The weather has gone blustery and the local grocers have started giving various proteins away for pennies on the dollar. That can mean only one thing: we owe you a very happy Thanksgiving greeting! While last year we were eager to regale you with stories of the beers we were most grateful for, this year we wanted to share the spotlight with some of our friends from the Texas beer community. From brewers to bloggers, software developers to hardcore beer personalities, we asked lots of folks what beers they have been most thankful for this year. Check out their thoughts before the turkey is due for another basting.
“I am most thankful for the Double Buckethead, a beer I first brewed with Brian 2.5 years ago. It was a beer I had to fight to re-introduce (mostly because of cost and our supply of whole leaf hops) regardless, it’s an amazing, over-the-top beer pushing malt, hops, and yeast to the max.”
Co-owner, Wright Brothers Brew & Brew
“Now that it’s thanking time, I am most thankful for The One They Call Zoe from Hops & Grain. This old, reliable, dear friend of a beer was the majority of my caloric fuel during our renovation this August. I don’t know if I could have made it through some of those 100+ degree days without her dry-hopped goodness.”
Co-organizer, Big Texas Beer Festival
“The beer I’m most thankful for this year is Peticolas Royal Scandal. This is the beer we drink to toast Big Texas Beer Fest with our friends every year, and it shows how far the North Texas craft beer scene has gone in what seems like a second. It also doesn’t hurt that Michael Peticolas is one of the most exciting, stick to his guns, locally driven badasses in the craft beer industry right now.”
Fort Worth Brew Scene
“Since craft beer saves lives, I have two beers I’m thankful for this year. First is Real Ale’s Hans’ Pils. This beer brings all the dirndls to the bar and I may or may not have won a lederhosen contest as a result of it. Best of all, you can’t drink one without cheering “HANS’ PILS!” My second choice would have to be Peticolas’ Wintervention. This delicious Winter Warmer style ale was amazingly warming last year and it is even better this year. Sorry Austin folks, you gotta drive up to Dallas to try it!”
Operations Manager, Craft Pride
“The beer I’m most thankful for this year is actually a tie. I feel like I got a chance to try some really great new and exciting beers, and somehow I always seem to find my way back to Hops & Grain The One They Call Zoe and Austin Beerworks Pearl Snap. Chances are there’s a 6pk of one of them in my fridge right now actually.”
Events, Promotions & Marketing, Lakewood Brewing Company
“One of the beers I’m most thankful for this year is our very own Goatman India Black Lager. Our brewer Shawn, with his West Coast roots, has a love for big, bold, danky black IPAs. A little experimentation and a lot of Simcoe later, this monstrous 9.3% hybrid was born, and we can’t stop drinking it. I compare it to drinking an amazing, chocolate “magic” brownie…err, I mean, if I knew what that tasted like.”
Executive Director, Texas Tavern League
“Peticolas Velvet Hammer: I love this beer so much, I wrote a love song about it and recorded it on an album. It has become quite the legend in North Texas, hell it’s even married to a girl. While every beer in the Peticolas line up is an absolute solid brew, this one is my favorite.
Community Texas Pils (Collaboration with Texas Tavern League): The TTL’s first brewery collaboration with (512) Brewing (our first industry member) earlier in the year was a special cask conditioned ‘Thai’ Wit. Texas Pils marked the first beer specifically developed and brewed for the TTL. This beer not only gave the league some exposure but also allowed an opportunity for people in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Waco to get a taste of something from ‘up north’.
Hops & Grain The One They Call Zoe: I’ve been teaching some Intro to Craft Beer classes and this beer has been my go to ‘gateway’ beer. Clean, on the lighter side and easy to drink a few… and it has… flavor. I know, it’s wild. To loosely quote Josh Hare, “This beer was made for shotgunning”. Enough said.”
“This year I am thankful for a few beers that have expanded my palate in a meaningful way. Those beers are Yogi by Rogness Brewing, (512) Brewing’s Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter and Pumpkinator by Saint Arnold. Historically I’ve been a traditionalist when it comes to beer flavor profiles but each of these beers opened my mind to new experiences with just how rich and complex beers can be with infused ingredients. For that I am grateful.”
Co-Founder and President, Independence Brewing Company
“Of all the beers we brewed in 2013, I was most thankful for our 9th Anniversary Black IPA. For me, it represented triumph over adversity and the beacon of hope for things to come. 2013 was a year filled with delays & waiting, frustration, and challenges. This creamy dark malty beer filled with bright hop flavor was a sign of great things to come, and made me very thankful for our dedicated and talented crew.”
Host, The Beerists Podcast
“As thankful as I am for all of the wonderfully delicious local beers I had this year, I have to give my top spot to Jester King’s Atrial Rubicite. It’s a perfect example of a type of beer I’d been waiting to see happen in TX– a gorgeous fruited wild sour that could go toe to toe with some of the best in Belgium. This weekend, I plan to bathe in a pool of it and lick it off of my own body, as I’m sure the brewers intended.”
