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Bottle & Tap

New brews

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New Brews

You've had time to shake off the tinsel, turkey, and tireless advertising of the holidays and area breweries are doing their part to take the edge off whatever 2012 will bring.

Blue Star Brewing Co. has released its signature winter brew King William Barleywine Ale. The brew is very easy drinking for a brew so high in alcohol, so sip with care.

Faust Brewing Co. in New Braunfels has a big batch of chocolate stout made with dark malts and Ghirardelli chocolate. A small amount has gone into a Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling bourbon barrel for aging and serving later this winter.

Freetail Brewing Co. has a new batch of Hoppelbock and has acquired bourbon barrels from Balcones Distillery and Ranger Creek's distillery to allow some beers to luxuriate in them.

Ranger Creek Brewing Co. has released its Oatmeal Pale Ale in bottles for store release after a year of OPA on draft only.

Farther afield, Saint Arnold Brewing Co. will explore the old ale style in it upcoming Divine Reserve No. 12 special release. Brewery chief Brock Wagner also is promising via Twitter a Double IPA and a hoppy Belgian ale.

No Label Brewing Co. out of Katy has drifted into San Antonio way ahead of schedule even as they infiltrate their home market around Houston. No Label's tasty Elda M. Milk Stout was spotted on a recent visit to the bar at Lüke.

Rogue at Westin

Westin La Cantera Resort's coming beer dinner will feature brews from Rogue Ales, one of the great craft breweries of the Pacific Northwest, on January 27.

Captain Sig's Northwestern Ale pairs with King crab and ceviche. Hazelnut Brown Nectar cozies up to deep-fried chicory, Iberico ham and cheese. Double Dead Guy Ale comes to life with double stuffed quail. XS Imperial Red joins the commoners with a potpie of lamb and winter vegetables. And Rogue favorite Chocolate Stout melds with a soft chocolate dessert.

Tickets for the event are $55 per person. Make reservations at (210) 558-2305.

Lager this

The Bexar Brewers home brew club is keeping up a continuing education program for brewers that it launched last year. The first offering of 2012 is a lager fermentation techniques class on January 29. Award-winning home brewer and lager specialist Steve Stambaugh will present the class from 3-5:30 p.m. at Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling Co. Contact Ron Haluzan at accf.ron@gmail.com for more information.

Beer Week

Planning has commenced for the 2nd annual San Antonio Beer Week in May. Now is the time to tell organizers, including this writer at the email below, what kind of events or special beer-related things you would like to see during this celebration of our city's fast-growing craft beer culture.

Travis E. Poling is beer writer for the Current, conducts tutored tastings, beer knowledge training, and is author of Beer Across Texas: A Guide to Brews and Brewmasters of the Lone Star State. You can reach him at travis@beeracrosstexas.com.

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