Thursday, August 26, 2010


The wife and I spent some time in Texas last week. Two days in Fort Worth and five days in Austin. Both are great cities that have a lot going for them. I spent the week consuming bottles of Shiner bock and Lone Star (along with a few other delights). Both are good inexpensive brews that Texans should be proud of.

We visited a hand full of bars while we were there, including an awesome dive called Pardners (this place will probably never have a website) about 60 miles west of Austin. If you get the chance go. You won't regret it and you will never forget it (there is a mirrored cowboy boot hanging above the dance floor). We also joined some friends at a place called The Side Bar in downtown Austin. Mellow vibe, good music, good local beer on tap, mural of TomWaits on the wall, and real cork dart boards. My kind of bar.

The highlight of the trip (as far as beer is concerned) was the trip to the flying saucer draught emporium in downtown Fort Worth. It was a beer lovers dream. Great atmosphere, 88 taps, and you can bring your dog on the patio. It was a wednesday night (Which is brewery night) when we stopped for a pint (or two). The brewery tonight was Great Divide. I purchased the Hercules Double IPA in a souvenir glass. Wow, what a beer! One of the biggest brews I have ever tasted. Hoppy, bitter, sweet, full bodied. This beer is off of the charts. If you're an IPA lover track this one down. Some IPAs get lost in a bitter blur of not so delicious hop flavors but not Hercules. The hop note where strong and pleasant, and the strong bitter flavors where balanced by a delicious malty body.

I also embarked on the "Texas Flight" which is a group of five 5oz samples all brewed in Texas. The selections included seasonal brews from 512 brewery, Live Oak brewery, and Saint Arnold brewery. Rachel chose a bottle of Breckenridge Agave Wheat (which we ended up purchasing a six pack of for our trip to Lake LBJ).

I love Texas.

It has been a very busy summer for us. We'll be back to brewing soon. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Buffalo Brewfest 2010

Gene and I attended Buffalo Brewfest last weekend. It was the first time there for both of us. I haven't got any insight into his reaction but I was mildly disappointed. I didn't have a bad experience by any means yet at the same time the event left me wanting more.

Thirty vendors and three thousand guests equals get a sample and then wait in line for the next. $25.00 (presale) got you in the door and gave you a souvenir sampling glass and 25 tickets (1 ticket = 1 sample). Though the fore mentioned lines made it impossible to use all 25 tickets in the time that the event ran. This was just a hiccup, nothing that I didn't expect. The disappointment for me was the lack of any unique brews to sample. Nearly all of the breweries had only two styles to choose from, any one of which can be easily purchased from Wegmans or Consumers Beverages. The atmosphere felt to me more like "Let's get tanked brah!" than "Let's go check out some great new beers".

There was plenty of space (both inside and out) yet the vendors were grouped so close together that at times it was hard to figure out what line you were waiting in. I was also hopping that the breweries would have some merchandise as give aways or for sale but the only thing for sale were brewfest t-shirts and over priced nachos. I think that it has potential to become a great event but there are some major kinks that need to be worked out. I'm not sure if I would attend again. I enjoyed the Art of Beer event much more.