It’s tailgating time again for San Antonians traveling to Aggieland. Though Aggies represent an incredibly loyal fan base, it remains to be seen if they can be loyal to a local beer made just for them.
Dean Brundage, one of three founders of the tiny one-barrel New Republic Brewing Co., is counting on it. The staple beers Bellows American Amber and Skylight Dunkelweiss were showcased in the heart of Longhorn country at the Texas Craft Brewers Festival in Austin this past weekend.
New Republic started making beer for sale in May and is slowly gaining ground, even though Brundage said “it was slow the first three weeks of school, which we thought was weird.”
Every batch of beer now sells out quickly at two bars in the Northgate area of College Station (O’Bannon’s and Church Street BBQ) and three bars in Bryan (Good Time Charlie’s, Revelation Café and Murphy’s Law). But for tailgating kegs, you’ll have to call ahead to Whisky Charlie’s or Bait Barn.
They’re now drawing good crowds of students on tours of the brewery and the local brews played well in a Texas A&M University faculty lounge tasting. But this also means they can be quick to run out — expect to see an expansion next year.
Although they’ve done it quietly over the last week, Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling is changing out one of its four staple beers. The South Texas Lager, a time-consuming style that bogarts fermentation tank space that could be used to make more beer, is going the way of a Texas river — no longer flowing.
In its stead is the Mission Trail Kölsch, a lighter German-style beer that takes less time than a lager but is still highly refreshing. It was just now hitting taps like Joey’s last week, but will get a bigger push when temperatures begin warming in the spring.
Ranger Creek’s new seasonal Saison Oscura is also out with flavors reminiscent of a Belgian farmhouse ale, like citrus and spice notes, but with more of a chocolate character from the dark malt.
Samuel Adams beers will be the stars of the next beer dinner at the Westin La Cantera Resort on October 7. The food and beer pairings hadn’t been announced as of this writing, but tickets are on sale by calling (210) 558-2305.
Three chefs are preparing a four-course meal to pair with four Sam Adam’s beers including the Oktoberfest Maezen. Austin Tipps, district manager for Sam Adams-maker, Boston Beer Co., will present the beers.
Travis E. Poling writes about beer weekly for the Current and is author of Beer Across Texas: A Guide to Brews and Brewmasters of the Lone Star State. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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