Archive | January, 2015

8th wonder

The Brew 1/29

Posted on 30 January 2015 by Admin - Mike Cortez

This week in The Brew! We get some delicious news about a San Antonio “brewstillery” that is releasing some very special bourbon barrel aged beers, we give you the heads up about a big 2yr Anniversary for a brewery in Houston, we congratulate some Texas breweries that won medals at the 2015 Craft Beer Awards and finally we see what big festival will be including Austin this year. I hope everyone has a great weekend and I hope you will be watching the big game with a Texas brewed beer in your hand.


San AntonioRanger Creek Brewing & Distilling unveils their latest release from their Texas Bourbon Barrel series which is meant to highlight their status at the only brewery and distillery in the state. They will be releasing small batch beers which will be aged in their own barrels as well as a few select others. The first to be released is their Imperial Brown Ale which has been aged in Four Roses Bourbon barrels for the primary followed by a secondary in their own Rimfire and .44 Rye barrels. Coming in at 10% ABV, this boozey beast is noted to have a strong aroma from the barrels and will pair with sweet notes of caramel and toffee. The first release is available now in 22oz bombers but future releases will vary in style and packaging.

8th wonder

Houston – It seems like just yesterday when 8th Wonder Brewery launched but on March 21st they will be coming up on their 2nd anniversary. This week they announced a “Blind Presale” for their celebration but they are keeping everything a secret for the time being with presale tickets are $25 for general admission and $100 for VIP until they reveal the details about the party and then ticket prices will go up. It has many wondering what kind of party they are planning but 8th Wonder Brewery has been known to put on some great events. One can only guess what to expect but it is the same weekend as the music portion of SXSW in Austin so many there could be some special guests attending? For tickets and information, please click here.


Texas – Last weekend the 2015 Craft Beer Awards went off in Bend, Oregon. It didn’t seem that there was a big representation from many breweries with the largest category only having 64 entries but a few Texas breweries seemed to shine at the event and brought home some well-deserved medals.

To see the full list of participants and winners, click here.


Austin – The popular Untapped Festival (Not to be confused with the Untappd app) is bringing their festival to Austin this year. After having huge success in Dallas, Houston and Fort Worth over the last couple of years, they are expanding to include Austin for 2015. The fest is a mix of a craft beer festival and a music festival in one big event. On April 18th, the festival will descend on Austin at the Carson Creek Ranch with over 200 beers from over 65 breweries.  For tickets and more information, click here.

As always, if you’re looking to get out this weekend we suggest you visit a local brewery, don’t forget that we have a list of all of the breweries near you so head over to the Breweries and Brewpubs page and go support your local brewers.

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The Brew 1/22

Posted on 23 January 2015 by Admin - Mike Cortez

This week in The Brew, We see light at the end of the tunnel for the opening of Dallas’ new brewpub, we give you the heads up about who is hosting a chili cook-off, give you the details about a heart stopping festival in Austin and lastly we see who is turning two and marking the occasion with a new beer. Just a heads up, I know there is a lot of outdated information on the website so stick with me while I get things updated. There are a bunch of great new breweries being added and I am updating brewery pages with their new beer releases shortly. For now, enjoy this week’s edition of The Brew!

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Dallas – The long awaited Braindead Brewing shows signs to be opening soon. Braindead Brewing will be the first brewpub in the Deep Ellum District of Dallas and was founded by Sam Wynne, Andrew Huerter and Jeff Fryman. Sam is the owner of Rodeo Goat in Ft. Worth and well as the son of Shannon Wynne who owns The Flying Saucer and Meddlesome Moth. Andrew was the former brewer at Schlafly in St. Louis before moving to Texas to be the head brewer with Deep Ellum Brewing and Jeff is a well-known and respected beer cicerone from the Common Table. This week, Braindead announced on their Facebook page that they were holding interviews for servers, bartenders, kitchen staff and door hosts. While they have not announced an opening date as of yet, it is definitely a sign that beer should be flowing soon. If you are interested in applying you better act quick.


