PODCAST: Austin BeerworksRead Now
In Austin, Michael visits with Michael Graham (Austin Beerworks, Co-Founder) and Kindsey Bernhard (ABW Taproom Manager, Boys Are From Marzen co-host). We chat about:
This episode was originally recorded in September 2022.
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If you're a fan of great beer and live music, then you won't want to miss the celebration taking place this weekend at Holsopple Brewery in Lyndon, Kentucky. The brewery is marking its 6th anniversary with a weekend full of festivities, including live music from local artists, the release of its annual Big Hand Imperial Stout and variants, and plenty of beer and pizza from the local pizzeria Twin Spires Pizza.
Holsopple Brewing has been a staple in the Lyndon community for the past six years and co-owner and head brewer Sam Gambill is thrilled to celebrate the occasion with the community. "We're honored to have been Lyndon's neighborhood brewery for the last six years," Gambill said. "We're inviting the community to join us this weekend to celebrate everything we've done together while also looking forward to the next six years."
The celebration will kick off on Thursday, February 16th with on-draft tastings of previous years' Big Hand Imperial Stout, Holsopple's annual bourbon barrel-aged birthday release, from 2021, 2022, and 2023. On Friday, February 17th, the Americana Trio, The Feral Mountain Men, will take the stage from 7-10 PM, and attendees can sample featured variants of the Big Hand Imperial Stout, including Big Hand Peanut Butter, Big Hand Toasted Coconut, and Big Hand Chocolate Covered Cherry. The celebration will continue on Saturday, February 18th, with live music from Andrew Lee from 2:30-5:30 PM and The Misty Mountain String Band from 7-10 PM.
Todd Pharris (Beer Manager, Liquor Barn) joins the show this week. We chat about:
Royal Oil (Bull & Bush)
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
New Belgium Fat Tire “Amber” Ale
Sam Adams Boston Lager
Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout
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CLASSIC BEER TIER LIST
If you want to play along with our Tier List of Classic American beers, then create your own ranking below! (And be sure to share a screen cap with us on social!)
Flagship February, traditionally known as a time to refocus on the offerings that probably made you a craft beer fan to begin with. Where would John Cena be if there was no Stone Cold? As many devout Dry January patrons exit their imbibing hibernation February emerges, quite literally when you consider Groundhog Day, into a newly energized enthusiast. Do they go straight for the barrel aged stouts and barleywine or ease into a few crisp pilsners? Is the most comfortable, most approachable, beer the one you’ve been drinking all along? The familiarity that comes with the tried and true core offerings from a brewery acts as an anchor to a deep sea ship that’s filled with recreational seafarers.
A flagship will always be your starting point, home base, for a brewery. If we do one thing exceptionally well it’s this beer and we’re going to produce it in mass so you can enjoy it as much as we do. Ideally the flagship(s) help a consumer new or old evaluate the identity of a brand along with some of their values and distinct theming. Any brand in any industry models their core products in this way. It may not be the Maybach of beers but if it’s a Buick and it gets you from A to B every damn day then it’s a damn fine car, and you’ll Be damn proud of that Buick.
The shift beer at the end of a hard days work the flagship provides a respite. Yet is it a best seller? As diversity continues to dominate the market, a craft brewery, with a few exceptions (cough cough Cohesion), is expected to produce a wide variety of styles and flavors pushing well beyond the boundaries of traditional style guidelines. What then do you perma-label your flagship? Does it standout more because it’s in line and consistent or does it become muddled amongst your other 16 gourmet cheesecake offerings?
To those who have a deep love and appreciation for the craft I believe a flagship does standout and always will. Yet we are seeing brands such as New Belgium Fat Tire and Sam Adams Boston Lager deviate from age old recipes produced alongside the inception of their respective brands morph into more “consumer friendly” beers. While personally I can empathize with a brand needing to adapt and survive, demonstrated no more clearly than the last 3 years, it’s a tough egg to swallow when you see a flagship beer from your core memories being re-envisioned. The old heads shake their fists in the air shouting it’s not what it used to be and the average consumer notices a flashy label of a beer they saw at a Jewel Osco once and skipped over. It’s all a part of the progress of man.
For my own sake, here are five Flagship beers from Kentucky I personally hope never change.
- David Satterly
Bock beer has a rich history that spans centuries and continents, and it all started in the city of Einbeck, Germany in the 13th century. This delicious brew has been quenching the thirsts of beer lovers for generations, and it has an interesting connection to the monastic communities of Europe. The word "bock" means "goat" in German, and it's said that the beer was named after the goat symbol on the brewery's sign.
As bock beer gained popularity, it made its way to Munich, where the brewers added their own twist to the recipe, making it smoother and more flavorful. This new version of bock beer became so popular that it quickly spread throughout Germany and beyond. But, why is bock beer so special? It's brewed with extra malt, which gives it a rich, toasty flavor. And, with a higher alcohol content than most beers, it's sure to give you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. It's a beer that's perfect for those chilly winter nights when all you want is to curl up by the fireplace with a good book (or a good friend).
Interestingly, bock beer was also popular among monastic communities in Europe. Monks would brew and drink bock beer as a source of sustenance during times of fasting. They believed that the beer provided the necessary nutrients to keep them going during these periods. This connection to the monastic communities only adds to the rich history and tradition of bock beer.
The popularity of bock beer reached new heights in the 20th century, with bock festivals becoming a staple in many German cities and even in Louisville, Kentucky. In Louisville, the Bock Fest has become a beloved annual tradition, bringing together beer lovers from all over to sample the city's finest bock beers, enjoy live music, and take part in various bock-themed activities. The festival is a celebration of Louisville's rich brewing history and the city's passion for good beer.
So, next time you raise a glass of bock beer, take a moment to reflect on its rich history and the generations of beer lovers who have enjoyed this delicious brew. From its origins in Einbeck, to its popularity among monastic communities, to its place in today's world of beer, bock beer has a story to tell. And, with festivals like the Bock Fest in Louisville, that story continues to be written and celebrated. Prost!