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Archive for January, 2014

Today we’re looking forward to warmer, sunnier days ahead with Saint Arnold Brewing Co.’s Spring Bock

Saint Arnold Spring Bock

As we sit in the midst of the second “snowpocalypse” of the month down here in Southeast Texas, we fully admit that we are longing…nay, silently pleading…to the weather gods for the sunshine-filled, seventy five degree days of Spring. And while everyone loves a good winter warmer or Christmas ale, we bet we can all collectively agree that our taste buds are ready for us to change it up a bit. The solution to our winter woes? Saint Arnold Spring Bock, on shelves now.

This authentic, German-style Bock from the great folks at Saint Arnold is big, deeply flavored and aged slowly to create its smooth, malty taste with a hint of sweetness. The brewers used five different types of specialty malts during the brewing process – all malted barley (no other grains or cereals such as corn or rice) and all imported from Belgium. They also used two central European noble hop varieties in this beer: Czech Saaz and Hallertauer.

The beer debuted in February of 1998 and that same year it won a silver medal in the Traditional Bock category at the World Beer Cup. Not bad for a first-time brew, eh?

Saint Arnold’s “laziest” beer, Spring Bock takes eight weeks to ferment and age. According to the brewers, “bocks were traditionally brewed in the spring to mark the end of the brewing season. Prior to the advent of refrigeration (can you imagine Texas without air conditioning?) the brewing stopped once the weather turned too warm. So brewers would use up the rest of the store of grains to make a bigger, higher alcohol beer, some of which could be stored over the summer.”

Contrary to a popularly-held belief, there is no truth to bock being what you get when you clean out the brewkettle or anything of the like. This brew is made from an original recipe and follows the German guidelines defining a traditional bock; it must be brewed to a high starting gravity and thus to a high alcohol content.

If you’re looking for a little respite from all this cold and cruddy weather, we suggest you pick up some Saint Arnold Spring Bock tonight and pretend you’re sipping it on a patio some place, somewhere in April. We’re firm believers that a little imagination can go a long way.

Cheers to brighter days ahead, Pint Jockeys! Stay warm and safe today and we’ll see you back on the blog next week.

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Karbach Hellfighter is on shelves NOW!

Karbach Hell Fighter label

When it comes to intense and robust beers, we think we can all agree that Karbach Brewing Co. REALLY knows what they’re doing. Case in point – “Hellfighter,” an Imperial Porter available in 22 oz. bomber bottles and on draft.

According to the folks at Karbach, “If you like darker, more robust ales and you also have a penchant for whiskey, you may have just reached the promised land.” This seriously dark brew (dark as an oil slick we tell ya) is full of coffee and chocolate flavors and a 9.8 % ABV content.

Anything but a thin Porter, this ale is chalk full of robust, roasted malts and dense darkness and a lingering bourbon flavor that is definitive, but subtle enough to not overpower the other complex flavors.  It pours a gorgeous dark brown hue with a dark khaki head that leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. You’ll notice an underlying hop presence throughout as you sip it down.

The brewers recommend pairing this devilishly good stuff with hearty foods, decadent desserts or that special cigar you’ve been holding on to for quite some time.  While best served in a snifter-style glass at 45 to 50*F, this brew can also be saved for years via proper cellaring conditions for a rainy day – if you can resist the temptation to open the bottle as soon as possible.

This beer is a must-try if you’re a fan of Texas-sized boldness and a strong finish – it’ll impress the hell out of you.

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Everything you need to know about our January Pint Jockeys tasting events – special guests and post-parties included

We’re kicking off the year with a bang, Pint Jockeys. This Thursday’s tasting events are sure to impress with stacked line-ups from three of your favorite Texas brewers plus special appearances from the brewers themselves at all three of our tasting locations. Plus, we’re keeping the party going at three different Pint Nights after the tastings. Read on for all the details.

