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Posts Tagged ‘beer’

The second fastest-growing brewery in Texas just keeps getting bigger! 

Houston-based Karbach Brewing Company has made a splash in the local craft beer scene in the past year and now the little-brewery-that-could is gaining media attention all over the country. Del Papa Distributing Company announced today that residents in Texas City, Beaumont and Victoria distribution areas will now be able to find the popular beers at their favorite bars and grocery, liquor and convenience stores.

If you’ve kicked back with a cold Karbach, you know brew master Eric Warner must be doing something right in the brew house. We love sipping on this beer, most recently the Love Street Summer Seasonal.  After recently being named the second fastest-growing brewery in the country by The New Yorker, Karbach is certainly a brewery to watch in the coming months.

Karbach’s core lineup, Sympathy for the Lager, Weisse Versa Wheat, Hopadillo IPA and Rodeo Clown DIPA, plus its summer seasonal, Love Street Summer Ale, are among the full lineup available in cans and on tap, now being distributed by Del Papa. Roshambo and El Hopadillo Negro will also be available in 22 oz. bottles and on draught. Del Papa will also distribute the brewery’s seasonal lineup, limited releases and F.U.N. series.

So if you grab a glass or pick up a six-pack, tell us what it is and what ya’ think. Until next time, cheers!

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Pedernales Classic IPA 

Hello again, Pint Jockeys. Last week, we had the pleasure of participating in another American Craft Beer Week and we’re certainly sad to see it go! We hope you enjoyed a week of craft-centric celebrations as much as we did. Although the festivities may have passed, we’re still doing what we do best; trying any craft beer we can get our hands on and sharing our findings with all you fine folks.

As we approach a big weekend for backyard barbeques and brewskis with friends, we wanted to highlight a craft beer that should make its way into ice buckets all over Southeast Texas. Our Texas Pick of the Week is Pedernales Classic IPA.

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In recent years, we’ve seen craft breweries across the nation brew up their own version of the classic IPA, a beer with a diverse and often disputed history. One thing is certain with any IPA: hops are the driving force of the brew. The rule stays true with the English style IPA from Pedernales. The Texas Hill Country brewery uses NW American hops in both the boil and through “dry hopping,” balancing out the malty sweetness of barley. The combination gives an herbal aroma and it pours a light copper color. A specialized caramel malt gives this beer a light toasted flavor  that is not too bitter or strong. Rather, this beer is balanced, clean, and dry. It’s a perfect addition to a plate of baby back ribs or smoked brisket!

Whatever is going on your grill for the grilling season, Pedernales Classic IPA is a good beer to have in the ice chest to share with friends and family. If you stopped by a Del Papa Distribution Center in Beaumont or Victoria for the Monthly Tasting Event in May, you’ve had a go at this India Pale Ale. Share your thoughts with us! Until next time, cheers!

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The Pint Jockeys highlight their favorites!

‘Tis the season…of the winter seasonal, that is! Every year around this time, many of our favorite craft breweries from all over the country release their limited-edition brews, specially concocted for the holiday months. And while each has its own unique personality, all winter seasonals have a few common traits.

For instance, American winter ales tend to be spicier and warmer. According to BYO.com (Brew Your Own), winter selections are often amber or darker in color and are brewed to be “stronger, richer and more full-bodied.” Typically, they are flavored with those spices which remind you of the holidays – you know, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and more. Tasty!

Some of our favorite seasonals include Saint Arnold’s Christmas Ale (available now) and its upcoming Winter Stout, a creamy, full-bodied yet sweet stout with subtle chocolate and coffee flavors. Watch for that one to hit shelves in December. Of course Rahr & Sons’ Winter Warmer, which features flavors of chocolate and roasted malts, and Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale, one of their most sought-after releases with its layers of pine and citrus hop aromas, are also perfect for a cold winter day. Last but not least, we’re thankful for the return of New Belgium’s Snow Day, with its serious load of Styrian Goldings, Centennial and Cascade hops!

Have we forgotten any classics? Which are your favorite winter seasonals? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts on Facebook. We’re always looking to try something new!

‘Til next time, we’ll be cozied up by a fire enjoying one (or all) of these picks.

Happy holidays, Pint Jockeys!

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American vs. English IPAs

Your homework this week: to memorize this chart.

Welcome to week four of Beer School! You’ve made it halfway through the course, so with only two weeks remaining, we toast to you, Pint Jockeys. In today’s lesson, we’ll take a look at the difference between the American and English interpretations of a worldwide favorite – the Indian Pale Ale.

But first, a little moniker history. Back in the early 18th century, the British exported pale ales to their troops in India. In an effort to preserve the beer during its long ocean journey, brewers added extra hops and, ipso facto, created a brand new and now very popular type of beer called, fittingly, the India Pale Ale, or IPA.

