The Return Of Tullamore D.E.W.

The Return Of Tullamore D.E.W.

Tullamore D.E.W., named for original distiller and later owner, Daniel E. Williams, has long been synonymous with Irish whiskey. Founded in 1829 in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, the distillery remained open until 1954, when it closed its doors. The brand was purchased by William Grant & Sons, the family-owned distillery behind Glenfiddich Scotch Whiskey and Hendricks Gin, in 2010.

In 2014, William Grant & Sons re-opened Tullamore with a new pot distillery, officially telling the world that Tullamore was back. In 2017, they opened a brand spanking new grain distillery next door to the pot distillery, both located on the site of the original Tullamore distillery. For a company that had long blended sourced spirits for distilling, making the move to grain-to-glass was huge.

Texas Craft Brewers Guild and Beer Alliance of Texas Reach Agreement on Beer-To-Go-Sales

Texas Craft Brewers Guild and Beer Alliance of Texas Reach Agreement on Beer-To-Go-Sales

Two companion bills were filed in the Texas House and Senate last month that, if passed, would allow consumers the ability to purchase beer while visiting their favorite brewery and take it home with them. A luxury that all 49 other States currently enjoy. HB 672, filed by Representative Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin and SB 312, filed by Senator Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway look to change a law that has been on the books since Prohibition.

The passage would also end a decade-plus struggle between Texas brewers, lawmakers, and distributors.

On February 13, 2019, Beer-To-Go moved one step closer to this goal. The Texas Craft Brewers Guild (TCBG), the trade association that represents almost 300 small and independent breweries in Texas, and the Beer Alliance of Texas, (BAT), a trade association which represents malt beverage distributors in Texas, reached a compromise on the hotly contested issue. This agreement has prompted Representative Rodriguez and Senator Buckingham to file amended versions of their bills.

If passed, the revised legislation would allow consumers to purchase up to 576 ounces (or two cases) of beer per calendar day for consumption at home.

Islla St. Brewing Draws on Family Roots

Islla St. Brewing Draws on Family Roots

Last year, Islla St. Brewing Co. introduced themselves to San Antonio at the San Antonio Beer Festival in the Dignowity neighborhood of downtown.

Now, San Antonio’s newest brewery is ready to bring their wares to the public this weekend, with a more formal opening to include special events set for next weekend.

“We’re excited to finally open our doors to San Antonio,” said Joaquin Pena co-founder and brewer for Islla Street. “It’s been a long three year road and we’re ready to bring our unique brews to everyone.” Pena and brother Josh draw heavily from their cultural influences to create beers that they hope will highlight the unique flavors of their heritage. Josh handles the front end of the house, as well as brewing with Joaquin.

Texas Craft Brewers Festival 2018

Texas Craft Brewers Festival 2018

Now in its eigth year, the Texas Craft Brewers Festival (TCBF) descends upon Austin this Saturday, September 29, with an expanded format and even more breweries represented. The TCBF is a product of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild (TCBG), with some proceeds benefiting various charities each year.

Texas breweries have recently come off an impressive 18 wins at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado, where they showed the rest of the country that Texas is good enough to in the same conversation with stalwarts like California, Colorado and Portland.

This year's festival will feature over almost 70 Texas craft brewers with a multitude of unique brews for attendees to enjoy. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned festival vet, there will be something for everyone and special tappings on the hour from many of the participating breweries.

Texas Comes Out Swinging At The Great American Beer Festival

Texas Comes Out Swinging At The Great American Beer Festival

This year's Great American Beer Festival competition (known to many as GABF) saw around 2,200 breweries from around the United States enter this year's GABF. The competition awarded 306 medals to 280 breweries with judges from countries around the globe, who were brought together to evaluate the best of American ales, lagers, and specialty brews. Many Texas breweries have been recognized for their efforts in past years, and 2018 was no different.

Texas brought home 18 total awards this year 6 Gold, 4 Silver, and 8 Bronze medals, as well as a winner in the Large Brewpub category.

