Saturday, December 31, 2011

Peticolas Brewing Opens

DALLAS - Peticolas Brewing became the latest operational craft brewery in Texas with their first brew day this last week of 2011.

Located just blocks away from the Meddlesome Moth, Peticolas is the second craft brewery to open in Dallas in the past few months after the city's lack of any production breweries for many years. Beers are expected to show up on local taps soon into the new year.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale

SHINER - Spoetzl Brewery has received label approval for their next new beer called Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale.

The pale ale style marks another rare departure from traditional German styles for Spoetzl. There are indications this beer may serve as the 103rd installment in their continued line of special anniversary beers.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jester King Recalls Beer

AUSTIN - Jester King has issued an official recall of their Commercial Suicide dark mild beers due to uncontrolled bottle conditioning.

In a statement, Jester King has admitted that "the fermentation has continued to a point where bottles may now be showing significant signs of leakage and may gush extensively upon opening." The brewery is asking all retailers and consumers to return any unopened bottles for exchange with one of their other products.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Adelbert's Brewery Opens

AUSTIN - Adelbert's Brewery became the latest craft brewery to open in Texas with their first bottled beers made available for sale just before Christmas.

Based in North Austin and named for the brewer's late brother, Adelbert's plans to focus on bottle-conditioned Belgian styles. No news yet on whether beers will be available on local retail taps.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dallas Brewers in D Magazine

DALLAS - The three new Dallas-area commercial craft breweries will be featured in the January 2012 issue of
D Magazine.

Brief profiles are included of Peticolas Brewing, Lakewood Brewing and the already operating Deep Ellum Brewing as well as the owners and brewers themselves in an article entitled "Dallas Brews" by David Hopkins.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jester King Wins Judgment Against TABC

AUSTIN - A federal court ruled Monday in Jester King's favor on several key issues in a suit brought against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).

Judge Sam Sparks of the US District Court ruled in favor of Jester King, Authentic Beverages Company and Austin's Zax Restaurant & Bar with regard to their First Amendment challenges of restrictive beer labeling laws included in the TABC Code. As a result, breweries will no longer be bound by arbitrary label definitions of "beer," "ale" or "malt liquor," or descriptions of strength or alcohol content that have proved troublesome in the past.

Judge Sparks writes:
Although the Code is free to define "beer" and "ale" as it sees fit, Texas may not compel malt beverage producers to use those terms, and only those terms, in advertising and labeling. Accordingly, all statutes and regulations that compel such speech, including Texas Administrative Code, Title 16, Sections 45.77 and 45.90, are declared unconstitutional. Again, nothing prevents Texas or TABC from passing appropriate regulations requiring producers to include accurate statements about the alcohol content of their products in labeling or advertising; absent a constitutionally sound justification, however, Texas may not dictate the exact words producers must use to do so.
The restriction of brewers advertising or promoting retail locations where their products can be purchased was also lifted, with some Texas breweries already preparing their websites to include commercial listings.

However, Judge Sparks ruled that the plaintiffs failed to produce sufficient evidence for overturning the restriction of direct sales from breweries, citing:
Authentic bears the burden of demonstrating there is no reasonably conceivable basis which might support the classifications in the challenged sections of the Code...
The ruling affirmed Texas has the right to regulate businesses in such a way, with changes in this respect necessarily coming through the legislature.

The TABC responded favorably, releasing a statement that said they have no plans to appeal.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jester King Thrash Metal

AUSTIN - Jester King is set to release their latest beer this week, the Thrash Metal Farmhouse Strong Ale.

Per their blog, the Thrash Metal ale "is an homage to thrash metal music" and a "sibling" to their Black Metal Imperial Stout. It will be a golden ale made with pilsner, wheat and caramunich malts with a strong dose of American hops, and should finish at 9% ABV.

Thrash Metal will not be part of Jester King's regular lineup but an occasional release, "when the mood happens to strike us."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pedernales Brewing Opens

FREDERICKSBURG - The Pedernales Brewing Company became the latest craft brewery to open in Texas with a grand opening this weekend.

Located in Fredericksburg, Pedernales Brewing held a small opening celebration last Saturday with a crowd of about 300 people. An official company website is still under development.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spoetzl Wins European Awards

SHINER - Spoetzl Brewery won a total of three medals at the European Beer Star Awards held this past October at the Doemens Academy in Munich.

The winning beers and respective categories were:
  • German-Style Märzen: Silver for Shiner Oktoberfest
  • Bohemian-Style Schwarzbier: Bronze for Shiner Bohemian Black Lager
  • Düsseldorf-Style Altbier: Bronze for Shiner Old Time Alt
Organized by the Association of Private Breweries in Germany, this is the eighth year for the European Beer Star Awards, which included 1113 entries in 49 categories. This is the second consecutive year for Spoetzl to medal at this international competition.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Freetail Purchases Bottling Line

    SAN ANTONIO - Freetail Brewing has purchased a commercial bottling line, making them the first brewpub in Texas to install such equipment.

