Brewery openings and Texas winners and losers
• Black Star Co-op has made the transition from neat idea to almost reality: It announced an actual brick-and-mortar location, in the Crestview Station Midtown Commons development that has sprung up on the site of the old Huntsman Chemical facility at North Lamar and Airport. It hosted a preview event Nov. 14, which unfortunately I couldn't attend, but look for more in these pages soon. I'm fired up about the location, as it's a short stumbling distance from my house. The co-op still needs more members/investors to make the dream come true; go to www.blackstar.coop for info on how to join.
• Speaking of making the dream come true, the new Circle Brewing Co. announced it has hit its first financial goal and placed an order for a 30-barrel brewhouse, which it expects to receive in about four months. Go to www.circlebrewing.com and click on "blog" to see what it will look like. The company is also still looking for more capital, so contact owners Ben T. Sabel and Judson K. Mulherin if you'd like to buy in. (I've sampled what Circle hopes to produce – you'll be investing in a quality product.)
• Texas medal winners in this September's 2009 Great American Beer Festival in Denver:Hell in Keller by Austin's Uncle Billy's Brew & Que (Gold in the Kellerbier/Zwickelbier category);Saint Arnold Summer Pils by Houston's Saint Arnold Brewing Co. (Gold in Munich-style helles);Weizenbock by Fort Worth's the Covey Restaurant & Brewery (Silver in German-style wheat ale);"100" by the Covey Restaurant & Brewery (Silver in Belgian-style strong specialty ale).
• It's lucky for Gov. Rick Perry that craft-beer lovers are a minority, because in gaining the endorsement of the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas, he likely lost the vote of that demographic. WBDT is the lobbying organization that single-handedly killed off bills the past two legislative sessions that would have allowed microbrewers to sell their products on-premises, as Texas wineries can. I don't know who you should vote for in 2010, but if you support Texas' small breweries, then it damn sure ain't Rick Perry.