Latest News in the Austin Craft Beer Scene May 2015
There is always something new and exiting happening in the Austin craft beer scene. Something new is brewing at Hops and Grain, along with the breweries new hours and the redesigned tap room. New Beer & New Branding for Uncle Billy’s Brewery. Eureka opens on June 15, 2015 in downtown Austin. Specializing in American classics with a modern twist. Total Wine & More will officially open its doors to the public on May 21, 2015.
CHANGE IS IN THE AIR AT HOPS & GRAIN
Coffee, New Hours & A Redesigned Tap Room
Something new is brewing at Hops & Grain. The East Austin brewery known for its sustainable brewing methods and award-winning beers is adding coffee to its repertoire. Experimenting and adding to its permanent can lineup has led to fan favorites like PorterCulture and A Pale Mosaic, which were first tested only in the tap room.
The innovative beers definitely won’t stop, but Josh Hare, founder of Hops & Grain, felt the next step, creatively speaking, was to try his hand at something completely new—coffee roasting and brewing.
“We are incredibly excited to extend our liquid offerings in our tasting room. Our mission since day one has been to enhance the human experience, all while being a responsible piece of our community. Adding coffee to our tasting room service helps us in our efforts to become a brand that is bigger than our individual products. We want our customers to interact with us as a lifestyle brand, enjoying our products from the time you wake up, until the time you go to sleep!” said Hare on his decision to start serving coffee.
While Hare’s own proprietary roasted beans are on the way to the tap room—more than likely in mid-summer—Hare decided to kick things off with beans from Austin favorites, Flat Track Coffee Co. & Roasting and Tweed Coffee Roasters. Hops & Grain is serving coffee to go or to be enjoyed in the tap room three different ways: standard pour over, full immersion and Aeropress brewing. Each way produces a different flavor, and the staff is excited to walk guests through each one. Pour over is methodical and has approachable characters that lead to a well-balanced cup of coffee. Like a good pilsner, this method is deceptively difficult to execute but incredibly enjoyable when done right. Full immersion is a more artistic method that leads to a thicker, more robust cup.
Like a good Baltic Porter, it is rich and velvety but with a clean finish. Aeropress is quick with high extraction. It leads to a strong but pleasurable cup of coffee. Like an IPA, it is beautiful when done right. Guests can adjust this method by telling the barista if they prefer a strong or more approachable cup of coffee. Batch brew drip service will also be available for those who are just looking for a simple cup of joe.
Another Austin company represented is Eastside neighbor Zhi Tea. A wide selection of Zhi Tea is now on the menu—some even on tap. In the coming months, there will be a custom-built espresso machine installed, offering an even wider selection of beverages. Coffee isn’t the only change happening at Hops & Grain.
The tap room is now open seven days a week, from 8 a.m.-10 p.m., and regulars will notice the space has undergone quite the facelift.
Envisioning the tap room as a place where people come to socialize, collaborate and work together throughout the day was one of Hare’s main goals for the space. The redesign started with a new paint color to make the space cozier—a hue called web gray. A new, dual level bar was built, opening up plenty of workspace for one’s laptop while enjoying a hot or cold beverage. Numerous electrical outlets were also added to ensure electronics stay alive. To keep guests comfortable during the summer months, a fan from Big Ass Fans was installed. Hare encourages guests to stay a while and has added new, comfortable furniture to make sure they do. The furniture was built by Austin Evers of Woodwork at 17th with the metal fabrication done by Edgeworks. Evers drew his inspiration from the brewery. “We know how serious Hops & Grain is about sustainability, so we sourced every board from a torn down paper mill in Josh’s home town. It meant a lot to tie in the reclaimed wood, the history, the connection, and values Hops & Grain holds dear to make the furniture,” said Evers on his inspiration for the furniture. The Hops & Grain team could not be more excited about the changes being made. They are thrilled to welcome new clientele and offer existing fans a whole new experience.
New Beer & New Branding for Uncle Billy’s Brewery and Smokehouse
Uncle Billy’s Brewery and Smokehouse, an Austin Texas based brewpub, is introducing two new beers; Barton Springs Pale Ale and Lazy Day Lager and reintroducing it’s award winning The Green Room IPA. These beers will be available on draught in our brew pub and select bars and restaurants in Austin today and in cans across Texas starting early June.
