By Matt Abendschein
Recently, it has come to my attention that another Austin beer blog is putting on a Brews Cruise (at first they called it Bats & Brews but thankfully changed the name) that is similar in nature to an event I helped co-found, Bats & Beers. Because of this, I felt inclined to write about Bats & Beers, something I was very proud to be a part of from (almost) the beginning of its fruition.
**Disclaimer: I am by no means dogging on the new event. I’m actually curious to see how it pans out. This is simply me reminiscing on Bats & Beers and reveling in the possibility of a revival event. **
Bats & Beers – Brainchild of Nate Taylor, a friend of mine that has since moved to Hong Kong. What started out as a friendly get together on the rooftop of his condo building, Nate and I both saw something special and took it to the next level and invited breweries and restaurants together for a night of connections and collaboration. The whole concept was designed as a way to bring people together to support the very things Austin so wholeheartedly embraces on a daily basis, including the beautiful city itself as a backdrop.
We started on the rooftop of his downtown Austin condo with a view of Congress bridge with a Jester King and Antonelli’s Cheese pairing. This was short lived when we got the boot for violating glass bottle policies (whoops). This is also when Black Metal was in its infancy and was still brewed with English ale yeast, oh the memories of that beer. We decided at that point to move it to the Capital Cruises boat. This was a game changer, a 2 hour boat ride with beer, food and of course watching the bats. We never set out to make money, it was something we truly had a passion for doing. I put my heart and soul into making sure each event was perfect, which it never was. There were humps we had to hurdle, relationships that had to be kindled. It was a learning process each event, but I think everyone had a great time for the most part.
We also had help/volunteers that made the event even more kick ass, including Stay Hoppy member Carlos Arellano (design work), The Wright Bros (Matt and Grady, currently owners of the kick ass Wright Bros Brew & Brew), Lucas Duffey (home brewer afficianado), Matt Eggers (previously worked at Dog & Duck Pub), Jack Chapman (beer lover) and Mike Mann (no, not the LA obsessed director, but creative director currently with The Beer Diaries).
I’m only writing this post to make it clear, for one, that You Stay Hoppy Austin and Bats & Beers has no ties with this other event. Since moving to Dallas, I admit the Bats & Beers event has completely fallen off the wagon and has not been active, BUT we have been discussing a revival event for Austin Beer Week this year (if this happens, you’ll know so don’t worry). It’s not dead, it’s just taking a long nap. Hell, maybe we’ll combine events somehow. Who knows!?
Anyway, I just needed to get all of that off my chest. Like I said, Bats & Beers is something I’m very proud of and hope to kick back into gear again in the future when life isn’t so crazy (baby #2 is coming soon so that’ll help!).
If anyone enjoyed the event, please comment and let me know, I would love to hear about your adventures with us. If you didn’t enjoy, still let me know so we can make it better for the next time. Here are a few articles that were written about the event, including being included in Austin Monthly’s 112 Best Things to do in the Summer issue, Austin Beer Guide and All About Beer magazine.
Last but not least, keep supporting those local brewers out there. Cheers!
Past events included Jester King and Antonelli’s Cheese, Austin Beerworks and Frank, Independence and Frank, Thirsty Planet and Franklin BBQ, Adelbert’s and Noble Pig, Guadalupe and Banger’s, and Hops & Grain and Pinthouse Pizza. To read about them, click below.