Sunday, January 24, 2010

Special Beer Event in Houston

After a wonderfully beer-filled Holiday season, the celebrating just seems to keep rolling on. It is well known here in Houston how the foodie world is interconnected and how well they work together on events and special projects. Local chefs visit each other's restaurants and host friendly "throwdown"-type events to the delight of food lovers all over the city.

Well, this same phenomenon is starting to appear in the beer community in Houston as well. I believe that owners of beer-centric bars have discovered that there is enough room in this fair city of ours that collaboration is better served than outright competition. To that end, The Petrol Station in Garden Oaks and The Flying Saucer in downtown have decided to collaborate on a week long event in February celebrating Stone's Vertical Epic Series from the past six years. This is truly an exciting event.

Starting Monday, February 15 on alternating days starting with the Saucer, each bar will have one of the Vertical Epic beers starting with the 2004 vintage. This event will culminate at Petrol Station on February 20 with a big party. There will be other specially ordered beers for this occasion as well. There are also rumors of special prizes if a person makes it to each day's event (hopefully more on that later). Tappings will start at 7 pm each day and there will be a band at Petrol Station on the 20th.

I am extremely excited about this event and I hope to make it to each day's event. If the rumors are true the prize will be very much worth the effort. Good luck to all that may try this marathon. I'll see you at the Saucer and Petrol Station. Slainte!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8

Tomorrow is the release of a much anticipated beer in and around Houston and Texas. Good luck to all looking for the Scotch Ale. I'll be out there with everyone trying to get mine as well. Have been looking forward to this one since Saint Arnold said they were entering it into the Great American Beer Festival competition. Cheers!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Saint Arnold Oktoberfest

Okay so it is late August and still blazing hot here in Houston. And we all wish that it could cool down just a little bit, say down into the low 90's! However, one of the first signs of the impending fall season (other than pre-season football!!!) has arrived on shelves here and other Texas locations. It's Oktoberfest time! I actually saw Sam Adams Octoberfest in my local Spec's before I saw Saint Arnold's offering at the grocery store but my wife would have kicked me out of the house if I had brought home Sam before the Saint!

As fall approaches, I love to find as many of the special Fall brews that pop up around town. But since I like to tout the local boys as much as I can, I have to have this once first. Unlike the traditional Octoberfest beers, Saint Arnold's Oktoberfest is an ale made with Munich-style malts. This Oktoberfest pours orange/red with a light slightly tan head. The aroma is sweet, caramel and flowery. The caramel sweetness really hits you right off the bat as you taste it but it is nicely balanced with Saaz and Hallertauer hops on the way down.

There is nothing like going camping with friends as the first cold front of the season pushes through. Sitting around talking, laughing and keeping warm while sipping on an Oktoberfest is like a little bit of heaven on Earth.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Real Ale Lost Gold IPA

Real Ale has made one of my favorite beers to get on draft for years, Full Moon Rye. Based in Blanco, Texas, this brewery just celebrated their 13th anniversary and annually release their Lost Gold IPA in the summer. It is only available on draft but is not widely distributed. I've had this beer before while visiting Austin but it has recently landed in Houston and I was able to partake at the Flying Saucer.

Lost Gold is a classic American style IPA with cascade, columbus, amarillo and summit hops. With an IBU of 55 it is not extremely bitter but the hops do hit you on the nose right away. The malts do come out on the back of the tongue and balance the hops out. It ends crisply and finishes cleanly. It is a beautifully balanced beer and quite possibly the best IPA made in the state of Texas. Shame that this is a seasonal offering and not available year round.

I'd love to have a blind taste test with the various IPAs made in Texas to truly see the how each compare and contrast with each other. Maybe some place could have a tasting and/or judging of this style or some other. Just an idea......

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wow! I know it's been a while since my last post and I don't have many posts but I just found out I actually have a follower or two. I am feeling a little proud. So I believe I now have to be better about this blogging thing. So let me tell a story about last night....

Some friends at work and I have occasionally set up happy hours for random Fridays. Well, it had been a while since out last outing and we were feeling the itch. Normally we would go to the Buffalo Wild Wings which is closest to work because it was convenient for all of us. However, this time I felt like we needed to stretch our wings and try something out of the norm for everyone. So I convinced the gang to go to the Flying Saucer in Downtown Houston. Now most of these guys are the typical Mass Produced Light Lager drinkers. Knowing that, I was able to get them try some other things outside of their comfort zone.

For one it was Saint Arnold Summer Pils, for another it was Spaten Octoberfest, for still another in was Southern Star Pine Belt Pale. I felt proud that these guys were trying new things and enjoying the beers in front of them. I'll take that as progress. Even though I know that they will return to drink the Mass Produced Stuff tomorrow. I am not sure if this will happen again but I am hopeful that they take something away from this experience. Next time they are at the grocery store, if they pass up the Mass Produced stuff and ponder the craft beers sitting right next to them I will declare this a victory. is why I love beer! Everyone has different tastes and everyone can find a beer that suits them.

As for myself, I was all over the map last night: Victory Prima Pils, Full Sail Pale, Real Ale Lost Gold IPA. More on Lost Gold later. Thanks to those that discovered this blog and I will try to post a little more consistently in the future.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Anniversary Trip

My wife and I will be taking our annual excursion to celebrate our anniversary this weekend.  We always try to plan a trip around areas were we can drink good beer.  This year we are traveling to Austin with side trips to San Antonio and Fredricksberg.  In San Antonio we are going to visit Freetail Brewing.  Fredricksberg is, of course, home to the Fredricksberg Brewing Co. and everyone should know Austin's beer scene.  However this the first time we have visited since the introduction of (512) Brewery.

Our first stop is Freetail on Friday for lunch.  I am really looking forward to this trip.  I will blog about the different places we go and the multitude of beers we experience.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A New Start

Yeah, I am a new blogger.  Just what the world needs, I know.   I have no illusions that this blog will change the world or even the world of beer.  But I love beer and I love trying all kinds of beer.   The more beers I have had the more I would like to share my thoughts and reactions to those beers.  

Living in Texas we have a renaissance occurring.  The old barriers which have stood since the fall of prohibition have slowly begun to crumble and an influx of new and diverse brews have hit the shelves here in Houston and all across Texas.  We are still way behind such places as California and Colorado but the gap is closing.  I am all for the introduction of new beers into the state (and I am willing to try them all), but Texas needs to develop its own identity as well.

Microbreweries and brew pubs are few and far between in this great state but I also believe that strides are being made in this area.  With the opening of no less than four breweries and/or brew pubs in the last year, that increases the output of craft beer in the state dramatically.  Support your local breweries and brew pubs.  They put themselves out there because they love what they do.  And I for one love that they do.  

I may not love or even like every beer I drink and review, but I promise to be honest and forthcoming.  Please come on this journey with me.  Thanks for reading.