the beer diaries world tour: belize

By Daniel Reifsnider

As many of you know, the venerable The Beer Diaries are a notable addition to the Austin and larger national craft beer community, providing the entire community with brewer focused stories and insights into the larger world surrounding craft beer.

The folks behind the stalwart have announced a new series to their video catalog focused on expanding our knowledge of the history and culture surrounding craft beer communities around the world. I’m personally excited about this new series since I’m greatly interested in learning more about the socio-economic factors surrounding craft beer communities around the world, including the people and culture that birth and support/not-support craft beer.

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RIP steve anderson – a texas beer legend

Although I never got to meet Steve Anderson, his legacy of everything beer in Austin (and all of Texas) was legendary. Steve Anderson not only was the brew master at the very first brewpub in Texas (Waterloo Brewing in Austin), he was also the brew master at Live Oak Brewing, helping bring the best hefe in the world to the masses. Steve went on to help start up and brew at Big Bend Brewing in 2012. This week, raise a glass of Live Oak or Big Bend Brewing in honor of this Texas beer legend. Rest in peace Steve Anderson.

Press Release:

Steve Anderson, Brewmaster at Big Bend Brewing Co., passed away on Wednesday, November
25th, 2015, at his home in Alpine, Texas, after a valiant fight against cancer. Big Bend Brewing
Company lost our Brewmaster; all of Texas lost a true craft beer pioneer and a friend.

Born in 1962 in Dallas, Texas, Steve was on the forefront of many of Texas’s cultural changes of
the last five decades. Moving to Austin as soon as he finished high school, Steve was an
instrumental part of Austin’s burgeoning punk scene. He was a member of Cry Babies, Screws,
Toxic Shock, and was the original singer for Scratch Acid. He was there for the Big Boys shows
at Raul’s, which would later turn into his beloved Showdown. He was in the movie Slacker. And
he helped create the craft beer phenomenon that Texans enjoy today.

Steve loved beer. He was, in the words of one of his closest friends, “the best man in the world to
drink a beer with.” Steve’s entire career was a tribute to beer, friends, and having beers with
friends.

In the 1980s, he was homebrewing and working as a bartender for long-time friend Billy
Forrester at The Texas Showdown, a legendary Austin beer bar on the Drag. After taking a trip
together to the Great American Beer Festival in 1991, Billy and Steve were inspired to open a
brewpub. Unfortunately, brewpubs were not legal in Texas at that time, so they made a deal:
Steve would attend the Siebel Institute Brewing Program to refine his brewing knowledge, and
Billy would lobby the Texas Legislature to change the law. Two years after that trip, with the
law successfully changed, they made their dream a reality and opened Waterloo Brewing Co. at
4th & Guadalupe, making Steve the first Brewmaster of the first brewpub in Texas.

Sadly, Waterloo became an early victim of escalating Austin rents in 2001 and the building was
torn down. Thankfully, it had already inspired a tidal wave of interest in craft brewing in Austin,
launching the amazing craft beer culture that continues in the city today.

After Waterloo closed, Steve became the Head Brewer at Austin’s legendary Live Oak Brewing
Co. Steve worked closely with founder Chip McElroy from 2001 to 2012 to build Live Oak to
the renowned and long-standing brewery it is today.

As the population exploded in Austin, Steve and his wife Ellen Weed yearned for a slower pace
of life. After owning a second home in Sanderson for many years and falling in love with the Big
Bend region of Texas, Steve dreamed of opening a brewery out by the National Park. In 2012, he
found a team of people who loved Far West Texas and craft beer as much as he did, and he left
Austin to start Big Bend Brewing Co. in Alpine, Texas. Over the past three years, Steve and the
team grew BBBC from zero to over 5,000 barrels of annual production.

