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On Campus Beer: Where to get it

Posted in Misc., Pubs with tags , , , , , on December 8, 2009 by Adam Aldrete

As finals approach and students will be leaving their classrooms in jubilee, many will go in search of the first beer they can find. Luckily, the UT campus is home to a number of places for students and fellow Austinites to quench their thirst.

The Newbies

The first two I’ll mention are very new to the campus scene. One of the newest additions to the Blanton Museum of Art is a cafe, which serves sandwiches, smoothies, breakfast items, soups, salads, pizzas, desserts, and a very modest selection of beer. (The last time I was there, I believe they had two or three. Overall, this isn’t a place for the beer connoisseur, but you can grab a cold one before that art gallery opening you decided to attend.

One of the newest additions to the UT campus Credit to http://www.flikccm.compass-usa.com/content/properties-texas.asp

The next location you can grab a beer is the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. Although I haven’t been to the bar here, they should have a selection comparable to a typical bar. I wouldn’t expect  Flying Saucer type of list, but you can look for a pretty decent selection.

The Oldies

Cosmic bowling and beer available in the Union Underground Credit to Will Tung

Both of these venues have been mainstays for UT faithful for decades. The first, the Underground, is a bowling alley complete with billiards, air hockey, and beer! Although the beer collection isn’t huge, they do have Shiner, which is a Texas favorite. The beers are also available at a reasonable price, I believe I had a Shiner for three bucks on a Saturday night. This is a good place to go with friends old and young, just in case not everyone is of age to drink.

Good music and good beer, all on campus

The second mainstay, and perhaps the most popular bar on campus, is The Cactus Cafe. This bar, which allows you to bring in food from the outside, is a campus jewel according to Jack Frink in his 2008 Daily Texan article. In addition to the bar, The Cactus Cafe also has a stage on which live musicians perform from time to time.

Good luck on finals and I hope that you get a chance to check out these places on campus.

Cheers!


Pint Night with the Brew Guys

Posted in Beer Reviews, Events, Misc. with tags , on December 8, 2009 by Adam Aldrete

Hey Beer lovers,

As the semester comes to a close, the brew guys decided to meet up for Pint Night at the Flying Saucer to reflect on all of the beer knowledge we’ve gained over these past couple of months. BE sure to check out our video reviews and the “what I’ve learned” segment at the bottom of the page. We’d also like to send out a big Get Well Soon to brew guy James, who had to miss our night out due to food poisoning.

Here's to our loyal readers, especially Seth!! Cheers!

Tim like the rest of us, took a nice long look at the incredible variety offered at Flying Saucer.

Bill in deep thought, probably solving the world's problems

Beck’s & Buckler: Non-alcoholic beer showdown

Posted in Beer Reviews, Grudge Match with tags , , , , , on December 4, 2009 by Adam Aldrete

Hey beer lovers,

Today I am coming to you from the Flying Saucer, home of countless beers and the always popular $2.75 fire sale. Tomorrow I will be taking the LSAT, as such, I am abstaining for alcohol and have decided to explore the oft-forgotten part of the menu…the non-alcoholic side.

The Saucer is sensitive to the wants of those seeking alcohol-free beer

Believe it or not, such beers exist! Truthfully, they do contain a small amount of alcohol, usually under 0.5% by volume. Neverthless, the amount of alcohol is so small, it would take ALOT to even sniff the buzzed state of mind. In order to make these creations, brewers will generally go through the process of vacuum evaporation.

Interestingly enough, both of these beers were quite tasty…but only one can win today’s showdown.

First, I tried Beck’s non-alcoholic. According to their wesbite, the brewers “stop the fermentaion before the alcohol can form, but not before it achieves the distictive taste and aroma of a Beck’s.”

With hardly any alcohol, this beer packs a strong smell but not much of a taste.

Beck’s poured a golden yellow with no head and a pretty strong aroma. It doesn’t pack a huge punch as far as taste goes but does maintain a very soft, semi-sweet aftertaste.

My rating: 2.75 out of 5 mugs

(See our rating scale here)

After Beck’s, I tried Heinekin’s Buckler beer. Although beeradvocate didn’t think very highly, I found this beer to be pretty good.

