Home's a Brewin'

Austin Beer Week Under Way

"Isn't every week Austin Beer Week?" I wondered, as this year's schedule was announced. Well, is every weekend Austin City Limits, because we have live music all year round? From Oct. 20-28, in 45 venues, through 140 fanciful events, ABW intimately brings together the enthusiast, the brewer, and the people proudly serving local craft beer.

For the fanboy: The dreamy brewers are at your favorite pubs daily, tapping many rare casks. Create an account at www.austinbeerweek.com to craft your personal itinerary.

For the glutton: Chef James Holmes raised a pig on spent grain from (512) Brewery, and roasted it at Lucy's Fried Chicken (2218 College Ave.) on Tuesday. If you missed it, and you're not one to keep kosher, Draught House Pub & Brewery (4112 Medical Pkwy.) celebrates its 44th anniversary on Saturday with two pig roasts: one marinated in smoked beer, another in pumpkin beer.

For the inquisitive: Jeff Young from Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery led a recipe design class last night at the Austin Home Brew store (9129 Metric Blvd.); also, Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden (79 & 81 Rainey St.) is holding Beer College all week.

For the charitable: Sunday's Haunted Halloween Ball at the Mansion at Judges' Hill (1900 Rio Grande) will benefit the Sustainable Food Center. Besides local spirits – the alcoholic kind, mostly – ticket holders will get to see a performance of "Thriller" by the Danceworks.

Remarkably, two dedicated drinkers – not brewers or hospitality people – organized this weeklong concert of microbreweries, chefs, farmers, and artists. Joanne Marino and Tom Roli, the married co-producers of the event, conceived the idea in 2009 after word spread of the first Beer Week in Philadelphia. They work day jobs consulting for nonprofits and small businesses, but Marino explained, "We're not truly happy until we're overextended and throwing ourselves into projects."

Labors of love keep Austin weird, and ABW has a torrent of them. Partake, and consider that everything you sip, bite, or feel was something someone loved so much, they had to set aside this week to give it to Austin.

Ivy Le, a new and thirsty Austinite, hails from Dallas, but has lived and written in Georgia for the last 11 years. Follow her on Twitter @UrbanHaiku.

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