14 Nov

Inaugural Austin event: Saint Arnold and Antonelli’s Cheese holiday pairings at The Draught House

It’s been awhile since Texas Girls Pint Out had any events, so we’re breaking that boring cycle. Our inaugural Austin event is slated for December 8, 11 a.m. at The Draught House, wherein Saint Arnold and Antonelli’s Cheese will offer five pairings (including Sailing Santa and Christmas Ale) in time to give you plenty of fodder for your holiday appetizer spreads. Pre-sale only tickets [click here] are a mere $25, from which profits will benefit Austin-based breast cancer charity, The Smile Never Fades. Kendall Antonelli and a few from the Saint Arnold team will be on hand to walk tasters through the whys of each pairing. See you there! E-mail Jennifer@girlspintout.com with questions.

Cheers!

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03 Nov

Mouthgasm Part Deux: Thanksgasm.

It’s a good thing we’re not doing it at Christmas. (Think about it …)

Back by popular demand, our now-annual holiday beer dinner at Ranger Creek Brewery features:

A four-course beer dinner (Saison savory pumpkin soup! La Bestia-brined turkey! OPA mashers! Bourbon pecan pie with Mesquite Porter whipped cream!) with beer infusions and pairings, recipes and tasting notes, and possible surprise takeaways. A portion of proceeds will go to local food banks. SATURDAY, NOV. 19 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $55/person. And there are 30 SEATS, so RSVP to brewmaster and all-around badass Rob Landerman at rob@drinkrangercreek.com BY NOV. 14. Last time tix sold out in about a week.

Rob’s take: “It’s basically going to roll as a regular Thanksgiving dinner, starting with a small portion of the food and the beer so attendees can taste and understand the pairings. And then at the end, they’ll enjoy a flight of beers with a full plate of the food.” You can feel the foodcoma already.

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21 Sep

Austin, here we come. Drafthouse-Highball twofer.

It’s finally real, like Pinocchio. Our first AUSTIN TEXAS GIRLS PINT OUT EVENT WILL BE SUNDAY, October 16. Call it an Austin Beer Week pre-party. It’s a movie-and-beer-tasting-twofer to benefit charity (we haven’t figured out which one yet).

We’ll start off around 4 at The Alamo Drafthouse Lamar with some beer specials and a screening of Heathers. Because, you know, girls love ’80s stuff. Then we’ll move on to Highball next door for an intimate tasting of one-offs led by a few choice Austin brewers and their rare wares, including:

A 512 firkin and Brandy Barrel aged ONE!

A SPECIAL Jester King firkin of Black Metal Stout!

Other super choice goodies, including appearances from Live Oak and Circle (TBA)

…Because, you know, girls love beer.

We’ll post links soon for ticket sales. Since this is our inaugural event in the Austin area, it’s girls-only. Sorry doods. We will be allowing men in drag to the next one, possibly.

P.S. For those of you who heard about our Saint Arnold event in late August, just wanted to share that we raised a couple grand for the beneficiary charity, The Bridge. Thanks to Lennie, Kathy, Deb and Beth at Saint Arnold’s, who really pulled it all off.

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02 Aug

Girls’ Pint Out Night at Saint Arnold

When we did a Girls Pint Out night at Saint Arnold last fall, it sold out in a matter of minutes. We promised those that didn’t get in on the action that we’d do it again. We’re doing it again.

The next event is Thursday, August 25, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $17 (GET ‘EM FIRST HERE), with $5 of each ticket going to local Houston charity The Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Bridge is an awesome organization that provides emergency shelter, counseling and educational resources to physically and sexually abused family members. It serves more than 20,000 people annually, and just erected a new comprehensive crisis center. Unfortunately, the need for its services does not abate; workers had to turn away over 600 women and children last year. But if drinking beer can help us help them, hell. Let’s do it.

Of course you also get a pretzel, pours and commemorative pint glass (this time they’re purple!) included in the ticket price. I’m also liquidating some shirts at $14 each, with half going to The Bridge.

I know many of you have been wondering about future events (!?!?). Sorry for the hiatus. We’re planning more rare beer tasting events here and in Austin, so keep checking back! Our new directives include a charitable angle for every event, so if you have a “pet” program, please let me know at Jennifer@girlspintout.com. Cheers!