RowlettFireWheel Brewing Company is hosting their 1st Annual One-Pot Chili Challenge. This Sunday from 12-4pm, contestants will be competing for taproom / SWAG credit at the brewery and bragging rights for the best chili. This will also be a great chance to check out some of the great beers they are brewing at FireWheel as well as great root beer for the youngsters. Also this week, FireWheel announced that they are hiring a sales person so if you are looking for a great opportunity and you have some sharp sales skills, clean up your resume and send it to


Austin – This weekend Edible Austin is hosting their 2nd Annual Bacon & Beer Festival. The event brings together some of Austin’s favorite chef’s to create bacon themed dishes to pair with great craft beer from local breweries such as Hops & Grain, Austin Beerworks, Independence Brewing Co. and more. Tickets are currently sold out but you can get on the waiting list if additional tickets become available. A portion of the proceeds go directly to the Capital Area Food Bank so what is better than a day of bacon, beer and giving back?


DallasCommunity Beer Company is celebrating 2yrs this Saturday and it has been a great two years for them. In the last two years they have released 15 beers and won over 20 awards including gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. They will be celebrating with a big party on Saturday and will have 30 beers available to try including barrel aged and oaked beers, as well as special firkins. Community will also be celebrating the event with a special beer brewed just to mark the occasion. The 2nd anniversary release, “Brett’s Get It On” is an American Pale Ale brewed with three different strains of Brettanomyces then dry-hopped with Motueka, Citra, and Centennial Hops. Admission will get you a tasting card for 8 samples which will give attendees a great chance to see what makes Community Beer Company such an amazing brewery. Tickets are still available for the celebration. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

As always, if you’re looking to get out this weekend we suggest you visit a local brewery, don’t forget that we have a list of all of the breweries near you so head over to the Breweries and Brewpubs page and go support your local brewers.

*Disclaimer* – This article has been edited to make some corrections regarding the Braindead Brewing portion. My deepest apologies to Jeff Fryman for the error. Thank you to Tony Drewry and Ollie DuBose for catching my mistake, I owe yall a beer!

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The Brew 1/15

Posted on 16 January 2015 by Admin - Mike Cortez

This week in The Brew! We have a lot of news coming from all across Texas. First up, we see what brewery’s recipe is going to be featured by a popular homebrewing line, we see what brewery is being use at a national chain restaurant, we see who is jumping on the canning bandwagon, we see what brewery is looking update their taproom and tell you how you can help. Lastly, we have a quick rundown of new beers hitting the market. Just a quick reminder, due to bad weather last week, Branchline Brewing Co. in San Antonio has rescheduled their 2yr anniversary for this weekend. We recommend getting your tickets now if you plan on attending by clicking here.


Sherman – If you aren’t familiar with 903 Brewers then there is a good chance that you don’t live in north Texas. They are located in the small town of Sherman close to the Texas-Oklahoma border and they have been brewing since 2013. Owners, Jeremy and Natalie Roberts have been putting out some great beers like Crackin’ Up Pecan Porter and Sasquatch Chocolate Milk Stout for the last couple of years but due to their size, they keep their distribution centered around north Texas. Soon however, many will come to know 903 Brewers because they signed a deal with Mr. Beer, the “world’s #1 beer kit”. Mr. Beer is releasing a Craft Beer Series of recipes and they will be releasing a clone for Sugar on Top IPA. If you are looking to get into home brewing, this is a great chance to brew and see if your beer comes out as good as 903 Brewers. The kits are set to be released nationwide within the next couple of weeks. Let’s hope we can get 903’s beers across the state just as soon.


Fort Worth – As the north Texas beer scene continues to explode, news broke this weekend that Rahr & Son Brewing Co. is being featured by national chain restaurant Chili’s. The Dallas-based restaurant is launching a new “Fresh Tex” menu which will feature dishes that are truly Texan. The one that has us most excited is their baby back ribs slathered in a sauce made with Rahr & Sons summer seasonal, Summertime Wheat. The new menu will debut nation-wide at Chili’s locations starting January 19th. I hope this will eventually result in more Texas beer being featured at chain restaurants.


AustinIndependence Brewing Company has come a long way since their start in 2001 and after their brewery expansion last year along with a larger brewhouse, they neglected to update their old tap room. With the new year in full swing, Independence Brewing is looking to make their taproom a more enjoyable place for their patrons and they are reaching out to the community for help. On Tuesday, they put out the word on their Facebook page that they are raising funds using the crowdfunding website IndieGoGo and giving donors the opportunity to snag some great stuff for their support. They have until the stroke of midnight on February 10th to raise their goal of $35K so head over to their IndieGoGo page to show your support for this great brewery!