    Although current Texas law prohibits brewpubs from selling their products through commercial distributors and retailers, owner and brewer Scott Metzger believes "[e]ventually, the laws unfairly restricting Texas businesses in favor of out-of-state brewpubs will change,” and that this investment will justify itself in the future.

    Meanwhile, the bottling line will be used to bottle Freetail's popular seasonal releases in the larger 22-oz format, all of which sell out almost instantly. Bottles should be available for sale only at the brewpub as early as December.

    Saturday, November 05, 2011

    Peticolas Featured in Texas Lawyer

    DALLAS - Michael Peticolas of the new Peticolas Brewing currently under development was featured in a recent edition of Texas Lawyer.

    A lawyer by trade, Peticolas was profiled as well as interviewed about the quirks of Texas laws for beer and brewing, in particular about the pending suit filed by Jester King against the TABC. Peticolas is currently building a new brewery in Dallas that should be open later this year.

    Monday, October 31, 2011

    Sugar Land Flying Saucer Opens

    SUGAR LAND - The newest location of the Texas-based Flying Saucer Draught Emporium has opened in Sugar Land, southwest of Houston.

    This site becomes the fifteenth national location of the Flying Saucer chain, and the seventh overall to open in Texas.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    Jester King Sues TABC

    AUSTIN - Jester King has filed a motion in federal court for summary judgment against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).

    Along with two other co-plaintiffs, Jester King is challenging the TABC Code requirements regarding the content and wording contained on beer labels, such as the arbitrary "ale" or "malt liquor" legal designations and prohibited terms that may reflect alcoholic strength. Such unnecessary requirements have long been problematic for out-of-state breweries seeking label approval for their products to be sold in Texas.

    Another change sought is the restriction on brewers in advertising or communicating retail locations where their products may be purchased, a legal holdover from a stricter three-tier interpretation. Jester King is seeking the elimination of both these current restrictions on the basis that they violate the right to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

    Jester King is also challenging the restriction of breweries from selling direct to the public and that of brewpubs selling to retailers or distributors, both changes that were pushed unsuccessfully in the last legislative session. The claim against the TABC Code here is violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    A third challenge involves the requirement of foreign breweries to obtain a separate licence to sell their products in Texas, an additional burden that is not requried of foreign wineries or distilleries.

    A ruling on this case is expected sometime later this year.

    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    Shiner Ryes & Shine Rye Lager

    SHINER - Spoetzl Brewery plans to release the Shiner Ryes & Shine Rye Lager, a dark brown lager that is their interpretation of the German rye beer style.

    This beer will be the second in the Brewer's Pride series from Spoetzl, the first being their Shiner Old-Time Alt. Both are sold bundled in their "Family Reunion" multi-packs, and should be available by December.

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Hops & Grains Opens

    AUSTIN - Hops & Grain will become Austin's newest commercial brewery when their beers will be available for the first time at area events next week.

    Despite the theft of almost 2000 feet of copper wiring from their building last week, Hops & Grain decided to go ahead with plans to debut their beer at several area locations as well as a "Karma Fest" party held at the brewery. The brewery plans to eventually package and sell Hops & Grain beers in aluminum cans instead of bottles.

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Deep Ellum Brewing Opens

    DALLAS - Deep Ellum Brewing Company has finally cleared all paperwork hurdles and will be brewing its first commercial batch this week.

    Deep Ellum Brewing becomes the first commercial package brewery to operate in Dallas since 2006. Bottling operations are planned but will not be operational for at least several months. Beers should be available on local draft accounts within just a few weeks.

    Monday, October 03, 2011

    Texas Brewers at 2011 GABF

    DENVER, CO - Winners were announced over the weekend at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival, with brewpubs dominating the Texas medal winners this year.
    Recognized Texas brewers include:
    The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is an annual event sponsored by the Brewers Association, the professional organization for the craft brewing industry. This 30th annual competition included 2375 entries from 466 brewers with a total festival attendance of more than 49,000.

    Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded for beers in 83 different style categories plus a separate pro-am competition.

    Saturday, October 01, 2011

    Zio Carlo Magnolia Brew Pub Opens

    FORT WORTH - After years of development and delays, Zio Carlo Magnolia Brew Pub opened this week on Magnolia Avenue district south of downtown Fort Worth.

    Although on-site kitchen and brewing facilities are still under construction, owner Carlo Galotto opened to serve commercial craft beers until his own beers are available.