Honey Smacks beer? Its not quite that sweet.

It was similar in color to Beck’s but seems to have less carbonation. After pouring it, no head appeared and the aroma was nonexistant. The taste was interesting, my first thought was “this beer tastes like Honey smacks without the sugar.” It left no aftertaste and was very easy to drink.

My rating: 3.25 out of 5 mugs (TODAYS WINNER!!!)

Thank you for reading today’s post. I hope ya’ll enjoy the big game tomorrow night! Hook’em and cheers!

The atoms of beer: What brewers use as a base

Posted in 1 on November 27, 2009 by Adam Aldrete

Hey Beer Lovers,

I hope that you are all enjoying the leftovers from our nation’s annual stuff yourself meal. The other day my dad called me asking what exactly a Hefeweizen was made of. I was shocked to hear this question, especially from someone who knows his way around beers. So, as finals approach for all of us college students, I thought I would provide an educational post for you beer enthusiasts

The Common base ingredients of beer are water, malt, hops, and yeast (According to Birmingham Beverage Company). You can read more about these ingredients on that website. In addition to these ingredients, brewers will add various ingredients from fruit to  spice in order to give beers different, more exotic flavoring. 512 brewing company has even used pecans in the brewing process in order to produce their Pecan Porter.

With all of these ingredients, some of you may wonder how exactly the beer stays fresh for such an extended period of time. In addition to the containment bottles, cans, and kegs provide (read about the debate between them here), the hops, are added to act as a preservative (and provide much of the flavoring).

For anyone looking for a Gluten-free beer, check out this website for a list of a few options. Also, many bars have gluten-free options including The Flying Saucer.

Cheers!

On the Road Again: The Aggie Ring Dunk

Posted in Events, Misc. with tags , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by Adam Aldrete

"Home of the Aggie Ring Dunk"

Hey beer lovers,

Beer culture in Austin can sometimes find roots in other places. Although I do not know if the Ring Dunk has spread, I do know that many Aggies eventually find their way to Austin (and hopefully follow this blog!) As such,Today I am posting from College Station, TX, where my Longhorns will face in-state rival Texas A&M tomorrow in the annual Lone Star Showdown.

Although I don’t have much of a palette for the Aggies’ storied traditions, I am intrigued by one carried on by the students called the Aggie Ring Dunk. Although the University doesn’t recognize this tradition on its website, students at A&M have kept the tradition alive and well. The tradition is mentioned on the University’s traditions wiki, explained in The Battalion (A&M’s student newspaper), found on videos like this on YouTube, and on various blogs including this one, which is number 16 of 22 things to do in College Station according to the blogger.

Many Aggies have dunked there rings here, a North Gate and College Station staple.

This Aggie tradition began at a place in North Gate (A&M’s 6th street equivalent) according to this article in the Battalion. The article says that an Aggie would drink 60 oz of beer from a pitcher in order to fish out their ring from the bottom. In order to give you an idea of how much beer that is, check out my video below:

Although some may be concerned that such a tradition encourages binge drinking, I would say that if you do decide to participate in this tradition, do as my Aggie friend says and “DON’T BE STUPID.” Its a simple rule, you should always know your limit and don’t be afraid to call a cab if you don’t have a DD.

Like all things, the Aggie Ring Dunk isn’t completed by everyone with a ring. Some students in the University chose to not dunk their rings, or dunk them in other liquids. From soda to Holy Water, Were I an Aggie, I’d likely opt for a double dunk, one in a nice light beer and another in the Holy Water. This is the beauty of this Aggie tradition, it has flexibility so that the student can make it there own.

Lindeman’s Dual: Peaches or Apples?

Posted in Beer Reviews, Beer Tasting, Grudge Match with tags , , , on November 21, 2009 by Adam Aldrete

Hey Beer lovers,

Today, I’m getting back to the basics with a good ol’ fashioned beer rating. However, unlike previous posts, the ratings have been determined by four of my friends. Using the brew guys 5 mug scale, they rated each beer and provided commentary on each.

