Austin’s newest urban brewery has opened on Caesar Chavez, offering a collection of rare brews you won’t find anywhere else in town. Blue Owl Brewing is Austin’s only all sour-mashed brewery. Those who know a thing or two about Austin beer might immediately think of Jester King, which for a long time has held the market on farmhouse-style sour beers.
Blue Owl brews don’t have the dramatic sour taste you might expect when you think of a tart sour beer. Instead, the one-of-a-kind sour-mash process creates a delicate sour that is gentle enough for anyone who is just trying out sour beers, yet complex enough for the pickiest of craft beer drinkers.
Get Your Own Glass
Owners Suzy Shaffer and Jeff Young designed Blue Owl Brewing with the Austinite in mind. You don’t have to be a beer nerd to love Blue Owl sours. My wife and I visited the eastside brewery together. As fascinated as I was with how the beer was made, my wife was thrilled by the taste.
When you visit the brewery, you can look forward to bringing home your own souvenir glass. It comes with the tasting–a nice touch on an already delicious experience.
Each beer is unique, and each flavor strongly or softly enhanced by the tart flavor that comes from the brewing process. You can get a complete lineup of Blue Owl’s offerings on the brewery website. If you can’t make it to the taproom, check out their canned beer available at Central Market, Whip In, or nearly anywhere delicious craft beer is sold.
Visiting the Taproom
If possible, carve out time to visit the Blue Owl Brewing taproom. For only $15, you can get four full pours of their deliciously-brewed nectar. If cool weather decides to come around, head inside where you can peek through the large windows that separate the taproom from where the magic happens.
Or, if you’re really curious, come by on a weekend for the Saturday and Sunday brewery tours. For $20, you can take a tour with a cicerone (a beer sommelier) who is more than happy to share all about Blue Owl beer. The tours currently start at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
What’s the Story?
One of my favorite parts about Blue Owl Brewing is its story, made for a place like Austin. Shaffer and Young are former members of Black Star Co-op, the world’s first cooperatively owned brewery located right here in Austin.
Noticing a canned sour beer sized hole in the Austin beer market, the pair capitalized on the opportunity to bring a unique product to beer lovers all over the city, using technology they designed themselves.
When asked what they think is unique and different about Blue Owl’s beers, Shaffer and Young said they “offer interesting and reproducible beers that are appealing to both the casual and ‘professional’ beer drinker.”
Blue Owl Brewing Upcoming Events
When I walked into the taproom, I was immediately drawn to the stack of barrels sitting next to the patio door. Shaffer explained how they recently picked up a few Garrison Brothers (a delicious local bourbon distiller) used barrels to age their Van Dayum! Sour Red Ale with figs, currants and the naturally-emerging vanilla and caramel flavors that come from bourbon barrels.
This soon-to-be-released beer will be available only on tap, so make sure you stay up to date via Blue Owl’s Facebook page and Twitter account.
Blue Owl Brewing operates a very small-scale, in-house barrel program. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. The brewery has also hosted sour-mash home brew classes, guided tastings and even some DIY succulent/terrarium classes because…why not?
If you’ve not visited Blue Owl or tried some of their beers, don’t wait another minute. This is a beer you want to buy quickly and sip slowly.
2400 E. Cesar Chavez St.
@ATXtherapist wants to know:
Have you tried Blue Owl Brewing sour-mashed beers yet?