Of course we say that not ignorant of geography, it's the biggest
of the contiguous
states, as Hawaii and Alaska are not part of the lower 48. So
maybe America has 50 states, but the United States in really only 48? MR MS MB
can almost gauge how nice or good a trip is going to be,
by how it begins. This trip started out with meeting one of our consultants at
the airport, and heading east towards Houston. We stopped for some great barbecue at this place called City Market
in Luling TX for real
classic Texas smoked pork and beef.
Tried a soda called "Big Red"
which is kind of like a red Mountain Dew one supposes.
then on it was a little surprise, as we went for an
unscheduled visit to a brewery - Spoetzl
- that brews the famous Shiner Bock.
Very interesting in that the place is bigger than one would assume. A
combination of old and new to the classic Southwest architecture of the
original brewery with the massive construction going on the expansion.
The taproom was very nice and that the staff was friendly.
Did see beers that being from New England, one rarely ever sees. Although
parenthetically we have to add that even some of these beers we have never even
seen in Texas! The taproom had the biggest collections of memorabilia for sale.
And another pleasant surprise was it was priced quite reasonable compared to
some places. Was able to sample the:
White Wing - Ale, Belgian Witbier [7.5]
Shiner Premium - Lager, German [8.0]
Light Blonde - Ale, Blonde, American [8.0]
Bohemian Black Lager Shiner 97 - Lager, Black [9.5]
Shiner Bock - Lager, Bock [9.0]
Arriving at the Marriott, was told to computer system was
down and people cannot check in yet, so would you like to have a free appetizer
or free beer at the bar? And the choices were…
Saint Arnold Brewing - Fancy Lawnmower - Kölsch [7.0]
Karbach Brewing - Rodeo Clown Double IPA - Ale, IPA,
Double 9.5% [7.5]
Note to people who travel for work; always pay for the beer
separately from the food expense account that way no one can ever complain!
those that don't know it, Flying Saucer it's one of the better beer chains out
there. They have a lot of good beers, apparently each store is allowed to stock
local brews as well.
Stone Brewing - Cali-België IPA - Ale, Belgian IPA [7.5]
Real Ale - Blakkr - Ale, IPA, Imperial, Black [7.0]
Boulevard Brewing - Long Strange Tripel - Ale, Belgian
Tripel 9.2% [8.5]
Deep Ellum - Numb Comfort - Ale, Barleywine 11.5% [7.5]
They also have flying saucers you can put your name and a
witty saying on, and post on the wall if you're a regular patron. What many
don’t know (nor did we) was that you don't have to live near a particular Flying
Saucer. You can pick one that could be your "base of operations" and
you can go to the other Flying Saucers that could still count on your total.
As it was close and good, the next night was also at Flying
Saucer. That's really good beers including a dogfish head becomes a special Dogfish
Head get a free glass night. One of the bartenders was either impressed or bemused we used an infrared thermometer and app for the iPhone to check beer temperature.
512 Brewing - 512 Five (aged in Maker's Mark barrel) - Ale,
Porter, Imperial 10.1% [10.0]
Real Ale Brewing - Real Ale Mysterium Verum Benedictum -
Ale, Sour 5.4% [9.0]
Firestone Walker - Easy Jack Session IPA - Ale, IPA,
Back at the hotel, decided to try something new and mass
market (and not great)
Miller - Fortune - Lager, American 6.9% [3.0]
The next day
it was a special because for years a consultant
we work has been trying to get us to Royers Round Top
in Royer Texas (they also sell fantastic pies).
to mixed emotions because some of the reviews didn't like it, but apparently these
are people want something like a Morton's steakhouse experience, not a good
The place is small, kitschy, friendly; and it has one of the three best
steaks I have ever had.
it went it was to the Faust Hotel
Texas, which is a brewery hotel.
Had a selection of
homebrews ranging from decent to spectacular, as well as a good selection on
tap. I mean really - Tripel Karmeliet in rural TX?
Faust Brewing -
Ginger Honey Wheat - Ale, Wheat, American, Fruit [10.0]
You owe it to
yourself to try this, not overly ginger at all, hints and very drinkable
Faust Brewing -
Mike Crowe IPA - Ale, IPA, Double
Faust Brewing -
Hell Fire Irish Red - Ale, Red, Irish
Faust Brewing -
Altered States - Altbier [7.0]
Faust Brewing -
Altered States - Whiskey Barrel Aged - Altbier [8.5]
Bosteels - Tripel Karmeliet - Ale, Belgian Tripel 8.4% [8.5]
Adelbert's Brewing - Philosphizer Saison - Ale, Belgian
Saison 7.8% [8.5]
Brewery Pet Peeve #27, please try and list the ABV (alcohol
by volume) with the beers, even a small range (e.g. 4.5 - 4.7) as this drives
beer geeks (nuts? nerds?) crazy.