HoustonSaint Arnold has long been a brewing force in the Texas craft beer scene. Last year they celebrated their 20th anniversary and they are starting off this year with a changeup. Today, owner Brock Wagner unveiled the plans for their new packaging. By the end of February you will be able to pick up 12oz six-pack cans of their Fancy Lawnmower and Santo. Southern Star Brewing Co was the first brewery in Texas to package their beer in cans and it has quickly become a popular means of packaging that many other breweries have followed. While many will go back and forth on their opinions about cans, I personally find it to be great for summers at the beach, backyard pool or even for floating the river.


New Beer – Since last week’s edition of The Brew, a lot of breweries have announced their upcoming new releases. Here is a short breakdown of what’s hitting the market soon. Be sure to spread the word once you see them on shelves and taps across Texas.

  • 5 Stones Artisan Brewery
    • Back From Bridge City – It is a 6.3% ABV, 60 IBU White IPA brewed with grapefruit juice, zest and coriander.
    • Heavens To Murgatroid – American Wheat Ale brewed with Texas Prickly Pear
    • Reserva Piña – They take their roasted jalapeno and pineapple blonde ale and aged it in tequila soaked wood chips for 45 days.
  • Saint Arnold Brewing Company
    • Bishop’s Barrel No. 8 – The beer was originally released as Divine Reserve No. 5 back in 2007. The Russian Imperial Stout for the Bishop’s Barrel No. 8 was brewed back in 2013 and has been aging in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels since.
    • Divine Reserve No. 15 – Marked to be released on Monday January 26th, the Divine Reserve No. 15 will be the same Russian Imperial Stout as the Bishop’s Barrel No. 8 but will not be barrel aged.
  • Jester King Brewery
    • World’s Worst Twin – In a collaboration with Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin Brewing. It is a 5.5% ABV oak barrel fermented farmhouse ale re-fermented with blueberries. It will be released Friday 1/16 at the brewery.


    • Guadalupe Brewing Co.
      • Apple Pie Texas Honey Ale – They used their popular Texas Honey Ale and threw in some apples and spices to make this delicious 8.54% ABV treat.
      • Rye IPA – The 6.11% ABV Rye IPA is brewed using Rye and crystal malt with a blend of spicy hops.
  • Revolver Brewing
    • Fracker Barrel One – Revolver has taken their beloved winter stout, Mothers Little Fracker, and aged it in red wine barrels for over a year then blended it with a younger stout to create Fracker Barrel One.


  • Martin House Brewing
    • Kafkaesque – It is a 10.3% ABV Imperial Smoked Black Rye Oaked Raspberry IPA. According to Martin House, this beer started off as an imperial IPA then they took it a step further to create this beast of a beer.

As always, if you’re looking to get out this weekend we suggest you visit a local brewery, don’t forget that we have a list of all of the breweries near you so head over to the Breweries and Brewpubs page and go support your local brewers.

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The Brew 1/7

Posted on 07 January 2015 by Admin - Mike Cortez


Happy New Year and welcome back to The Brew! I hope everyone had a great holiday and is settling in to 2015 on the right foot. I know I have been silent for almost a year and some of the information on the website is outdated but I am in the process of revamping Texas Beer Guide to be even better than before. As some of you may have known, I spent 2014 touring Texas to write my book “Beer Lovers Texas”, which you can pre-order on Amazon now by clicking here. I apologize to all of the breweries for the anniversaries, festivals and special events I missed last year but I am ready to get more involved for 2015. I would like to say thank you to all of the breweries, brewpubs and craft beer bars I visited for the warm hospitality and for assisting me in writing my book. I would not have been able to do it without you. Now that I have talked about 2014, it is time to kick off the New Year with a new edition of The Brew! This week, we get word about some new breweries that are opening soon in Houston, we find out who is showing off their new taproom, we find out who has the best bars in Texas, we give you a heads up about some new beer releases and finally we see who is celebrating 2 years in business.


