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National Beer Day!

Happy National Beer Day, also known as Brew Year’s Eve!

For me, a lot of days are beer days, but today’s holiday actually has some historical background. It isn’t just one of those made up holidays like “Put a Necktie on Your Cat Day”. On March 22, 1933 the Cullen-Harrison Act was signed, and it went into effect on April 7, 1933. This act basically allowed low alcohol beers to be sold in the US for the first time since Prohibition began in 1920. The signing of the Cullen-Harrison Act was the beginning of the end of Prohibition, which didn’t officially end until December 1933. If that isn’t worth celebrating, I don’t know what is.

There’s an interesting write up about it here on the Craft Beer blog. Since the days of Prohibition, the landscape for beer in America has changed drastically. Recently craft beer and microbreweries have boomed, and the variety of beers available has been increasing rapidly.

While on the topic of history and laws related to beer, there is something interesting going on in the Texas Legislature right now. Currently in Texas, breweries cannot sell their beer on site; they must go through a distributor to sell their beer. There are plenty of brewery tours, but they can only give samples and can’t actually sell the beer to you. Also, brewpubs are allowed to brew beer on site and sell it by the pint, but they can’t sell that same beer through a distributor or in stores.

This system currently in place is very backwards, and SB 515, 516, 517 and 518 are working to fix that. These bills recently passed in the Senate and are moving on to the House. If these pass, then brewpubs will be able to distribute their beer if they want to, and it would also allow breweries to sell a limited amount of beer at their own facilities directly to consumers. The Jester King Craft Brewery blog has a great article about it here. There is also another bill in place that seems a bit more controversial and isn’t favored by many Texas breweries, but at least the other four bills that passed seem to have everyone agreeing it’s a step in the right direction and could really make a difference for brewers in Texas.

So if you get a chance today, send a quick email to your state rep if you’re in Texas, then be festive, support your local breweries, and go grab a pint and celebrate!


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Pinthouse Pizza Part II

March was insanely busy with SXSW and a few other events, so I’m a bit behind on posts. BUT I’m getting a new tablet soon, so hopefully that’ll make blogging much easier on me. Anyway, back to the Pinthouse Pizza adventure… There were four other beers that I tried in addition to the others I recently posted about.

Pinthouse Pizza - pint night!

1. Bully! Porter
I did not like this beer very much. It was very bitter/had too much hops for my taste. The IPA guy loved it. It just wasn’t really my thing. The IBU rating (which is a new discovery for me, but I’ll go into that in a different post) is a 49, which is a bit too high for me. I wouldn’t recommend this one.

Rating: 2.9/5.0 stars
Name: Bully! Porter
Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company
Location: Kansas City, Missori

2. (512) Cascabel Cream Stout
This is such a good beer! (512) Brewing Company is one of my favorite breweries in town. This beer was very smooth and creamy, and also chocolatey and coffee-ish. It was also really sweet. An interesting note about this beer is that it is brewed with Guajillo chiles. I don’t recall noticing any obvious heat when I tried this beer, so it’s a subtle addition. My notes from that night only say, “YESSSSSSSSSSS,” so I highly recommend it.

Rating: 4.7/5.0 stars
Name: Cascabel Cream Stout
Brewery: (512) Brewing Company
Location: Austin, Texas

3. Deep Ellum’s Darkest Hour
This beer is a rye imperial stout, and it is also one of Deep Ellum’s specialty beers that has a limited release. Interestingly, the name is in reference to the shortest day of the year; Deep Ellum says it’s brewed to mark the winter solstice. This beer was actually quite bright and citrusy for being as dark as it is. It’s also really strong. It had hints of dark chocolate and was a bit bitter. Overall, it was a pretty solid beer.

Rating: 3.9/5.0 stars
Name: Darkest Hour
Brewery: Deep Ellum Brewing Company
Location: Dallas, Texas

4. The Admiral
This was one of the beers that Pinthouse Pizza brews. There really isn’t any information on it online anywhere, and you can only get it at Pinthouse Pizza. I wasn’t entirely sure how to feel about this one. It was very strong, and a bit bitter. It didn’t really leave much of an impression except it wasn’t smooth at all compared to the other beers that I had. My general response was “meh”.

Rating: 3.5/5.0 stars
Name: The Admiral
Brewery: Pinthouse Pizza Brewpub
Location: Austin, Texas

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Rogness – Yogi Chai Spiced Amber

Rogness Brewing Company is quickly becoming my favorite beer company.

I was at Mohawk’s for a concert last Saturday night, and there was some beer on tap called “Yogi – Chai Spiced Amber“. I thought that Rogness’s Rogtoberfest beer was going to be on tap, but it wasn’t. So this amber beer was intriguing.

It was really good! It tasted exactly how I expected – a good amber beer that had kick of chai. It was almost like mixing the two, but not in a gross kind of way. The chai spices were really more prominent in the aftertaste.  They were not subtle, but it wasn’t overbearing.  It was an interesting beer, and if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, this is really good.

I didn’t take any photos of this beer mostly because I didn’t think of it and wasn’t anticipating trying something new that evening, and the concert we saw was amazing, but horribly, horribly sad. I’m pretty sure that band created the term ’emo’.  Mohawk’s is a great venue, though.  They don’t have a huge beer selection, but if you’re looking for a few local things on tap and some good music, your chances are pretty good here.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Name: Yogi (Chai Spiced Amber)

Brewery: Rogness Brewing Company

Location: Austin, Texas

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