Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spring Bock Beer Tasting

It's the most wonderful time of the year! BOCK SEASON BABY! After the dog days of summer and the 58 minutes of winter we get in Houston, nothing NOTHING is better than late February in Houston, Texas. 70 degrees outside, crawfish are starting to pop up, and I can be found on the golf course on my Friday's off. But that also means that the Spring Bocks are back. Sweet, malty, low hops, crisp, easy to drink, clean, pure. I absolutely love. So let's make it happen.
Beer Log: Right now
State: A little loopy from last nights beering, especially the Saint Arnold Farmer's Brown

Clear amber, kinda great malt nose, a pinch raisiny taste, low hops. Has a nice water thing going that Abita is known for. Nice light body, good mouthfeel. Sure could use some crawfish right now. Light bitter aftertaste that barely lingers. High 3 stars.

Golden, pinch more straw. Good caramel malt and raisin thing going on. Smell something like wheat. Good chewier beer. Has a light bread thing going, seemingly noble hops and whatnot. Nice cookie thing going on. High 3 stars, but not as high as Abita's Mardi Gras.

Tinged amber color. Syrup sweet thing smell. Big caramel/cinnamon thing, with a pinch of brown sugar. Great meld of sweetness with crisp crisp aftertaste. After you drink it, it's like sipping a new one. 5 stars.

Even a darker amber, copper color. Head waned quickly, so not much nose. Much stronger sweetness than SA, but a little more cloying. Has some chalkiness to it. I like the way it comes together, just that the water is not there. It's actually great, just came after the SA Bock. 4 stars.

Great golden straw color. Nice lasting head. Cookie sweetness thing again. Much softer beer, better taken care of than b-ridge. Has a light hop and light sweetness to it. Extremely drinkable. A little more balanced with the hops. Has a lemony hop I'm getting now. Palate getting low. High 3 stars.

Very clear straw. Very tasty caramel malt, nice sweetness, low hops. Has a little honey thing going on as well. Great light mouthfeel as well. Has some light bread to it, but more of a oatmeal raisin bread. Funny thing is I don't care for raisins, but I love the flavor in the beer. Kinda running out of taste buds there. No rating right now.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Give me Beer or Give me Death: HB660

All three of my readers are waiting to see me blog about HB 660, the Texas House bill that will allow microbreweries to sell beer at the brewery at the conclusion of brewery tours. Something on the order of 48 12-ounce beers. Everyone knows that I'm a business guy, who feels that any business that fails is it's own fault. I've got a lot of things to do today, but I will say that we should certainly support this bill.

With a law like this in place, the number of microbreweries in Texas would SKYROCKET. You could actually stay in business long enough to become a player in the game. Please write your representative about the bill and voice your support. Check out for more information.

We find ourselves at a serious crossroads here in Texas Craft Beer. A number of brewers are trying to get going, and these entrepreneurs truly embody the spirit of free enterprise and pride in one's product. Right now these folks are hamstrung by laws that force them to only sell their beer via distributors. Whatever that profit margin is, it's NOTHING compared to the profit margin micros could get by selling just a fraction of their beer onsite.

The distributors will have nothing to worry about. Only a small few are actually going to dragass all the way to the brewery for a few bottles. 98% of the time, we are all going to go to Specs or HEB or Kroger to get our beering. However, letting these folks sell some beer onsite will give the micros a chance to build capital quickly, and allow them to remain viable businesses while they are pounding the pavement for taps and shelf space.

BTW, Rally today at the Flying Saucer in Houston at 3PM. Some special beers will be poured and I'm sure someone will get a speech going or something. The more the merrier.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Get your Shine On

So Shiner (the folks that got me into craft beer) have come out with a new seasonal Dortmunder and a Double Wheat for the 102nd anniversary beer. The Dortmunder calls itself an ale, which I believe the first version was a lager. My non-craft beer bud light folk love it. It's a basic light lager when I prefer my lagers at least at Premium Lager strength. Of course the bigger the flavor the better.

Beer Log: Right now
State: Stuffed with the wife's spaghetti, watching Princess and the Frog again with the kid

Shiner 102: Double Wheat
Picked up a sixer of this one today at Specs on Barker-Cypress. Has a very very clear appearance, no haziness at all. The nose is a little leaven bread thing going on, as well as the taste. Moderate carbonation and a nice saaz hop thing going on. I can get a sense of the wheat beer, some light bread and banana, but that's it. I guess if I were thinking a Double Wheat beer, I'm thinking of those big Imperial Wheat beers like Sam Adams or the Wheat Wine from Boulevard. This one has the hoppiness of a premium lager or dortmunder. The body is reminiscent of wheat, kinda like St. Arnold's Lawnmower. The 6.2% ABV is greatly masked however. Very very soft beer. You put this on one during summer time and or even just yesterday, it would do well. As the temperature plummets to below freezing, drinking this beer now ain't gonna get it. Hopefully they'll hold out until March with this beer. I think more brothas would give this one a shot. I'll give this a low 3 stars for now. Gotta love that Shine though...