ale with a strength of around 10% ABV.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rahr & Sons Fifth Anniversary

FORT WORTH - Rahr & Sons celebrates its fifth anniversary tonight at the location of its first account, the Flying Saucer in downtown Fort Worth, from 6pm to 9pm. Special anniversary glassware will be available with the purchase of Rahr & Sons beer.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Zio Carlo Brewpub Abandoned

FORT WORTH - The proposed Zio Carlo "Italian brewpub" of Fort Worth has been abandoned for now by the owner due to financial concerns.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Divine Reserve No. 8 Released


HOUSTON - Saint Arnold released its eighth and latest edition in its Divine Reserve series today amid crowds of eager fans and some significant press coverage. Ronnie Crocker of the Houston Chronicle covered this anticipated event with the piece, "Beer fans poised for Divine release."

This release also garnered television coverage, as KIAH (Channel 39) of Houston ran a short feature entitled "There's a New Brew in Town," which includes interviews with Saint Arnold representatives and local retailers.

Second Annual Fall Beer Fest

AUSTIN - The Austin Flying Saucer has scheduled its second annual Fall Beer Fest for Saturday, October 24th, from noon to 10pm at the Triangle. Some 30 "new and exciting" beers are expected to be available on draft.

Southern Star Expanding

CONROE - Southern Star reports in their latest newsletter that they are adding new equipment, including new fermenters, to better keep up with increasing demand. The new equipment should be installed and operational by Oktoberfest.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Beer Across Texas Published

A new guidebook for Texas craft brewers has been published. Beer Across Texas: A Guide to the Brews and Brewmasters of the Lone Star State, written by Travis Poling and Paul Hightower, is a detailed guide to all the commercial microbreweries and brewpubs of Texas.

The book also includes a history of Texas brewing as well as a short style guide and a few commercial favorites brewed here. Beer Across Texas is published by Maverick Publishing of San Antonio and should be commercially available this week.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Taps House of Beers

A new independent beer bar named Taps House of Beers has opened in the Washington Avenue area of Houston. Taps House of Beers features over 90 taps of domestic and imported beers in a style similar to the Flying Saucer establishments.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Texas Brewpub Report

Unfortunately, the large number of brewpubs around the state and the frequency with which they make changes makes listing and reporting on brewpubs awkward. To make sure that each brewpub receives its share of reference on this site, this annual Texas Brewpub Report will be posted every year on the anniversary of brewpub legalization in Texas (September 1, 1993).

Net: 3 brewpubs added, 1 brewpub closed, 1 name change
Total: 23 independent brewpubs*

Native Brewpubs:

North Texas

Big Buck Brewery & Steakhouse (Grapevine) renamed
The Covey Restaurant & Brewery (Fort Worth)
Firehouse Grill & Brewery (Mansfield) new!
Humperdink's (Arlington)*
Humperdink's (Dallas, Greenville Ave)*
Humperdink's (Dallas, NW Hwy)*
Uncle Buck's Brewery & Steakhouse (Grapevine)

* The North Texas Humperdink's franchises were bought from Big Horn Brewing and now operate independently as Humperdink's of Texas. Only the three locations listed here actually brew on-site, providing beer for the Addison and Richardson restaurants.

Central Texas

Dodging Duck Brewhaus (Boerne)
Faust Brewing Company (New Braunfels)
Freetail Brewing Company (San Antonio) new!
Lovejoy's Tap Room & Brewery (Austin)
Uncle Billy's Brew & Que (Austin)
Wimberley Brewing Company & Brew Pub (Wimberley) new!

West Texas

Edelweiss Brewery & Restaurant (Alpine) closed
Eola School, Restaurant & Brewery (Eola)
Jaxon's Restaurant & Brewing Company (El Paso, 4 locations)
Triple J Chophouse & Brew Company (Lubbock)

East Texas

South Texas

Port Aransas Brewing Company (Port Aransas)

Out-of-State Franchises:

BJ's Restaurant & Brewery (multiple locations statewide)
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant (Plano)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ginger Man to Open in Plano

The next new location for the Ginger Man will be in The Shops at Legacy in Plano. A lease and final location are still being negotiated, and no timeline has been announced for opening.

