Archive for the Misc. Category

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

Thanksgiving beer selection

Posted in Beer Reviews, Beer Tasting, Misc. with tags , , , , , on November 26, 2009 by James

Indians and Pilgrims enjoying craft beer with their feast

Happy Thanksgiving Austin Brew readers! It’s about 1:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving day right now and I’m getting ready to head to the local Spec’s in search of some Thanksgiving beers. I’ve dwindled my choices down to five possible beers that I’m going in search of. Below I will list these beers and after dinner I will tell you which brews I was able to get a hold of and which one I thought was best.

Kerberos Tripel (Flying dog): According to serious eats dot com, this beer compliments ” the stuffing with its rich buttery flavor and hint of sweetness.” Also, check out beer dinners dot com’s post on pairing the Kerberos with turkey sandwiches.

Frambozen (New Belgium): Lunch dot com recommends this beer to go well with salads and other green dishes.  The beer is also said to be a combination of a fruit beer and a brown ale. I’m not very thrilled about fruity beers so it should be interesting to give this one a shot.

Mirror Pond Ale (Deschutes): The Deschutes website proclaims this beer, “The quintessential American pale ale, Mirror Pond elegantly blends the sweetness of malted barley with the bite of hops (which add bitterness and aroma).” For pairing purposes, grizzly growler dot com claims that the beer goes well with gravy dishes.

Prima Pills (Victory): I’ve tried this beer once and I really enjoyed its dry and clean flavor. This beer has been recommended by the dallas observer food blog to go well with potato dishes.

Levitation Ale (Stone Brewing): Stone is one of my all time favorite breweries and I’m really hoping to find this selection today. Serious eats dot com suggests this beer:

While we’re not sure we’d recommend it to non-beerdrinkers, we think the Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing also deserves a place at the Thanksgiving table. This intense brew has herbal, piney flavors and lingering toasted malt. A hint of cinnamon and peat make this earthy beer a good companion for turkey and stuffing.

And that’s the list folks, check back later to see which one tops the list, and in the meantime why not chime in on the comment section with your own “personal best Thanksgiving brew.” Until then, cheers!

Update: 10:08 p.m.

My search for the five Thanksgiving beers was partly unsuccessful. Spec’s was closed today and  by the time I was able to get to my local grocery store it had also closed. I didn’t give up though and luckily I was able to find the Victory Prima Pils and the Mirror Pond Ale at a well stocked local gas station. I liked both of these beers but I’m going to put the Prima Pils on top tonight with 4 out of 5 mugs, and the Mirror Pond in second place with 3.5 out of 5 mugs on the Austin Brew scale.

Credit:

Thanksgiving photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/3063466292/sizes/m/

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.

How To Pour A Beer

Posted in Misc. with tags , on November 15, 2009 by Tim

A post on a Saturday! I feel like I’m taking crazy pills! Seriously though, I thought this was an important issue that needed to be addressed ASAP.

This post is pretty self-explanatory and came about from listening to several friends bemoan their skills at pouring beer into a glass or stein or mug or what have you. There was either too much head or too little head or overflow problems that were causing them to lose some of their beer. With this video, I hope I can eliminate any unnecessary waste so that readers won’t miss out on their favorite beverage.

Think of it as a public service.

And there you have it. I hope that was helpful.

BTW, while we’re on the subject of Dogfish Head, I thought it might be pertinent to bring to your attention this recent posting from Paste Magazine. Normally a music and film website/magazine, Paste has branched out by ranking the best breweries of the past decade. You should definitely check it out; hopefully we will be able to have reviews for some of the products of these breweries in the near future.

Picapp brew photos

Posted in Misc. with tags , , on November 9, 2009 by James

Hello again friends. Today I am going to deviate a bit from my past posts and instead share a useful tool I found while searching for images of craft beer. The tool is called picapp and it allows you to embed duty-free images on your blog. What is really cool is that when clicked, each image will display information about what is shown. Also, below each image is displayed a list of other relatable content.

After reading their about page I found that picapp is able to offer this service because of  partnerships with Getty Images, Pacific Coast News, Corbis, Newscom, Image Source and more. All of the images available are free for anyone to use.

Perhaps the best piece of news for this blog is that the code used by picapp is compatible with wordpress.com. Unlike most embeddable information on the web, picapp has a separately constructed code that is designed to work on wordpress.com. So, below you will find an example of a photo search I did for “craft beer.” Enjoy!

[picapp src=”4/a/5/d/Microbrewery_Sales_Surge_41b8.jpg?adImageId=7281894&imageId=1036298″ width=”380″ height=”251″ /]

Bottles vs. Cans?

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , on November 5, 2009 by Bill Bowman

Beer served in its draft form is generally considered to be the best. It goes straight from the brewery to the keg and to you. Of course, not every drink can be from the tap. Beer is bottled and canned for mass distribution. The question as to what is the best method for beer quality is a complicated and highly contested one.

Cans

Cans protect beer from light and air, but some think it leaves a mettalic taste.

This is a hotly contested debate. Jim Koch, the founder of Samuel Adams made his company’s position clear on this issue, saying  “Beer shall be offered in bottles, not cans, so that no brew is jeopardized with the taste of metal.” Koch refuses to can his beer, forgoing millions in revenue from sporting events and other venues.

This anti-can opinion was not supported by all. Some brewers say that cans allow less light and air into the beer and thus make the beer better. The cans also allow the beer to get colder much faster than bottles. There is no winner to this debate, and in my opinion, I think that the actual taste difference is miniscule and the difference is all in your head. Some people just prefer holding that cold longneck!

Colors

Darker bottles prevent "skunking" more.

The question about which color beer bottle is best is another sticky issue.  Skunking happens when light reacts with a chemical in hops and produces a compound that really does smell rather skunky. Obviously the darker the bottle, the less skunking that can occur. Brown bottles are the best, followed by green and lastly, clear. Also, bottles in cases prevent sunlight and that of course, will further protect beer from skunking.

So, we have a good idea about what the different beer packing methods might be. But I will conclude stating my favored vessel for the end product. Pouring beer from the can or bottle allows the beer to “breath” and is suggested by most premium beers. Sam Adams has pioneered what it says is the ultimate beer cup.

Cup

Some say this cup was crafted by God himself...or maybe Sam Adams.

I acquired a Sam Adams cup at a Red Lobster several months ago and that cup has served many tasty brews since. This cup is made with space age technology. Laser etching at the base create bubbles for constant aroma release. There is a bead on the rim to create turbulence as the beer hits the mouth. The lip is turned outwards to deliver the beer to the tongue’s sweet-spot.

Interested in the cup? It will cost you $30 for a set of four. In my opinion, money well spent.

Bill Bowman