Monday, March 12, 2018

Flying Man Weedhopper Honey Wheat

On vacation...relaxing just as soon as the kids are dropped off at school/day care...and prepping for some daytime adventures in the city for SXSW.  So naturally, some easy-drinking, sessionable beers are on the agenda for the week.  And our slew of local brewers do not disappoint.  Pflugerville's Flying Man Brewing Co. is relatively new to the pack, but have caught my attention with their Weedhopper Honey Wheat, a 5.5% ABV German ale that pours a light, brownish gold with a white head.  Aromas of oats, honey, and florals hit the nose, while notes of honey, molasses, and hops hit the tongue, smooth and light-bodied for these spring days.  Nice.

Visit the brewer.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Red Horn You Be Funky Grand Cru

I'm very often impressed and excited with the products coming out of our local, suburban breweries here in Central Texas, and that excitement never seems to waver.  Last March, in honor of their 2nd anniversary, the good people at Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing released a limited bottled edition of the very first batch of beer they ever made.  You Be Funky is (was) a Grand Cru aged in red wine barrels for over a year with added Brettanomyces yeast as well as Lactobacillus and Pediococcus bacteria.  Naturally i had to have a bottle, and with much restraint that i wasn't aware i was capable of, i then aged the beer an additional year in my pantry, only to be imbibed now...just in time for brewery's 3rd anniversary.  This 8.5% delight pours hazy, coppery brown with an off-white and quickly dissipating head.  Aromas of oak, fruit, and funk abound, while notes of dark fruit, yeast, and even more funk swirl in this sour, medium-bodied brew.  It was wonderful while it lasted...but rumor has it that Red Horn may be busting out some cellar aged beverages this weekend for their anniversary.  Fingers crossed.

Visit the brewer.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Cigar City Jai Alai IPA

A couple of years ago, i ventured southeast to Tampa Bay, Florida to meet up with an old friend of mine on a quick weekend excursion of football.  While we were there we hit up a local brewery that was walking distance from our hotel (a kind of ghetto HoJo), and in doing so discovered one of the best breweries i've ever been to.  Seriously.  Tampa Bay, Florida is home to one of the best breweries in the country.  We couldn't believe it either.  But it is fact, and i will forever more be a cheerleader for Cigar City Brewing and all of their wonderful beers.  Anyway, i kind of assumed it was going to be awhile before i was able to sample their wares again, but lo and behold, 2018 brings a distribution deal that lands Cigar City right here in Central Texas.  Offerings are scarce for the moment, but i will admit that i did a little dance of joy when i came across the Jai Alai IPA at my local grocery store.  Named for an old sport of Spanish origin, the beer pours a crisp, transparent gold with a frothy white head.  Aromas of citrus, pine, and tropical fruit abound, also making their presence in the flavor of the beer, along with plenty of hop notes and some back end bitterness.  All in all, a very solid 7.5% ABV IPA, and i hope just the first in a long line of brews to make their into Texas.

Visit the brewer.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Whitestone Quadrivium Series #1

I've been meaning to write about this brew for a while now, but for some reason kept getting sidetracked or distracted the last few weeks.  So today's the day...and it's probably not even available anymore.  Anyway, back at the start of the new year, i was fortunate enough to score a bottle of Whitestone Brewery's Quadrivium Series #1 (of 4) from the taproom in Cedar Park.  The beer is a 10% ABV Belgian Quad aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels...and it's fantastic.  Pouring a dark brown color with some amber hints and a white head, the brew smells of malt, molasses, oak, and bourbon.  The flavor is a lovely mix of brown sugar, caramel, malt, and some notes of booze, but much smoother than anticipated.  A perfect beer for the end of winter.  I wish i had bought more.  In the meantime, i should probably get myself back there to get bottle #2.  Great job Whitestone.

Visit the brewer.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Saint Arnold Bishop's Barrel #19

Still trying to sneak in the more holiday-esque brews before springtime really gets up and running, so here's the absolutely wonderful Bishop's Barrel #19 from Saint Arnold.  This lovely 8.9% ABV concoction takes the brewer's Christmas Ale as the base, and then ages it in Chardonnay barrels with added cherries and three different strains of brettanomyces.  Pouring a kind of ruby gold, the beer smells of fruit and yeast, with some definite funky notes, and an overall tartness.  Said tartness is also prevalent in the flavor, a mix of sweet and tart cherries, Chardonnay, oak, spices, and the ever present brett, all in a medium bodied brew.  Top notch.

Visit the brewer.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Christie The American Blonde Ale

I've been gradually attempting to sample all of the newer breweries popping up around the Austin area, not always an easy feat when you've got two young kiddos, but i'm starting to get to them one by one.  Austin's Hi-Sign Brewing is one i've been meaning to get to for a little while now, and with their canned product recently discovered at our grocery store, and our 2-year old's birthday party last Saturday, the time was nigh to give them a go.  What?  There are adults at these things too.  Anyway, Christie The American Blonde Ale was a great first taste to go on.  The beer pours golden and smells of light malts and notes of spice and herbs.  The 5.6% ABV brew hits cold and smooth, a touch of sweet that ends on a slightly peppery finish, and ridiculously easy to drink.  Christie would be a great addition to any gathering, 2-year-olds or not.  I'm looking forward to drinking this one in the spring.

Visit the brewer.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Silver City Wonderland Winter Lager

I'm gonna sneak in a couple more winter/holiday brews while i still can.  It's warming up around here, so my window is closing.  Because i have amazing friends (Aleena, you're the best!), i got a little stockpile of Washington beers for Christmas that i've been enjoying immensely.  First at bat was the Wonderland Winter Lager from the always dependable Silver City Brewing.  This 7% ABV Vienna-stile lager brewed with 5 different German and domestic malts pours a lovely brown with a minimal white head.  Aromas of malt, spices, and chocolate abound.  The flavor is malty mix of chocolate notes, caramel, dark fruit, molasses, and spice, with just a hint of booze.  What a fantastic winter time brew!

Visit the brewer.