This signals a departure from the traditional Ginger Man pubs in Texas, which tend to favor occupying and renovating local and existing structures rather than pre-planned commercial environments.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Divine Reserve Release Date

Saint Arnold has announced that the latest in the Divine Reserve series, No. 8, will be released for sale on September 10th.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rahr Begins Wednesday Tours

Fort Worth's Rahr & Sons is beginning Wednesday evening tours this week in addition to their traditional Saturday afternoon tours. The new weekday tour will be each Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm for the same $5 cost (which includes a glass plus samples).

Aside from drawing some of the crowds away from the Saturday tours, the intent of the Wednesday tour is to provide a more personal "happy hour" environment and showcase some small-batch specialty "Brewer's Selection" beers. A new oatmeal stout will be available during the first week's tour.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Texas Beers on Craft Beer Radio


A short selection of Texas beers from Southern Star, Saint Arnold and Real Ale were sampled and profiled on a recent podcast of Craft Beer Radio. The podcast is #142 and is entitled, "Only Steers and Beers come from Texas," available for download from their website.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Firehouse Brewpub in Mansfield

The Firehouse Grill & Brewery (not associated with the California chain of the same name) opened in Mansfield on August 1st for full kitchen and bar service. Some minor cosmetic construction is still in progress, and the website is similarly still under development.

A tap wall featuring about 50 local and national craft beers is offered, as well as a full bar and menu. Owners plan for a handful of house beers contracted out to local breweries, hopefully in time for Oktoberfest celebrations or soon thereafter.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Faust Hotel and Brewpub Sold

New Braunfels' historic Faust Hotel and accompanying brewpub, the Faust Brewing Company, have been sold. The new owners, Vance and Priscilla Hinton, are long-time Texas beer and wine lovers, and intend to refurbish the brewpub and restore the full-service restaurant to make more of a complete tourist destination.

Faust Brewing Company has been brewing at the hotel since 1998. Priscilla Hinton is presently co-owner of Kork wine bar in downtown New Braunfels.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Real Ale Brewing Oktoberfest

Blanco's Real Ale is brewing up a new and as-yet unnamed Oktoberfest-style beer, according to a recent Facebook entry. Their first lager, this beer will be brewed using a traditional decoction mash.

A release date or availability have not yet been announced.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Peters in Austin-American Statesman


Long-time Texas brewer Brian Peters was recently profiled in the Austin American-Statesman piece "A stout with... Brian Peters" by Patrick Beach.

Peters is a former owner and brewer of such Austin landmarks as Live Oak Brewing and the former Bitter End brewpub. He is currently the owner and brewer at Austin's newest brewpub, Uncle Billy's Brew & Que.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Real Ale Brewing IPA

Blanco's Real Ale is brewing up a new and as-yet unnamed IPA, according to a recent Facebook entry. A release date or availability have not yet been announced.

Update: False alarm; merely the newest batch of their seasonal IPA, the Lost Gold.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

(512) Brewing First Anniversary

Austin's (512) Brewing is celebrating its first anniversary on August 1st with an open house at the brewery from 2pm to 5pm.

To celebrate, (512) Brewing is also releasing their first anniversary ale, the ONE, a Belgian-style strong ale brewed with organic grains and wildflower honey.

Rahr & Sons in Louisiana News


Rahr & Sons received a short review of their Blonde Lager (mistakenly called their "Golden Lager") by The Town Talk, the local news source for central Louisiana, in a piece entitled "Rahr Golden Lager might be worth a trip to Texas."

Monday, July 06, 2009

Rahr & Sons Wins at US Open

Fort Worth's Rahr & Sons have won more medals at the recent 2009 U.S. Open Beer Championship in Atlanta, Georgia.

The winning beers are as follows:
  • English Pale Ale: Gold for Blind Salamander Pale Ale
  • Muchner Helles: Bronze for Rahr's Blonde Lager
  • Schwarzbier: Silver for Ugly Pug Black Lager
The U.S. Open Beer Championship judges commercial beers in 55 different categories and is open to any commercial brewery or brewpub, domestic or international. A full list of winners is available on their website.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Divine Reserve No. 8

Houston's Saint Arnold plans to brew their limited edition Divine Reserve No. 8 next week, and scheduled for a public release sometime in late September. The Divine Reserve No. 8 will be a strong Scotch ale, based on the winning entry of Houston's recent Big Batch Brew Bash homebrewing competition by Phillip Kaufman.

