Five Throwback Brews for 2021
Original article posted May, 2021
Spring is the season of new and returning things in Austin: hanging caterpillars and emerging cicadas, longer days and warmer nights, professional soccer teams, and graduating students. It is also a time of renewal for the city's brewery scene, a period where seasonal releases don't have to tie into holidays, how hot it is outside, or industry trends. It's the perfect moment to put a new spin on old favorites like West Coast IPAs, German lagers, and barleywines. Here are five new throwback beers hitting taps and shelves across Austin this spring:
Stay Gold Deluxe, 4th Tap Brewing
The second collaborative release between 4th Tap and Black Pumas is a celebration of the newly released deluxe version of the Austin band's debut album as well as their fourth Grammy nomination. Stay Gold Deluxe is a hoppier, heavier hitting sibling to the original Stay Gold pale ale. Clocking in at 8% ABV, Stay Gold Deluxe fleshes out a smooth, malty backbone with the juicy flavors of Cryo-Citra, Cryo-Mosaic, and Amarillo hops. Combining contemporary hop profiles with a traditional West Coast IPA base, Stay Gold Deluxe is 4th Tap's nod to Black Pumas' modern take on a vintage sound.
Fuzzy Diamonds, Austin Beerworks
This spring, Austin Beerworks' Matthew Benavidez decided to brew the type of beer he wanted to drink: "a super sessionable light lager with a solid German hop presence." Fuzzy Diamonds is exactly that. The lightest beer on this list at 3.9% ABV, this unfiltered German lager has been described as "liquid air conditioning" and even inspired a haiku from Austin Beerworks' social media team. Smooth with just enough hop character to keep it interesting, Fuzzy Diamonds is an ideal beer for long, warm spring evenings.
Best Coast IPA, Pinthouse Pizza
With the torrent of weekly new releases from Pinthouse Pizza's four locations, it can be easy to overlook returning beers. Don't make that mistake with Best Coast. First brewed in 2014, this venerable recipe has been tweaked and enhanced into an IPA that has it all. Best Coast is crushable and effervescent despite being 7.8% ABV, hazy but with some West Coast bitterness, and somehow resinous, dank, and fruity all at once from the medley of Mosaic, Amarillo, Cryo Citra, and Cryo Simcoe hops.
Fine & Dandy, Hedgehog Brewing
Cedar Park's Hedgehog Brewing is a little more than a year old but has already built a reputation for its light, bright Farmhouse Ales and IPAs. Fine & Dandy is a full 180 from Hedgehog's standard brews: a 13.4% ABV, barrel-aged English barleywine. The high ABV and bourbon barrel base is smoothed by toffee, caramel, and vanilla notes that make the beer into a delightful dessert sipper.
Super Stash IPA, Independence Brewing Co.
For most breweries, messing around with core lineup beers is rarely seen outside of the occasional taproom-only release. Independence Brewing has blown the doors off of the usual "core IPA with different hops" formula with Super Stash IPA. At 8.2% ABV, Super Stash is only slightly boozier than the original Stash recipe, which clocks in at 7.5%. The main difference is what Independence calls "High Density Hop Charging," using new hop technology to get the flavor equivalent of 15 pounds of hops per barrel on top of the Stash's standard combination of seven different hop pellets. The resulting IPA amps up the citrus and resin character of Stash into a quintessential West Coast DIPA.