Southwest Brewing News October/November 2012 : Page 1
DOUBLE HORN By Bev Blackwood II Celebrates the Spirit of Texas DOUBLING DOWN. Rebecca Vickers, the bartender at Double Horn in Marble PHOTO BY DUSTY KNIGHT Falls, Texas, fills another mug for a thirsty customer. BLOOD BEER. Brewers Gabe Wilson (l) and Patrick Ware bare their fangs over glasses of Count Hopula at SanTan in Chandler, Ariz. PHOTO BY ERIK ADAMS hat makes a beer scary? Could it be the name by which it is known? Perhaps it is the atypical ingredients added by its creators. A third possibility might suggest its improbable high gravity. Do any beers scare you? Fear not these beers, gentle reader. Your mission is to hunt down these chilling elixirs and W save the world from boring brews. So gather your monster-beer hunting supplies and let us be off on our quest. Unspeakable Brews We begin our search with scary beers that possess terrifying monikers. In Arizona, Count Hopula has sucked the life out of many a macro beer drinker. But it rewards those who have a pure hop heart. SanTan brewers/resident See Terror page 4 hen it comes to craft beer, there’s no place like home. Just ask Eric Casey, head brewer at Double Horn Brewing in Marble Falls, Texas. When they couldn’t find a good craft beer nearby, they decided to brew their own. “That’s what spurred this thing along,” Casey remarks. “We couldn’t find craft beer anywhere here. The one restaurant that carried Real Ale on draft ended up closing shop and we saw the vacuum in what we enjoyed and we thought: ‘What the heck?’” Naturally, opening a brewpub isn’t something you do on a whim, but it had been a longtime dream of Dusty Knight who W Double Horn Head Brewer Eric Casey with a sampler of his brews. PHOTO BY BEV BLACKWOOD II . Event Calendar ................................... 2 From the Editor ...................................3 Best of Show ......................................6 Directories & Maps .........................12-15 Arkansas .......................8 Oklahoma ......................9 New Mexico ................. 10 Southern California ..... 16 San Diego .................... 17 Austin ......................... 18 S/C/E Texas ................. 19 N & W Texas ................ 21 C Arizona ....................22 S Arizona .....................22 N Arizona ....................23 See Double Horn page 5
Terror In The Ales
What makes a beer scary?<br /> <br /> Could it be the name by which it is known? Perhaps it is the atypical ingredients added by its creators. A third possibility might suggest its improbable high gravity. Do any beers scare you?<br /> <br /> Fear not these beers, gentle reader. Your mission is to hunt down these chilling elixirs and save the world from boring brews. So gather your monster-beer hunting supplies and let us be off on our quest.<br /> <br /> Unspeakable Brews <br /> <br /> We begin our search with scary beers that possess terrifying monikers. In Arizona, Count Hopula has sucked the life out of many a macro beer drinker. But it rewards those who have a pure hop heart. SanTan brewers/resident vampires Gabe Wilson and Patrick Ware have raised the dead with this hop monster. “We call it a blood red IPA,” noted Gabe. “I only drink this beer out of a corpse,” added Patrick.<br /> <br /> Our hunt now takes us to the Lone Star State, where sightings of a unique pumpkin beer have beer enthusiasts running. Once known as Divine Reserve Series No. 9, the beer was reincarnated as Pumpkinator (11% ABV). “Once we had it, we realized how perfect a beer this was for Thanksgiving so we decided to make it an annual release,” St. Arnold head brewer, Brock Wagner stated.<br /> <br /> Wagner had always wanted to make a pumpkin beer, but found that many did not have the body to support all of the spices, or taste like actual pumpkin. “I was on a flight and started thinking… to make what I thought would be a good pumpkin beer,” Wagner recalled. “That was when the idea of turning an imperial stout into a pumpkin beer came to me.” Assistant brewer Nicholas Walther first developed the recipe, using generous amounts of spice and puréed pumpkin. Wagner recommends aging it for a year, if you can resist it. <br /> <br /> Along Came a Beer<br /> <br /> as we continue in Texas, we are approached by Black Wit-O (7% ABV), No Label’s fall seasonal. Described as a dark witbier brewed with a touch of anise, five different malts, and Saaz hops, head brewer Brian Royo had a word of caution when drinking this beer. “This beer will bite you if not careful,” he remarked.