 

Texas Big Beer

 

At our Texas City tasting, we’re welcoming Texas Big Beer Brewery Brewers and Founders John and Tammy McKissack, in from their brewery’s self-sufficient, eco-conscious homestead in Buna, Texas as they join us to sample six different Texas Big Beer Brewery favorites including the following:

Big Texas Blonde – This Belgian Strong Pale Ale with a 10.54% ABV content pours an orangey-tan colored hue with a cloudy body. The aroma of this beer is full of bread, fruit and candy notes while the taste is equally complex and interesting with present flavors including dough, fruit, honey caramel and more.  

Working Stiff Ale – Brewed in the style of an Extra Special Bitter and named for the “premium ales” of the working class in the London pubs in the 1800’s, this beer pours a copper color with a frothy white head. Aromas from this medium-bodied brew include caramel malts and floral hops and the taste is founded on a solid backbone of malt and earthy hops. The finish is smooth with moderate bitterness.

Beeriac IPA – An American IPA with a thick, hazy amber and copper-colored body that leaves a thick, frothy head with substantial lacing when poured. Beeriac’s aroma is full of orangey, citrus notes mixed with light pine notes, caramel sweetness and tons of hops. The flavor profile includes citrus tastes followed by sweet caramel flavors with a medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

Renaissance Cowboy – A “wee heavy” Scotch Ale, this brew pours a deep amber-brown with a light brown frothy head. The aroma is full of heavy malts with brown sugar, molasses and dark fruity notes. Flavors include much of the same, including sugary and fruity notes. The body is medium and thick with a sweet, malty base and sweet, smooth finish.

Texas Crude – This American Porter’s aroma is heavy on the vanilla with other hints of sweet chocolate and toffee. The taste is smooth with sweet malt and toffee flavors and a medium body with light carbonation. Bitter hop tastes follow through to a dry yet satisfying finish.

Czar of Texas – A Russian Imperial Stout, this ale pours an opaque brown-black with a heavy, cinnamon-brown head. The beer is extremely well balanced and in true Imperial Stout fashion, is packed with intensely malty, deeply roasted and fruity flavors. With the perfect level of intensity on the tongue, Czar packs both smoky and savory elements including baking chocolate, dried fruit and vanilla with a restrained sweetness that leads to a long and dry finish.

After the tasting, Texas City folks are invited to join us on the seawall at Beerfoot Beach Bar who is releasing their latest creation this Thursday. It’s an amber lager, and some of us Pint jockeys got to hang out with the Beerfoot Brew crew when they were making it. We can’t wait to try it. Special guests Johnny Max and Tammy “The Queen” McKissack will head there with us to tap their Big Texas Blonde and Czar of Texas and hand out Texas Big Beer Brewery glasses, while they last.

 

Pedernales logo

 

Victoria – we have got some GREAT things in store for you. Tasting attendees will have the opportunity to meet Pedernales Brewing Co.  Founder and President Lee Hereford, in from the brewery’s home-base in Fredericksburg, Texas, as they sample five different Pedernales favorites. Here’s your line-up:

Classic Hefe-Weizen – This classic unfiltered beer stays true to the Bavarian style with a strict yeast strain creating distinctive flavors of banana, apricot and clove. Light, cloudy and golden in color, this brew boasts a thick, frothy head and has received top marks at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO.

Lobo Lito – A full bodied, true Reinheitsgebot quality Pilsner beer made using Pilsner malt barley, Weihensteffan yeast, Saaz hops and Hill County well water. Its slightly lower alcohol content and thirst quenching, slightly hoppy finish make it the perfect summer-time beer.

Lobo Lager – This pilsner beer starts with Texas Hill Country well water and Czech hops. Brilliantly crisp and clear with a dense foam, light golden color and subtle hop aroma. The flavor is a delicate balance of expertly malted barley and carefully selected hops.

Lobo Negro – A true “Dunkel,” or dark brown lager, with a spicy maltiness that is neither sweet nor too roastily dry. The lager yeast is worked at low temperatures, imparting a clean roundness and balance.

Classic India Pale Ale – The brilliantly clear, light copper color of this classic English beer denotes the specialized caramel malt used to give the ale a light toasted flavor. Classic NW American hops are used to balance the malty sweetness of the barley to provide a wonderful herbal aroma from this well balanced beer.

Stay tuned for your post-tasting event details, Victoria. We’ll post them on Facebook as soon as they’re confirmed!