Here are the lucky winning Texas breweries:

Roadmap Brewing Debuts In San Antonio

Roadmap Brewing Debuts In San Antonio

Today has all the ear marks of being a great day. Outside of the pending rain, San Antonio sees the grand opening of Roadmap Brewing Co., headed up by Texas transplant Dustin Baker, along with his wife and father. Baker, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, took to San Antonio after several visits with his wife to visit his sister.

Baker, who, like many, caught the brewing bug after a homebrew kit was gifted to him and once in the Alamo City, felt the urge to open his own brewery. Baker saw a bustling, but still largely untapped market. After months of looking for a location, he took possession of the keys to his location at North Alamo and 8th Street. Baker came upon his brewery’s name after talking with his architect and wishing there was a roadmap to opening a brewery.

Texas Beer Again Shows It Is Not To Be Messed With

Texas Beer Again Shows It Is Not To Be Messed With

nother Craft Brewers Conference is in the books and with it another World Beer Cup. Held every two years, the World Beer Cup sets its self apart from other competitions like the Great American Beer Festival and the U.S. Open Beer Championships, as the competition is on an international scale and not limited to entrants from only the United States. 

This year’s competition saw judges from 33 countries, a whopping 72 percent of whom were from outside the United States. This elite group of judges evaluated 8,234 beers, an increase of 25 percent over the number of entries at the 2016 World Beer Cup, held in Philadelphia. Of the 2,515 participating breweries, 807 were from outside the United States.

William Grant and Sons: Drambuie

William Grant and Sons: Drambuie

Think Drambuie and images of that liqueur in the back of the bar behind the whisky, gin and other spirits. Think Drambuie and images of that Rusty Nail you order once in a while pop into your head. Few other liqueurs or spirits have been around as long as Drambuie though and this sweet and spicy liqueur made of Scotch whisky, Heather honey with herbs and spices, is often underrated. 

William Grant & Sons’ Most Curious Gin: Hendrick’s

William Grant & Sons’ Most Curious Gin: Hendrick’s

Over the last William Grant’s company has grown exponentially, with the Balvenie distillery born just five years after the Glennfidich distillery in 1887; Grant’s Blended Scotch Whisky joining the family; surviving a brief shutdown during World War I, as well as Prohibition; coining the term ‘Single Malt’ in 1964, many upgrades, as the well as the creation of a most curious Gin in Hendrick’s, Sailor jerry Spiced Rum and the inclusion of a historic liquor in Drambuie. William Grant and Sons remains family owned to this day, continuing William Grant’s quest to make the best dram of whiskey and adding to that dream with it’s other brands. 

Homebrewing Icon Charlie Papazian Retires From The Brewers Association

Homebrewing Icon Charlie Papazian Retires From The Brewers Association

1978. That was the year that Charlie Papazian published the first issue of Zymurgy Magazine ,along with Charlie Matzen and announced the formation of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA). That same year homebrewing became legal in the United States thanks to President Jimmy Carter. Charlie (he wouldn’t let me call him Mr. Papazian) had been teaching homebrewing classes for years prior to legalization. 

He’s authored several books focusing on homebrewing, including the now classic 'The Complete Joy of Homebrewing’, which has been updated many times over the years. His original wooden brewing spoon now resides at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. He’s taught thousands of students, many of whom went on to found commercial breweries including Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper, who founded the Wynkoop Brewing Company.

Texas Craft Brewers Guild Launches Political Action Committee

Texas Craft Brewers Guild Launches Political Action Committee

Not ones to give up, the State’s brewers continued with the campaign for education to show just how these archaic beer laws were and how much of a stranglehold they were placing on small business in Texas. They were joined by the grassroots consumer advocacy group Open The Taps, who formed in 2011 in response to the legislative defeat, and together with a few friendly distributors, were able to make some headway in 2013 having a few laws changed for the better. 

Though some advancement was seen in 2013, a little was lost as well. When the 2015 and 2017 legislative sessions rolled around, the states small and independent brewers saw more inaction. With Open The Taps fading and the distributor lobbies doubling down, it was difficult to see what could be done. With the launch of CraftPac, we have a combined group representing the State’s brewers and consumers giving both a legislative voice.

