Archive for the 1 Category

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!

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

Independence Brewery (1 of 2)

Posted in 1 with tags , , , on November 12, 2009 by James

Last night I had the pleasure of visiting the owners of Austin’s Independence Brewery, Rob and Amy Cartwright. The married couple talked to me about the four-year-old brewery’s history, their brewing process, and some of their future plans. A friend of mine and myself shot over an hour of video during our conversation and I expect to have two videos for Austin brew viewers in my Monday post. Rob told me that he got the idea to start the Independence brewery while he was working as a brewer at the now extinct Coppertank brewpub. Rob said that after he met his wife Amy, the two decided to take a risk and begin creating what is today Independence brewery.

Amy told me that Independence began with three brews: Independence Pale Ale, Bootlegger Brown Ale, and Freestyle. I just went to the HEB by my apartment in an attempt to mix and match these three brews for a tasting review. Unfortunately the “build your own 6-pack” section did not include the Independence brews, so I instead grabbed my favorite 6-pack, Independence Pale Ale, and swapped one of brews with a Bootlegger. I’ll start the Independence review with these two beers and pick up with the others in the next blog post.

a match made in heaven

a match made in heaven

glass

notice the brown color and thin head

Bootlegger Brown Ale – For a brown ale with a 6% alcohol content, this guy is really smooth. Rob actually told me that he had to tone down the alcohol content in the brew because it was dangerously easy to drink. Independence describes the brew:

“Smooth, chocolaty, and easy-drinking…. Brewed with the finest two-row barley and Belgian chocolate malt, Bootlegger has a distinctive, chocolaty flavor. Bootlegger is medium-bodied and filtered for a clean, laid-back finish.”

I give Bootlegger: 3.5 out of 5 mugs.


glass2

I can hear the hops screaming to be freed from their bottle

bottle3

...and they're free!

Independence Pale AleI think that I am becoming a hophead. This is a term that craft beer lovers have come up with to describe people that enjoy really hoppy brews like this pale ale. The combination of hops, citrus, and malt makes this beer shine. Independence describes this one:

“Bright, bold, and hoppy…Independence Pale Ale is a true Texas Pale Ale. Brewed with the finest two-row barley and Pacific Northwest hops, and then dry-hopped with generous quantities of Cascade and Saaz hops, Independence Pale Ale has a distinctive citrus aroma and clean, hoppy finish.”

I give Independence Pale Ale: 4 out of 5 mugs.