<br /> <br /> We also come upon a pale ale that at first glance does not seem horrifying at all. In fact, No Label’s Pale Horse Ale (5. 8% ABV) sounds rather neutral, until one considers its inspiration from Revelations: “And I looked and behold, a pale horse. And his name that sat on him was Death. And Hell followed with him.” Yikes.<br /> <br /> Traveling to Southern California, we learn of a deadly brew known as Old Boneyards (9.8% ABV). Hailing from Pizza Port-Solana Beach, this barleywine is said to be first of its kind from the San Diego area, as well as one of the most coveted. Be warned, beer hunter, as it can bury an imbiber who does not respect its potency.<br /> <br /> Reanimating a Franken-Stein of Beer <br /> <br /> Our investigation for scary beers now turns to those with improbable ingredients, and the innovative reputation of The Bruery makes it an appropriate starting point. Brewer Tyler King has a couple of which he is particularly proud. He recounted the story for creating Trade Winds Tripel (8% ABV). “Inspired from Thai food, we set out to make a Belgian-style tripel with the same spices from our last night’s dinner, but added an extra twist by using rice instead of candi syrup,” King said. The Thai basil creates a distinguished aroma and the rice lightens the body and increases the gravity.<br /> <br /> Autumn Maple (10% ABV) is brewed with a kitchen cabinetfull of ingredients, including roasted yams, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses and maple syrup. “We couldn’t just brew any other pumpkin spice beer!” observed King.<br /> <br /> Hot in pursuit of other freaky beers, we return to No Label where Brian Royo has invented Mint IPA (7.7% ABV). It boasts 11 hop additions using five different hops, 125 IBUs, and yes, mint. Co-owner Jennifer Royo reported that the brewers had added mint leaves to their pale ale on a whimsy, liked the taste, and decided to combine mint with a hopped up IPA. The results have been wildly popular.<br /> <br /> In San Antonio, brewer Jason Davis offers Spirulina Wit at Freetail, a brew that gets its name from a blue-green algae often sold at nutrition stores. Originally harvested by the Aztecs, this fortified food source adds a fruity nose and earthy flavor to the beer. “But by far the best reason for using it in our beer is that it makes it naturally green,” commented Davis.<br /> <br /> The chase now leads us to Arizona, where Sonoran brewer Zach Schroeder has been teaming up with local chefs to create some of the most imaginative beers in the Southwest. Each of the first three beers in the Chef Series has been unique, but the third installment seems to have truly distinguished itself - Zach and renowned chef Lee Hillson served Lee’s Liquid Dinner, a brown ale brewed with pecans, chestnuts, parsnips, honey, cranberries and oranges. <br /> <br /> The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Beer Itself And what of those extreme high gravity beers? Our witch hunt remains in Arizona, the birthplace of Sonoran 200. Produced from two-row malt and pure agave nectar, this Godzilla-sized brew crushes the competition at 19.37% ABV. The beer is oak aged for six months, giving it a mellow body and sweet, malty character.<br /> <br /> The Bruery’s Black Tuesday is no lightweight, either. Shaking the earth at 18.3% ABV, the 2011 edition has been cherished by the few who obtained a bottle. This bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout is aged for over a year, bringing out distinct flavors of caramel, toasted malt, vanilla and burnt wood. Each beer is deserving of respect, and provided they are enjoyed in moderation and the proper stemmed glassware, there is nothing to fear.<br /> <br /> It is hoped that this inquest has quelled some of your fears of scary beers, be they of ghoulish names, unlikely ingredients, or impossible strength. Truly, they should be celebrated for their creativity and uniqueness. So explore a local brewery and dare to seek out your own scary beers.