Inaugural Brewmasters’ Invitational Sets The Tone For Pairing Beer With Food

Inaugural Brewmasters’ Invitational Sets The Tone For Pairing Beer With Food

The Brewers Association, the trade organization which represents the majority of the small and independent craft brewers in the U.S and whose mission it is to promote these breweries, as well as advocate on their behalf, is at it again. The association is known for its efforts to educate beer aficionados about our favorite malted beverage, including how its pairs with food. Each year the association highlights this marriage of food and beer with events like Paired (held during the Great American Beer Festival) and SAVOR. Each event pairs different shelf with different breweries, highlighting this unique relationship.  

The Brewers Association has taken this a step further by bringing this unique concept directly to the beer enthusiast. Dubbed the ‘Brewmasters Invitational’ dinner, which pairs five different breweries with five different chefs.

Texas Scores Big Time At GABF Awards

Texas Scores Big Time At GABF Awards

This year's Great American Beer Festival (otherwise known as GABF) competition saw a record 2,217 breweries from around the United States enter a staggering 7,923 brews. The competition saw another record with 276 judges from 13 countries brought together to evaluate the best of American ales, lagers, and specialty brews. Many Texas breweries have been recognized in for their efforts in past years, and 2017 was no different.

This year Texas brought in a record 21 total awards this year 9 gold, 6 silver, and 6 bronze medals with Large Brewpub and Mid-size Brewery winners.

Texas Craft Brewers Festival Expands Format, Breweries

Texas Craft Brewers Festival Expands Format, Breweries

Now in its seventh year, the Texas Craft Brewers Festival (TCBF) descended upon Austin on Saturday, September 30, 2017, with an expanded format and even more breweries represented. The TCBF is a product of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild (TCBG), with some proceeds benefiting various charities each year.

This year's festival featured over almost 70 Texas craft brewers with more than 200 unique brews for attendees to enjoy. Whether a novice to craft beer or a seasoned vet, the festival certainly had something for everyone, with special tappings on the hour from many of the participating breweries.

Weathered Souls Puts The Pub in Brewpub

Weathered Souls Puts The Pub in Brewpub

Open almost 11 months now, Weathered Souls has been a brewpub in license only. Though Co-founder/owner Mike Holt, Co-founder/Head Brewer Marcus Baskerville, and Co-founder/Production manager Seth Parker have been open since last fall, they lacked a menu. A kitchen they had, it was a chef they lacked though that has now been solved. Enter Chef James Makuch. Hailing from Florida, Chef Makuch is a self-taught talent with a few culinary influences

What A Bitter Beer We Brew

What A Bitter Beer We Brew

Some styles fade away into the history books after a while, while others evolve into something new. In some cases, new styles emerge on their own. In an effort to continue to bring in customers and try to stay relevant, have we gone too far with some styles? India Pale Ales, or IPAs as they’re known, might be one such victim. For a style that began in England as early as the 1860’s, it is a far cry from its early beginnings, evolving into a piney hop bomb here in the United States, much to the delight of craft beer drinkers everywhere.

Today we see Mango, Pineapple, Grapefruit, White, Red, Black, even session IPAs and 2017 has seen the IPA continue to dominate beer sales, as well as retain its title as the most entered style in the industry. The variant IPA has almost taken over a straight up traditional American or English IPA, causing many to wonder if in our efforts to give consumers what they want, while at the same time distinguish ourselves from other breweries, have we run out of ways to keep the IPA party going?

Pearl Brewing: A Book Teaser Part III.

By late 1918, Federal Prohibition was in effect and with it a change in the San Antonio Brewing Association, now known as Alamo Industries. Emma Koehler and company were intent on riding out the storm, as many did not feel that the national ban on alcohol would last more than a few years...

