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Open the Taps: San Antonio Beer Week Bubbles Up May 12


It's time for suds and hops. It's San Antonio Beer Week.

It’s time for suds and hops. It’s San Antonio Beer Week.

Can anyone get enough beer? That’s the question that beer lovers will ask themselves when the third annual San Antonio Beer Week begins May 12 with a Mother’s Day party at Freetail Brewing Company. It concludes the following Saturday, May 18, with a pint crawl that will visit at least five breweries.

SABW “is a special week dedicated to celebrating beer and the community that enjoys it!” according to the event’s website. “Events will include a special night at each of the San Antonio-area breweries, special beer dinners and tastings, walking pub crawls, a bus pub crawl, (and) a pro-am brewing competition for a chance to have your beer entered in the Great American Beer Festival.”

Here are a few highlights of the week:

  • Bake, Boil and Brew, 1508 Guadalupe St., is hosting is its annual Sweet and Sour Soiree at 5 p.m. May 12. Four samples from Sour Beers paired with treats from Sweet Fuzion Cupcakes will be featured at the event.
  • Visit Pedernales Brewing Company in Fredericksburg and taste its new beer, the Lobito, on a bus tour that leaves Blue Star in San Antonio at 9 a.m. May 13. Lunch is at the Fredericksburg Brewing Co.
  • Branchline Brewing Co. hosts the opening festivities at 6 p.m. May 13 at its brewery, 3633 Metro Parkway. A new beer brewed just for the occasion will be served.
  • Gastronomica Progressive Culinaria, an underground dinner group, and Big Hops Growler Station are partnering up for a 7-course craft beer dinner at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. May 15. Tickets are $50. The dinner’s at Big Hops, 8313 Broadway.
  • The Point Park & Eats, 24180 Boerne Stage Road, is hosting Open the Taps, a showcase of Texas craft beers, set for 6 p.m. May 16.

There are more events on the schedule. For a full list, click here.

A few of the participating breweries include 5 Stones Craft Brewing Co., The Granary, Blue Star Brewing Co., Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling, Alamo Beer Company, Branchline Brewing, Freetail Brewing, Pedernales, and Fredericksburg Brewing Co.

It all just makes you want to fill a mug with your favorite beer and then chase it with a brew that’s new.

 

Posted in Drinks, FeaturedComments Off

New Bill Could Be Boon to Brewpubs


A proposed law would help brewpubs.

Ever wanted to buy a few bottles of Freetail or Blue Star beer to enjoy at home? State Rep. Mike Villarreal of San Antonio has introduced a bill that would allow brewpubs to sell their beer off-premise.

In other word, if enacted, House Bill 660 would allow “in-state brewpubs to compete with out-of-state brewpubs by affording us the right to sell our beer into the wholesale distribution system,” says Scott Metzger of Freetail Brewing Co., 4035 N. Loop 1604 W.

The bill has a few more clauses that would affect brewpub license holders: They would be able to sell to wholesalers or distributors for re-sale; their total production would not be able to exceed 75,000 barrels per year; and those who produce less than 10,000 barrels a year would be able to distribute their product themselves.

“Along with the help of my peers from several of our state’s fine craft breweries, we have worked closely with the representative’s office to craft a bill that will help Texas small businesses grow and remain competitive in a rapidly growing industry,” Metzger says. “We have worked carefully to address concerns from the other tiers within the beer industry so that it benefits not only Texas brewers, but also wholesalers, distributors, retailers and consumers. Given the current economic conditions and looming budget deficit, this bill provides much needed help by creating new jobs and increasing the tax base.

“I am maintaining a running blog during the 140-day legislative session on this effort that can be found at http://brewednotbattered.wordpress.com/. I will post updates every day on our bill, in addition to information on why it is important and how it provides economic benefit to the state of Texas.”

If people want to support Villarreal’s bill, they should contact their representatives, says Metzger, adding that he’s still working on a more unified public effort.

Click here to read the full bill.

Posted in Drinks, NewsComments Off

Freetail Brewing Releases Its Latest Beer Saturday


Freetail Brewing's Ananke

Freetail Brewing Co. is releasing its latest beer at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

It’s called Ananke, which is the name of the Greek goddess of necessity.

Why Ananke? “Because the world needs it,” says Scott Metzger, founder and CEO of the brewery and restaurant at 4035 N. Loop 1604 W.

The brew is in a new style for Freetail, as a preview poured last Friday indicated. It’s fizzy like Champagne with a sweet-tart flavor that makes it light-bodied and refreshing yet complex.

People have been known to line up several hours before Freetail releases a new beer, so you may want to come early to get a place in line. There’s a limit of two bottles per person.

The brewery also offers free tours at noon on Saturdays.

For more information, click here.

Posted in Daily DishComments Off

Pairing Beer and Cheese


When you popped the top on your favorite beer the other night, did you stop to think about the right food to serve  with it?

That’s not a silly question. More and more people are discovering how rewarding it is to match the right beer with all sorts of food.

True, wine aficionados will go on about how a steely Sancerre was created to go with oysters on the half shell or an off-dry Riesling is perfect with spicy Thai cuisine.

But have you ever had an Irish stout, including Guinness, with those oysters? Or a crisp, clean lager, such as Singha, with Thai food?

Exploring the riches to be found by pairing cheese with beer was the topic of a recent seminar at Freetail Brewing Co., 4035 N. Loop 1604 W.

“People automatically assume wine with cheese,” Brewer Jason Davis said. “But most don’t know how good cheese is with beer.”

(Click to enlarge)

So, he started the class off with Capra Honeyed Chèvre from Belgium partnered with his  Rye Wit, a Belgian-style beer with citrus and coriander notes.

“The carbonation helps break through the fat in the cheese  and lets the flavors emerge on the palate,” he said.

The creamy, sweetness of the soft cheese paired well with the acidity of the fruit beer. Other soft cheeses to try include Camembert and Brie, he suggested.

Freetail’s Buffalo Hump IPA, with its sharply hoppy taste, was poured alongside an acidic Denhay Farmhouse Cheddar for a study in contrast. It’s an old-fashioned partnership, part of the traditional ploughman’s lunch, which is still popular in Great Britain.

Jason Davis

This pairing proved to be the most divisive of the three offered. Some in the class found it extremely successful; others felt the strength of the IPA overwhelmed this particular cheese, which could have used a little extra salt.

The salt was found in the Coombe Castle Royal Blue Stilton, the last cheese of the class. Davis had presented it to go with the Old Bat Rastard, a winter warmer that’s full-bodied and slightly bitter. It had a little funky flavor that helped it cozy up to the funkiness of the blue cheese.

Three beers, three cheeses. It was a savory start to a whole new world of pairings. What next? What beer goes with Gruyère?  Or Parmesan? What cheeses goes with amber ale? Sounds like meaningful research to me.

Posted in NewsComments (1)


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