Category Archives: Rants

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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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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rant of the day – nipped in the bud

By Tyler Malone

The Corporation

At AB-InBev, we know you and your simple tastes. After all, we’ve created them—the only thing we’ve crafted in decades. Hell, generations. But still, don’t go. That’s all we’re asking. Please. We make you feel manly because real men don’t drink highfalutin fruit beers. Real men don’t even need a glass. Look, we know you’ve been drinking us since high school, and we even know that this—you and me, us—that’s a high school relationship, one built on convenience and a lack of options. Still, don’t go. We were all you wanted the whole you grew up, and now that you have, we’re all you want. That doesn’t need to change, we don’t need to change. Remember when there was nothing past us? We were adulthood. We gave you football games, fast races, commercials so close to soft-core porno that you thought your boyish fantasies were bleeding into reality. Now, though, we’re going to ask you one thing. Just this one thing. Are you listening? Good. Shut up. No, listen! Just shut up. Really. Drink our beer and like it, okay? Good. Now here’s your life: hard, manly work and chilled beer. All of that lived on repeat. We will continue to sell you the smallest experience possible and market it as a triumph, a truly manly achievement. Drink Responsibly.

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Budweiser stuck in a human face—forever.

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rant of the day: triple ipa

Triple IPA

It’s only fitting that we christen this blog with a rant; for those of us who drink craft beer are full of things that piss us off and what better way to tell the whole world about these things than over a pint of beer. So friends, let’s crack open one and get to it.

For those of you in the Austin beer community who know me, you all most likely know that there’s one thing that’s been pissing me off lately. Something so horrendous and asinine that it’s finally time for me to discuss it in all of its ugly and disgusting glory. So here I am to finally do just that.

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rant of the day – bud light straw-ber-rita

OMG! Have you heard the big news y’all? Those crazy folks over at AB-InBev have done it again and outdid themselves with this one. Seriously, this might be the best news I’ve heard since JT started going on tour again.

Bud Light Straw-ber-rita.

Yes, you heard correctly, strawberry flavored margarita beer stemming from one of the best beers on the planet, Bud Light.

Bud Light description:

Introduced nationally in 1982, Bud Light is brewed with a malt and hops ratio different from Budweiser for a distinctively crisp taste with fewer calories.


What’s that ratio? I must know! Whatever it is, it’s even more perfect with the addition of refined sugar, food dyes and flavor additives. And it’s made with natural flavors, so you KNOW they’re supporting local farmers and using thousands of pounds of pureed strawberries.

“The response to Lime-A-Rita, especially among non-beer drinkers, was tremendous, and we knew we’d tapped into a winning insight we could build on,” said Rob McCarthy , vice president, Bud Light. “Strawberries and margaritas have long gone hand-in-hand. Straw-Ber-Rita is a unique twist on a familiar flavor that only Bud Light Lime can deliver.”

You are so right Rob McCarthy, strawberries and pale lagers have always gone hand-in-hand too so mixing in the margarita aspect is just pure genius. And everybody knows nothing can deliver on that crisp sweet strawberry flavor quite like Bud Light

And look at what those good ol’ boys down in the marketing group did. The name. It’s just so dang cute. Straw-ber-rita. See what they did? They mixed strawberry and margarita to make one word. I think I just peed a little.

I can’t wait to be sipping on this little concoction. In fact, I might get a little crazy and do 50/50 mixes of the lime-a-rita AND straw-ber-rita. Don’t say I won’t!

Local brewers, you better do something to keep up with these crazy brewers at AB-InBev.

http://www.youstayhoppyaustin.com/2012/04/perfect-margarita-nice-try-bud-light.html

rant of the day – how to open a wax sealed bottle

As cool as the bottle may look with that pretty wax dripping down the side, it is just so damn annoying to open. However, I’ve compiled an easy 10-step solution to opening these bottles. You can thank me later.

1. Open a normal beer. Drink. This will put your body at ease for the entire session.

2. Make a preliminary call to 911. There will be blood.

3. Slap the bottle to show it who’s boss

4. Take a serrated knife or hacksaw to the bottle.

– Warning: Do not use a butter knife, it doesn’t do jack shit.

5. Hack away at the wax all the way around the bottle.

– If you knick yourself, just keep going, it adds to the enjoyment at the end.

6. Oh, don’t hack away near your glass as there will be plenty of shrapnel.

7. Once you have completed a 360 degree cutting ring at least 1/8″ thick around the bottle, you are now 25% complete (almost there).

