Archive for the Events Category

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

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.

Texas Tailgating Fun

Posted in Events with tags , , , on November 24, 2009 by Bill Bowman

This past weekend was Senior Day for Texas. It was the last home game for Jordan Shipley, Colt McCoy and many other Longhorns. I went out tailgating hard. I got to my tailgate at around noon and participated in all the typical tailgating activities – drinking beer, throwing the pig skin and eating great food. Then I headed to the stadium to see the Horns beat Kansas. Here is a look at the fun:

I also asked my friends what their favorite tailgate beer was. The best, most in-depth response came from my friend, Steven.

Well, see on tailgating day, it’s all about tradition. You’re not supposed to be fancy — it’s barbeque. Burgers and hot dogs, possibly sausages. You don’t want to be the guy who brings the super fancy, like delicatessen (sic) beer. For tailgating, I feel Miller Lite is the best beer. If I was going out, maybe I would try a new hefeweizen or some new dark ale. But for tailgating Miller Lite is the best.

 

Visting Real Ale Brewery

Posted in Beer Tasting, Events with tags , , on November 19, 2009 by James

Last Friday I set off to Blanco, TX to tour the Real Ale brewery. The town of Blanco is about 50 miles south-west of Austin, but seeing the brewery is well worth the hour drive in my opinion. When I first got there I was kind of surprised to see about 20 people already sampling beers and waiting for the first tour to begin. Below are some of the photos  I took while at the brewery, and for a review of some of these beers check out Bill’s Real Ale post.

This tank was the first sign that I had arrived.

These were the beers being sampled that day. My favorite was the Oktoberfest.

Special Delivery!

Head Brewer Erik Ogershok in tour mode.

The Real Ale brewery has recently expanded their operation. This is some of their new brewing equipment.

Erik demonstrating a mechanical arm used to move kegs after they have been filled.

These oak barrels are used to age beer and create unique flavors.

The Cheap Beer Challenge

Posted in Beer Reviews, Events with tags , , , , , , on November 19, 2009 by Bill Bowman

The question as to what the best “Cheap Beer” is has raged for decades. Several months ago I decided to put the top cheap beers to the test. Working on behalf of Study Breaks Magazine, I conducted the Study Breaks Cheap Beer Challenge. I selected five thirsty beer enthusiasts to test out five popular low-cost beers – Pabst Blue Ribbon, Miller High Life, Lonestar, Keystone and Natural Light. The beers were poured into non-descript cups and the judges were asked to describe and rate each beer, from one to ten.

Bill Bowman and Jenny Baker find out what the best Cheap Beer is.

The Judges

Chef Coi

Chef Coi made a name for herself on the 5th season of the popular reality-cooking show, Hell’s Kitchen. Since then, she has continued to cook and keep her palette tuned. She enjoys good beer and relaxing with friends. Coi’s expert taste-buds and sensitive sense of smell will be put to good use.

Ivan Villareal

Ivan loves beer and having a good time. In his free time, Ivan enjoys fishing, going to the lake with his dog, working out and hanging out with friends.  Ivan also enjoys knocking back a couple Miller Lites after a tough day. Ivan claims that his love of beer more than qualifies him to judge this contest.

Brandy Brown

Brandy is an athletic, outgoing girl. She enjoys getting outdoors to swim, wakeboard and play rugby. Of course, drinking beer is also a favorite pastime. Brandy claims to have exquisite taste in beer and boasts more years of beer drinking experience than her fellow judges.

Adi “The 2nd Most Interesting Man in the World” Pavlovic

Adi is an interesting guy from across the Atlantic. He is a huge fan of all varieties of beer, with his favorite being Fireman #4. In his free time, he enjoys working out, doing pushups and partaking in his favorite drinking game, “Blackout!”

The judges taste the beers.

The Results

Layout by Kat Devers

Conclusion

Pabst Blue Ribbon bested our Texas favorites. The judges were shocked when they were told which beers they actually tasted. Brandy was stunned to find out her true desires. “What I thought I liked, I didn’t and what I thought I didn’t, I do. It’s kind of an identity crisis.” After the experience, Ivan was equally shaken. “I don’t think I like light beer as much anymore.” Hollis summed up the experience for everyone. “This was a great experience. Now I know what the best cheap beer truly is.”

Good Times at Wurstfest 09′

Posted in Beer Reviews, Events with tags , , , , on November 10, 2009 by Bill Bowman

Last Saturday, after the Texas game, I made the 45 minute trek to New Braunfels to experience the Wurstfest. This was a festival of German culture. Crucial to that culture would appear to be food and beer. And there were plenty of both at Wurstfest – along with some good times and great polka music. The festival was packed full of thirsty people looking for fun!

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Drink tickets were worth their weight in gold.

The beer selection there was adequate, with I think around five or six different varieties of German beers, alongside the domestic standards. Getting your hands on these beers became quite a task as the night fell. You had to purchase beer tickets, for a dollar a ticket. Six tickets (dollars) got you a 12 ounce cup of imported beer and a whopping 25 tickets purchased a pitcher.

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Learning the right phrases.

The place was packed so getting a new round was a guaranteed 25 or 30 minute wait to boot. After getting the beer or food and sitting down with friends, the good times could then roll. There were hundreds of tables inside tents with polka music jamming. Me and my friends could not find a table, so we relaxed on the hillside, by the river. It is there that I taste tested a couple beers:

outfit

Very fashionable.

Warsteiner Dunkel: This beer was pretty average, brewed by Warsteiner. It was was a little hoppy and somewhat flat. 2.5 out of 5 mugs on the Austin Brew Scale.

Warsteiner KL Weiss: This was my favorite beer from the Wurstfest. It was more aggressive and hoppy. I give it 3.5 out of 5 mugs.

Spaten Oktoberfest: This was another good beer, brewed by Spaten. For some reason it seemed a little lighter than the other two, but it was very crisp. 3 out of 5 mugs.

The most fun part of the festival for me wasn’t the ubiquitous beer, it was the fun and friendly atmosphere – everyone was smiling and for some reason, many people were wearing odd hats. So make sure to check out Wurstfest when it comes back in town next year!



Coming soon: Black Star Pub/Brewery

Posted in Events, News with tags , , , on November 5, 2009 by James

Shining Star by ff137A truly unique beer pub/brewery is on the verge of development here in Austin. The group behind its creation, called Black Star Co-op, claims that they are going to open the “world’s first cooperatively-owned and worker self-managed brewpub.” The Co-op charges $85 for a membership and by joining, members contribute to the building and hiring of the brew pub/brewery. In addition, members are given one share of membership stock and are able to vote on a board of directors that determines long term goals.

The Black Star Co-op was founded in January of 2006 by beer aficionado Steve Yarak. Since its inception, the Co-op has grown to include over 1,000 members. In its current form the Co-op is really more like a beer social where members meet up and discuss the progress of their master plan for a brewery. These beer socials are held monthly at various locations around Austin. The most current social will be taking place on Nov. 14 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at an undisclosed location. The reason for the secrecy is because the Co-op has purchased a site for their brewery and they plan to unveil its location a few days prior to the gathering.

The Co-op’s idea strikes me as both smart and exciting. A beer pub by and for beer fans will hopefully be a huge success. In fact, I’m seriously thinking about forking over the 85 bucks and becoming a member. For any one else interested in the Black Star Co-op I encourage you to go to one of their beer socials and learn more about this soon to be pub/brewery.

Credits:

black star image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/96208357@N00/148301514/