The 31st Great American Beer Festival has come and gone and with it, Texas breweries took home a total of 9 medals, the most since 1998. This is huge, considering only a few years ago there were roughly that same amount total in Texas craft breweries. The festival saw more breweries represented this year and even more entries. It’s been a couple of weeks since the end of the event and Texas Breweries are still riding high.
For those who have never been, this is the world’s largest beer festival boasting 578 breweries this year and more than 2,700 different types of beers poured. The competition itself saw 4,338 entries in 84 separate categories with 185 beer experts from 11 countries.
We racked up 5 gold, 3 silver and a bronze. Texas based Spoetzl Brewing, brewers of the Shiner family of beers, won the medal count with 3 gold medals for: Shiner Bock in the American Dark Lager category; Oktoberfest in the Marzen category; and Bohemian Black Lager in Schwarzbier category. I had the fortune to run into Jaime Jurardo, former Director of Brewing Operations for Gambrinus, who owns Spoetzl. “Although I’ve moved on, I’m happy for Spoetzl”, said Jurardo “The Bohemian Black Lager and Oktobertfest were introduced during my tenure there, and I have a fondness for them. It’s too bad we didn’t win before I left!” Jurardo is now the brewmaster at Susqehanna Brewing Co in Pittston, Pennsylvania.
Other medal winning breweries include:
Dallas-Ft.Worth area based Humperdinks Restaurant and Brewery took bronze for Uberbrau, their American-Style Amber Lager
Dallas based Peticolas Brewing Co took gold for Royal Scandal, their take on a traditional English-Style Pale Ale.
Blanco based Real Ale Brewing who took two silver medals; one for Firemans 4, their Blonde Ale and the ever popular Hans Pils, their German Style Pilsner.
Austin based Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que’s Lake Travis location took a silver for Bottle Rocket, their Kellerbier. I spoke to Uncle Billy’s Brewmaster Brian Peters soon after the awards were announced about the medal and what it meant. “I’m thrilled of course,” said Peters who recently left Uncle Billy’s to open his own brewpub Austin Beergarden Brewing Company later next year with Uncle Billy’s other Brewmaster Amos Lowe. “What a way to end a great relationship before moving out on my own” remarked Peters.
Dallas based Rahr & Sons Brewing took silver for Iron Thistle, their Scotch Ale.
It’s a great time indeed to be in Texas during this tremendous craft beer revolution. The days when Texas is looked upon as consumers of mass produced lagers and pilsners is quickly fading. Texas is now making itself known to the world with its exceptional craft beers.
Dia De La Muerta
It’s that time of year again, when San Antonio’s Freetail Brewing Co releases its most infamous brew: La Muerta, an Imperial Stout of epic proportions. La Muerta was released yesterday on draft at the brewpub, with a giant bottle release tomorrow morning at 11am with the every popular un-official bottle share before.
This truly is a treat if you can get some and yours truly just so happened to help brew two batches of it this year.
Learn to Homebrew Day
The American Homebrewers Association established the day in 1999 to encourage people to homebrew. The event is celebrated nationwide by homebrew clubs all over the country.
San Antonio homebrew group, the San Antonio Cerveceros, will hold their 4th annual ‘Teach A Friend To Homebrew Day’ this year with educational classes, live homebrewing demonstrations, and many homebrewing samples. The vent starts at 9am and runs until around 6pm.
San Antonio’s Bexar Brewers will also have a Teach A Friend event down at San Antonio’s first brewpub, Blue Star Brewing Company. Demonstrations start around 9am.