Tuesday, November 19, 2013

All Hail!

Been a little side tracked as of late. It gets a little difficult to keep up with the brew schedule I'd like to keep when working 7 days a week. Thankfully, one of those jobs is out at the Texas Renaissance Festival, a necessary distraction from the real world. Here's what's happened in my brewing world lately.

Firstly, I moved to Central Texas finally. As soon as I did, I found out that Houston has now opened a few more breweries. Upon leaving, I knew of St Arnold's, Karbauch, and No Label. Now there are at least half a dozen more new ones. Either way, Central TX still has the highest concentration of breweries in the state.

Secondly, I got to go to the Texas Craft Brewers Festival in late September. So many breweries and so little sobriety. There were 30+ breweries on site for the festival, each with multiple entries. You are provided a 4oz tasting cup that gets refilled over and over. The most notable one that I tasted was from No Label in Katy. It was a special release called Perpetual Peace, a Scottish Wee Heavy style beer that was about 9.5% ABV. I'm not normally into cask aged ales, but this one made me go back for more.

Recently, I got to meet the brew master and owner of Brigadoon Brewery. They are, as far as I know, the only onsite brewery for this particular Renaissance Festival. They only brew for a few months out of the year to be able to provide the freshest, tastiest craft beer on the festival grounds. There are themed weekends to give the patrons a different experience for each weekend. Brigadoon has taken this to the next level and provided beers that pair with the themed weekend. These specialty beers are done in smaller batches as they do not know if it will be as big of a hit as their standard brews. So far, each one has sold out very quickly. I look forward to seeing what they will put out next.

Thirdly, I have made more tasty booze. I still haven't made the full switch to all grain brewing, but this will be happening very shortly. Since moving, I have done one store recipe from Austin Homebrew Supply and a second version of a stout that I'd done previously. The first one was a brown ale. It came out well. Not spectacular, but definitely drinkable. The stout, however, came out much better than planned. The mash went well. The brewing went smoothly. I started tasting it about 2 weeks after bottling. Each week, the taste got smoother and creamier. I had nothing but compliments for that one. Hopefully soon, I can start trying all grain versions of these.

**Updates to follow for the mead recipe.**