Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que
Uncle Billy’s Brew and Que sits over on Barton Springs Rd., nestled between Zilker Park and the bustling intersection of Barton Springs and Lamar. The restaurant specializes in both quality barbecue and a generous menu of beers that they brew themselves. Brian Peters, one of the founders of the Live Oak Brewing Company, just so happens to be the man who creates the brews you’ll find at Uncle Billy’s.
I set out to try the “sample six” (consisting of four regular beers and two rotating brews) in order to contrast how their range of beers stack up against each other.
Moving through the six beers that Uncle Billy’s currently brews in house, we decided to go from lightest to darkest starting with the Back 40 Blonde Ale.
Uncle Billy’s describes the Back 40 as an “Authentic Kölsch-style ale using German malt and hops-clean, crisp, and refreshing.”
Compared to the other beers on tap, the Back 40 definitely had the most carbonation. It had a slightly sweet aftertaste and was very fizzy on the tongue. I give it a solid 3 out of 5 mugs on the Austin Brew Scale.
Next up was the second lightest beer, the Agave Wit, which is a “Belgian-style wheat beer brewed with orange peel and coriander.”
It was served with an orange slice, but we decided to try it sans-orange on the first go around. This beer had a somewhat organic and slightly “chalky” aftertaste. It also had a definite citrus kick with an acidic bite to it, which was made even more prominent after adding the orange. I would give this one 3.5 mugs for its easy drinkability.
This was followed by the Hill Country Organic Amber, which was described as a “smooth amber ale made with organic barley-balanced maltiness with pleasant hop finish.” We instantly noticed the dramatic increase in bitterness with this one and its distinct barley flavor.
The body was thinner on this beer, and the aftertaste lingered longer than the previous two, with a slightly pungent aroma. It also produced a thicker and longer-lasting head. I give this one a rating of 2.5 mugs.
Next up was the Ax Handle Pale Ale which was “Generously hopped with simcoe hops during the boil and ‘dry hopped’ after fermentation.” This was hands down the best beer we tried; we had to buy a pint after the sample.
It had a slightly sweet and dry taste with a crisp, clean finish. There was also a slight hint grapefruit in the aftertaste. I give the Ax Handle a 4.5 out 5 mugs.
The Ax Handle was the last of the “Always on Tap” beers, so next we moved on to the “Rotating Tap”, which were both the darkest beers they were serving. First up was the Bitchin’ Camaro, the current selection for the Special Hop Tap, which was described as an “almost IPA”. This one had a slight tomato-ey flavor and was very bitter.
Finally, we reached the Special Dark and Malty Tap. The current offering for this tap was the Coffee Stout. The first thing we noticed was the aroma of of chocolate-covered espresso beans that could be detected from the first sip.This brew offered a lighter body for a stout, with a real smokey, coffee flavor.
This beer was very good and went very well with a food pairing. I would give this a 4 out of 5 mugs.
Hopefully, in the future we will be able to sample all of the other offerings at Uncle Billy’s when they are in season. Until then, you should definitely check out what they have to offer while they’re on tap.
*photos by Preston Edmands