SA BEER WEEK AT HALF
By the time you read this, San Antonio will be a few days into its first official beer week celebrated alongside National Craft Beer Week. There are 50 special beer-themed events taking place at local businesses and even late-developing tie-ins with the arts and foodie scenes.
Freetail Brewing Co. brewers Jason Davis and John Lee have teamed up with Fl!ght Gallery on South Flores for a multi-day event that began Sunday with the creation of a mandala work of art made of brewing grains. On Thursday, the ingredient-turned-art transitions again when it is brewed into beer. And local beer and glass art is the theme on Friday evening at Zollie Glass Studio on South Presa.
Pedicab Bar also is celebrating the brewers’ art. It began with a demonstration of homebrewing an American Black IPA and continues with bottling this Sunday between 3 and 7 p.m. It will be tapped three weeks later and samples will be given away.
Numerous brewers have found their way onto the lineup, which includes table events by Live Oak and Independence breweries at Boneshakers and Left Hand and Deschutes brewing at Flying Sauce Draught Emporium later this week.
Also, Chef Steven McHugh of Lüke Riverwalk has stepped up to showcase Saint Arnold Brewing Co. beers with beer-inspired food.
Closing ceremonies are Sunday at Ranger Creek Brewing.
Another surprise has been the vitriol on the part of some readers in reaction to last week’s column about beer week. Even my teetotaler friends understand that events celebrating the finer things in life like craft beer are about the taste experience, rather than getting sauced and climbing behind a wheel.
Many of the events are tastings that include the exploration of several four-ounce samples of beer that are the equivalent of about two beers (with food) over two to three hours. That’s responsible drinking and should not be equated to some fraternity kegger.
THIRST FOR FLAVOR
There are three words that in any language make the blood run cold: No more beer.
Standing next to the beer-sampling booth for four hours at Culinaria’s closing event Burgers, BBQ & Beer at The Pearl, a definite trend emerged. People kept asking for the most interesting beer out of six to choose from while mass-produced macrobrews, which statistics say is what almost everybody drinks, were the last survivors floating in the tub.
Saint Arnold Brewing Co.’s Fancy Lawnmower, made in Houston, ran out only two hours into the event. The Kölsch-style brew was light-bodied enough to fit the bill for the outdoor scene under the sun and substantial enough to stand up to the inventive gourmet burgers and top-notch barbecue served to patrons.
The message is clear: Don’t underestimate the tastebuds of the people.
Travis E. Poling writes about beer weekly for the Current. He is co-author of Beer Across Texas: A Guide to the Brews and Brewers of the Lone Star State. Send information about beers or beer-related events two weeks in advance to [email protected]