Spoetzl Celebrates Centennial


This month, the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner celebrates its centennial year in operation. A recent news release detailing a short history of the brewery, picked up by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as "Spoetzl Brewery, once close to last call, marks its 100th birthday", is making the AP rounds in news sources to date as far as Houston, Denver, and Toledo, Ohio.

Update: The same story has also appeared recently in the Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Examiner.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

(512) Expansion and New Beer

Austin's newest brewery, (512) Brewing, has just installed an additional 80-barrel fermentor at their facility, greatly expanding their existing capacity. This is the first major expansion at this brewery, occurring prior to their first anniversary.

(512) Brewing is also planning a new anniversary beer, entitled simply ONE, to celebrate their first year in operation.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rahr & Sons in Star-Telegram


Rahr & Sons was featured in a pair of stories this week in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, both entitled "Rahr & Sons microbrewery boosting production in Fort Worth." The stories detail the installation of two new fermentors and the struggle the brewery has had keeping up with demand for product.

The articles also feature a short profile of the microbrewery and discuss the return this summer of owner Fritz Rahr after an extended absence on a contract job in the Virgin Islands.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Flying Saucer Coming to Garland

A new Texas location of the Flying Saucer chain is planned for the Dallas suburb of Garland, adjacent to Lake Ray Hubbard. This location is scheduled to open in late July.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rahr & Sons Expanding

Fort Worth's Rahr & Sons has just purchased two new 120-bbl fermentation tanks from the Old Dominion Brewing Company of Ashburn, Virginia.

These two tanks are twice the size of any of Rahr's present tanks, and are expected to be in place before the end of the summer. With this addition, the capacity of the Rahr & Sons brewery will reach 6000 barrels per year.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Covey, Rahr Win Medals

Both Fort Worth brewers The Covey Restaurant & Brewery and Rahr & Sons won medals at the 2009 Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition held last month in Los Angeles, California.

The breakdown of the awards is:
  • American-Style Hefeweizen: Bronze for Texas Wheat from The Covey
  • Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale: Silver for 100 from The Covey
  • Münchner-Style Helles: Bronze for Rahr Blonde from Rahr & Sons
  • Smoke-Flavored Beer: Silver for Smokestack Stout from The Covey
  • Strong Scotch Ale (Traditional): Gold for Scotch Ale from The Covey
  • Vienna-Style Lager: Bronze for Vienna Lager from The Covey
The Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition is an annual BJCP-certified competition organized by the Los Angeles County Fair. It is open to any commercially licensed brewpub or brewery, with awards given for 69 different style categories plus a number of substyles.

A full listing of awards is available from the Los Angeles County Fair website.

Update: Rahr & Sons also won a medal at the 2009 North American Beer Awards, an annual competition sponsored by the North American Brewers Association. Rahr & Sons' Ugly Pug won a bronze medal in the Schwarzbier (Black Beer) category.

The North American Beer Awards is held in conjunction with the Mountain Brewers Beer Fest each summer in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Saint Arnold Turns Fifteen

Tuesday, June 9th, marked the fifteenth anniversary for Houston's Saint Arnold Brewing Company. As the oldest Texas microbrewery from the robust number of operations that began throughout the 1990s, Saint Arnold marked the occasion on the Saturday prior with a large anniversary party at the present brewery, as well as several smaller events planned for this week.

Construction still continues at their new facilities just north of downtown Houston. Saint Arnold expects to move into their new brewery location this fall.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Circle Brewing Launches New Website

The planned Circle Brewing of Austin launched an updated version of their website on Friday. The brewery is still in the fundraising and planning stages, with only a few shares left before they can break ground on construction of their facility.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Studs & Suds Microbrew Festival

The second annual Studs & Suds Microbrew Festival was held on Monday at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie. The event was again sponsored by craft beer distributor Ben E. Keith, along with a few beers by Andrews Distributing.