 

Southern Star logo

 

Beaumont Pint Jockeys, you can also expect a great line-up and great special guests! Folks at your tasting event will have the opportunity to meet Southern Star Brewing Co. founder and brewer Dave Fougeron, in from the brewery’s home-base in Conroe, Texas and sample the following:

Bombshell Blonde – Brewed with American Pale and Vienna malts that combine to give this brew its distinctive smooth, creamy body. Just enough hops are added to this rich, golden-colored ale to perfectly balance its bready finish. Fermented at a cool temperature to give a clean finish.

Le Mort Vivant – This seasonal, French-style beir de garde is rustic, malty and complex. The ale displays subtle notes of baked apples and stewed pears in the nose and flavor. Hints of anise and delicate spice flavors accompany Saaz and Strisslespalt malts for a malty, satisfying finish.

Pro-Am 2013 Red Rye – This year’s Pro-Am is dominated by rye and caramel flavors. The color is a deep hazy copper/red and the aroma is spicy rye and complex malt with earthy hops coming in second.  Slight brandy like alcohol notes are detectable as the beer warms. Tastes of rye, caramel, spice and distinct stonefruit accompany a medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

Pine Belt Pale Ale – This American Pale Ale pours a deep copper color with a substantial malt backbone accented with British crystal malts with aggressive hop bitterness and substantial American hop flavor and aroma. The yeast profile is neutral, incorporating Galena, CTZ and Horizon hops and California Ale yeast.

Valkyrie – This Double IPA pours a pungently hoppy deep copper ale, taking its influence from the hop loving city of San Diego California where the hop varieties of the Pacific Northwest reign supreme. With two hop additions, copious amounts of Simcoe and Centennial hops give an aroma of marmalade jam and tangerine zest masking the 9.5% ABV underneath. On the palate the beer is dry but contains enough malt character to balance the dominant flavors of ripe grapefruit and candied citrus, finishing with a slight spiciness from the Columbus hops. Clean and crisp, hoppy yet deceptively balanced.

Ancestor Rauchbier – A smoked Lager in the style popular in the Franconia Region of Germany around the city of Bamberg, this ale pours a copper hue with an aroma of subtle yet complex campfire smoke and embers. The finish is balanced with a full-body malt flavor and hop bitterness.

Buried Hatchet Stout – This stout is dark brown in color with monster smells of coffee and chocolate. The taste is much of the same, with hints of creamy toffee and roasted malt. Smooth and delicious, this medium bodied ale is all about the malts, but has enough hop bitterness to be balanced.

After the main event, join Mr. Fougeron, the rest of the Southern Star Brewing Co. crew and your fellow Pint Jockeys at Madison’s On Dowlen for an all-Southern Star Brewing Co. tap takeover.

Phew – that’s a lot of info. and a lot to look forward to, Pint Jockeys! We could use a cold one after that. We’ll see you this Thursday – CHEERS!

 

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Yaga's Chili Quest and Beer Fest

Who doesn’t love HOT chili and COLD beer? Yaga’s Chili Quest and Beer Fest returns to Galveston Historic Strand District for its fifth year on Saturday, January 18th featuring some of your favorite craft beers and over 80 chili cook-off teams, all benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Galveston.

Here’s how the day will go down:

The Chili Cook-Off opens to the public at 11:00AM and Beer Fest opens to the public at 1:00PM with an estimated 100 craft and imported brews from around the world available for sampling including No Label, Ballast Point, Karbach, Saint Arnold, Rahr & Sons and Southern Star Brewing Company. You can definitely expect a couple of rare brews and a few surprises, Pint Jockeys!

Other Chili Quest events occurring throughout the day include a washer tournament, margarita making contest, jalapeño eating contest, 5k fun-run and a Strand merchant walk-about. An awards ceremony will conclude the event with the announcement of the best chili on Galveston Island.

Last year’s event drew over 6,000 chili and beer lovers, and this year is expected to be even larger. Count us in!

For more information on the event and tickets, check out www.yagaspresents.com/chiliquest or on their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/yagaschiliquest/info. And, to leave you inspired, check out this video with highlights from last year’s event:

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