Last spring, Steve transitioned all day-to-day production brewing responsibilities to his
apprentice Amy Oxenham, the Brewery Manager Henryk Orlik, and BBBC’s bright team of
young brewers. Steve turned his attention to developing our small batch brewing program,
purchasing a small brewpub system to brew specialty series, collaborations with other breweries,
and exclusive tap room beers. Unfortunately, we collectively ran out of time before Steve could
make this vision a reality.

But we will carry on his legacy. To honor Steve, we will be naming the taproom at BBBC
“Steve’s Cantina.” We welcome current, future, and aspiring Texans to share great craft beer and
memories from one of the originals. There will be only brewers in Steve’s Cantina, no
brewmasters: it will only ever have one.

To Steve: Friend, Brewmaster, Legend

Brewmaster:
Waterloo Brewing — 1993 to 2001
Live Oak Brewing — 2001 to 2012
Big Bend Brewing — 2012 to 2015
Steve’s Cantina — 2015 and beyond

A Celebration of Life party will be held at Big Bend Brewing Company at 3pm on Saturday,
December 5th. Please bring a dish to share and come have a beer in Steve’s honor. 3401 W.
Highway 90, Alpine, Texas. (432) 837-3700. info@bigbendbrewing.com

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Pints for Prostate, an organization
created to encourage men to have regular prostate screenings.

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5 Year Anniversary Party

FB Event Page
https://www.facebook.com/events/191889141146104/

The best damn beer blog in Austin (we officially got voted that, right?) is turning 5 so we’re throwing a party to celebrate!

Join us on November 14 at Craft Pride at 6pm where we will debut our collaboration beer we brewed with Hops & Grain, the Stay Hoppy IPA (stay hoppy my friends). Yes, this one will be quite hoppy indeed, clocking in at around 7.6% abv and 80 IBU.

This IPA is unique in that we brewed it with not only pale and vienna malts but also wheat, rye and carrafoam to give it some body and character. The main bittering hop is good ol’ Cascade, then a ton of Simcoe was added in the whirpool. We then dry hop (4 lbs per barrel) with Mosaic, Calypso and Meridian for that dank tropical punch on the nose.

We will also be giving away special Stay Hoppy anniversary glassware when you purchase the Stay Hoppy IPA (buy the beer, get the glass) that was graciously sponsored by the wonderful folks at LUCK in Dallas.

Via 313, your favorite Detroit style pizza in Texas, will also be slinging a special spicy pizza to pair specifically with the Stay Hoppy IPA!

Other special beers that will be pouring that night:

Oak Highlands (Dallas) – Imperial Black Saison

Collective Brewing (Fort Worth) – Mustache Rye’d, Petite Golden Sour

Austin Beerworks – Kiss from a Gose

Adelbert’s – Whimsical Wild Pale

Jester King Firkin – Das Wunderkind

(512) – SMaSH Simcoe (Single Malt and Single Hop series)

…and more! So stay tuned for more updates as the event gets closer. Cheers!

Live Oak Tour and Tasting Pour

an ode to the humble brewery tour and tastings

By Matt Abendschein

With the news of Live Oak ditching their old digs for a brand new space near the Austin airport, feelings of sorrow rushed through me. ‘Out with the old, in with the new.’ That’s the saying right? With places like Live Oak, I don’t want the new. Give me the old any day of the week.

*Get me the cans of Live Oak though!*

With the explosion of craft beer lately, gone seems to be the humble brewery with tours and tastings. The popular thing nowadays is the fancy new tap room where the brewery sets itself up almost like a bar. When I first got into craft beer, the norm was a brewery tour with glassware. You pay an entrance fee and that gets you a certain amount of pours and a brewery tour usually led by the owner or head brewer. That’s a dime a dozen now. Where did it go? Why has it vanished into the mash tun of emptiness?

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The clouds begin to part.

tcbf 2015 – the magic is now!

By Daniel Reifsnider

Next Saturday, July 19th, the Texas Craft Brewers Festival descends upon the thriving beeropolis of Austin, TX. As usual, the festival is taking place at Fiesta Gardens and this year’s shebang is looking to be the best one yet with over 150 beers being poured by over 60 Texas breweries (and quite of bit of them are brand new this year).

