Hope everyone is making the most of their weekend as August comes to a close. This weekend I found myself at the Rahr and Sons Brewery for their weekly exhibition of fine beer and brewery.
For a 7-dollar donation to an always-changing charity, visitors get a branded pint glass, three tickets for beer, and a live band. Not a bad deal at all.
As far as “brewery tours” go, unless you’re visiting a Miller, InBev, or Coors set up, it will generally be a very informal event. The purpose of the tour is really to market and connect with your customers, and small craft breweries, such as Rahr and Sons, exceed the macrobrewers in that regards. Being so small in scope they can create a niche for themselves in a local market, and foster a true relationship with their drinkers.
Rahr and Sons brewery tour does this in a number of ways. True to any brewery worth its salt, they had high quality, cold beer. To foster a communal atmosphere they put down large picnic tables, brought in GOOD music to attract as large a crowd as possible in their limited space, and didn’t really bother worrying about a lack of air conditioning, despite the heat generated by the Texas sun and large gathering of beer drinkers. Texans understand heat and will not let it get in their way of a good time. Get us together in mixed company of other Texans, and few will complain about the heat. (Any individual who does is likely to end up tarred and feathered for the suspicion of being a Yankee.)
The beers on tap (which I was largely unfamiliar with) and some informal tasting notes are as followed (more formal reviews will come at a later date):
Typically I prefer brunettes, but this blonde was great company.
Rahr’s Blond: A Munich Helles, light in body with a light, crisp maltiness and wet mouthfeel was the most refreshing in the heat of the day. This is a beer to be enjoyed poolside. Of course, my Cajun wife pointed out what a great pairing this would be with boiled crawfish, a marked improvement over her family’s stock choice of light macro lagers.
Texas Red: An Amber Ale, medium bodied, and with well balanced malts and hops that make this a wonderful, versatile beer to be enjoyed in most situations. Caramel flavors are the most predominant with just enough hops to keep it interesting.
Ugly Pug: A black lager with full-bodied flavor and more of a medium full mouthfeel than a typical stout, which brings strong coffee flavor and bitterness in a refreshing package.
Stormcloud IPA: The only ale at the tasting, and the only Rahr and Sons’ offering I have previously had surprisingly had more depth and was less sharp with bitterness than I had noted with my experience with the bottled version.
Also, to note the specifics of this “tour,” the band who provided the afternoon’s entertainment was Shinyribs, fronted by former front man of Austin’s The Gourds’, Kevin Russell. As well as their own alt country fare, they included a cover of T-Pain’s “Buy U a Drank” that was reminiscent of Russell’s wildly popular cover of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” (linked below!)
Bonus, my dainty wife found this nugget of joy, Shinyribs performing “Buy U a Drank.”
After having an awesome post lunch beer or three, my “crew” made it back to the house for more craft beer and some tequila to round out a perfectly wasted Saturday.
I brew and drink beer, smoke pipes and cigars, eat till I’ve had more than my fill, and escape in pulp rags till my eyes turn buggy. I don’t claim any expertise in any subject other than the chase of my own earthly pleasures. I write to help others find their own pleasures so that together we will decay in spirit with these lesser pursuits.