Monday, September 26, 2016

Austin Beerworks Montecore Oktoberfest

I was fortunate enough to hit up this year's Texas Craft Brewers Festival on Saturday for an afternoon without kids, plenty of sunshine (and some rain), and a slew of great beers from all over the state.  It's kind of hard to pick a favorite, as i had a lot of good stuff and i have a penchant for forgetting what i've imbibed as i'm not writing anything down, though No Label's Off Label Peanut Butter Chocolate Time and Big Bend's Marfa Light are close contenders.  But, being as it's that time of year, and it was my first taste of the day, i'm going to give it up to Montecore, a collaborative marzen-style (Oktoberfest) brew from Austin Beerworks and local beer garden Easy Tiger.  The 6% ABV beer was crisp and gold and clear with light aromas of malt and Bavarian hops, and was smooth and tasty, said malt and hops running down the palette like a cool elixir on a hot central Texas autumn day.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Boulevard Funky Pumpkin

Finally a beer for fans of pumpkin ales and sour brews, Boulevard Brewing's Funky Pumpkin is a style unto itself, a wholly original concoction that surprised me as to how much i enjoyed it.  On paper, a sour pumpkin ale probably sounds like a terrible idea, but in practice, it totally works.  Funky Pumpkin pours a hazy gold with a light and dissipating white head and smells of bread and light spices with a tiny hint of pumpkin.  The 5.8% ABV beer is crisp and medium-bodied, sour, but not overly so with very subtle flavors of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and yeast, all in a tart little package.  Definitely one of the more interesting beers i've tried in a while, but tasty all the same.  Fans of pumpkin beers or sours should give it a whirl.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Southern Star Oktoberfest

Last week i mentioned how much i love the fall beer season, when pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest brews pop up all over the place, just waiting to wet the palette.  And Southern Star Brewery out of Conroe, Texas has a delicious, canned take on a beer celebration standard.  Their Oktoberfest pours a darkish amber with a quickly dissipating head, aromas of malt and hints of sweetness on the nose.  The flavor is a lovely mix of said roasted malts, nuts, and hints of molasses, all in a 6.3% ABV package.  I love fall beers!

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Ballast Point Pumpkin Down

Fall is just around the corner, and you know what that means.  It means the battle for autumnal superiority begins between pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest brews.  I for one refuse to pick sides, as i love them both dearly, and will surely be writing about some of each over the next couple months.  So let's get started.  First up is a pretty tasty brew i'd never had before from the always dependable Ballast Point Brewing Company out of San Diego.  Pumpkin Down is a Scottish ale brewed with pumpkins and a very mild amount of spices to craft a delicious, but not overpowering pumpkin ale.  The beer pours a dark amber with minimal head and smells of toffee, malt, and pumpkin of course.  There are also some very subtle hints of cinnamon or nutmeg in the mix.  The flavors of roast pumpkin are very prevalent, but they compliment well with the toffee and caramel flavors from the Scotch ale, and the spices never come in too strong.  All in all, this is fine pumpkin brew, and comes in at 5.8% ABV.  Fall is here (kind of).

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Rogue Honey Kolsch

One of the best things about summertime is all of the kolsch brews that come out from breweries all over the country.  Over the weekend, i tried out a delicious take from Oregon's Rogue Ales, their sparkly and refreshing Honey Kolsch.  The beer pours a light, transparent gold with a fizzy and bubbly head, subtle aromas of bread and floral notes hitting the nose.  Light and crisp at 5% ABV, the beer is mildly sweet, the honey notes complimenting the hints of bread and slight bitterness well.  This is a great summer beer, and certainly one to take a few sips of before the weather (eventually) begins to cool.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Who You Callin' Wussie Pilsner

The fine folks over at Stone's Arrogant Brewing division have used their know-how and arrogance to craft German-style pilsner...and it's a damn fine one too.  The wonderfully named Who You Callin' Wussie Pilsner comes in tallboy six-packs, just as God intended, and clocks in at 5.8% ABV.  The brew pours a light, crisp gold with a white and frothy head and smells of grassy, floral hops with hints of bread and lemon.  Tasting like a strong and classic pilsner, the beer finishes crisp and dry with some lingering hoppy spiciness on the tongue, and perfectly compliments a day at the ballpark or an evening cooling off after mowing the lawn.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Figlet

Two of my favorite things in Austin are the beers from Jester King and BBQ from Franklin...and lo and behold, the two collaborated on a beer earlier this year.  The Figlet is a 6.2% ABV farmhouse ale refermented with smoked Texas figs caramelized with heat and cold smoked at Franklin Barbecue.  The beer pours a nice amber and smells slightly bready and sweet with subtle hints of smoke and fig.  Fairly light bodied, the beer is sweet, the smoke and fig flavors playing well with the brew's overall sourness, the result of the wild yeasts the brewers at Jester King are so fond of.  It's different and it's tasty and i actually bought this bottle earlier this year and forgot about it in the back of my refrigerator until Saturday.  Kids man.

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