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Bottle and Tap: Blue Star Brewing Turns 20 and Drumpf-inspired Brews 

  • Facebook/Central Market

Central Market Is Brewing Up Something Good

The beer scene in San Antonio is booming — or brewing, as the case may be. As the quality of our local beer scene constantly improves, the beneficiaries are we, the faithful San Antonio beer-drinking public. One of those benefits is how everyone is joining in on the craft beer festivities, including the Alamo City's favorite grocery store: H-E-B.

This month, at Central Market location on Broadway, marks the return of Beer Fest. From the beginning of the month till the metaphorical last drop of the month, beer tastings will be held at the store, pairing some of the best craft beers that the area has to offer with some of the unique food items that Central Market is known for. For two weeks (the festival kicked off on June 16 and ends June 28), there will be beer tastings, demonstrations and specialty education classes all will be held.

Highlights of the last two weeks include demonstrations and tastings from Busted Sandal Brewing Company and the Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling Company on Saturday, June 25. From noon to 3 p.m., the breweries will be offering up some of their latest brews. From Busted Sandal, they will be serving up their 210 Ale and Slippery Rock IPA (both available in bottles and cans). Ranger Creek will be serving up some of their best-selling favorites and the limited release of their 2004 Gold Medal winning La Bestia Aimable Belgian Style Dark Strong Ale.

On Friday, June 24, beers from Save the World Brewing Company, Real Ale Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Company and Rahr & Sons are on the menu. Saturday, June 25, will see St. Arnold's Brewing Company, Brooklyn Brewery and Branchline Brewing Company will join Ranger Creek and Busted Sandal with samplings. The specialty samplings for the month will close out with the Nebraska Brewing Company, Uncle Billy's Brewery & Smokehouse, Bayou Teche Brewing, Karbach Brewing Company, and the Harpoon Brewery.
Through the end of the month, purchases of $25 or more will result in a discount of 20 beer nerds. For beer nerds, beer enthusiasts, or just fans of the good stuff, H-E-B's Beer Fest is the event for you.

  • Courtesy/Blue Star Brewing Co.
Blue Star Turns 20

Next year, and the Blue Star Brewing Company will be able legally buy the beer it sells. 'Til then, they will be content to celebrate 20 years as one of the city's leading craft breweries. On Sunday, June 26, the good folks at Blue Star will be throwing a pachanga at their house, complete with live music, good food and the beers they are famous for.
They kick the day off with a jazz brunch and will close out it out with a screening of Marco Ortega's documentary Brewed in the 210. Best of all, Blue Star is rolling back their beer prices to what they were in that magical summer of 1996 when Independence Day ruled the silver screen and The Spice Girls asked us all if we wanted to be their lovers. Good times.

Beer Gets Political

Unless you have been living under a rock since, oh roughly a year ago, a certain follically-challenged (or blessed, if you believe him) real estate mogul is the presumptive Republican candidate for President of the United States. Since announcing his candidacy last summer, it is fair to say that he has ruffled a good deal of feathers in that time.

In the world of craft beer, many brewers have turned their brews into canvases for any number of causes. Well, a few have now turned their brewmaking talents toward The Donald.

Spiteful Brewing, a microbrewery based out of Chicago, is offering up their new beer this month entitled Dumb Donald. This new imperial-style IPA has hints of Key Lime and is, in their own words, a “social commentary on ignorance.” While only available in the Chicagoland area right now, they are carried by Whole Foods, so you never know if a batch will reach the Alamo City.

Taking the trend one step further, Dock Street Brewery is releasing an entire flight of anti-Trump beers titled Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Drumpf, a nod to cable host John Oliver's recent re-branding attempt. Their first effort, called Short-Fingered Stout, was released in April. Dock Street describes it as “a bitter and delusional stout with an airy, light-colored head atop a so-so body.” Their second beer, the Drumple IPA is currently on tap in their brewery. This double IPA is described as “orange in color, it seems sweet and innocent enough … but is bitter to the very end.” You can buy Dock Street's offerings online.

One brewery started it all though when they released their beer last year at the height of the feather-ruffling. Chicago's 5 Rabbit Cerveceria was at the forefront of Trump with their Chinga tu Pelo beer. The Chicago-based, Latino-owned brewery renamed the last 50 kegs of their summer blonde ale after Trump first started espousing his “wall talk” last summer.

In an effort to remain balanced, I did a search for brewers who had taken aim at the Democratic frontrunner, former Secretary of State Clinton. However, the only thing I could find that was close was an offering by the Exile Brewing Company of Des Moines, Iowa. In 2015, the brewery released the Chill Clinton Double Hemp Amber Ale, which was brewed with over 700 pounds of hemp seeds. Hill Rod even stopped by the brewery last year to pick up a four-pack. 

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