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

    New Wicked Beaver Beers

    WOLFFORTH - Wicked Beaver Brewing has received label approval for two of their beers, the Timber Ale and Midnight Ale.

    Both 8% ABV ales, the Timber Ale will be an American-style IPA and the Midnight Ale will be a black IPA style.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Saint Arnold Sailing Santa

    HOUSTON - Saint Arnold has just received label approval for a new beer named Sailing Santa, described as "[a] perfect blend of our Elissa IPA and Christmas Ale."

    No word yet on when this beer will be released, or how widely it will be available.

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Jester King Das Wunderkind

    AUSTIN - Jester King has received label approval for their Das Wunderkind farmhouse ale.

    Per their website, Das Wunderkind will be a "Franco-Belgian inspired farmhouse session ale aged in French oak wine barrels" with an ABV of about 4.2%.

    Friday, September 02, 2011

    Karbach Brewing Opens

    HOUSTON - Karbach Brewing Company became the newest Texas craft brewery as it officially opened at an event this week. Beers should now be available commercially at select places around Houston.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Saint Arnold Dumps 11,000 Gallons

    HOUSTON - Saint Arnold announced it had to dump 11,000 gallons of its first batch of the new Santo beer, delaying its release from the initially scheduled date of September 1st.

    According to a press release: "After filtering a batch this week and getting it ready for packaging we tasted it. It was good, but it was missing that spark that separates a good beer from a great beer." Rather than proceed with bottling and distribution, owner and founder Brock Wagner decided to dispose of the entire initial batch and start again with a few recipe modifications.

    No official rescheduled release date has been announced but a first batch should be available by October.

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Divine Reserve No. 11 Year-Round

    HOUSTON - In a brief Twitter announcement, Saint Arnold owner Brock Wagner confirmed that the Divine Reserve No. 11 will be produced as a year-round beer sometime next year.

    A name for the new beer, a double IPA and the most recent of the Divine Reserve series, has not yet been determined.

    Saturday, August 20, 2011

    Karbach Hopadillo IPA

    HOUSTON - Another label approval has been obtained by new brewer Karbach Brewing for their Hopadillo IPA.

    Recent Facebook messages indicate the brewery is currently in production and should have beers available for sale to the public by mid-September.

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Wicked Beaver Brewing Opens

    WOLFFORTH - Wicked Beaver Brewing has become the latest Texas craft brewery, receiving their state licensing this week.

    Located just southwest of Lubbock, brewers Michael Adams and Che Shadle are planning to have beers available for their first public events by mid-September.

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Saint Arnold Centenni-Ale

    HOUSTON - Saint Arnold has received label approval for two new beers of a seemingly limited edition series named Centenni-Ale to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Rice University.

    No word yet on intended styles for these beers, named simply Centenni-Ale Blonde Ale and Centenni-Ale Dark Ale, nor when or how widely these beers will be available.

    Tuesday, August 02, 2011

    Saint Arnold Pumpkinator

    HOUSTON - Saint Arnold has announced it will rebrand their popular Divine Reserve No. 9, the imperial pumpkin stout, and release it as a fall seasonal beer named Pumpkinator.

    Monday, August 01, 2011

    Ranger Creek RE:SESSION

    SAN ANTONIO - Ranger Creek is releasing a new series of limited-run beers named RE:SESSION, with the first two beers available now at select locations in San Antonio, Austin and Houston.

    With economic pun in hand, this product line will focus on more sessionable beers unlike most expensive, high-gravity limited releases. The first two beers are the RE:SESSION IPA at 5.5% and 55 IBUs and the RE:SESSION Wheat at 5.1%.

    Sunday, July 31, 2011

    Karbach Sympathy for the Lager

    HOUSTON - New brewer Karbach Brewing Company just received approval for their labels of Sympathy for the Lager, which may indicate the brewery is close to beginning commercial brewing.

    Of note, this is the first Texas beer label seen to include the QR code on the label for the product.

    Saturday, July 30, 2011

    Middleton Brewing Opens

    WIMBERLEY - Middleton Brewing became the most recent independent craft brewery in Texas this month and are now licensed to sell to the public.

    Owner and brewer Dennis Middleton also operates a homebrewing supply retail store adjacent to the brewery, and is frequently the focal point for area club meetings and instructional events. A grand opening celebration is planned for August 20th.

    Friday, July 29, 2011

    Spec's to Open in North Texas

    DALLAS - Houston-based chain Spec's Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods has plans to open two or three stores in the greater Dallas area, with the first opening before the end of the year.

    Currently with 93 stores and a goal of expanding state-wide, North Texas is the last major metro area in Texas without any Spec's locations.