Again, no local brewers were invited, and no beers were offered that are not easily found at local commercial retailers. Attendance was variable as people wandered between the festival and the nearby races but the crowd seemed about the same size as last year.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rahr & Sons Wins Business Award

Rahr & Sons won the Clear Channel Outdoor Excellence in Business Award in April at the 2009 Fort Worth Entrepreneur Expo. The award recognizes the success of a local small business, with Rahr & Sons' revenues growing 31% in 2008 and currently 71% over the same Q1 of last year.

The award consists of a marketing package valued at $25,000 that includes local billboard advertising with 24 weeks of coverage and the services of Clear Channel Outdoor's creative team in the design of promotional materials.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Southern Star Saison

Southern Star's next beer will be a saison, the winner of their first annual homebrewing competition. Of the 43 beers entered, the winning brewers Mark Kizer and Scott Wells of Austin will have their recipe produced and sold by Southern Star, as well as entered on their behalf at the Pro-Am competition of the Great American Beer Festival next year.

The as-yet unnamed saison should be brewed and canned around June or July, and released for sale toward the end of summer.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Direct Sales Bill Misses Calendar

Even with it's recent success reaching the Calendars Committee, the latest version of the direct sales for breweries bill, HB 2904, failed to appear on the schedule published last week for the current legislative session. This ends the progress for the proposed bill and any attempts to change brewery sales restrictions this session.

The bill's sponsor, Representative Jessica Farrar of Houston, has pledged to attempt this bill once again in the next session in 2011, just as she did two years ago.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Shiner Smokehaus

Spoetzl finally announced the release of their newest beer, Shiner Smokehaus, via their Facebook page on Monday, May 4th. The Smokehaus will be a German helles style brewed with mesquite-smoked malt.

Shiner Smokehaus should be available as a summer seasonal in six-packs starting June 1st.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Direct Sales Bill Out of Committee

The bill to allow breweries to sell direct to the public, HB 2094, moved out of the House committee on Licensing & Administrative Procedures yesterday with a 5-2 vote, as reported by the Houston Chronicle in "Small breweries get closer selling on-site."

The bill now moves to the Calendar Committee and still faces the challenge of entering the schedule for a full House vote before the legislature adjourns on June 1st.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Direct Sales Bill Stuck in Committee

The latest status of the direct sales bill HB 2094, which would allow breweries to sell directly to the public, is reported in the Houston Chronicle's piece "11th-hour push made to get changes to help small brewers."

As detailed, the bill is currently stuck in committee and has only a "50-50" chance of moving to a vote before the legislature adjourns on June 1st.

Shiner 100 in New Jersey Media


Spoetzl's 100th anniversary beer, Commemorator, received a review yesterday in a New Jersey online news source, the Asbury Park Press. The piece is entitled "Commemorator is worthy of a 100th anniversary."

Monday, April 27, 2009

New BJ's Planned for 2009

At least two new BJ's Restaurant & Brewery locations are planned for Texas in 2009. New locations are planned for the Dallas area in Mesquite near Town East Mall, as well as one in north Fort Worth near the Alliance Town Center.

BJ's Restaurant & Brewery is a California-based brewpub chain that has entered the Texas market in only the past few years. Because of a quirk of Texas law, the beer at Texas BJ's locations is all brewed under contract with Saint Arnold of Houston.

Both locations are expected to open by late summer 2009.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Edelweiss Brewpub Closed

The Edelweiss Brewery & Restaurant in Alpine has shut down operations indefinitely for reasons yet unknown. Unconfirmed rumors suggest health concerns among the brewer's family.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Brock Wagner on Houston Talk Radio


Brock Wagner of Saint Arnold was the featured guest in Hour 3 of the Michael Berry Show on April 9th on Houston's NewsRadio 740 AM (KTRH). The profile was part of their "Day in the Life" series of interviews with local Houston personalities.

The broadcast is available as a podcast at the KTRH website.

Austin Microbreweries in Daily Texan


A short guide to the Austin microbreweries appeared in the University of Texas' The Daily Texan as "Beer me: Mandy's guide to Austin microbrews." The piece includes brief profiles of Live Oak, Independence and (512) Brewing.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

New Winery Bill Introduced to Sell Beer

As reported by Barry Shlachter of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in "Craft brewers want to sell packaged tours along with samples," another new bill has been introduced to allow Texas wineries to sell beer on-premise.