The next day,
after a meeting in Austin, a drive to San
Antonio; after dropping the car off walked to Blue Star brewing
This is where MR
was able to have beer number 5,100; a slightly aged barley wine which was very
Blue Star - Flying Pig Extra Pale Ale - Ale, IPA,
Blue Star - King William Ale MMXIV - Ale, Barleywine 8.7% [9.5] (#5,100)
Blue Star - Pale Ale - Ale, Pale, American [7.5]
The next evening
took a taxi to the Flying Saucer in SanAntonio
; the main reason was there was a fresh gravity-fed cask from Ranger
Creek with hibiscus and ginger. Besides some really good grub, enjoyed and
Ranger Creek - OPA w/ Ginger & Hibiscus - Ale, Pale - cask,
hand-pulled 5.8% [9.0]
Dogfish Head - Red & White - Ale, Wheat, American,
Fruit 10% [8.5]
Mikeller - It's Alive - Ale, Belgian Strong, Pale 8% [9.0]
Ayinger - Celebrator Doppelbock - Lager, Bock, Doppelbock -
tap 6.7% [8.0]
Odell - Footprint - Ale, Barleywine 9.5% [6.5 too sweet]
Shiner Spoetzl - Light Blonde - Ale, Blonde, American [7.0]
Note for the scores listed here it is for the style of beer,
and therefore the Odell Footprint barleywine is not a necessarily a worse beer
than the Shiner Spoetzl Light Blonde ale.
Also note by sharing one can try 2-4 times the number of
beers a night, which is easier on both the wallet and liver (use Breathometer
to be sure!).
During the week we toured the San Antonio Riverwalk. Amazing; the photos do not do it justice.
in the week, we were able to go to the Friendly Spot
which is a fantastic outdoor bar with good food and great beer.
As is often customary
among members of Club-Belgique, a gift was brought for the owner. We left with
the bartender Ruben a carefully-packed bottle of Spencer Abbey ale for sharing/tasting.
Note we have even sent bottles as far away as Taiwan!
Tried the following beers:
Rogue - Old Crustacean - Ale, Barleywine 11.5% [9.0] tap
New Braunfels - HimmelWeisse - Ale, Saison 7%
Big Sky Brewing Company - Moose Drool - Ale, Brown 5.1% [7.0]
Gazda - Pivovar Steiger (Slovakia) - Ale, Fruit 2.5% [7.0] very
Adelbert's Brewing - Dancin' Monks - Ale, Belgian
Dubbel 9.1% [9.5] caged bottle
New Belgium - Rampant - Ale, IPA, Imperial [8.0]
Shiner Spoetzl - White Wing - Ale, Belgian Witbier [7.5]
Real Ale - Fireman's 4 Blonde - Ale, Blonde [6.0]
UFO - Big Squeeze - Ale, Fruit 4.5% [7.0]
we were able to squeeze in a visit to the Filling Station
- a very small bar in an old filling station.
As always (MR having
visited in 2012) the beers are extremely good. And as with the Friendly Spot,
we left with the bartender a bottle of Spencer Abbey ale. Also left a business
card, so anyone who got a bottle, feel free to write a "thank-you"
Sampled the following:
Deschutes - Mirror Mirror Oak Aged - Ale, Barleywine 11.2% [10.0]
Avery Brewing Co. - White Rascal - Ale, Belgian Witbier [7.5]
North Coast Brewing - Scrimshaw - Lager, Pilsner, German
Southern Star - Buried Hatchet Stout - Ale, Stout,
Imperial 8.2% [7.0]
Uinta - Hop Nosh - Ale, IPA, American 7.3% [7.5] almost a double IPA?
Deschutes- Hop-in-the-Dark - Ale, Black 6.9% [8.0]
Cervecerìa Cuauhtémoc - Carta Blanca - Lager, American [6.0]
Went for dinner
the next day to Lüke
, however the manager
from a couple years ago was no longer there. We did present the current manager
with a bottle of Spencer Abbey ale. Not looking for this, but good beer karma
directed the manager to provide a very nice free appetizer! The food and beer
was great, the only complaint was that service seem to be slightly mixed up; in
that one of our members' appetizer came as a main course; then when we were all
done; his main course of oysters on the half shell came in really late.
New Braunfels -
New Belgium - Snapshot Wheat - Ale, Wheat, American 5.0% [7.5]
Next day, walking around near the Alamo, besides seeing a wolf-dog,
What is interesting is the hotel has tunnels - from
Prohibition days - where they used to bring beer up to the hotel.
Pedernales - Lobo Texas Lager - Lager, Pilsner, Bohemian 5.0% [6.5]
Pedernales - Lobo Negro - Lager, German Dark, Dunkel 5.5% [7.5]
Of course, if you do not like beer, there's always Tequila!