Saturday, June 21, 2008

Austin: Part 1, Say Uncle!!

Oh yeah baby. If you are tired of partying in Houston, you can party it up in Austin Texas. This is the town that did not take on the cultural conservatism of the rest of Texas, although Houston's midtown/Montrose area is trying to catch up. So the wife and I make a 36 hour trip to Austin for our third anniversary, and we have mapped out a beertinerary to include a few brewpubs, and beer bars to cover the microbrews.

As we made our way up 290, couldn't help but notice quite a few guys riding Harleys, with long beards, confederate flag helmets, or no helmets at all. There were more of them the closer we got to Austin, and we later found out there was a Republic of Texas Biker Rally going on that same weekend. Fan-effing-tastic. That pretty much ruled out all of downtown, and we thanked our lucky stars that stayed a few miles out. Not that I think the bikers would have tried to kick my ass, but I knew that all the major hangouts on Sixth Street would be jam packed. So we had to skip Lovejoys, and just kinda did the perimeter of the city. Oh it's real.

The first brewpub we hit got rave reviews in the Southwest Brewing News, Uncle Billy's Brew and Que. We sat on the patio in the early evening. They had a great set up for valet parking, and a great food. The waitress did not know what a milk stout was, but who outside of a the beer nerds would know that anyway. We copped the flight of the beers they brewed on tap, and went for it. All beers were in those "gentlemen" glasses, about 5 ounces. We decided to go with flights as we don't get to Austin so much with the baby.

June 13, 2008

State: hungry, pretty warm outside, feeling good and looking over my shoulder as the bikers are showing up.

Back 40 Blonde Ale

Straw colored with a light hops smell. The only thing that gets me about flights is that you don't get as much head as with a regular beer, and your pallet can get jacked up, especially if it's all bitters like Wharf Rat in B-more. Back 40 did have a nice white head. On first draught, I got the medium body, light hops and carbonation. Very little aftertaste. I leaves a velvety feel in my mouth. It tasted a bit maltier with my bbq pulled pork. That swine be callin me.

Agave Wit

their seasonal brew. Lace white head, kinda belgian smell, you know fruity and sour. Straw colored and opaque. It had a full body, and I could taste the clove right away, with high fine carbonation. It's kind of tequilaish, and I'm not feeling it. There is some sweetness in here, but overall it's a bit overwhelming for me. The wife then told me that agave is what they use in tequila, so there you have it.

Organic Amber

Dark brown, white head, smells like chocolate. It has a strong choco flavor and velvety smooth mouthfeel. I'm going to call this roasted malt with medium carbonation and low hops. This one got a WOW from me, but the choco goes away the more you drink it. I think the agave was still messing with me, though I kept eating and drinking water inbetween beers.

Bitchin' Camero

Another special beer that's not always on tap. It's on the "Special Hop Tap" Dark red with low head. A good scrong hops smell. Strong to medium hop bite and high on the carbonation. Low malt. The beer has a quick finish which is always nice. I'm still not quite there with this one either. I imagine this is an English style judging by the bitterness, though I could be wrong.

Axe Handle Pale Ale

Oh yeah. Let's get hoppy. Orange pale color, white head and stronger hop smell than the Bitchin' Camero. But it smells kind of musty. But dammit that joint is bitter with a bready finish, high carbonation. This is for real stuff. Lingering hops aftertaste. I have to take a break now. It's a good thing the waitress told me to try this one after the BC.

Smokehouse Porter

On the Special Dark and Malty Tap. Deep brown and opaque, tan head. Smells of biscuits, coffee, and roasted malt. This is what the heck I'm talking about here. Chocolate flavor with low carbonation, tastes of coffee and toffee. Full body with low hops, and a great regular (probably crystal malt) malt to go along with it. This one is going great with the bbq. FTR, the BBQ was a sweet sauce, not tangy.

So this was a very good experience overall, my rankings for these beers are:

6. Agave Wit

5. Organic Amber, yes I said wow, but further tastes show it was just the Agave talking

4. Bitchin Camero

3. Back 40 Blonde Ale, yes I put the blonde ahead of the pale ale

2. Axe Handle Pale Ale.

and the best beer...

1. Smokehouse Porter. this was just perfect with the bbq, even though it was warm outside. Well done Uncle Billy's

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