Tim’s post about Cider got me wondering about what other alternative beers exist and if they are any good. As you may have read in my Houston post, I have tried Lindeman’s Framboise and found it to be pretty good. My friends and I are going to try two other of Lindeman’s fruity creations. If you do not like the taste of the average beer, this post is just for you!

Now for beer number one: Lindemans Pomme Beer

Pomme, which is French for Apple, described perfectly the smell of this beer. Although perhaps the french word for sour, “aigrir,” should have been use as well.

Here are some of the descriptions:

“Smells like sour apple juice mixed with beer…tastes very sour.”

“This one smells a lot more like beer…the taste is very sour, almost like a sour candy.”

“Bubbly.”

Bottle Opening – when beer bottlers go mad

One thing I should note about these beers is that they were packaged more like wine bottles than beers. As such, here is a quick video of how to pop the top if you run into this problem with one of these crazy beers. Also, I apologize for my friends in the background, they will likely be at Chuck E. Cheese tomorrow trying to relive those grade school days.

And now for beer number two: Lindemans Peche Beer

Peche, also a French word, means Peach. Like the Pomme, this beer is brewed (malt based), after which fruit is added to create a second fermentation and add the taste of fruit.

Here is the commentary on this beer:

“This beer is like Welch’s juice”

“I can smell the hops but it tastes sweet and the residual taste is bubbly, almost like flavored sparkling water or wine.”

“Reminds me of a sparkling Cider, maybe a champagne.”

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Overall, my friends enjoyed both drinks, but only requested a second serving of today’s winner…

Peche!

Here are the ratings from today’s tasters:

Pomme: 2, 2.5, 3, 3 (all out of five)

Peche: 4, 4, 4, 4.5 (all out of five)

Thanks again for reading and be sure to come back for our posts on Monday!

After Class Power Burgers and Beers

Posted in 1 on November 19, 2009 by Adam Aldrete

Hey Beer lovers,

Going to UT, while fun at times, often entails a lot of hard work, especially as finals draw near. Sometimes after class folks just want to sit down with a good burger and cold beer to escape the grind of the academic day. After a recommendation from one of our readers, I decided to check out a couple of bars within walking distance of campus. Although the drag serves as a rallying point for students, there is another area just north of campus with a couple of old, relaxed bars with plenty of food and big screen tvs.

Crown and Anchor Pub

Before today, I had only been to Crown and Anchor once, when my Uncle (a UT alum) visited for a game. He was insistent on going here and with the incredible selection of beers, I’m not surprised. C&A has around 32 draft beers and 98 more in bottles! The happy hour, which runs from 11am-7pm, brings down the price of draft beers from $3-$4.50 to $2-$4 per pint. The prices are dependent on which category the beer falls into (Domestics, Mid Range, and Premium). The bottled beers start at $2.50 and go up from there. C&A also has a couple of dart boards and pool tables for your entertainment needs.

While at C&A, I tried Bootlegger Brown Ale, which is brewed here in Austin by Independence Brewing Company. I also enjoyed a cheese burger and fries. Together, it cost around eight bucks.

The Ale was pretty good, slightly bitter but very easy to drink. I’d give it a 3.75 out of 5 mugs on our Austin Brew rating scale.

Posse East Bar and Grill

Like Crown and Anchor, prior to today I had only been to Posse once. However, at the time I didn’t realize the great variety of food they had. Fish tacos? Check. Chalupas? Check. Burgers? Of course…Check! The menu, which included hot wings and chili chesse dogs as well, was very reasonable. I spent about the same ($8) on a beer and burger (slightly bigger the C&A but without fries).

Posse had a relatively modest selection of beers, around 40 or so draft and bottled. The prices are identical to C&A except for non-happy hour premium drafts ( 25 cents more here). Luckily, on Wednesdays and Sundays, happy hour lasts all day at Posse!

I tried the Widmer Hefe, which comes from Widmer Brewery in Oregon.  I talk about it little in the video below. Overall, a 3 out of 5 mugs on the scale.

Overall, I had a good experience at both locations. Be sue to let us know which one YOU prefer! If I get more than ten different comments from you all (ten different people), I’ll invite the person with the best comment to join me on another comparison post next week! The first round will be on me!

Until next time,

Cheers!

-Adam