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11 May

TUSCAPOLOOZA!

Imagine the city destroyed. President Obama has called the devastation from last month’s tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, among the worst he’s seen. And some don’t even know it happened. Now remember the conviction and communal ties that mark the craft community. Who more appropriate to help rebuild? Through the power of beer drinking, of course. That’s Tuscapolooza.

After a long TXGPO hiatus – I think our last event was the social at Alamo Drafthouse! In December! – we’re helping out with an event next Sunday, May 22, to benefit those devastated by the Alabama tornado tragedy. And for you it means one thing: Sweet beer swag.  Everyone will get a raffle ticket with entry for the chance to win one-off, rare beer bottles from Texas and beyond; Girls Pint Out shirts and pint glasses; and more. There will also be a separate auction for more exclusive items, including shirts signed by Texas brewers, a sweet goodie basket from Saint Arnold, and a REALLY rare beer.

The event starts at 11 at Firkin & Phoenix at 1915 Westheimer. It’s a $20 crawfish boil for all the mudbugs you can eat, plus music by Pete Simple and Westbound. And taco trucks. They’re planning more Sunday Funday activities, like a possible dunk booth. All of the proceeds from the crawfish entry fee (includes crawfish, raffle ticket, music, maybe more depending on entering sponsors) and 25% of F&P’s other sales for the day will go to the UA Acts of Kindness Fund, which will directly benefit Tuscaloosa and the U of Alabama relief efforts in Tuscaloosa.

Come ‘Polooza for a cause, y’all.

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21 Mar

Saint Arnold needs your e-mails (HB 602)

There is more than one  beer camp in Texas with a hurtin’ for legislative change. Though HB 660 pertaining to brewpubs’ distribution rights has gotten a lot of eyes and rallyment, another bill, HB 602, has been slowly building support from consumers. It’s a short bill, which you can read here, but the gist is that you or Joe Tourist would be able to take beer home from a Texas microbrewery (i.e. Saint Arnold, etc.) after a tour. (We say “take beer home,” because the language on selling is tricky.) As you know, Texas microbreweries are not able to send tourists away with beer for off-premise consumption, a right that many other states already enjoy. Passage of said bill would change that. And it matters because taking beer home after a brewery tour is for some far-flung beer nerds a right of passage — and for the brewery, it’s a good marketing tool to seal the deal on future transactions off-premise.

There’s a hearing on this bill Tuesday in front of the Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee in Austin. So if you happen to be near our state capital, turn up. Better yet, send an e-mail, as Saint Arnold emplores on its Facebook page. Write a letter to committee chairman Mike Hamilton telling him (and the committee) why you support the bill. E-mail to brewery@saintarnold, and they’ll take the letters to hearing with them.

Note: While supporting these bills may seem like the “right” and clearly logical for craft beer drinkers to do, the best weapon we have for any possible passages is to really understand the dynamics of what’s going on in the bev law space. Some distributors and even some local craft brewers will oppose the passage of such laws for a myriad of reasons, so familiarizing yourself with all the players, backgrounds and even knowledge of the three-tier system will go a long way toward being able to rally effectively for whatever you choose to support. Grab a beer and do some heavy Googling. Don’t forget The Chron and the Brewers Association.

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10 Feb

SATURDAY: HB 660 RALLY AT THE HOUSTON SAUCER! BEER! SHIRTS!

ALERT: THIS SATURDAY SATURDAY SATURDAY, turn out to Flying Saucer in Houston at 3 p.m. for an informal meetup with Scott Metzger, one of the biggest proponents behind HB 660 and owner of the revered Freetail Brewery. He says he’ll just be there to drink beer, but he’ll no doubt help rally, too. Plus you can snag a sweet HB 660 shirt for a much-needed donation to the cause, and drink some special beer. Check SCOTT’S HB 660 BLOG DAILY TO STAY UPDATED.

Hey gals and guys,

It’s been awhile. I’m sorry. I started a new gig covering craft in the B2B format, so needless to say I’ve been peeking from under a pile of mile-a-minute brew news. Let me tell you, the industry is growing by leaps and bounds. While many a macrobrewer have lamented bad recent weather and other reasons they’ve been losing market share (a market they nonetheless still dominate — and whose craft brands are mostly doing quite well in it), a bunch of craft companies have posted record-breaking Januaries– some up over 40%. That’s a shit-ton of momentum during what’s usually considered the off season.

