This weekend Heath and I met up with pals at the 2012 Texas Craft Brewers Festival at Fiesta Gardens on Lady Bird Lake.
There were dozens of micro brew booths at the fest, which, according to our buddy and home brew aficionado Mike, was twice as many as were in attendance at last year’s gathering. Yes, the surge of micro breweries in Texas has quite literally doubled over the past year, and you won’t hear any complaints from us. And considering that micro breweries may be one of the only industries not in recession, it seemed like the only American thing to do was to get out there and grow the economy, one beer at a time.
The selection at the fest pretty well covered the spectrum of beers: dark and light, bold and mild. We got to taste 6-oz samples from some of our old favorites like Live Oak and some new ones like South Austin Brewery. Neither of us are much in the way of beer experts, but we do know a good beer (and a bad one) when we taste it.
The satisfying and sobering Blogworthy concoctions included:
- Flying Monk by Adelbert’s Brewery—A rich and nutty brew that’s as delicious as it is dangerous at 10% ABV.
- Saison D’Austin by South Austin Brewery— A beer on the dark side with a little kick and spice but still goes down smooth.
- Das Wunderkind by Jester King Craft Brewery— A sour beer, which is apparently “in” right now but looks like foggy water and tastes like vinegar. (In other words, don’t do it.)
- Smokin’ Beech by Circle Brewing Co.— An unusual, thick beer with smokey flavors that aren’t overwhelming but definitely get the taste buds tingling. I could get down on a pint, but think I would need to switch to something less anomalous after that.
Good beers or bad ones, we enjoyed ourselves sipping on cold and distinctive brews on what was the first chilly day of fall, overlooking the lake and chatting with pals. I imagine we will be back at next year’s fest, especially when I know it makes Heath so happy.
“You’ve got to tour Live Oak Brewery,” our friends Nick and Melissa told us. “It’s the best beer in Austin.”
Seeing as how we take the advice of Nick and Melissa very seriously, we penciled in a tour of Live Oak Brewing Company for Saturday after our farm tour. Because after all, why make promises to indulge in healthy veggies if you aren’t going to follow it up with the consumption of unhealthy beer.
It turns out we picked the perfect time to hit up Live Oak, as it was celebrating its 14th anniversary with free beer, live music and delicious food. But free beer or no, the brewery is still worth checking out and the beer is certainly worth paying for. Their hefeweizen is full of flavor and texture, but doesn’t weigh you down the way other varieties might. And their new chipotle beer left the back of your throat tingling after even a small sip—maybe not great for everyday drinking but certainly a great conversation piece. The staff was friendly, the crowd was grateful, and the beer left me wanting more.
If you’ve never had Live Oak, I highly recommend it.
Who doesn’t love a Boston Terrier in a bicycle basket?
We saw this buggy on our exit from the brewery, which got Ranjana really excited and reminded her of India.
Oh Austin adventures, you never cease to amaze me.