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    Pecan Street Brewing Opens

    JOHNSON CITY - Pecan Street Brewing became the latest independent Texas brewpub to open earlier this month in Johnson City. A formal grand opening celebration is scheduled for August 27th.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Freetail Suspends Location Search

    SAN ANTONIO - Freetail Brewing has suspended indefinitely its plans for a second brewpub location, citing "an increasing level of resistance in capital markets."

    Owner and brewer Scott Metzger had previously announced plans to expand this past spring, with Houston being the location of choice.

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Saint Arnold Santo

    HOUSTON - Saint Arnold will release a new beer, Santo, on September 1st as reported recently by Craft Austin. This beer will be a limited-run dark koelsch-style ale around 4.9% ABV.

    Rumors suggest this may be the beginning of a new series of limited-release beers by Saint Arnold, but no official word has yet been released.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Big Texan Opens Brewpub

    AMARILLO - The Big Texan Steak Ranch, the Route 66 steak house made famous for its offer of a free 72-ounce steak to anyone who can finish it, has added licensed brewing operations to its restaurant.

    The addition effectively makes the Big Texan the state's newest brewpub. Restaurant co-owner and homebrewer Danny Lee is initially offering six beers to customers using a partial mash/DME system, with plans for expansion to 900 square feet of dedicated brewing space.

    Saturday, July 09, 2011

    Franconia Plans to Bottle

    MCKINNEY - Franconia Brewing is developing plans for a bottling format to include special 1-liter flip-top returnable bottles, according to Jesse Hughey of the Dallas Observer.

    Several North Texas liquor stores have agreed to participate in the environmental-friendly bottle program but negotiations with larger retailers continues. Franconia bottles are expected to be available before the end of the year.

    Friday, July 08, 2011

    ABInBev Buys Area Codes for Beer

    Anheuser-Busch (ABInBev) has applied for federal trademarks for metropolitan area codes around the US, including "713" for Houston and "214" for Dallas.

    ABInBev already own Goose Island Beer Company, which makes a 312 craft beer named after a local Chicago area code. The brewery may be preparing to release their own competing products in local markets under these region-specific brand names.

    Friday, July 01, 2011

    Flix Brewhouse Opens

    ROUND ROCK - The Flix Brewhouse movie-tavern opened this week to show first-run movies and provide a full-service restaurant with an on-site brewpub as well as a selection of craft beers.

    Independence Brewing's head brewer Justin Rizza is leaving his position with the Austin brewery and will be running the Round Rock brewpub operations. Flix should be brewing and selling their own house beers within a few weeks.

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    Whip-In Buys Brewhouse

    AUSTIN - In their continual evolution, Austin's Whip-In convenience mart and "parlour café" has purchased a brewhouse, as reported by Beertown Austin.

    No word yet on a brewer, but Whip-In plans to be selling their own Belgian- and English-style house beers by the spring of 2012.

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    New Beers from Hops and Grain

    AUSTIN - Brewery under development Hops and Grain recently received can label approval for two of their beers, their Pale Dog pale ale and Alteration altbier, which may indicate they are close to officially opening.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    More New Texas Brewers

    Again, several new Texas craft brewers have come to our attention at various stages of planning, development and construction:

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Rahr & Sons The Regulator

    FORT WORTH - Another beer label was just approved for Rahr & Sons special 22-oz bottled "To Thee" series: The Regulator, a traditional German doppelbock.

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    Texas Brewing Legislation Fails

    AUSTIN - All three pending bills in the State House of Representatives were left to expire as the current Texas legislative session ended this week.

    House bills HB 602, HB 660 and HB 2436 all dealt with modest modifications to the state's TABC codes for selling beer directly to the public. HB 660 and HB 2436 were left pending in committee, whereas HB 602 successfully passed committee but was never placed on the calendar. None were ever scheduled for a vote on the House floor.

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Austin Beerworks Opens

    AUSTIN - The newest Texas craft brewer opened this weekend, with Austin Beerworks officially pouring its first beers commercially at the Texas Craft Beer Fest in Waco.

    Along with a fully updated website, Austin Beerworks plans to bypass bottling operations and sell only canned beers for the Austin area and eventually state-wide.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Twisted X Brewing Opens

    CEDAR PARK - Twisted X Brewing Company became the newest independent Texas brewery at an Austin event this week (official opening, May 5th -- Cinco de Mayo).

    Twisted X Brewing is located in Cedar Park just outside of Austin and plans to produce several beers with a "Tex-Mex" flair.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Saturday, May 07, 2011

    New Republic Brewing Opens

    COLLEGE STATION - The New Republic Brewing Company has become the latest craft brewery to open commercially in Texas, now fully licensed.

    Draft products will be available as soon as this weekend, with bottles to follow after a few months.