The release of the new beers coincides with a recent Uncle Billy’s rebrand, including new packaging. The re-brand is intended to distinctly capture the unique personality of Uncle Billy’s and convey the company’s renewed commitment to producing exceptional beers in a relaxed, Austin-centric spirit. The new look for the beer cans is a natural evolution for the brewpub, which has undergone several advances this year.
“We are celebrating our eighth anniversary this month,” says Rick Engel, founder of Uncle Billy’s Brewery and Smokehouse. “A lot has happened in those eight years. We became the first brewpub in Texas to distribute our beers through a third party distributor to bars and restaurants. We recently renovated the brewpub and installed a new 20-barrel brewery system to more than triple our capacity. We have a new brewing team including our head brewer, Trevor Nearburg, and brewer, Daytona Camps. Uncle Billy’s is now working with Brown Distributing Company and is also very fortunate to have Christine Celis overseeing all on and off premise sales efforts which has taken off remarkably well. All of these changes made the time right for us to update our brand too.”
Barton Springs Pale Ale: (6.6% ABV/ 45 IBU) Like Austin’s famous swimming hole, the Barton Springs Pale Ale is refreshing. It is perfectly balanced, bitter undertones combine with citrus and floral aromas, while light crystal malts add sweetness and copper color. The malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness contrasts well with spicy, smoked wings. The light bodied pale ale is best served in pint glass at 45 degrees.
Lazy Day Lager: (5.5% ABV/ 20 IBU) In Central Texas there’s nothing lazier than a float down the river. Lazy Day Lager features Vienna malts and noble hops for an incredibly dry and drinkable brew. A golden libation that says slow down and savor the moments in every season. The balance of hops and malt with crisp, dry finish pairs incredibly well with BBQ shrimp scampi. Serve it well chilled at 40 degrees in a pint glass.
Green Room IPA: (6.0% abv/ 60 ibu) Inspired by the Live Music Capital of the World, Uncle Billy’s flagship year-round American IPA keeps its full of hops recipe, but its can gets a complete make-over. This IPA has herbaceous, citrus, tropical fruit aromas, and intense grapefruit flavors with a sustained finish of bright citrus notes. The prominent hoppy aroma and flavor of this beer pairs well with our pork ribs. The light bodied beer is best served in pint glass, at 45 degrees.
“Our new beers are the kind that people can enjoy all year long,” says Head Brewer Trevor Nearburg. “Working in a brewery every day puts smiles on our faces, and we hope our beers do the same for our customers. The Barton Springs Pale Ale and Lazy Day Lager could become part of our signature year-round line-up, or will be the first of many special and seasonal beers that we brew in small batches using the finest malted barley and aromatic hops.”
Eureka! Opens June 15, 2015 In Downtown Austin
(Austin; May 14, 2015)— Specializing in American classics with a modern twist and an expansive American selection of craft beer and small-batch whiskeys, Eureka! opens in Austin in one of the city’s historic landmarks on the world-renowned Sixth Street. The all-American restaurant will offer guests a unique dining experience complete with 40 American craft beers on tap, and over 40 small-batch whiskeys in a modern yet rustic atmosphere. Eureka! provides the surrounding community with a trendy casual place to dine, drink, and socialize while enjoying special events and live music throughout the week.
“Eureka! embodies what the city has to offer with an exciting ambiance while providing guests with exceptional hospitality, an innovative bar program, live music, televised sports, and a well-rounded dining experience for all to enjoy,” says Paul Frederick, CO-CEO of Eureka! Restaurant Group.
Located in a 140-year-old building, the design of Eureka! expresses historic yet rustic aesthetics and industrial influences. The 5,000 square foot restaurant seats 200 guests in a dining room comprised of eclectic seating options including extra large booths, high top tables, community tables, and the restaurant’s center piece, a stand-alone wrap-around copper bar. Eureka! incorporates tables and paneling handcrafted from hardwoods retrieved from historic American barns, factories, and whiskey distilleries. And of course there is a stage for live music performances.