Sponsored by State Senator Jane Nelson of Tarrant County, SB 1333 was filed on March 4th and is currently in committee. This bill does not include allowing the same privilege for Texas breweries.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Rahr & Sons at Rangers Ballpark


Rahr & Sons made another media appearance in an online video at Dallas' D Magazine entitled, "Rahr Brewery Makes Special Texas Red Beer For The Rangers." This video features Tony Fornby introducing the Texas Red, a beer brewed especially for the Texas Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Rahr & Sons in FW Weekly


Rahr & Sons is featured in this week's Fort Worth Weekly with "A Rahr Breed" by Dan McGraw, including a profile of the brewery and its involvement with the pending state legislation to allow direct sales at breweries.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Texas Brewers in the News

March brought a lot of coverage for Texas brewers, with most focused on the direct sales bills pending before the State legislature:
In other news, Lee Nichols featured an interview with Mike Renfro and his book, Shine On: 100 Years of Shiner Beer, in the Austin Chronicle piece, "Shiner at 100: Spoetzl Brewery."

Also, Saint Arnold's North Texas sales rep Kendra Harrell was briefly profiled in the Dallas Observer food blog "City of Ate" as "10 Questions: Kendra Harrell."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Texas Homebrew Club Report

Just as we recognize Texas microbreweries and brewpubs, the Texas beer industry also owes a debt to the legions of active homebrewers in this state. To make sure that each club receives its share of recognition on this site, this annual Texas Homebrew Club Report will be posted every year at the time of the largest homebrew competition, the Bluebonnet Brew-Off (March 21st).

Total: 19 local homebrew clubs

North Texas

Cap and Hare Homebrew Club (Fort Worth)
Horsemen of the Hopocalypse (Fort Worth)
Knights of the Brown Bottle (Arlington)
North Texas Homebrewers Association (Dallas)

Central Texas

Austin Zealots (Austin)
Bexar Brewers (San Antonio)
Brewers of Cove and Killeen (BOCK) (Killeen)
Hill Country Homebrew Club (Austin)

West Texas

Ale-ian Society (Lubbock)
Basin Brewers Homebrew Club (Midland)
Big Country Homebrewers Association (Abilene)
Wichita's Only Real Tasty Suds (WORTS) (Wichita)

East Texas

Bay Area Mashtronauts (Houston)

South Texas

Bay Area Society of Homebrewers (BASH) (Corpus Christi)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

(512) Brewing Spring Open House

(512) Brewing will hold their Spring Open House on Saturday, March 21st, from 2pm to 5pm at their brewery facilities in Austin. This open house will include a live local band plus the release of their newest beer, the (512) Alt.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Second Yard House to Open in San Antonio

A second Texas location of the California-based beer bar chain Yard House is scheduled to open in San Antonio by October. The new bar will be located on the north loop at The Shops at La Cantera shopping center.

Originally scheduled to open by March, the Houston location of the Yard House at CityCentre has been moved back to December.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Texas Brewers in the News

A busy month for media coverage of Texas brewing. An op-ed piece appeared in UNT's North Texas Daily as a local guide to the best of Denton's liquor stores and other retailers entitled, "Beer Snob's guide to Denton booze shops."

J.R. Labbe of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram mentions Rahr & Sons in an editorial about HB 1062 in another op-ed piece entitled, "Easing restrictions on microbreweries."HB 1062 is current legislation in Austin known as the Texas Brewers Parity Amendment that would allow Texas brewers to sell their product direct to the public.

The Covey's brewmaster Jamie Fulton and Head Chef Sean Merchant again appeared on the cooking portion of the Dallas morning show, WFAA's "Good Morning, Texas." They appeared in a segment called "Valentine's Day Dishes with The Covey," promoting their Valentine's Day specials for both food and beer.

Austin's breweries also received some national media attention with a piece on National Public Radio (NPR) concerning the economic effects within the brewing business entitled, "Brewery Business Hopping Despite Tanking Economy." Featured in this story were Josh Wilson of the Draught House and Kevin Brand of (512) Brewing.