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Celebrates the Spirit of Texas<br /> <br /> When it comes to craft beer, there’s no place like home. Just ask Eric Casey, head brewer at Double Horn Brewing in Marble Falls, Texas. When they couldn’t find a good craft beer nearby, they decided to brew their own. “That’s what spurred this thing along,” Casey remarks. “We couldn’t find craft beer anywhere here. The one restaurant that carried Real Ale on draft ended up closing shop and we saw the vacuum in what we enjoyed and we thought: ‘What the heck?’” Naturally, opening a brewpub isn’t something you do on a whim, but it had been a longtime dream of Dusty Knight who had enjoyed craft beer on his business trips around the country. “He had a business plan and we started working on it,” Casey states. “We shopped it around and picked up some funding and it just kind of steamrolled from there.” Their collective dream became a reality in 2012, with Double Horn’s first beer pouring in late June. A longtime homebrewer and a microbiologist by trade, Casey honed his professional brewing skills by interning down US 281 at Real Ale in Blanco. “That was just something for fun, really,” he recalls. “I had a full-time job in Austin and had a day off during the week I could spend [at the brewery].” <br /> <br /> That collaborative attitude has continued with the brewers along US 281 helping one another out. “If you need something it’s really easy to call one of these other guys and say ‘Hey, can you help me out?’ and vice versa,” Casey notes. They also cross-promote one another’s businesses to ensure everyone prospers. “I’m quick to mention Real Ale’s tours on Fridays if someone’s in from out of town and having a beer with me. 281’s not a bad run. Just shoot down the road you can hit two other breweries!” he adds.<br /> <br /> Tasting Local Influences <br /> <br /> Marble Falls has deep Texas roots. The granite for the state capitol was quarried just outside of town and the placid man-made lake adjacent to the town attracts visitors from nearby Austin and from as far away as Midland, to the west. There’s a mix of new and old Texas that Double Horn seeks to tap into. Casey observes, “You’ve got a more progressive side where we definitely fall in as a restaurant - forward thinking in food and beer. Then you have an older more ‘real Texas’ crowd,” he smiles. “It’s kind of a blend of two dynamics and I think that’s what appealed to us when we moved out here.” They were initially quite adventurous with their menu. “We always liked the food at [Austin’s] North By Northwest,” he remarks.<br /> <br /> “That was one of our influences when we were looking at menus and styles.” However, they have listened to their clientele and brought in some classic brewpub items to better suit their customers’ expectations.<br /> <br /> However, Casey runs his seven-barrel brewhouse with an eye toward tradition. When it comes to beer, he’s all about “keeping it simple, and I think that stems from the more traditional way of doing things,” he pauses to gather his thoughts. “Everything from your hop selections to your grain bills, keeping things a little more narrowly focused as opposed to just throwing six or seven malts in the mash tun and hoping it comes out all right.” While he loves his brewhouse, there’s one thing he wishes he had more of: serving tanks. As it stands, he runs four house taps, two of which are set in their offerings and two of which will vary. He recalls, “Our original philosophy was to have three sets of taps and just keep one rotating, but it didn’t allow us the breadth of expression. I couldn’t bring in all these styles that I wanted to.” The fixed taps are usually his Guero Wheat and 1855 Pale Ale, which are Double Horn’s best sellers. “I get in a lot of trouble with my mug club guys if I take those off.<br /> <br /> They yell and throw stuff; it’s not pleasurable,” he grins. The two variable taps are what are known as “El Niño” and “La Niña,” the “Texas weather” taps: If you don’t like them, wait a bit, they’ll change! They are where Casey shows off his hoppier and maltier beers, or the occasional experiment, like his recent watermelon wheat beer that was the hottest beer of the summer. The seven-barrel batch featured 14 sliced-up watermelons in the secondary. “It’s hands on,” Casey smiles. “That’s who we are, brewpub-wise and as brewers. It is about hand crafting and it is about hands in and hands on small batch stuff that some of the bigger guys have some difficulty in producing.” <br /> <br /> Influencing Local Tastes <br /> <br /> Ultimately, Double Horn is about being Marble Falls’ local brewery. Since they opened, a second brewpub, Pecan Street Brewing, opened 23 miles down the road in Johnson City. It follows a “drink local” trend that has taken hold in central Texas, with numerous towns having a brewery or brewpub in town. “It’s always nice to have something just right around the corner from you,” observes Casey. The locals seem to have been won over, as he notes, “We don’t have a big bar in here, but we will pack it far beyond capacity on a Tuesday Night.” Casey likes what he sees in Double Horn and it doesn’t hurt that so many of the principals have been longtime residents of Marble Falls. “I think that’s what a local pub does in a lot of ways,” he comments. “It’s a place to come, relax and have a drink, but also socialize and get to know your neighbors. Hopefully we’re that mechanism for Marble Falls in some way.” For the traveler passing through or the regular coming by for a pint, Double Horn feels like home.
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