"The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?" -- President Gerald R Ford
People who have known me as a homebrewer for a long time often ask me what I think of professional brewing.
This is blog entry about drinking beer here, and drinking beer there.
Beer Here (Austin, Texas)
I went to the Austin ZEALOTS' (my homebrew club's) Christmas party this weekend. It's been a good year to be a ZEALOT and we had a great party to celebrate. Our Primary Fermenter, Corey Martin, and his wife, Angela, host the party every year at their house in Round Rock.
For the past several years (eight now?), there has also been a chili cook-off associated with party and this year the competition drew 29 entrants. (How much electricity does it take to run 29 Crock Pots, I wonder?) Everyone at the party had the opportunity to try each of the dishes and vote on their favorite three. This year there were a lot of interesting chilis in the mix, but the winners were pretty much straight up Texas chilis (meat, no beans), and insanely good....
Last Friday, I helped brew a batch of homebrew inside a soon-to-be-opened commercial brewery. My friend (and fellow Austin ZEALOT) Ed Peters, who will be the brewer at South Austin, invited me to brew a test batch of beer. We made an amber-colored ale (about 20° Plato/OG 1.080), which Ed pitched with Belgian Abbey yeast (Wyeast 1214).
South Austin’s brewery is almost complete, but we brewed 10 gallons on his homebrew rig, not on the brewery’s brewhouse. Here's a picture of Ed stirring the mash. (My "helping" was largely confined to sitting around drinking beer, including a sample of a test batch of their saison.)
South Austin plans to launch with two beers — a saison and a Belgian golden ale (along the lines of Duvel). The amber beer we brewed will be added to the lineup sometime later....
Most brewers will tell you that attending the Great American Beer Festival is one of the highlights of the year for them. It is a big spectacle of beer, brewers, and beer lovers. It is something for every beer geek’s bucket list.