Barry Schlacter of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram posted a review of Spoetzl's Shiner 100 entitled, "Flavorful beer marks Spoetzl's centennial." And Patrick Beach provides a suitable tribute in the Austin American-Statesman to Austin's relocating Ginger Man with his homage, "There's a tear in my beer - the Ginger Man is moving."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Wimberley Brewing Company Open

The Wimberley Brewing Company & Brew Pub opened for business last month in Wimberley. It is part of The Junction, an area of collective restaurants in Wimberley owned and operated by former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Bruce Collie.

About four of their house beers are currently available at the brewpub and a few of the surrounding restaurants in The Junction, with more planned. Other regional craft beers are also offered.

A separate brewpub website is still under development.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Austin Ginger Man Move Delayed

The relocation of Austin's Ginger Man has been known for some time, but its move date has been pushed back several months due to financial delays in the development of the new property to replace it. No definite date has been announced for the move but it will not happen at least until after the annual SXSW music festival in March.

The Ginger Man's new location is 301 Lavaca St, less than a block south than its current and original location of 15 years.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Iron Thistle Wins USBTC Grand Champion

Rahr & Sons' Iron Thistle Scotch Ale has been named the Grand Champion in the Scottish-Style Ale category at the 15th Annual United States Beer Tasting Championship (USBTC). It shares this status with 12 other beers in the Winter 08/09 tasting session, the only Texas beer to do so.

The USBTC is a national blind-tasting competition for commercial U.S. brewers, and attracts several hundred entries each year for judging in 22 different categories. Rahr & Sons beers have won awards at the USBTC for the past four years for their Blonde Lager, Ugly Pug and Summertime Wheat. This is their first Grand Champion award at the USBTC.

Update: The Rahr & Sons Blind Salamander also won first place in the Brown Ale category in the Rockies/Southwest region.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Direct Sales Bill Introduced

Representative Lon Burnam of Tarrant County has introduced legislation to the Texas House of Representatives that would legalize the sale of beer directly from the brewery. Filed February 4th, the bill known as HB 1062, or the Texas Brewers Parity Amendment, includes the language
The holder of a brewer's permit whose premises is located in an area where the sale of ale and malt liquor is legal and who produces at least 1,000 barrels of ale or malt liquor a year may sell ale and malt liquor manufactured or bottled on the permitted premises to ultimate consumers: (1) in unbroken packages for off-premises consumption in an amount that does not exceed 35,000 gallons annually; and (2) for consumption on the brewery premises if the brewery is located in an area where the sale of ale and malt liquor for on-premises consumption is legal.
An identical bill SB 754 was filed today in the State Senate by Senator Wendy Davis, also of Fort Worth.

Current TABC law requires that brewers sell only to distributors and prohibits any direct sales to the public. The direct sales of wine from Texas vineyards was legalized several years ago with no negative consequences to winemakers, distributors or retailers.

Similar legislation was sponsored by Brock Wagner of Saint Arnold two years ago but was defeated.

Update: A slightly modified competing bill, HB 2094, has also been filed by Representative Jessica Farrar of Houston. Farrar sponsored the previous similar legislation that was defeated two years ago.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Rahr's Irish Red Ale

Rahr & Sons has brewed their next seasonal, a robust Irish red ale. The Rahr's Irish Red Ale should be available on draft only at select locations around St. Patrick's Day.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Southern Star Sponsors Next Seasonal

Southern Star is hosting a public amateur homebrewing competition whose winner will be adopted and brewed as their next commercial fall seasonal. The winner will also be entered in the 2009 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Pro-Am competition.

The entry deadline is May 2nd, with full rules and details available on their website.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Texas Brewers in the News

The Rare Breed line of beers from Rahr & Sons was featured by the Houston Community Newspapers, appearing in various forms as The Sun. The article entitled "Beer with benefits: Texas brewery’s sales help endangered species" covers Rahr's work with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.

Spoetzl received a mention in a short article by Charlie Papazian about heritage brewers at the online source Examiner entitled, "America’s small heritage breweries making beer for over 100 years."

Patrick Beach's "This on the final: Check out beer classes at NXNW" article at the Austin American-Statesman touched on a number of Austin events, including beer and cheese classes at North by Northwest, beer dinners at the Alamo Drafthouse and Flying Saucer, and the results of Saint Arnold's Divine Reserve charity auction on eBay.