We here at Stay Hoppy have been long time fans of this festival, and it’s our collective thought that not only is this festival one not to miss, but it’s also one of the best beer festivals that happens all year. From the amazing selection of rotating rare beer tappings to the one on one time spent with brewers during the V.I.P session, this festival is a wondrous celebration of Texas beer year after year.

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scotus lgbt decision and hoppy thoughts

by The Stay Hoppy Team

The Supreme Court of the United States of America voted in favor on one of the most historic advancements in US history over this past weekend. The LGBT community took the biggest strides of their lives towards equal rights, and all of the Stay Hoppy crew couldn’t be happier.

Some may think that beer and politics shouldn’t mix and we should just focus on the beer. Well to that I say no. For one, beer and politics have had their hands tied together since civilization knew how valuable beer was. It’s unfortunate, but it’s inevitable that beer and politics will mesh together and pretending they won’t is absurd. The only thing we can do is to voice our thoughts through mediums like this to ensure the local beer scene has equal opportunity to succeed.

And two, focusing on the beer also means to focus on the most important aspect; the people behind the beer, which means standing up for what’s right, equal human rights. In our opinion, there’s nothing ‘political’ about equal human rights.

Beer has always been about community and it would be a shame to not talk about our community of fellow beer lovers that just rightly won their rights to marry one another the same as others. And we’re not the only ones in the Texas beer community that feels this way. Check out Lakewood Brewing, Deep Ellum Brewing, Jester King and Hops & Grain and how they shared their support via social media on this historic day. I saw people on Deep Ellum’s Facebook page voice their disgust and future loss of support, which was expected but unfortunate to see. However, for the most part, the outcry of support for the decision and the support from these breweries has been met with love and joy.

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Matt, closing thoughts: This site has never been about page views or ‘likes’ or being popular. The only thing I have cared about since day one is the advancement of support for local craft beer and meeting the people behind it. Part of that support is to, in my opinion, stand up and shout our support for another community of people. For anyone out there that may be on the fence about this issue, go out and enjoy a craft beer with a gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender person with an open mind, open heart and thirsty belly. You never know, you may just find a best friend out of it.

Daniel, closing thoughts: Love is truly a beautiful thing and when everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity is given an equal opportunity to voice and express their love then, I believe incredible things can happen including incredible beer. It’s about damn time that we as a society finally get our heads out of our ass and realize that there are other beautiful human beings out there with hearts filled with love that deserve equal rights to express that love. Not only does this decision allow for that, but I’m also hoping it’ll present me with more opportunities to drink great beer to celebrate that love with my friends and family.

Just remember, beer doesn’t discriminate, people do. Think hoppy thoughts, and the beer will do the rest.

Let’s hoist a beer (or several beers) in support for this amazing advancement in human rights. Celebrate good times come on! Cheers!

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bluebonnet beer company: boozy fun found down I-35

By Tyler Malone

Texas if full of thirsty people, so locally crafted beer (not just something shipped in from some exotic place like Houston) is on the move down I-35, north to the city of America’s weirdest bats and best beers. This past Tuesday was the ribbon cutting at Bluebonnet Beer Company, a brewery run by David Hulama, a man who’s damn proud to be filling glasses with his own beer and doing his own damn thing.

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It’s rare to hear people say that they don’t like beer, or that they don’t drink the goodness on a daily basis, or who use the phrase microbrew, but that’s Round Rock, a city wide-eyed for the future and what businesses such as Bluebonnet Beer Company will bring. More than a few city employees and Round Rock locals were more than elated to dive into more than a few pours of one-man-made craft beer. Their genuine reactions were something savory. Women who only drink Muscat wine and men who haven’t graduated from blue and silver Keystone cans since high school walked through the brewery’s bay door and into a mystical place like Narnia, a wondrous world where what’s ordinary is new and strange and a challenge. “Oh, this is how beer can taste!” Saliently, in the new brewery in the wild woods past Austin, I hung out with people who were having fun. They were celebrating at a boozy feast, something sort of a fully clothed mythical orgy of good times.

