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.