Sunday, May 13, 2012

The College Station guide to American Craft Beer Week

Starting tomorrow is the 6th annual American Craft Beer Week, or #ACBW. It's a week long celebration of the American craft brewing spirit, a time to sit back and be thankful for the amazing growth in demand for quality brews.  Above all else though, it's a time for craft beer bars to dig deep into their cellars and bust out the most impressive release possible, fighting for the attention of drinkers like me, who want to try the most unique (and hopefully the most delicious) beers.  The anticipation has been killing me.

As far as I know, there are only two places in College Station gearing up for #ACBW.  The first I've talked about many times on this blog,  O'Bannon's Irish Pub.  The second location is much more of a recent discovery for me, Harvey Washbangers, a combination restaurant and laundromat.  I had never set foot in Washbangers until a few months ago when my buddy John told me there would be a Live Oak Brewing cask there.  A cask party in a laundromat?  I was equally excited and confused.  A few visits later and I can tell you, Harvey Washbangers is a surprisingly awesome location to drink some Texan craft beer.  Their bottle selection is a fine snapshot of local flavor, and they are really asserting themselves with their #ACBW plans.

As for O'Bannon's, they have scheduled special release events that rival any bar in Austin.  They are breaking up each day to highlight different regions of the country.

This post is a list and sort of a preview of what a College Station resident can expect for this week.  I might wear myself out, but I plan on hopping between O'Bannon's and Washbangers for 7 days in a row. Note: lists are not all inclusive and there may be other non-announced releases as well.  All of these events begin at 6pm central and will continue until all of the beer is happily consumed.

At O'Bannon's: East Coast Day
  • Dogfish Head Namaste - Delaware- a witbier (Belgian style wheat) brewed with dried orange, lemongrass, and coriander, 5% abv
  • Samuel Adams Tasman Red - Boston - a "red IPA" brewed with Tasmanian hops, 6.75% abv
  • Samuel Adams Griffin's Bow - Boston - a blonde barleywine, aged on toasted oak, 10% abv
At Washbangers:
  • Live Oak HefeWeizen - Austin - a special dry-hopped cask of the #2 rated hefe on BeerAdvocate, 5.2% abv

At O'Bannon's: Colorado Day
  • Avery Brewing Co. The Reverend - Boulder, CO - a robust Belgian style quadrupel, lots of dark fruit flavors, 10% abv
At Washbangers:
  • No Label Brewing Don Jalapeno - Katy, TX - pale ale variant brewed with 60 lbs. of raw and roasted jalapeno peppers, 6.7% abv

At O'Bannon's: Double Cask Party
  • Rahr & Sons Strawberry Hibiscus Summertime Wheat - Fort Worth - a cask version of their hefeweizen Summertime Wheat with added strawberries and hibiscus flowers
  • Saint Arnold Christmas Ale - Houston - cask version of their spicy and festive ale, aged for 6 months, 7% abv
At Washbangers:
  • Southern Star Creme Broulee Stout -Conroe, TX - a creative take on their already delicious Buried Hatchet Imperial Stout

At O'Bannon's: Texas Day
  • Saint Arnold Pumpkinator - Houston - an imperial stout brewed with pumpkin, molasses, brown sugar, and spices;  been aging for 6 months, 10% abv (previously released as Divine Reserve 9)
  • Rahr & Sons Bourbon Barrel Winter Warmer - Fort Worth - special release barrel-aged version of their thick and rich cold weather seasonal, 8.5%
At Washbangers:
  • Jester King Mad Meg - Austin - a golden farmhouse "provision ale," an old style table beer, historically made for extended cellaring, 9.6% abv

At O'Bannon's: From the West to the South Day
  • Sierra Nevada/Dogfish Head Life & Limb - a collaboration strong ale brewed with maple syrup from Sam Calagione's family farm and birch syrup from Alaska, 10.2%
  • Widmer Brothers Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout - Oregon - imperial stout with raspberries added during the fermentation process, 9.3% abv
  • Deschutes XXIII - Oregon - a specially crafted porter with cocoa nibs and coffee, then finalized in whiskey barrels 10.8% abv
At Washbangers
  • New Republic Bellows - College Station, TX - a surprise from our hometown heroes, a very unique dry-hopped variant of their amber ale
At O'Bannon's: Vote Night
  • O'Bannon's will be asking the customers to vote for their favorite style of brew, and then for the rest of the night, that style will be on special (I still can't decide what to vote for)
At Washbangers: Austin Beerworks Night
  • Fire Eagle - IPA that's "hoppy, bold, and American," 6.4% abv
  • Black Thunder - German schwarzbier, crisp and roasted, 5.3% abv
  • Peacemaker - an extra pale ale, only 15 IBUs, it's light and sessionable, 5% abv

At O'Bannon's: Staff pick night
  • Some of the O'Bannon's staff are going to pick their favorite 5 craft beers, and those will be on special for that night (I can almost guarantee one of those 5 will be from Rahr & Sons) 
At Washbangers
  • Saint Arnold Endeavour - an intensely flavorful double IPA, strong citrus notes, 8.9% abv (previously released as Divine Reserve 11)

If anyone in the Bryan College Station area plans on attending any of these events, which you really should, let me know via twitter (@BrixBrewlogBlog) and we can meetup. 

1 comment:

  1. Howdy! Good to see another B/CS based food/drink blogger. I just added you to my blogroll. I look forward to reading more about the local brew scene here.