More details about the impending Saint Arnold move to a new location in downtown Houston were covered in the Houston Chronicle with the article, "Heights-based brewery enjoys growing pains."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Saint Arnold Bottle Changes

For the next couple of months, Saint Arnold will be using a slightly different bottle for their next few batches. Saint Arnold's sales outpaced their bottle manufacturer's supply, and so a different model with a more angular shoulder and larger label area will be substituted temporarily.

Traditional bottles should be back in supply by March.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Whip-In Opens as Beer Bar

Long known as one of the best retail beer stores in Austin, Whip-In has added a full draft-service beer bar to their restaurant operations. A total of 17 taps are now pouring 20-oz "post-colonial" servings of local Texas and select U.S. craft and imported beers, as well as bottle sales available from their general stock.

In-house brewing operations are still under development.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Freetail Strong Beer Dinner

Freetail Brewing in San Antonio is planning their first beer pairing event, the Strong Beer Pairing 2009. This event pairs a five-course meal with a different strong beer for each course, some from other Texas brewers and some new in-house brews.

The event is scheduled for Tuesday, February 17th, at 7pm. Tickets are $50 per person and reservations are recommended.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Big Buck Brewery Now Uncle Buck's

In a bit of belated news, the Big Buck Brewery & Steakhouse in Grapevine changed its name this past October to Uncle Buck's Brewery & Steakhouse.

A Michigan-based chain, the Big Buck brewpub franchise declared bankruptcy last year, closing several out-of-state locations. The Grapevine location was purchased by the adjacent Bass Pro Shops, who now operate it as an independent brewpub and restaurant, prompting the name change.

"Uncle Buck" was the uncle of Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. A redesigned website is still pending.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Saint Arnold Releases 2008 Production Data

In a press release, Saint Arnold has reported an annual production of 22,749 barrels for 2008, a 28% increase over 2007. This marks the fifth straight year of at least 20% growth for the brewery.
200822,749 barrels28%
200717,811 barrels30%
200613,638 barrels25%
200510,946 barrels20%
20049,100 barrels27%
Production at their Houston location is now on a 24-hour schedule. The shift to their new facility north of downtown is slated for June of this year, with further expansion to follow.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

(512) Brewing Goes Organic

Austin's (512) Brewing has made the switch to using USDA certified organic malt for their recipe bases. This two-row barley malt comprises about 80-90% of the ingredients in their pale ale, IPA and porter, and about 50% of their witbier.

This change should be reflected in future tap handles and bottle labels. It is unknown at this time whether (512) will seek formal USDA certification for their beers as well.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Poll Results 2008

Poll 1 (June): Best Brewery in Texas?
  1. Saint Arnold (41%)
  2. Live Oak (33%)
  3. (tie) Rahr & Sons (25%)
    (tie) Real Ale (25%)
Total 12 votes

Poll 2 (July): Best Barleywine in Texas?

  1. Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #6 (38%)
  2. (tie) Live Oak Old Treehugger (15%)
    (tie) Real Ale Sisyphus, before 2005 (15%)
    (tie) Real Ale Sisyphus, after 2005 (15%)
Total 13 votes

Poll 3 (August): Is Spoetzl a Craft Brewer?

  1. Yes (47%)
  2. No (47%)
  3. Perhaps (5%)
Total 17 votes

Poll 4 (September): Best IPA in Texas?

  1. Rahr & Sons Stormcloud (50%)
  2. Saint Arnold Elissa (21%)
  3. Real Ale Lost Gold (17%)
Total 28 votes

Poll 5 (October): Best Oktoberfest in Texas?

  1. Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest (81%)
  2. Franconia Oktoberfest (9%)
  3. Other, not specified (6%)
Total 33 votes

Poll 6 (November): Best Brewpub in Texas?

  1. The Covey (50%)
  2. Other, not specified (16%)
  3. (tie) Blue Star (11%)
    (tie) NXNW (11%)
Total 18 votes

Poll 7 (December): Best New Brewer of 2008?

  1. Southern Star (43%)
  2. Franconia (31%)
  3. (512) (25%)
Total 16 votes