Texas Brews News
By: Scooter Hendon | 04/24/2014
Brandon and Scooter talk about the blackness of Blakkr, metal (both easy to love and dark as hell) and shotgunning beers in front of a hospital.
Check out our companion Spotify playlist with bands featured in the Brewcast at the front and some songs that just scream BLAKKR toward the end.
By: Scooter Hendon | 03/06/2014
It’s been awhile, but we’re back with a Texas New Brewcast. This time we chat about Adelbert’s, their refining of the bottle conditioning process and entering a competitive California market.
By: Scooter Hendon | 11/04/2013
Along with brewmaster Jamie Fulton, Community Beer Company founder Kevin Carr and his team have grown their brewery to being nationally recognized in a very short period of time. This was punctuated by the Gold medal they earned at October’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver for the Public Ale. We spoke with Carr at the brewery recently about winning medals, which styles are most popular and where they think they’ll head in the next year:
Texas Brews: So Public Ale won Gold at Great American Beer Festival, and that has been one of your beers from the beginning, how’d you land on that one?
Kevin Carr: It’s funny because Jamie and I worked on a lot of the beers that we’d start with, but the one real vote that I had was that we’d have something like a beer that I liked. When I’d go to pubs, I always liked the English ales that you’d have there. So we actually went to a place and bought like 10 or 15 different styles in that kind of genre and tasted them all and dialed in what we liked of each and where we wanted this one to be. For me it was the kind of beer I wanted us to put forth. And it became Jamie’s favorite one that we did. The other styles that we do get a lot more attention than that one, so it’s nice to have won an award for a beer that doesn’t sell as much.
TB: I was talking to someone in a bar recently about Community and I said “Did you see Public Ale won a Gold at GABF?” And she responded “Why didn’t Mosaic win, everyone loves that beer!” Not as many breweries make an ESB, so the field isn’t quite as thick, right?
Carr: There were nearly 60 (ESBs) in the category, which is kind of on the higher end. There are some like IPA that had over 250. Others have 80 or 90, but it’s good, you put them in and see what happens. We’re honored that one of them won.
TB: I’ve heard rumors that the recipe for Community Vienna Lager is the same as what Jamie brewed at The Covey (now closed Fort Worth brewpub) and won some awards with, is that true?
Carr: Yes, it is. And he won with Cowboy Lager and 100, which is the precursor to Inspiration (Community’s Belgian strong ale). The vienna lager won at World Beer Cup. It won gold one year and silver another year.
TB: It seems like you guys have two different segments of beer. You kind of have traditional well-made styles that is stuff that people know and are comfortable with. And then you have some of the cool Belgian stuff, did you split it up this way on purpose?
Carr: That’s true, we have more sessionable versus more true Belgian, higher alcohol, bottle conditioned. They’re two different categories. The third that we’re getting into, that a lot of breweries do, is we’re about to start our barrel-aging program. We’re going to do a lot more seasonals. We’ve got a Scotch ale that’s coming out that’s amazing. We’ll take some of it as is and barrel age the other half of the batch.
TB: Where are you guys at growth wise from what you expected when you launched and where do you think you’ll head in then next year from an output perspective?
Carr: I think we’re right where we hoped we’d be at this point. Next year, we have more tanks coming in we’re about to release six packs (they have since released six packs since this interview). Next year is the year where we’re really focusing on getting more product made and out to the market so we’ll be growing even more.
By: Scooter Hendon | 10/08/2013
By: Scooter Hendon | 10/03/2013
By: Scooter Hendon | 07/14/2013
I’ve always enjoyed Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione’s somewhat famous quote about the craft-beer industry being “99 percent asshole free.” The craft beer industry is unlike most every other industry in the world. Instead of a cutthroat mentality where everyone is treated as your competitor, craft beer fosters friendship, cooperation and a sense that “we’re all in this together.”
I’ve witnessed Jester King give yeast straight out of their tanks to a local brewpub. I’ve seen Deep Ellum give part-time employment to Cody Martin before Martin House opened just so he could gain experience and bridge his employment gap. I’ve seen craft beer bars just up the road from one another lend draft equipment to each other in times of need. Stories of helping are abundant all over the country and every region has stories of inspirational cooperation to tell.
My experience with this brotherhood has been consistent across visiting and exploring many corners of the United States, but my recent travels to Ireland showed this to not be an exclusively American ideal. Irish craft beer is a relatively new concept. With Diageo (a giant conglomerate not unlike Anheuser-Busch InBev) owning Guinness, Smithwick’s, Harp and other long-time Irish brands, Ireland’s craft brewers are clawing at the behemoth as well as constantly fighting the fiercely traditional mindset that Irish beer drinkers have.
“For a nation of beer drinkers, we’re trying now. I think that’s the beauty of it. We’ve gone from solely being dominated by Guinness and Diageo to now seeing their market getting chipped down slowly,” said Brian Wynne, bartender at The Porterhouse Temple Bar in Dublin. “Irish people have started to realize there’s more to beer than Guinness and Carlsberg and Bud Light and Budweiser and all that rubbish.”
Even relative veterans of the Irish craft beer scene haven’t been around all that long. The Porterhouse and Carlow Brewing (O’Hara’s) started brewing in 1996 and Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork (south Ireland) was founded two years later. Other seeming mainstays like Eight Degrees Brewing and Metalman Brewing didn’t come around until two or three years ago and are now seen as modern pioneers despite being as young as they are. On the horizon are many more that are in development right now.
The big boys are taking notice though as Franciscan Well was recently acquired by Molson Coors. They’ll still maintain their own brewing operation and will actually be going through a large expansion, but the ownership is no longer independent. Still, they’re keeping their brewpub and trying to maintain as much independence as possible.
“Everybody was saying ‘Oh, that’s going to be bad,’ but there’s an awful lot of resources that we didn’t have access to, and now we’ve been getting in hops we couldn’t get our hands on,” said Franciscan Well head bartender and brewing assistant Tomas Collins.
And with each brewery having limited resources, it isn’t uncommon to see one brewery cleaning out the draft lines for another because they happen to be visiting an account that carries both their brewery’s beers. Just as in the U.S., they understand that scratching each other’s backs and transitioning drinkers over to craft beer is a mutually beneficial proposition. It’s inspiring to see another relatively fledgling beer scene growing in a similar way to my home state.
By: Scooter Hendon | 06/04/2013
We love Shiner Restaurant and Bar, so we asked owner and proprietor Randy Rouse to join us to discuss pouring for Lakewood beers for thousands of people at two different beer festivals. We also get loose-lipped because this beer drinks so easy despite being as strong as it is. Listen for hot brews opinions!
By: TX Brews | 05/01/2013
We mispronounce the name of this stately new brew from the boys in Conroe as well as discuss other old ales (or what we can remember). We also get into an extended discussion on the greatness of Big Texas Beer Fest in Dallas that already happened (oops, we forgot to publish this beforehand).
By: TX Brews | 03/18/2013
Divine Reserve 13 hits shelves which means we’re hitting the airwaves to talk about St. Arnold’s continued diversification, our favorite Belgian quads, how beer is like Pokemon and our favorite #UntrueDR13Facts.