Archive for the Pubs 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

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.



Tasting Texas’ Craft Brewing Culture

Posted in Beer Tasting, Features, Pubs on December 7, 2009 by James

Hi Austin Brew Readers. Over the past month I have been compiling interviews with Texas craft brewers. These interviews have taught me a lot about the past, present and future of brewing in the lone star state. I’ve created a small web-story to give beer lovers an idea of how Texas craft brewing operates, and it can be viewed by clicking on the photo below. This project has led me to consider putting together a full documentary about the subject and I encourage anyone who has any ideas on how to make this documentary successful to comment below.

Click to view

The Draught House Pub & Brewery

Posted in Pubs with tags , , , on November 22, 2009 by Tim

Due to my unfortunate inability to properly read, I was hoping that I would be able to cover the Draught House’s 41st anniversary this Saturday, but it turns out that it was November 7th, not November 21st. But being the intrepid reporter that I am, I decided to go ahead and slog through another grueling beer tasting for the benefit of you, the reader. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Anyway, sarcasm aside, the Draught House is one of Austin’s premier breweries with over 6o beers on tap. The Draught House also has a decent selection of house beers to keep any beer aficionado satisfied, regardless of personal preference.

The first one that I tried was their in-house brewed Double IPA, which they described as having “4 pounds per barrel of American hops. Big and floral with aromas of pine, citrus, mango, pineapple. Huge resinous flavor of hops.” I thought this beer was excellent for pairing with food, and I also really enjoyed the overall citrus aroma and flavor. I would give it 4 mugs out of 5 on the Austin Brew Scale.

For my next tasting, I decided to forego trying another in-house brew and instead went with the Green Flash IPA. I mostly based this decision on the fact that the Green Flash was their featured beer that day.

Although it wasn’t bad, I felt that the Green Flash had a much more bitter flavor, and I was not quite as keen on the aftertaste. It definitely had a more “hoppy” flavor to it, and although there was a slight citrus essence to it, it wasn’t as pleasing a taste as the Double IPA. I would give this one a 3.25 out of 5 mugs.

I definitely enjoyed the atmosphere they have at the Draught House; although they have a TV inside, it doesn’t feel like a sports bar, with a decidedly more intimate atmosphere. And like I said before, free pizza on Wednesdays! Hopefully, we will be trying all of the in-house options at the Draught House, so be on the lookout for that in the future.

Trip to Houston, where beer culture is alive and well!

Posted in Beer Reviews, Beer Tasting, Pubs with tags , , , , , , on November 14, 2009 by Adam Aldrete

Hey beer lovers,

On Friday, I was in Houston for a mini business trip. Once I was finished, I decided I would find a local brewpub to review and have a cold one. This may have the been on the best decisions I’ve made on a trip.

My friend Erin recommended that I try a place called Taps House of Beers, which is located just west of downtown Houston. Here is a video from just outside the bar:

Once in the bar, I was greeted by a laundry list of beers, a wide variety of games (billiards, shuffle board, washers, and fuzzball), and multiple big screen tvs. Taps also had very reasonably priced food items ($2 Pretzel, $7 pizza, FREE popcorn, and FREE hot dogs). I tried the pretzel and then enjoyed three of the complementary hot dogs and a little popcorn. Taps is definitely a great place to be, they have two outdoor ares and a very large, spacious indoor area.

In this video, the camera girl caught me enjoying a hot dog:

After this video was shot, Erin called and said she and her boyfriend were coming by, so I decided to order a third and final beer. Here is a quick review of the beers:

St. Arnold’s Lawnmower

Since I was in Houston, I had to drink local for the first pint, and I’m glad I did. The lawnmower was light, tasty, and well worth a try. Brewed in Houston at St. Arnold’s Brewing Company, this Kolsch-style beer exceeded my expectations.

My grade: 4.5 out of 5 mugs

Hacker Pschorr Hefe

This is a German beer! The Hacker Pschorr website doesn’t even have an English version. Nevertheless, this brew is up there with my favorite hefes. Served with a lemon slice, this wheat-beer complemented the lemon perfectly. It had a very balanced taste, very smooth, and also very light. This beer is definitely the lemonade of beers, cool and refreshing.

My grade: 4 out of 5 mugs

Lindemans Framboise

The beer, brewed by Brouwerij Lindemans, was basically juice. It was tart, with very few beer-qualities. However, if you have a friend who hates the taste of beer (the horror!), I highly recommend this for them. It is a bit low on alcohol content, something like 2.5, but that is the trade-off for drinking something that tastes like candy.

My grade: 3.5 out of 5 mugs (better than cranberry juice, not quite as good as OJ)

Since this blog is about what you, the beer enthusiasts think, I turned the camera on my trusty camera girl, Abbie, to get her take on the bar.

The last point I want to make before signing out is PLEASE don’t drink and drive. For that matter, try not to be that guy or girl puking at the beer tasting (which I’ve seen). Taps had a nifty device at the entrance that ¬† amount of alcohol in your system. Be sure to read up on the law and above all, don’t be stupid, when you go out to enjoy a few beers. Always have a DD. Here is a video of me trying out the breathalyzor. Until next time, Cheers! -Adam