Bluebonnet Beer Company is something of a rarity in the Austin area, where breweries vie for pilsner supremacy and IPA dominance, with subtle distinctions between taste but deep arbitrarily fraternal lines alliances drawn. Bluebonnet is one man with a few tanks and a drive to make beer to share with thirsty humans, it’s pretty as idealistic as brewing can get. The platitude “I make beer I want to drink” was never spoken by Mr. Hulama, because the act of crafting beer is enough, not marketing, not causing a fuss by comparing styles or demarcations, just creation. The best thing anyone can do is head over to Bluebonnet’s tasting room and drink, talk, share the wealth of knowledge that beer lovers keep on their tongues.

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When Bluebonnet beer pictures sprinkled Instagram feeds, a few people asked about where this place was, but more asked how the beers were. It’s strange, wanting someone to motivate you with their opinions instead of immediately wanting to experience it for themselves. Experiment, nuance, intrinsic happiness, all that’s too much of that is missing when it comes to Austin beer. The hype and criticism hinders putting lips onto a glass and having a drink. Beer is that simple, but the culture isn’t. We are alive here on Earth, drink! It’s that simple.

Can I like this beer? I don’t know, can you? For the love of beer, expand your world as the universe expands. For the love of beer, drink new beer. Bluebonnet Beer Company will fill you with beer 5 to 8, Friday through Saturday.

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Brewer/proprietor, David Hulama

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Beer Flight

the art of enjoying beer

By Matt Abendschein

Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Grab a beer
Step 2: Open the beer (if on draft, disregard this step)
Step 3: Drink the beer

Simple, right? Not necessarily nowadays. New social beer norms seem to have gotten jumbled within those three easy steps and have made me question whether or not beer is truly being enjoyed anymore.

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Tara Carr

women in austin beer: interview with tara carr

By Sahara Smith

Welcome to the new Women in Austin Beer series. My first interview is with Tara Carr of Favorite Brands.

The Austin beer community has many faces, and let’s be honest, most of those faces have beards. If Tara Carr is sporting facial hair, she hides it very, very well. For our interview, I asked Tara to meet me at Whip In, an Austin craft beer institution.

When she walked into the room, even though the house was packed, it was impossible not to notice her. Tara is bubbly, warm, and (unlike myself) a natural redhead. I have never seen her without a huge smile on her face. And…

She. Knows. Her. Beer.

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Community Beer Wit

a guide to texas beer styles

With all of these prominent out-of-state breweries popping up in Texas, it made me think about all of the amazing beer we already have here and made in-state. ‘Texas doesn’t offer up certain styles though’ you might say. Oh really? Well check out the list we have compiled below. On any given day, we Texans have almost every single beer style available to us. Some are seasonal, some are one-offs, but a lot are year-round and can be enjoyed at all times. This beer style list comes from the Beer Judge Certification Program (with a few additions) and we tried to include as many breweries as possible. If your beer isn’t listed within a certain category, please let us know and we can add it.

Lite American Lager – Pedernales Lobo Lite, Shiner Light

Standard American Lager – Shiner Blonde

Premium American Lager – Hops & Grain Zoe, Pedernales Lobo, Twisted X Premium Lager

Dortmunder Export – Shiner Dortmunder Spring Ale

Real Ale Hans Pils

Real Ale Hans Pils

German Pilsner – Austin Beerworks Pearl Snap Pils, Real Ale Hans’ Pils, Community Texas Pils, Lakewood Zomer Pils

Bohemian Pilsener – Live Oak Pilz

Classic American Pilsner – Deep Ellum Rye Pils(ner)

Shiner with TX BBQ

Shiner with TX BBQ

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