Beer Beautiful Beer
Just as the Texas Beer Festival wrapped up its great return to Austin on September 24, beer brewers and enthusiasts from across the country were readying to take part in the Great American Beer Festival in Denver last week. Presented by the Brewers Association, the 30th annual festival hosted nearly 49,000 attendees including 466 breweries and more than 2,300 beers classified in more than 80 categories.
This three-day event garnered medals for three Austin brewers. Uncle Billy’s Brew and Que snagged a silver medal for local Austin brewer Brian Peters for the Bottle Rocket Lager. The Bottle Rocket Lager won second out of 46 entrants in the “Kellerbrier or Zwickelbier” category, a German-style beer that is typically not pasteurized or clarified. This cool temperature fermenting beer literally means “cellar beer” and is often naturally cloudy due to its residual brewing yeast left in suspension during production.
Many know Uncle Billy’s for its barbecue and burgers at its two locations on Barton Springs Road and at Lake Travis, but others know Uncle Billy’s strictly for its beer, and more specifically for brewer Brian Peters. As with many of Austin’s brewers, Peters brews small batch, specialty beers from scratch.
“Brian Peters is an outstanding brewer. I love his beer,” says local Austinite and self-proclaimed beer connoisseur Bill Fraser. “He’s been around the beer scene for a long time and really made an impression on me from when he was at The Bitter End.”
Restaurant compatriot North by Northwest, known in north Austin for it’s great brewery tower at the corner of Stonelake and 360, took home a bronze medal out of 70 entrants for North by Northwest’s “Barton Kriek” Belgian-style sour ale, a type of beer known for its intentional tart and sour taste.
And independent brewery Austin Beerworks took home a silver out of 45 entrants for the“Peacemaker” English-style summer ale, a type of ale that uses warm fermentation for production and has an appearance and flavor profile similar to pale lager.
Also worth mentioning is the “Uberbrau from Dallas’ Humperdink’s Restaurant, which too home a coveted gold medal out of 35 entrants for and American-style amber lager.
“It was a thrill to hear Uncle Billy's, North by Northwest and Austin Beerworks called up to receive their medals at GABF,” says GABF attendee Bill Norris, resident cocktail and beer guru and current beverage director at Alamo Drafhouse. “It's great to see Austin's brewers get well deserved national recognition.”
As Austin’s beer brewing scene continues to grow and mature, a little National recognition is well-deserved, indeed. Look for these beers while they last at Uncle Billy’s, North by Northwest restaurants as these small-batch productions move fast. As for the Peacemaker from Austin Beerworks, look for this lovely pale ale in a can while on a tour at the brewery. And by all means, keep Austin’s beer scene brewing!