Austin Beer Week (def): held shortly after Great American Beer Festival (GABF), a week dedicated to all things craft beer in the great city of Austin Texas, whereas brewers who are just getting over their GABF hangover celebrate their craft with the rest of the city during special keg tappings, meet-the-brewer sessions, anniversary parties, and the inevitable hangover or four.
On the brink of a record-setting run at the Great American Beer Festival (the granddaddy of all U.S. beer competitions) Austin is gearing up for its biggest week in beer yet. Six of the 10 Texas medals were earned by folks in the Austin area, including 2 gold medals (!). So you can be sure our favorite brewers are putting out their best stuff yet. Texas is still only 6th in medal count, but we are going up against the original regions that have always been known for craft beer. Given how young our breweries are, this is an impressive achievement.
There are almost 100 events that encompass all that is Austin Beer Week. Below you’ll find a guide to some of the top events you should be sure to check out. Most of the events are “pay as you go” and don’t require tickets. But be sure to check out the official calendar that is linked below.
The event organizers do a fantastic job catering to everyone from craft beer nuts to rookies who are just getting started. You’ll have the option to try special tappings (Saint Arnold Pumpkinator, I’m looking at you), to book signings (hello, gorgeous ladies of Bitch Beer), to anniversary parties (512’s 5th anniversary!). There will even be Halloween parties (Pinthouse Pizza) and Beer classes (Banger’s Beer College with Thirsty Planet!). Allowing for some recovery time, I’ll try to be out at a lot of these events, so be sure to comment below or tweet at me if you would like to meet up for a beer!
Guide to Austin Beer Week 2013
Friday, October 25th – Craft Pride Grand Opening
The official Austin Beer Week opening party will be held at one of my favorite watering holes, Craft Pride. You can expect special tappings from local favorites like Jester King, Hops & Grain and Thirsty Planet, among others. Locapour will be on hand filming a special that will debut a week later at Craft Pride, and the ladies from the Bitch Beer blog will be doing a Q&A as well. I’m expecting some rare brews in Craft Pride’s casks and nitro pours.
Saturday, October 26th – (512) 5th Anniversary Party
(512) Brewing Company, one of the most iconic Austin breweries, will be holding their 5th anniversary party during Austin Beer Week. We can expect the debut of the 512 Five, an Imperial Stout, as well as the infamous and difficult-to-find Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter, which is one of the beers I’m most looking forward to trying all Austin Beer Week. $10 bucks gets you a special 5th anniversary glass that’s good for three pours. This event is on my can’t-miss list.
Sunday, October 27th – Draught House Brewers Olympics
The Jester King Funk’n Sour Fest is sold out, so the next best place to be is The Draught House for their 3rd Annual Brewers Olympics. Compete with local brewers in keg lifts (after four years at Texas State, I’m a pro) and the Yeast Toss.
Monday, October 28th – Alamo Beer Dinner “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”
A funky movie in a funky town, paired with some funky beers – what can go wrong? The movie and beer pairing will be at the Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline location. Tickets are a bit steep at $50, but you do get a gourmet four-course meal, along with four beers to complement the food.
Tuesday, October 29th – Pumpkinator Tapping at Gingerman
The perennial favorite pumpkin beer of Texas will get a special cask tapping at 6 PM. I’ve already picked up a 6-pack of bombers, but I’ll try this beer any way they can pour it. This Imperial Stout clocks in at a hefty 10% abv, but it’s hard to tell under the sweet pumpkin goodness that Saint Arnold packs into this seasonal beer.
Wednesday, October 30th – Bitch Beer Signing
The ladies of the Bitch Beer blog will be busy throughout Austin Beer Week, but you can catch them at Opal Divine’s this Wednesday as they sign/sell copies of their book Austin Beer: Capital City History on Tap. Opal’s will also be having their usual $2.50 Texas pint night.
Thursday, October 31st – Banger’s Beer College + Meet the Brewer: Stone
Banger’s Beer College series is setup to celebrate and educate folks about craft beer, by sitting them down with some of the top brewers in the nation. For Austin Beer Week, Banger’s is pulling out all the stops and featuring Mitch Steele, Brewmaster at Stone Brewing.
Friday, November 1st – Screening Party at Craft Pride
Remember that special Locapour was shooting at Craft Pride during the Austin Beer Week Opening Party? Well, after a grueling editing schedule, Mike Langford of Locapour will be screening that same special a week later at Craft Pride. They will also hold a panel with five of the “Fastest Growing Breweries,” with Q&A from the audience and special casks.
Saturday, November 2nd – Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter Tapping at Red’s Porch
Lots of rare tappings are setup for the last Saturday of Austin Beer Week, but I’m gonna have to go with another round of the Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter. This is a two year old vintage cask that keeps getting better with age.
Sunday, November 3rd – Real Ale Beer Dinner at Lenoir
Sunday goes out with a bang as Real Ale hosts a beer pairing at one of my favorite date spots in town, Lenoir. At first it doesn’t seem like the two would go together, a beer dinner and an upscale French restaurant? But Lenoir’s cozy atmosphere and incredible food pairings should work well for this type of event. The food menu looks amazing and Real Ale will be bringing a few beers from their Brewers Cut series.
The calendar for the rest of the Austin Beer Week events can be found here. Oh, and if you see me out and about, come and say hi! I’ll buy a pint for the first three folks who come say hello and mention this article.
Which Austin Beer Week events will you be attending this year?