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Bottle & Tap

October Surprises

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October Surprises

The usual fall beers are making their way onto shelves, but there are some nice surprises this month including the big, the bold, and the quirky.

Although a handful of places have had Real Ale Brewing Co.’s 15th Anniversary Ale on draft, it is now out in four-pack bottles for home consumption. The imperial stout was a hit when it was poured at the Texas Craft Brewers Guild booth at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

If imperial stouts are your thing, you’ll be happy to know that La Muerta from Freetail Brewing Co. was brewed last week and will be ready for its third annual release on Dia De Los Muertos in November. They also brewed up a batch of 4Shadow made from the second runnings of the La Muerta to get even more out of the grains. 4Shadow was a favorite of this writer last year, especially for having more than one pint.

From Saint Arnold Brewing Co. comes the return of a one-off Divine Reserve brew from 2009. Divine Reserve No. 9, now known as The Pumpkinator imperial pumpkin stout, will be part of the fall seasonal lineup beginning Thursday.

“When we first introduced Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 9 in 2009, we set out to brew a beer that would stand up to the spicing traditionally associated with pumpkin ales,” said Brock Wagner, founder of Saint Arnold Brewing in Houston. “Our solution was to pumpkinize an imperial stout. We loved the result. We found it to be the perfect finish to our Thanksgiving dinners — and it made our relatives much more enjoyable.”

This also will be the first brew from Saint Arnold in a 22-ounce bottle, known in the business as a “bomber,” and the first new seasonal since the introduction of Spring Bock 13 years ago.

Another first for the brewery will be the release of Sailing Santa. The mix of Christmas Ale and Elissa IPA is being formalized after some enterprising servers began blending the two at the taps. The brew will be bottled only, so for draft lovers this is still a job for your friendly neighborhood bartender, reports Southwest Brewing News.


LüKE does shiner

Lüke restaurant on the River Walk will feature Shiner beers from the Spoetzl Brewery at its October 27 beer dinner. Shiner Oktoberfest, Hefeweizen, Bock, Light, Black, and Cheer will all be featured in pairings with such foods as Gulf Coast grouper, Choucroute Garni, chocolate and parsnip cake, and Crabby Madame. Call (210) 227-5853 for reservations.

Speaking of Lüke, Chef Stephen McHugh was spotted at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver by Bottle & Tap sporting a beard even a craft brewer would be proud of. He was volunteering as a beer server at several of the more than 450 brewery booths alongside his brothers.


Travis E. Poling writes about beer weekly for the Current and is author of Beer Across Texas: A Guide to Brews and Brewmasters of the Lone Star State. You can reach him at

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