Which means it’s a better time than ever to support law change that will help fuel — and be fueled by — such growth. Like House Bill 660 filed by Rep. Mike Villarreal in Texas, which, in a nutshell, would allow brewpubs to get their beer in off-premise locations by selling to wholesalers, which brewpubs in most other states are able to do. In fact, you can find many of those out-of-state brewpubs’ products at Spec’s and H-E-B and a handful of c-stores. It makes sense that Our Own should be at those stores too, dammit. I’d like to buy a friggin’ Barton Kriek on a Sunday, and I’m not going to drive to Austin’s NXNW to do it!

But it’s not just my selfish whims that passage of HB 660 would help. Obviously it’ll benefit local brewpubs, who will have infinitely more occasions and premises to sell at; the wholesalers, who can tap into this growing market; and the state, which will get more tax income (more jobs). I’ll try not to get too preachy, but it’s about damn time and it just makes sense. As a — distributor, no less! — source said of a long-battled Georgian bill’s anticipated passage, which will make Sunday sales legal in their state: “Yay! The 21st Century!” I’d love to be able to say that here.

As with all good ideas, however, there is strong opposition. Similar-themed bills regarding microbreweries have been filed in our legislature for years, and a powerful Status Quo has ensured they never pass. This battle is a longshot, to be sure. But so was your conception, Chrissakes. So be there, if you feel like consumers should have power in a capitalism-driven democracy.

If you don’t give a shit but like drinking good, local beer, that doesn’t make a hell whole lotta sense. But here’s another draw for you uninspired types: HB 660 shirts will be available with a donation to the cause, and Real Ale Volume XIV (Barrel Aged 14th Anniversary Ale), a cask of (512) Cream Stout, and Sierra Nevada Blackbird IPA will all be tapped for the occassion.

I understand, though: stupid stuff happens when you get drunk, and Friday comes before Saturday. So if you break your leg drinking tomorrow night and can’t make it Saturday, here’s a sample letter being passed around the Internet to let your Congressperson know that you care:

Representative [Representative's Full Name]
[Representative's Address]

Dear Representative [Representative's Last Name],

[First Paragraph, briefly introduce yourself. Give your name and the name of your organization if it is relevant to the cause. Mention if you are personally a constituent of the Representative or what your connection to him/her is].

I am writing you today in regards to H.B. 660 relating to the sale of malt liquor, ale, and beer by the holder of a brewpub license, filed by Representative Mike Villarreal of San Antonio. This bill would allow Texas brewpubs the right to make their products available for sale off-premise, a right that out-of-state brewpubs already enjoy within the borders of Texas.

This bill would help Texas brewpubs grow and remain competitive in a rapidly growing industry; help Texas wholesale permit and distributors license holders by expanding their product portfolios; help retailers by allowing them to highlight local products; give Texas consumers greater access to the products they want; and help the state by creating new jobs and increasing the tax base.

The craft brewing industry is beginning to garner national attention, and our laws must not prevent our own small businesses from flourishing – especially to the benefit of out-of-state businesses who are currently able to do what our own breweries cannot.

I hope you will Vote Yes for HB 660 should you be given the opportunity either on a committee or on the house floor.

Thank you for your time and service to our great state

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21 Dec

Mouthgasm 2011 (Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling dinner)

The new flavor of Texas brewing is being forged as companies like Freetail Brewing play up different flavor profiles than the predominantly German and English styles of resident icons like Shiner and Saint Arnold. The newest practitioner of the local trend is Ranger Creek Brewing, whose Mesquite Smoked Porter is surprisingly subtle and versatile, seemingly created for everything from brisket to cinnamon ice cream. The rest of the burgeoning San Antonio’s brewery’s reputation is built on brewmaster Rob Landerman’s careful attention to style detail and overall balance, as exemplified in his Belgian Strong, La Bestia, which can rival any true Trappist creation.

