Monday, October 16, 2017

Red Horn Watermelon Crawl Gose

I know in the Fall i'm usually bonkers for pumpkin ales and Oktoberfests, and when it finally starts getting cooler here in central Texas, darker, heavier brews are usually my favorites, but when one of your local brewers makes a watermelon gose, you drink the damn watermelon gose.  And it certainly helps when it's as fantastic as the Watermelon Crawl Gose from Red Horn here in Cedar Park.  Coming in at 4.75% ABV, and pouring a hazy gold, the beer smells of wheat, yeast, fruit, and some floral hints.  Crisp and tart, but not overly so, the watermelon notes mesh nicely with the salt and sour, making for a ridiculously easy beer to drink.  I could drink this all day, Fall or not.

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale

I was a little torn about writing about Elysian Brewing, as i'm no fan of the continued AB InBev acquisition of smaller craft breweries.  It feels like selling out the little guy.  But, good beer is good beer, and Elysian's Night Owl Pumpkin Ale is a good beer.  And we are knee deep in pumpkin spice season anyway, so i suppose it's worth noting.  Pouring a hazy, amber-ish gold with a crisp white head, the 6.7% ABV brew smells of pumpkin and your usual assortment of pumpkin spices like nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and allspice.  The flavor is slightly sweet, the spices playing well with notes of caramel and molasses in a smooth and easily drinkable beer, a perfect, albeit corporate, Fall brew.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

TUPPS Full Grown Jack Pumpkin Spiced Imperial Stout

Yes, it's pumpkin ale season, and there doesn't really seem to be too much out there this year that i haven't tried or written about before, though i did get a delightfully strong brew from a new brewery in Texas this weekend.  The Full Grown Jack Pumpkin Spiced Imperial Stout from TUPPS Brewery in McKinney, Texas is a 12.1% ABV punch to the face.  The beer pours a dark black with minimal head and smells of pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, malts, and a little booze.  The flavor is a robust mix of pumpkin and pumpkin spices with some notes of vanilla and liquorice that really start to stand out as the beer sits at room temperature.  It's complex, full-bodied, and definitely on the heavy side.  Enjoy for sure, but drink with caution.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Coronado Guava Islander Tropical IPA

During a trip to San Diego a couple of years, i was fairly taken with a lot of the beer coming out of Southern California, with the selections from Coronado Brewing being particularly delicious.  I figured it would be a while before i was able to sample their wares again, but lo and behold, the brewery is canning and distributing to Central Texas now.  Oh happy day.  Anyway, nothing pairs with a hot Texas day quite like a fruity IPA, and Coronado's Guava Islander Tropical IPA really hits the spot.  Pouring a hazy gold with a frothy, white head, the beer smells of citrus, spices, pine, grass, and tropical fruit.  Flavors of guava, grapefruit, citrus, and hints of bread swirl together nicely with a strong, bitter finish, and weighs in at 7% ABV.  More places should send their beers here.

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad

With so many different styles of beer out there, each with its own pros and cons, and each with its own suitable weather for optimal drinking, it can be kind of hard to choose some days, especially here in Central Texas where it's hot all the time.  That being said, i think anytime is a good time for an abbey-style quadrupel, particularly when it's been aged in bourbon barrels.  The Bourbon Barrel Quad from Boulevard Brewing is a great way to start or end an evening or afternoon, but should be treated with a little caution, as its 11.2% ABV can certainly make things hazy.  Pouring a a dark brown with white head, the beer smells of dark fruit, oak, yeast, and booze.  Notes of toffee, spices, and bourbon abound with some slight hints of cherry all in a medium bodied brew.  It's quite tasty.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Celis White

Although i was too young to be able to really enjoy, and i was not nearly versed enough in beer outside of your standard American lager when i first made my way to Austin back in the late 90's, I was really bummed when Austin's Celis Brewery closed down back in 2000.  It was part of a larger wave of change in the city at the time, with many of the old stalwarts, bars, clubs, stores, and more, shuttering and making way for the oncoming gentrification and commodification that would come to Austin in over the next 15 years.  Celis ended up being acquired by Miller, and then just kind of disappeared here in Texas.  As the trademark passed hands over the next few years, it somehow, by the grace of whatever higher power you want to have faith in, ended up with the daughter of the original owner here in Austin.  And now it's back.  And i'm stoked.  Kicking it off with an old classic, the Belgian-style Witbier, Celis White pours a light, slightly murky gold with a quick dissipating white head, and smells of wheat, orange, and coriander.  The beer is crisp and tasty, the notes of orange and coriander never overpowering the brew, and meshing well with hints of spice and sweetness.  And it all comes in at 4.9% ABV...and it's hot this all day.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Buffalo Bayou Raspberry Rotundone

With much of my state still underwater, and as post storm hardships begin in earnest, i figured i would leave the Pacific Northwest and come back to Texas this week, and Houston in particular.  As the city and the surrounding areas start to cope and rebuild, maybe imbibe one of the community's finer wares if they're accessible to you.  A great one to start with is the delicious Raspberry Rotundone Saison from Buffalo Bayou Brewing.  The beer pours a beautiful reddish hue with a foamy off-white head and smells of fruit, spice, a hint of earthiness, and lots and lots of raspberries (naturally).  The raspberries are at the forefront of the brew's flavor, meshing with a slight tartness and notes of spice.  As the beer warms, those spicy notes get stronger, leaving the whole affair with a much dryer finish than expected.  If you can, drink one of these 9% ABV wonders today, and then maybe donate some money to relief efforts.

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