Each dish is thoughtfully prepared to showcase quality ingredients, locally sourced when possible. The restaurant specializes in American classics with a modern twist with its diverse selection of appetizers, signature plates which includes all-natural, vegetarian fed, Angus chuck burgers, innovative salads and delectable desserts. Menu highlights include the Golden Ale Mussels featuring jalapeño bacon stock, crispy pancetta, golden ale, and petit herbs; The Taco Bar featuring Crispy Rock Shrimp Tacos, Chicken Tacos, Seasonal White Fish Tacos, and 80’s Style Taco Salad Wrap; the Cowboy Burger with shoestring onion rings, bacon, cheddar, housemade beer bbq sauce served with signature handcut Kennebec potato fries; the All Day Breakfast Burrito which includes pork, potatoes, fried hen egg and ranchero sauce; a Slow-Roasted Beet Salad with toasted walnuts, apple, arugula, orange sections and watermelon pop rocks; and theButterscotch Rum Pudding featuring housemade whipped cream, caramel sauce, and sprinkled sea salt.
To complement the diverse menu, Eureka! has created an innovative cocktail menu featuring classic and contemporary libations with distinct American roots. The beverage program at Eureka! revolves around the restaurant’s commitment to serving all American, small-batch whiskeys, and specialty cocktails, curated by small and locally owned artisans ensuring a premium product that is highly sought after. Signature cocktails include classic recipes like the house Old Fashioned, made the way your grand pappy drank it with Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, bitters, fresh orange zest and a block of ice; and the Penicillin with an American smoked whiskey, fresh ginger, hand squeezed lemon juice, and clover honey. Contemporary creations like the Moscow Mule featuring Texas’ Dripping Springs vodka, housemade ginger lime syrup, and citrus; and Rosemary’s Ruby Red with gin, rosemary, grapefruit, and citrus offer guests modern cocktails with quality ingredients.
Eureka! features 40 specialty craft beers, two wines on tap, accompanied by a selection of over 40 small-batch American whiskeys – sourced from artisans in California, Iowa, Tennessee, Kentucky, New York, Oregon, Texas and Utah – in tribute to the 21st amendment outlawing prohibition. Additionally, a special off-menu selection features various hard-to-get and strictly allocated whiskeys like Pappy Van Winkle and offerings from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection available to the most discerning whiskey drinkers.
Eureka! is located on 200 East 6th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. Hours are from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Thursday through Saturday. Additionally, Eureka! features daily “hoppy” hours from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and reverse “hoppy” hour from 9 to 11 p.m. For more information on Eureka!, please visit www.eurekarestaurantgroup.com.
TOTAL WINE & MORE EXPANDING INTO AUSTIN
May 12, 2015 – Total Wine & More, America’s largest independent retailer of fine wine, spirits and beer, today announced that the chain will expand its presence by opening its ninth Texas store, at 5601 Brodie Lane, Suite 800, in Sunset Valley. Known for its unparalleled variety, low prices and expert service, Total Wine will offer a greater selection of wines, spirits and beer than any retailer in the Austin area. Additional locations are planned for the greater Austin area in the near future.
“Our success with our existing locations in Texas has been phenomenal, and we want to continue our expansion in Texas by bringing our expertise and unique shopping experience to the people of Austin,” said Co-Owner David Trone, who owns Total Wine with his brother, Robert. “Our selection comes from all over the world and includes more than 8,000 individual labels of wine, 3,000 spirits and 2,500 beers, but what really sets us apart is our desire to educate and share our passion for our products with our customers.”
In addition to its extensive product offerings, Total Wine has a climate-controlled fine wine cellar for rare selections, a separate walk-in humidor for fine cigars, and growler stations with fresh brewed beer from the tap. The new Sunset Valley store will host regular wine, beer and spirits tastings that are themed around wine-producing regions and seasonal topics. The facility will feature an in-store classroom for themed private tastings, consumer education courses and community and business meetings.
In addition, iPad tablets conveniently placed in the store will allow customers to select various types of food and view recommendations for specific bottles of wine that pair well with the selected dish.
Total Wine team members receive more than 150 hours of training before stepping onto the sales floor, to ensure they are knowledgeable about the store’s offerings and can help customers make the right selections for their tastes. Each team member participates in an initial three-week training program covering wine, beer and spirits, including types, production methods and analysis. Ongoing regional training offers the opportunity for in-depth analysis and the chance to meet with key wine producers. Each year, 65 team members are flown to California’s major wine regions for a six-day training experience, and the experience continues every other year, with 45 team members visiting Europe’s key wine regions for 12 days of extensive training and study.