It takes a finely tuned palate to recreate such liquid brilliance, and Landerman and wife Keely have practiced theirs plenty in the years prior to the brewery. Not surprisingly, their favorite pastimes also include pairing beer with imaginative plates. Now the public can have a taste of their mad flavor sorcery at the aptly coined Mouthgasm 2011, a progressive, 8-course pairing at the brewery on 4834 Whirlwind Dr, Jan. 22. at 6 p.m., for $35 each. We’re capping it at 30 so please RSVP to me at Jennifer@girlspintout.com to reserve your spot.

First four courses will be savory; next four, sweet, to show diversity and different concepts in pairing food with beer. I’ve attached the tentative menu below (see the part about the mesquite smoked porter cupcakes topped with bacon!!!). Rob promises that people will be sent on their way with goodies – recipes, and maybe a cookie or cupcake or two to go.

MENU:

Course 1: South Texas Lager (Dortmunder-style lager) paired with Merguez sausage gumbo

Course 2: La Bestia Aimable (Belgian-style dark strong ale) paired with bitter greens salad topped with gorgonzola crumbles and balsamic vinaigrette

Course 3: Oatmeal Pale Ale (American pale ale) paired with mini bison sliders with Cotswold cheese and homemade pale ale mustard

Course 4: Mesquite smoked porter (smoked robust porter) paired with venison and roasted root vegetables (carrots, turnips, parsnips)

Desserts:

La Bestia Aimable paired with figs, goat cheese and honey (or tripel crème cheese and fruit if figs are unavailable)

Oatmeal Pale Ale paired with Thai-style coconut curry oatmeal cookies

Mesquite Smoked Porter paired with mesquite smoked porter cupcakes topped with bacon (the bacon will be soaked in the porter, then cooked with the smoked sea salt)

South Texas Lager paired with Stadium Ice Cream (vanilla ice cream made with the lager beer, salted peanuts, and a caramel ribbon)

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03 Dec

Texas Girls’ Pint Out co-ed holiday mixer at Alamo Drafthouse!

Every time I tell a guy about our group, he wants to know how he can attend, despite that the very thing he likes about it is what excludes him. Men.

But it’s Christmas, which is an excuse for a whole host of things. Including our first co-ed holiday mixer at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 28, at the Alamo Drafthouse in West Oaks. It’s the night of their “Zoolander” quote-along* (think karaoke for movie lines). In honor of the flick and to allow the co-eds to preen like peacocks, the men are invited to compete in a walk off, Zoolander style. The catch is that they also must wear heels for the second round, because we like our men to display their solidarity with the fairer sex. Winner gets some Alamo Drafthouse swag, free pizza, and the adulation of the female beer-drinking attendees.  

If you haven’t been to the Drafthouse in a while, you’re missing out on a pretty good beer selection. Jason Murphy, chef and beer director, has brought in a bunch of great stuff on tap, from Flying Dog to Dogfish. They’ve also started a cool Beer Passport rewards program; get through so many tiers of the listed “bucket list” type beers and you get cool swag. In fact, if you sign up for the passport at the event (which gets you a mug and passport book to fill), you get your first fill free. I suggest the Rahr Winter Warmer, which will be tapped in our honor.

Cost of the event is the regular “quotable” price of $9. Attendees should RSVP to Jennifer@girlspintout.com (seriously). “Zoolander” starts at 8 p.m.

*QUOTE-ALONG – Become part of the film experience as you quote-along, complete with a host and props used throughout the movie.

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01 Dec

Freetail owner Scott Metzgar at Kitchen Inc. Dec. 8!

Have you been following the #FreetailHouston campaign? DO YOU WANT A BREWPUB IN Houston? Scott Metzger, founder of Freetail Brewing in San Antonio, Texas, the highest rated brewpub in the state according to Beer Advocate, is looking for a new site to put his No. 2 location next year, and Houston is high on his list. Come to Kitchen Incubator next Wednesday, Dec. 8,  at 9 p.m. for a meet and greet with Scott, where you can ask him questions, taste his beer and throw your arms around his legs and not let go until he promises to put his next location here.

NOT TO BE CONFUSED with the next night’s bottle share at Kitchen Inc., but check it out — The Freetail guys will bring some beer of theirs to trade as well. So if you want to swap with the big guys, this is another night to do it. #FREETAILHOUSTON!

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