" Period Three. Prohibition 1918 - 1933

Chapter Eleven

In the two years leading up to the start of Prohibition, San Antonio and Texas in general, was in its prime. San Antonio boasted six breweries: the San Antonio Brewing Association; Peter Bros Brewery; Degen’s Brewery; the Lone Star Brewing Association, Schober’s; and the Och’s and Aschbacer’s Brewery. 1916 saw these San Antonio breweries realize a combined annual income of $8,000,000 that was a ridiculously high sum that amounted to around a fourth of the city’s overall income. With 1,200 employees and a total payroll of a million, San Antonio’s brewing Industry was three times larger than any other industry in the Alamo City.  In 1917, with Prohibition on the horizon, the San Antonio Brewing Association introduced ‘La Perla – A Near Beer’ while still brewing XXX Pearl Beer.

Pearl Brewing: A Book Teaser Part II

By 1887 Otto Koehler and company had taken over City Brewery and rechartered as the San Antonio Brewing Association. From there it gets wild and crazy through Pearl's second period which runs through 1918 and the start of Prohibition. Welcome to part two of a preview into Pearl; A History of San Antonio's Historic Beer due out December 2017. 

" Chapter Four

Though the San Antonio Brewing Association’s beginning is set in 1886, Koehler did not actually leave the Lone Star Brewing Association until 1887. It was during that year that Koehler made his now we'll know trip from San Antonio to Bremen, Germany and to the Kaiser-Beck Brewery to acquire what would become the recipe and trademark for San Antonio Brewing Association’s XXX Pearl Beer.  

An alternative theory on how Otto Koehler came upon the name Pearl and possibly the recipe lies with recently discovered match safe bearing the name ‘A. Griesedieck Brewery Co’ with dates stamped on it ranging from 1879-1886, the very year the San Antonio Brewing Association debut its XXX Pearl beer. Coincidence? Perhaps, but consider again that Otto Koehler worked for Anton. Griesedieck. “Kaiser-Beck did not have a Pearl beer and Anton, as well as his future sons, did not continue to call their beer Pearl,” says Charlie Staats a local historian and collector of Texas brewing memorabilia and who discovered the match safe. “It is possible that Otto struck a deal with Anton to purchase the recipe and Pearl name from him, making one wonder what Otto Koehler was actually doing in Germany if he was not at Kaiser-Beck.”

Pearl Brewing: A Book Teaser

In December of 2015, my first book “San Antonio Beer: Alamo City History by the Pint” was released. Co-written with my friend, and fellow beer writer, Travis Polling, it chronicled the history of brewing in San Antonio from the early 1850's to the present. Two of the chapters alone were just the Pearl. It was through this research I realized that the full scope of Pearl's story could be contained in such a small number of words. Thus my second book "Pearl: A History of San Antonio's Iconic Beer" was born. Though the book will be released in December of this year, I wanted to release a series of 'teaser' posts. Below is the first of six previews. 

 

The early 1880’s were an interesting time for San Antonio. The population had 225,000 by 1880; the city’s second railroad, the International-Great Northern, had arrived and an industrial revolution had gripped the city. Modernization was in full swing, paralleling that of the country’s growth at the time. Having dropped slightly from being the largest city in Texas, San Antonio’s infrastructure boomed as well, with hospitals, paved roads, telephones and the like bringing San Antonio into the modern era and once again the State’s largest city. 

Wicked Weed Becomes The Latest Acquisition of Belgian Giant AB-InBev

This wasn't exactly a surprise, although it wasn't exactly something I expected either. 

Many have cried in outrage. However, I don't feel it is our place to tell somebody how to run their business. If they wish to sell, more power to them and I wish all employees who choose to stay, the very best. 

As a fellow beer writer Lew Bryson put it, consumers have a decision to make. Fish or cut bait. Do you buy an ownership or a beer? Will you no longer buy Wicked Weed beers because of their new ownership? Or will you continue to buy them despite their new ownership? 

If the support of small and independent breweries is important to you, as it is to me, then one must wonder if AB-InBev realizes this could backfire on them greatly or it could be genius. Though it is a crowded market at the moment for the breweries themselves, it is a great time for consumers. There are so many choices out there for all of us. We have the luxury of choosing to support an independent brewery or not.