Walking into the taproom at Adelbert’s Brewery is like stumbling upon a country chic party. Hip music fills the air. Dart boards, foosball and ping pong tables stand ready to be played. Racks full of barrels containing sleeping beer, some resting for weeks, others for years, serves as the back wall. An inviting combination of warm and cool.
In the ever-changing ocean of Texas beer, Adelbert’s has been brewing Belgian styles for years. And with a heart towards charity, innovation and quality, it remains a flagship brand in the expanding craft beer scene.
Old School Innovation
Founded in 2011, the Adelbert’s mission has never wavered: create authentic Belgian beer in Austin, Texas. Thanks to this focus, they became one of the first “widely available” local craft beers. Throw a rock somewhere in your local Twin Liquors, H.E.B. or Spec’s, and you’ll find a bottle of Adelbert’s.
Recently, the team began to branch out into new, exciting variations of their signature style. The results have been fantastic. The Vintage Monk, a wine-aged dubbel made from a blend of three mainline beers, recently won the gold medal in the Blended Belgian category at Great American Beer Festival 2015.
Their latest innovation is a robust barrel aging program. Using gear from their old neighbor, Treaty Oak Distillery, Adelbert’s has over 300 beers maturing in rum, whiskey and gin barrels. With some beers now reaching full maturity (two and a half years), the brewery is ready to bring these special one-offs to the masses.
Constant, Old World Quality
Everything brewed by Adelbert’s comes from the most authentic ingredients possible. From Czech Republic malt to European hops, the beer is legit Belgian. Their most popular style, the Tripel B, is a balanced, flavorful take on the classic tripel. With a stack of awards in the trophy case and a clean, drinkable feel, it’s easy to explain the popularity.
The first member of the brand new Whimsical Series, the Hibiscus Saison, is a floral, slightly sour beer brewed for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The beer pours with a pink hue, while a farmhouse-style dryness sits underneath strong citrus and floral notes.
While Adelbert’s strictly sticks to Belgians, they support sub-brands created by employees. Although these brands won’t carry the Adelbert’s name (think Coca Cola and Minute Maid), they have access to brewery facilities, ingredients and distribution channels. This tactic allows Adelbert’s to widen their portfolio while helping employees learn how to build a brand.
From the funky, woody Wild Pale Ale (made with 100% Brett yeast) to the clean, crisp Castaway Blonde, Adelbert’s has something for everybody.
But it’s not enough for them to just make beer. The brewery is intensely focused on giving back. Every month, they raise money for a different charity. This is a critical part of the Adelbert’s mission.
In October 2015, they completed their breast cancer awareness drive. All proceeds went to Breast Cancer Resource Center of Texas, a local group that provides counseling and guidance to women recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Thanks to the Hibiscus Saison and a delightfully off-color glassware giveaway, $1,500 was raised for the organization.
For November 2015, Adelbert’s is embarking on a fun Movember drive. Funders will vote on which facial hair style head brewer David Yancy will be rocking each week. One week it could be a London Gentleman, the next a handlebar. I’m sure you’ll agree this is an entertaining way to promote men’s health.
Belgium Meets ATX
Sitting in the taproom minutes before opening, while sipping my beer, was a fun yet contemplative experience. According to general manager Sarah Haney, this is exactly what Adelbert’s is all about.
“We want people to savor and enjoy it. We’ve always included food pairings and the story behind the beer, along with the description. We want people to enjoy and appreciate [our beers] in their own way.”
Job well done. By staying true to their roots and providing a constantly tasty product, Adelbert’s remains one of Austin’s most accessible and popular breweries. Their heart for giving back to the community is icing on this authentic Belgian cake.
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
What’s your favorite Adelbert’s beer?