Friday, August 20, 2010

The Land of Beer Festivals

Texas has been called many things, and is a great state showcasing many of the things that makes it wonderful. On any given weekend you can find a festival for most everything. One thing that Texas has not been known for has been Beer Festivals. In fact Beer fests have been notably absent from this state of beer lovers. Well that fact seems to have changed over the course of the last few months and continues through to the end of the year.

The first notable beer fest to gain steam was June's Great Austin Beer Festival. While it seemed that the organizers were still getting their feet under them, from all reports it was an amazing success. Bringing together Beer, Brewers and beer enthusiasts not only from Texas but from around the country.

The next Beer festival that was announced is scheduled to occur over Labor Day weekend, Sept 2-6, the Brewmasters International Beer Festival at Moody Gardens down in Galveston. Admittedly I have been pretty cautious about this one as they didn't release the names of any attendees, however that has changed with this article from the Chronicle's Ronnie Crocker. Now that's a pretty sporty list of beers to get the opportunity to taste all in one place.

But wait that's not all! This week there has been two awesome announcements for beer lovers.

The Texas Craft Brewer's Guild has announced their first event will be Austin Beer Week to be held October 24-30. There is not a lot of information out there yet, but from their website:
This week-long celebration, brought to you
by the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, serves as
a showcase for Texas craft brewers as well as
area restaurants, pubs and other businesses
with ties to the craft beer community.

The last announcement though is the one that has me the most excited. Early this morning a twitter popped up: @HoustonBeerWeek: Houston, Beer Week has landed. Say what!!! The week of October 11-17 will be Houston Beer Week The week will consist of beer dinners, beer education (something that I am excited about), tastings, and many other things. The week long extraveganza will conclude Sunday with a MONSTERS OF BEER charity beer event. A side note that Houston Beer week and Monsters of Beer has been organized in part by Cathy Clark, the same Cathy Clark that has done an outstanding job with Beer Camp. Back to Monsters of Beer, the event is on Sunday the 17th and will feature Texas Beer, Texas Food, Texas Music! The beer will be brought in by breweries from around the state including Jester King, (512), Saint Arnold's, Real Ale, Live Oak, and more including a couple that may not even be open yet.

4 beer huge beer events/festivals in a few short months? Is Texas becoming the land of beer festivals? I don't know about that, but Texas is definitely stepping up its game and as these events successfully conclude will continue to drive Texas in the right direction of increasingly supporting craft beer and all that means. I'm not telling you all to go to everyone of these (I won't be able to) but support as many as you can. Volunteer, attend, promote, etc to help make these a success. The first year out of the gate for many of these festivals may not be smooth, there will be mistakes made, but that just means they can be better the next year, and if they get the support they need will continuously approve. Think about it, in 2009 would you have though there would be 4 huge days long beer festivals in Texas in 2010?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quick Hits

It seems lately, no matter how hard I try I feel like I've been neglecting my beer blog. For one reason or another it's gotten harder to write posts. I've been wanting to do something more than just post another beer review (although I do love doing those and have a bit of a back log to get to), but I'm preoccupied with other things or am lacking the motivation to post my thoughts. Hopefully this stops now and I'll get back into the swing of updating this blog more than once a week. With that out of the way, there is news to fit to print (or type into a computer) so here it is:
- Another new brewery? Yup, except this one isn't in Austin, its not even in Houston, its waaaay out past Beaumont. Republic of Texas Brewery will be based out in the southwest corner of Newton Country. The brewery is owned by award winning home brewer John McKissack and his wife Tammy. They also host a couple of Beer podcasts, so they know their beer. They are also going about starting up a brewery in a unique way, trying to do it with out incurring any debt, which obviously means taking it very slow. Nothing wrong with that, if it helps them be self sustaining. Additionally they are trying to do things the right way with respect to the Environment:
including plans to build green houses full of plants that will help scrub the CO2 coming from their fermenters before entering the environment. “Plants take in CO2 during the day and produce oxygen, so in theory it should be possible keep the CO2 from entering the atmosphere, or at lease significantly reduce it,”

Finally, these folks are going to be making big beer, both literally and figuratively. They seem to enjoy higher gravity beers, but they are also going to be bottling in 750 mL's. They seem to be an interesting new brewery definetley one to keep your eye on.

- Another good piece of news is that Vic and Anthony's has announced their second beer dinner featuring Stone Brewing. Head over to the blog All Good Beer for a link to the menu. The first one they did featured Dogfish head and not only was the food and beer pairing amazing by all accounts, they broke out some special beers as well. At 75.00 the price is a steal considering what a normal 6 course dinner would cost you at V&A. The dinner is on August 27th but get your tickets fast becuase it will sell out quickly. I've got mine (thanks to the Houston Chowhounds recent Charity Auction).

- Last news, first reported by Ronnie Crocker over at Beer TX, Saint Arnold will be brewing Divine Reserve 10 next week. DR 10 will be an English Style Barley wine based on a the Big Batch Brew Bash winning recipe. The release date will be later this year. The best news is that there will be a lot more Divine Reserve available this time around, twice as much to be exact. Good news all around.