Executive Director, Texas Craft Brewers Guild
“I can’t tell you the name, and I can’t say for certain what the style was, because the beer I was most thankful for this year wasn’t a special release, or a go-to beer for a certain season, it was just the right beer for the right time. After 14 hours of working the Texas Craft Brewers Festival in Fiesta Gardens this past September, and not having a single beer the entire time (my own fault), one of my friends, who had volunteered most of the day, brought me a wonderful Texas beer that was big, rich, and malty, but with a great hop kick. She told me the name, but my brain was not processing that kind of data by that point. All I know is I was thankful for such a wonderful beer after such a long day.”
“It’s hard to say one particular beer that I am thankful for this year. I’m thankful for the Austin craft community, hell, I’m thankful for the entire craft community. Everyone has been supportive, enthusiastic and keeps cheering me on. If I had to pick one, I’d say I’m particularly thankful for Pinthouse Pizza and Joe Mohrfeld. I have two beatiful PHP growlers at home and love filling them with whatever they suggest. I know I can’t go wrong with a great session beer like Calma Muerta, bright citrus fruits wonderfully presented with a faint hop earthiness and lively carbonation. But I also know I can’t go wrong with any PHP beers brewed with so much care and creativity. AND I’m thankful to be in Austin surrounded by other women passionate about the craft industry. Happy gobble gobble ya’ll.”
“As much as I enjoy my “go to” favorite beers of Austin Beerworks Fire Eagle American IPA and (512) Brewing’s Whiskey Barrel-aged Double Pecan Porter, the beer that I am most thankful for this year is Rogness Brewing’s Yogi Spiced Amber. I have never been a fan of chai tea or many spiced beers, but the unique infusion of chai-related spices into the complex pleasing flavor profile of Yogi has made me a convert. I’m especially thankful to know that the recipe behind this “exotic” beer was the brainchild of female craft beer professional, Rogness Brewing co-owner Diane Rogness.“
“The beer I am most thankful for this year is Founders Breakfast Stout. At the start of the year I spent a week in Michigan celebrating my grandma’s 90th birthday, and I had a multitude of breakfast stout on hand for myself, my uncles, aunts, cousins and the rest of my family and friends, all of whom loved the beer and couldn’t believe they liked a stout. I especially enjoyed sipping on a breakfast stout after breakfast while standing out in the snow, hearing it crunch under my boots as coffee and vanilla wonderment celebrated inside my mouth and made the entire journey merry.
Then, the glorious brew came to Texas, giving me a holiday cheer every time I had the chance to drink it, all the while reminded of my spirited and gorgeous grandmother, still going strong after all these years! Cheers to Founders and all the excellent breweries that joined the Texas scene this year! Enjoy a breakfast stout Thanksgiving morning, as this coffee-fiend will, and cap the night off with one as well!”
Co-Founder, Austin Beerworks
“In 2013, the beer I found myself most grateful for was The One They Call Zoe from Hops & Grain. Firstly, it’s a delicious and locally canned beer, which there can never be too many of. Secondly, it’s nice to have a sympathetic ear when bitching about how much of a pain in the ass it is to have a slow-fermenting lager be your best seller.”
Chief Monk/ Co-Founder, Monks Toolbox
“Hop Crisis by 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco, CA – I am thankful for HOPS. When I had a chance to visit San Fran this past August for 12 days for Monks Toolbox work I was excited to check out the local craft beer. I love West Coast craft beer because I am a “hop-head” and this amazing beer does not disappoint. I had never had a 21st Amendment beer before and I tried all of them over my 12 days there….most all in one day, then went back for more. The awesome brewers at 21st broke all the “rules” with this Imperial IPA with more malt, more hops and more aroma then ever before. It helped me appreciate SF and the West Coast even more and I hope to get back soon. Cheers to all the brewers out there willing to break from the norm and test the boundaries of our pallets. I am truly thankful for all of you!”
Co-Founder, Rogness Brewing Company
“It’s a tie for me. This summer I was most thankful for Joie D’Été, the lemon & lavender notes were sublime in the lengthy Texas heat… However I am always thankful for Yogi, especially at this time of year. But then Amy’s Ice Cream made Yogi a great warm weather treat as well. I am really looking forward to having a scoop of it with my pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving night.”
Head Brewer, Pinthouse Pizza
“It seems difficult to be thankful for only one beer, it puts a lot of pressure on that beer… What I can say for sure, however, is that I am thankful for all the beers I have enjoyed with all the new people I have met during Pinthouse’s first year and I am thankful for the craft beer supporters here in Austin!”
What beers were you especially thankful for this year? Let us know about it in the comments section.
-Sarah & Caroline