Of course, we Americans put our own spin on things and have thus appropriated the English favorite. The main difference between American and British IPAs? The hop content and quantity. We hop up our IPAs significantly more than the British, resulting in a beer with greater bitterness and an extra kick. Contrarily, English IPAs have a “light on mouth feel,” according to Oregon Live. And while American IPAs contain “hops with a big herbal and/or citric character,” Winning-Homebrew.com says English IPAs have “moderate to moderately-high hop aroma with notes of floral, earthy or fruity English hop.”

Pop quiz time! We’ve learned about lagers, amber ales, blonde ales and now Indian Pale Ales. So tell us, which style of craft beer do you think rakes in the most sales in the US? You guessed it! According to one of our favorite blogs, Beervana, American IPAs account for 19.4% of US craft beer sales, which is more than any other single style of beer. While that may not have come as shock to us hopheads, Beervana says 2011 was the first year IPAs surpassed all other types!

Ready for your homework? (PS, we were just kidding about the homework above.) Why don’t you grab your favorite American and English IPAs – we like Saint Arnold Elissa IPA (American) and Fuller’s IPA (English) – and drink up. Then, leave a comment below or on our Facebook page letting us know which you prefer and why. Bonus points of you tell us where you did your tasting.

Don’t procrastinate! Do your homework soon. Our beer school minimester is almost over, and with just two more weeks of beer school lessons, graduation is on the horizon.  What better way to cap off the course than by drinking more beer (and on someone else’s dime)? Join us for a graduation celebration at the September 20th Pint Jockeys tasting events in Victoria, Beaumont and Texas City! As always, we’ll post more details on the tastings here on the blog as we get them. In the meantime, make sure you’ve done all six weeks’ worth of homework, because the Pint Jockeys may give away prizes to our straight-A students!

Cheers ‘til next time, compadres!

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Say hello to summer with Widmer Brother’s Citra Blonde Summer Brew!

Since we’re only one week into “official” summer and already experiencing three-digit temperatures, we thought we’d treat you to another light and refreshing beer suggestion to help survive the intense Southeast Texas heat to come.

Today, allow us to introduce a Widmer Brothers’ summer seasonal called, fittingly enough, the Citra Blonde Summer Brew! As we say hello to this interpretation of a golden ale, it’s also time to say “thanks for the memories” to Widmer’s Dark Saison; we’ll see you again soon. 

Light and bubbly, part of what makes the Citra Blonde Summer Brew perfect for a cookout is its Citra hops. Their striking aroma and thirst-quenching flavor are the perfect pairing for soft malt notes. Reviewers on BeerAdvocate.com agree the beer’s light and bubbly texture, mixed with its citrusy and fruity flavor create a beer that’s full in taste and still uniquely refreshing.

In case beer history is your thing, we found the history of the Widmer Brothers to be just as interesting as the beer they brew. Dissatisfied with the paltry selection available at the time, brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer began brewing their own beer in 1979, as soon as it was legalized in Oregon. Interestingly, their brewery was the first in the United States to offer a full four-seasonal beer lineup, so clearly these guys know how to celebrate a change in seasons.

And, the guys at Widmer Brothers are so dedicated to their craft that they want to make sure you, too, are properly educated on all things brewskis. So, if you were ever wondering how to properly pour a Widmer beer (we’re not talking from the bottle straight to your mouth), they’ve put together this quick video for you. And the perfectionists that we are, we encourage you to try the pour a few times to make sure you get it just right, then drink up the evidence.  If it takes you a “few tries,” we won’t judge…of course, practice makes perfect!

Let us know if you were able to master the Widmer Brothers Citra Blonde Summer Brew pour in the comments and, as always, cheers to you!

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Texas City and Victoria events to feature summer vacation selections; Beaumont to honor Saint Arnold

Today marks the official first day of summer, Pint Jockeys! And while we’ve been experiencing the brutal Texas summer heat since May, we’ll look for any reason to celebrate, and the official first day of summer is reason enough for us.

In honor of such a festive occasion, we’re here to tell you about our June tasting events, taking place in Victoria, Texas City and Beaumont tomorrow, Thursday, June 21.  As always, the tasting events are free and open to anyone 21 and older and will take place in each distribution center’s hospitality room from 5-7 p.m.

The tastings in Victoria and Texas City will feature a great lineup from brewers located in top travel destinations in the U.S. and abroad, including Costa Rica, Portland and Hawaii, just in time to plan your summer vacation.

