Monthly Archives: March 2013

Shaking Things Up a Bit

I was handed a Lonestar the other day. And I actually drank it.

Now, that may not mean much to any of you out there, but to me, it was a first. I normally HATE light beer of any kind. In fact, I have been known to be “that girl” at parties who insists on playing beer pong with her own beer.

But it occurred to me the other day that I have reached a point in my beer adventures where I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what beer I know I like.  I like stouts. Cream stouts, milk stouts, oatmeal stouts, coffee stouts, CHOCOLATE STOUTS. I like beer that isn’t too hoppy or bitter. I feel like I might be repeating the same thing over and over (which is usually, “OMG this is great and dark and chocolatey/coffee-y/amazing”). So over the next few weeks I’m going to throw in a few educational posts along with a few posts from Pinthouse Pizza that I still haven’t finished yet, and – dare I say it – start branching out past my comfort zone. We’ll see what happens. 

Are there light beers I can drink without making The Beer Face? Is it possible for me to not be a jerk at parties and drink what some (boring) folks call “normal beer”? Can I down an IPA without wanting to throw it on the floor?  We’ll find out soon enough.

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Pinthouse Pizza – Part 1

I love Pinthouse Pizza.  A friend did a little research and demanded the pint night crew go there ASAP. I love that person. This was the best pint night we’ve had so far. I can’t speak highly enough of this place. Seriously. Go there. Go there now.

Pinthouse Pizza has beer flights – amazing and reasonably priced beer flights. Tell them what you like, and they’ll customize it based on your preferences. Did I also mention they brew their own beer? Yeah. For $8 you can get a flight of their own beer. For about $12-14 you can get a flight of any of the other 20-30 beers on tap (many of which are local as well). Because of this, I’m going to break down this one pint night into a few posts because I ended up trying about 8 different beers before I forgot I was supposed to be writing things down.

This is what my flight looked like:

Pinthouse Pizza - pint night!

They’re even nice enough to write down the names of the beer for you. I did have one beer before I had the flight. It was a New Belgium Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout.

Pinthouse Pizza - pint night!

This is a VERY good beer. It tastes very much like chocolate. It also has a distinct coffee flavor, but it isn’t as strong as the chocolate flavor. It’s really smooth and fairly thick, but not over the top. Did I mention it’s very chocolately? This is a relatively new beer from New Belgium. It’s part of their Lips of Faith Series. I have no idea how long it’s going to be around, so I’d recommend trying it now just in case this is a seasonal or temporary beer.

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Name: Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout
Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Company
Location: Colorado

Next up: Ballast Point Black Marlin Porter. This beer was VERY strong. It had a really dark flavor, and it wasn’t very thick. It actually was rather crisp for a dark beer. I didn’t really like it very much. It seems like the porters I’ve tried lately are a bit crisper, not as smooth and a bit more bitter than the other beers I’ve been trying.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Name: Black Marlin Porter
Brewery: Ballast Point
Location: San Diego, California

This next beer was very odd to me. It was called the Nitro Shark. There isn’t much information about this beer online. Also, if you aren’t in Austin, you aren’t going to find this anywhere. This was one of Pinthouse Pizza’s own brews. They had a Shark and a Nitro Shark. My friend got the Nitro Shark in one of the house flights:

nitro shark

From what I’ve been able to find, it’s an Irish Dry Stout. Untapped.com has it listed as 10% alcohol, and I believe it. It tasted like whiskey, but it was really, really smooth. Someone even compared it to ice cream as they hugged the glass. It reminded me of Jack Daniels. Only darker. It was really smooth and very creamy, though. It was also VERY VERY strong. It wasn’t really my cup of tea, but I can appreciate what they did. I think it’s still available at Pinthouse Pizza right now.

Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars
Name: Nitro Shark
Brewery: Pinthouse Pizza
Location: Austin, Texas

There were four other beers that I tried, but I’ll explain those in a separate post soon. Needless to say, this is a GREAT place to grab some new beer and have fun with friends. Pinthouse Pizza is also having an all day St. Patrick’s Day party on the 17th, so if you’re in Austin and don’t have plans, go check it out!

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Some Beer Resources

This post is a bit out of the ordinary for me, but I thought his might be helpful to some folks. I recently found a few beer related websites that have been extremely helpful and interesting. I’m a little late to jump on the bandwagon, but I thought I’d share them anyway.

1. Taplister
2. Untapped

SXSW is going on in Austin right now, so the whole town is a bit crazy. However, if you want to get away from the insanity downtown and are looking for a decent beer, Taplister might be your best friend. The website is set up to help you find beer and bars. If there’s a certain beer you want, just type it in, along with your zip code, and it will find the nearest place that has it on tap. The same thing applies with bars — do you have the urge to throw all your work on the floor at the office at 2pm and crawl over to a dive bar? Me too. And this site will find that bar for you. There’s an iPhone app available, but apparently not one for Android yet.

Also, a lot of bars will have all their beer on tap listed on Taplister, so you can check it out before you get there. That is particularly helpful at two popular venues — The Draught House and Hopfields. The Draught House often has really long lines, and it’s impossible to see all their beers from the end of the line on a busy night. Hopfields has a menu that’s impossible to read, however cool it may look, so having it all listed on this website is very helpful. The site is also handy when you’re looking for a new beer by a local brewery.

As for Untapped, I’m not as familiar with it, and I just signed up. It’s more of a social networking site linked to beer. However, it’s a great place to keep track of the beers you’re drinking and how much you liked (or disliked) them. Basically, if I didn’t want to write this blog, I’d use Untapped instead. 🙂 It seems to be extremely helpful in sorting through beer and finding your favorites. They also have an app for both Android and iPhone.

I’m sure there are other resources out there, and if anyone has any recommendations, let me know!

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