Sunday, February 14, 2010

Beering on Valentine's Weekend... in Austin

Snuck into Austin, TX this weekend with the wife and another couple (no not swinging). It was not my normal beer-centric vacation, so that actually allowed us to enjoy the city a little differently, and have beer in the background. I had not realized how you go upward in sophistication and class (and price) of the bars as you work your way from 6th Street to 1st Street. We started out watching the mind fuc... er Winter Olympics opening games at Champions while drinking the "Mystery Beer". They refused to tell me which beer it was, but it reminded me a lot of Newcastle Brown.

Anyway, we just went Shiner Bocking it up at the bars on 6th street on Friday night. I tried to note how much local beer was on the taps (the real test as anyone can store bottles), and turns out Real Ale's Fireman's #4 is the WINNAH! The bright red tap handle with the gold 4 was at every bar, club, and dive. We swung by the old haunt Lovejoy's and scared our wives. I had their Pale Ale, not bad, but the wives were freaking out with the Sin City like bar.

The next night we explored the streets and found a great Irish Pub Fado's. Place was very comfortable, the man knew how to pour the Guiness, and they had 6 Nation's Rugby on the TV, does life get much better than this? It's on 4th street across the street from the gay bars. This place was way too cozy, and the Carlsberg I was drinking was much better than I've had it anywhere else. We jazzed it up for dinner at III Forks for some excellent steaks. No beer this time, just Pinot Noir. The place was packed and the kicker is that we barely were able to get reservations.

I made up for my sins of "no beer with dinner" by playing darts and drinking a healthy amount of 512 Bruin Brown ale they had on cask hand pump at good ol' Gingerman. This place was the polar opposite of 6th street bars. Lots of pea coats and tame beer love. Not going to see much vomit on the side of the road. We actually managed to see some stars, and used an Android app to find all the constellations.

But I think I'm not over thinking it that (512) has taken over the best beer title for Austin. Lord knows there's more competition on the way. But that IPA, Wit, and Brown Ale just seal the deal for me. I couldn't get enough of the stuff. The Brown ale was very chewy, malty, a touch of syrup, and the hops cut it just right. No sense of the 7.6 ABV. The IPA was a great piney thing. Just great while hanging out in the chill. The wit was a perfect citrus flavor with medium body coming from the oats, ranks right up there with some of the better wits I've had. I'm loving it man. Just need these guys to get some handles down here and we are on our way.

And today I think we were well on our way with cracking the code of Austin by few breakfast tacos at Taco Deli. Afterward, just watching folks swim in the Barton Springs pool. Can't wait to hit that one in the summer time.

Just going to chill out the next few weeks to let the bank account recover, then I may be able to sneak in a trip to Toronto for the next NSBE conference. I'm having flashbacks of the mussels at beerbistro and the beer menu at Volo. Holla.

1 comment:

Marketing said...

You are spot on- I work at Fado Irish Pub and couldn't agree more!

The nod to 512 is a good one but we'd take an issue with you calling them tops in Austin - but we might just be a little biased :>

Glad you found us, hope to see you back soon!