Here’s what you’ve got to look forward to:

  • Kona Longboard Island Lager – Travel to Hawaii with Kona’s Longboard Island Lager, a smooth refreshing lager fermented and aged for five weeks at cold temperatures to yield its exceptionally smooth flavor.  A delicate, slightly spicy hop aroma complements the malty body of this beer.
  • Kona Wailua Wheat – The plunging cascade of clear water of Hawaii’s Wailua Falls is the inspiration for the Limited Release Wailua Wheat Ale.  This golden, sun colored ale has a bright, citrus flavor that comes from the tropical passion fruit brewed into each batch.  Sit back, relax and enjoy paradise anytime.
  • Redhook Longhammer IPA – Sample an IPA from Seattle. The generous addition of hops both during and at the end of the fermentation process (dry-hopping) gives the Redhook Longhammer its characteristic bitterness and piney citrus aroma and flavor.  The medium body, crisp finish, and moderate alcohol and IBU levels makes this one of America’s most drinkable and best-selling IPAs.
  • Redhook Wit – Redhook’s twist on the Belgian style is the addition of fresh ginger, which adds a refreshing snappiness to this lighter-bodied wheat beer.  Redhook Wit is perfect for warm summer months of outdoor BBQ-ing, sitting by the pool, or just enjoying a rainy day inside watching old re-runs of Gilligan’s Island.
  • Widmer Citra Blonde – Citra hops lend their name to this Portland interpretation of a golden ale.  But that’s not all they bring to the party.  Their striking citrus aroma and thirst-quenching flavor are the perfect pairing for soft malt notes.  Together they create a beer that’s full in flavor and uniquely refreshing.
  • Magic Hat #9 Not quite a pale ale, this elixir is impossible to describe and is a brew “cloaked in secrecy.” The mysterious ale is dry, crisp and fruity, and there is nothing quite like it.  Cascade and Apollo hops with pale, crystal malts make the unique brew quite magical.
  • Imperial–
    Pint Jockeys’ June Beer of the Month, Imperial combines a balance of malt, grains and hops to create an extremely refreshing beer.  Heading to the beach just got a little easier; this Costa Rican brew can now be enjoyed in 12oz cans, so it’s also welcome in locations where our bottled favorites can’t go.

More interested in a staycation? Our Beaumont event will feature some of our Saint Arnolds favorites, including: Saint Arnold Summer Pils, Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower, Saint Arnold Weedwacker, Saint Arnold Santo, Saint Arnold Amber Ale, Saint Arnold Elissa and the Saint Arnold Endeavor. Plus,  Saint Arnold’s beer aficionado Lennie Ambrose will make a special appearance to sample selections, answer questions and talk brew with our fellow Pint Jockeys.

Check out our official Facebook event for  the full details and and RSVP while you’re there!  After you leave your tasting, be sure to come back here and let us know which beer was your favorite.

Hope to see you there!

Cheers!

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Latin Stir Fry with Gallo Pinto

Happy Weekend, Pint Jockeys! You’ve made it to the end of another week and we applaud you for that. Have you set your weekend plans yet? Figured out how you’re going to say “Thanks Dad” on Sunday? (Yep, Father’s Day is this weekend. You’re welcome for the reminder.) If the answer to either question is “no,” then you’ve come to the right place. Today we’re sharing a few Costa Rican recipes with you that any dad will love just as much as he’ll appreciate you bringing over some ice cold 12oz cans of our June BOTM, Costa Rican Imperial

In honor of this special day, we thought we’d switch things up a bit and depart from our usual fare of grilled goodness. So today we present to you not one but two recipes sure to transport Dad to a Costa Rican paradise and make him wonder if you’re moonlighting as “Chef  Miguel” on the weekends. We’ll start with a Latin Stir Fry from TastyKitchen.com, which we’ll throw on top of a Costa Rican favorite, Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican Rice and Beans) found on Food.com.

The best part about these two recipes, beside all the fresh ingredients? They’re easy enough to whip up before you sit down to watch a little fútbol (known as “soccer” to us Americans). There are some great matches on Sunday, including one between our very own Houston Dynamo against FC Dallas.

So grab a pen; here’s what you’ll need:

For the Gallo Pinto:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 -3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • fresh cilantro (optional)
  • sliced green onion (optional)

For the Latin Stir Fry:

  • 1 whole bell pepper
  • 1 whole jalapeño
  • ½ whole onion, white or yellow
  • 2 whole chicken breasts

To prepare the Gallo Pinto:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and sauté until it just begins to soften and turns color.
  3. Add garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until onion is golden.
  4. Add spices and Worcestershire, and stir into onion and garlic.
  5. Next, add the beans and then the rice.
  6. Combine the rice and beans evenly and cook until mixture is heated through.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To prepare the Latin Stir Fry:

  1. Remove the white membranes and seeds from your peppers.
  2. Chop your veggies into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Grill vegetables on medium-high heat or on a grill, until you reach desired char-ness. (15-20 minutes is about where I stop.)
  4. Season chicken as desired, then cook/grill until the meat turns white. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Serve over Gallo Pinto and enjoy!

Gallo Pinto photo courtesy of Food.com user jerrys200345.

Latin Stir Fry photo courtesy of TastyKitchen.com

Don’t be timid when it comes to adding all that Worchester sauce to your Gallo Pinto. We know it’s a lot, but we say BE BOLD when it comes to trying this dish!

Dad will thank you for thinking of something different and you’ll be happy you have something with a little kick to go with your ice-cold Imperial. As they say: When in Costa Rica, do as the Costa Ricans do.Have a great weekend and give Dad a pat on the back; he deserves it!

Cheers!

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