Thursday, October 08, 2009

Texas Hill Country Beer

Its been a few days since my last post, but trust me there was a reason. This past Tuesday was my wife and mine's second anniversary. To celebrate I surprised her with a 5 day get away up in the Texas Hill Country, just outside of Fredericksburg to be exact. We've always wanted to spend some time up there and decided this was the perfect chance to do it. The bad news is the weather was horrible, but that didn't stop us from having a great time. Most folks think of the Texas Hill Country as our state's version of Napa, wine, wine everywhere. And for the most part it is, we found some good Texas wine actually. But just like Napa there are some places to get good beer. First off is Blanco's Real Ale which we of course get here in Houston. Didn't make it to the brewery there, but almost every place in the hill country, from the smallest to the biggest had something on tap. I got to try their Octoberfest for the first time in this small wine store that had 5 beers on tap. A delicious slightly sweet caramelly beer that may just may be my favorite Octoberfest I've had so far this year.
When talking about beer in the Texas Hill Country and you are staying in Fredericksburg you have to stop by the award winning Fredericksburg Brewing Co. Located on Main St its a brew pub specializing in German food (doesn't everything in Fredericksburg) along with the usual burgers, sandwiches and salads). They have 6 beers on tap, with a Porter, Red and Pale Ale being their standard beers and 2 to 3 rotating taps. When we were there they had their Octoberfest, Hopnoxious IPA, and a Mexican Lager (Can you guess which one I went for?).
If you guess Hopnoxious you would be correct. An amazingly hoppy beer weighing in at 7.4% and 100 IBU's this was one fine hoptastic beer. A coppery brown ale with good malt balance that was quickly dominated by an over abundance of hops. Quite a good beer.
We also sampled a couple of other ones:
Peace Pipe Pale Ale - A fine fine Pale Ale, with great hop character and balance.
Mexican Lager - Surprisingly good, clean crisp, with a slightly sweet cereal grain finish
Octoberfest - A very good Octoberfest beer that had some surprising hop bitterness to contrast the malty caramel sweetness typical of the style.

Overall Fredericksburg Brewing Co is definitely something to make your way to as they have a very solid line up of beers and are starting to try some new things. The Hill country while known for its wines doesn't ignore good beer. As stated earlier most every place has good Texas beer on tap or by the bottle. Lots of support of Blanco Real Ale. As much as local breweries support the community (see all the great community service Saint Arnold does) its nice to see the community business support a brewery as strongly as the Hill country does.


hiikeeba said...

You missed Oktoberfest! We had Real Ale Oktoberfest on tap, along with Independence Pale Ale (almost as good as Hopnoxious) and Austin Amber from Independence Brewing in Austin.

assurbanipaul said...

I really will have to give F'burg Brewing another visit. I've been there twice, and both times the beers were mediocre to just awful (drain pours). I wonder if they've changed brewers these past few years...?