Beer Flights

New brews bring much good news to choosy brew consumers

(l-r) Jeff Young, Karinne Thornblom, 
and Steven Yarak of Black Star Co-op
(l-r) Jeff Young, Karinne Thornblom, and Steven Yarak of Black Star Co-op (Photo by John Anderson)

New Brews News

Black Star Co-op is finally here! The nation's first cooperatively run brewpub opened its doors on Easy Wind Drive (inside the Midtown Commons development at Airport and Lamar) with a low-key "soft opening" in late September. A grand opening is to come. The co-opers expect to be brewing their own by December. In the meantime, they have a fantastic selection of guest beers and a tasty menu of Texas pub fare.

Hops & Grain, one of Austin's many aspiring new brewers (see "Beer in Bloom," June 18), has secured an East Austin location for its brewery: 507 Calles, where East Sixth dead-ends. The 3,000-square-foot space will have a 15-barrel brewhouse with 90 barrels of fermentation capacity, and a three-barrel "pilot brewery" called the Greenhouse, where "recipes will grow from a tiny pod of an idea and will prosper and develop into successful, fully functional adults." Hops & Grain says it expects to launch in January with a German ale and an American pale ale, available in both cans and kegs. Also operating out of the space will be a related business, Brew Biscuits, making dog treats from spent barley left over from the brewing process.

Jester King Craft Brewery, another newbie, is actually up and running. Located on a Hill Country farm west of Oak Hill, Jester King began production of its first batch of "Boxer's Revenge," a farmhouse ale named in honor of the horse in Animal Farm, on Sept. 23. Jester King will also cook up a saison and pale ale, and all three will be aged in French oak barrels. JK's Jeffrey Stuffings says they'll "be ready when the wild yeast says so."

Independence Brewing Co. marked its sixth anniversary this year, and it celebrated by brewing a special ale named Braggot, brewed with Good Flow Wildflower Honey and zest from Texas clementine oranges. Much of it was probably consumed during Independence's Oct. 23 anniversary party, but you may still be able to find some at the finer beer bars around town.

Lee Nichols blogs about beer at

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