Houston – Texans love their beer and with that comes more demand. With so many breweries in the state, there is always room for more and in Houston; there are two breweries that are planning to open soon. The long awaited Brash Brewing Company is hoping to be in full swing by February. Brash Brewing is owned by Ben Fullelove who also owns Houston’s popular Petrol Station. Throughout 2014 they teased us with their plans for their beer lineup as well as announcing that Vince Mandeville formerly of Saint Arnold would be their head brewer. According to their Facebook, they plan to have their Russian Imperial Stout “Vulgar Display of Power” on the market in February but you will have to head to Houston to get a taste. This week, Brash also announced that they signed a contract with Austin based Flood Distribution, so it is a sign that we will soon get our hands on some great new beer. Town in City Brewing Company, founded by Justin Engle and Steven Macalello is another Houston brewery that is near opening. They poured that last bit of concrete on New Year’s Eve and have hopes to be open by February as well. With plans to have the vibe of a neighborhood bar, Town in City Brewing will have their taproom open Wednesday-Sunday and will be a welcoming place for patrons to gather in their 700 sq ft taproom. As of now, there is no set date for their opening, so we will have to stay tuned to their Facebook page for the latest information.


Photo by 8th Wonder Brewery

Houston8th Wonder Brewery is starting off the New Year by updating their taproom and setting up regular hours. Now you can check out the brewery and have a few beers in the taproom Thursdays 5pm-10pm, Fridays 5pm-12am, Saturdays 12pm-12am, and Sundays 12pm-10pm. Their taproom now resembles the old historic Astrodome that was once considered the “8th Wonder of the World” which the brewery took their namesake. They even installed new taps to have 16 beers on tap including 2 nitro taps. With their new hours and their close vicinity to the Toyota Center, Minute Maid Park and BBVA Compass Stadium, I can only expect 8th Wonder to be tailgating headquarters.

Hay Merchant

Texas – It is that time of year again when Draft Magazine releases their list of “America’s 100 Best Beer Bars” and six Texas bars made the cut.

  • Craft & Growler Beer Filling Station – Dallas
  • Craft Pride – Austin
  • Draught House Pub & Brewery – Austin
  • They Hay Merchant – Houston
  • Petrol Station – Houston
  • Strangeways – Dallas

Congratulations to these great bars and their dedication to supporting craft beer. Do you agree with this list? Is there any place you think got over looked? The way we see it, this is a win for Texas and I am personally a big fan of each of these bars. For the complete list of bars visit Draft Magazine here.


New Beer – With cold temps heading towards Texas, there isn’t a better time to grab a hearty beer. Lucky for us, Austin’s own Rogness Brewing and 512 Brewing are releasing new beers that will do the trick. Rogness Brewing is releasing their 5.5% ABV, Iapetus Stout. There were only 28 kegs brewed so this will be going quick. Dallas and San Antonio received their kegs this week and Austin will be getting their share next week. Head Brewer, Jon Airheart says the beer has a great balance between bitter and sweet so I am excited to get a taste. Be on the look out to your favorite craft beer bar to see who will be tapping it first. 512 Brewing is tweaking their beloved Pecan Porter and infusing it with toasted coconut, cherries and vanilla for a creamy and delicious sounding beer that will go down great while relaxing next to a roaring fire. They are calling this new cask only 6.8% ABV release “Coco Cerise” and if you are in Austin on Thursday evening, you can be the first to get a glass at Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden (79 Rainey Street, Austin, TX 78701) at 6pm.


Photo by Branchline Brewing Co

San Antonio – When you celebrate 2 years, one day just isn’t going to cut is and that is why San Antonio’s Branchline Brewing Company is partying Friday and Saturday. Everything kicks off Friday January 9th from 4-8pm where they will be showcasing their sours and barrel aged beers. On Saturday you are going to have to choose between the 11am-3pm session where they will feature only cask beers or the 5pm-9pm which will be the grand showcase of seasonal and rare beer tappings. Due to the limited amount of space, each session is limited to 500 attendees so you better buy your tickets now. Additional tickets will be for sell at the door if extra tickets are still available. To celebrate their anniversary, the will be releasing their 2yr Anniversary Ale which is a Belgian-Style Imperial Rye IPA. Get your tickets now by clicking here. Congratulations to Branchline and we wish them continued success!

As always, if you’re looking to get out this weekend we suggest you visit a local brewery, don’t forget that we have a list of all of the breweries near you so head over to the Breweries and Brewpubs page and go support your local brewers.


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