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 I know I have been silent for almost a year and some of the information on the website is outdated but I am in the process of revamping Texas Beer Guide to be even better than before.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.
Houston – 8th 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.
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.
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.