New beers and more bubbly goodness
Seasonals, Varietals, and Other Brew News
› Beers from Austin's new Thirsty Planet Brewing Company (www.thirstyplanet.net) are now available for purchase. Recent Facebook and Twitter posts from Thirsty Planet report that its Bucket Head IPA is now available on tap at Houndstooth Coffee (4200 N. Lamar), Black Sheep Lodge (2108 S. Lamar), the Flying Saucer (the Triangle, 46th & Guadalupe), and the Draught House Pub (4112 Medical Parkway). Thirsty Planet is one of 10 new brewers in the Austin area that we recently profiled in these pages (see "Beer in Bloom," June 18).
› Another new brewer we've written up, Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery (see "From Beer to Infinity," Jan. 22), hopes to open soon but is a little behind schedule. The original plan was to open in June, but that later got pushed back to "end of summer," which co-founder Steven Yarak recently clarified to me as some time in September. But hey, that's not much of a delay compared to what happened with the launch of the nearby MetroRail Red Line, right?
› Shiner 96 is coming out of retirement! Originally a limited-edition beer brewed in 2005 to mark Spoetzl Brewery's 96th year of operation, it's being revived as Shiner Märzen-style Oktoberfest and will be a fall seasonal. This makes me happy – I've enjoyed all Shiner's anniversary beers and wanted them all to return either as seasonals or year-round beers. This will be the second anniversary beer to return – Shiner 97 (now known as Shiner Black year-round) preceded it.
› Houston's Saint Arnold Brewing Company will be teaching new tricks to old beers over the next year. It plans something called the Movable Yeast series, which involves taking batches of their regular beers but fermenting them with different yeasts. First up they'll take Fancy Lawnmower – a kölsch that's their top seller – and pitch it instead with a Bavarian hefeweizen yeast that will impart banana and clove flavors. This Frankenstein beer, called Weedwacker, will be available in selected Texas restaurants and bars on Monday, Aug. 16. In the future, expect Altared Amber (Saint Arnold's Amber Ale with Belgian Trappist yeast), Bitter Belgian (Elissa IPA with Belgian Trappist), and Brown Bitte (Brown Ale with Alt yeast).