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