8. Open another normal beer and drink.

9. Throw the bottle against a wall.

10. Lick beer off said wall.

Update: Recently I was told the wine opener knife works well. I tried it with the opener our electric one came with. It actually worked fairly well, so I recommend that if you have one. But if you want a challenge, do the above steps and remember, have fun.

rant of the day – the perfect margarita, nice try bud light

I don’t normally dive into the spirits category, but when it involves beer, it’s my territory. The Bud Light Lime-a-Rita is an obvious attempt (and a lame one at that) from the ‘innovative’ brewers at Anheuser-Busch to gain back some market share from the growing craft beer and spirits categories. Good luck with that, you’re doing a great job right now……..

Here’s my question to you A-B: Why the hell would you combine two already perfect beverages? You have beer, which is perfect on its own already. You have the margarita, a killer cocktail when done right. Combined, that just sounds nasty. Then again, I suppose combining anything, including gasoline, gym sweat, and rat poison, would make Bud Light taste better than it does right now.

Don’t worry consumers, there is a solution to this problem. The perfect margarita can be made right at home, and it is about the easiest and tastiest cocktail you will drink.

Ingredients

3 oz silver tequila (Quality tequila, 100% agave)

3 oz homemade simple syrup

2 oz fresh lime juice

 – I use bottled lime juice, it’s easier for the home user. Make sure it’s 100% lime juice though (not from concentrate). If there are other ingredients besides lime juice, it’s not lime juice!

Splash of orange juice

Combine the tequila (I add a splash more, why not?), simple syrup and lime juice in a shaker full of ice. Shake vigorously until combined. Pour into a glass full of ice and add a splash of orange juice on top. Garnish with lime. You can rim the glass with salt too if you want, that’s just a preference.

Simple Syrup Recipe

This is always good to have on hand in the fridge, you never know when you’ll need it.

1 cup water

1 cup organic pure cane sugar

Bring to a boil until the sugar is dissolved. Cool in the fridge.

And voila, the perfect margarita. It’s honestly on par with any margarita I’ve had at upscale restaurants, and you can make it right at home. So ditch the Bud Light Lime-a-Rita and grab a craft beer, or make your own restaurant quality margarita. Cheers!

rant of the day – misuse of the word ‘domestic’ on beer menus

First, I want to show what the actual meaning of the word ‘Domestic’ is.

domestic  (dəˈmɛstɪk)

— adj

1. of or involving the home or family

2. enjoying or accustomed to home or family life

3. (of an animal) bred or kept by man as a pet or for purposes such as the supply of food

4. of, produced in, or involving one’s own country or a specific country: domestic and foreign affairs

In this case, we are interested with #4.

What I’m talking about, more specifically, is how restaurants and bars categorize their beers. The most common method of categorizing beer is ‘Domestic’ and ‘Import/Specialty’. Under ‘Domestic’ you’ll probably find things like Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite, Lone Star, etc…. Under ‘Import/Specialty’ you’ll probably find things like Guinness, Corona, Dos XX, Fireman’s #4, Fat Tire…wait, pump the brakes! Isn’t Fireman’s #4 produced in Texas? And Fat Tire, that’s in Colorado. Aren’t those technically domestic beers? I mean, they’re made in the United States.

I’m usually not the one to bitch and complain about something as small as this, but it really does annoy me. I’m not saying everyone does this, but I’ve seen it enough now to complain.

Solution

Categorize beers by ‘Draft’ and ‘Bottle’. Most of the time, this is what people care about. One of the most common questions is ‘What do you have on draft?’ Well, here’s a list buddy! If you have to list a beer twice because it’s available by both, so be it, list it twice.

Case in point, Barley Swine restaurant in Austin, TX. To me, their beer menu is perfect. It’s categorized by Draft, Bottled Beer (12 oz), and Big Bottles (22 oz or 750 ml). They signify where the beer is from, the alcohol by volume (abv), and the price. Below is an example of what Barley Swine does, and what I think is the perfect way to categorize.

For example:

DRAFT

Jester King Wytchmaker Rye IPA       6.6% abv       Austin, TX                 $4.25

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA              9.0% abv       Milton, DE                 $5.00

*Live Oak Seasonal                                                 Austin, TX                 $4.25

BOTTLE

New Belgium Fat Tire                        5.2% abv        For Collins, CO         $3.50

Bud Light                                           4.2% abv        St. Louis, MO           $3.00

*Please ask your sever what the current seasonal is

…and so on and so forth. Pretty simple right? This way, you can see where it’s from, if it’s bottle or draft, and how much it is. Serious beer bars categorize by style, bottle, draft, import, local and so on. You don’t have to get crazy into it like that, but please, use the words correctly. Using ‘Domestic’ to describe ‘cheap’ beers is such a 1980’s thing to do. Time to step into the new age, the age where there are over 1,600 domestic craft breweries in America now.