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Bottle & Tap

Pedernales brewer is old school

Photo: Chuck Kerr, License: N/A

Chuck Kerr

We've been waiting for Pedernales Brewing Co. to start sending out beer for months now, but the flow of suds is still dammed behind a quagmire of government paperwork. So Bottle & Tap decided to hit the road and go to the source for a taste at the new microbrewery in Fredericksburg as they clear the last roadblock to hitting the taps.

New head brewer Peter McFarlane is bringing classic beer style that should please craft beer lovers and those new to the movement for better-tasting beer in every fridge. The Lobo Negro schwarzbier, or black lager, hit all the right notes: smooth finish, flavors of baking chocolate, and a little roastiness.

The Lobo Lager, which will be a mainstay of the brewery to introduce folks to "local" beer, wasn't quite there, with some buttery notes stealing the crisp lager snap. That taster, however, was made months ago and isn't necessarily the product that will go out the door.

McFarlane's IPA was highly drinkable with Mount Hood hops and a character that matches IPAs of old, before American brewers blew up the bitterness even on a standard IPA and made double IPAs even bigger still.

"I'm an old-school brewer and I make things in the classic way," McFarlane said. After the last few years making wine on the West Coast, he jumped at the chance to come to Texas to make beer. "I don't mind being back in the beer business again. In fact I rather prefer it," McFarlane said reaching for another glass of IPA.

Avery at the Drafthouse

The Alamo Drafthouse movie theater in Stone Oak is serving up an Avery Brewing Co. beer dinner at 7 p.m. March 21 with the 2007 film The Darjeeling Limited.

Although Avery is a Colorado brewery, the Indian theme of the movie with Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman, goes with the food. Avery's India Pale Ale, White Rascal, Ellie's Brown Ale, and oak-aged Samael's are paired with dishes like Madras acorn squash with squash-seed crusted red drum fish, saag paneer, and Masala lamb kebab.

Every $40 ticket also enters attendees in a chance at two Great American Beer Festival tickets.

Westin lager dinner

The La Cantera Grille at the Westin La Cantera Resort & Spa continues its beer dinner series at 7 p.m. March 30 with a focus on world lagers, including Asahi Amber from Japan, Italy's Birra Moretti, Bitburger from Germany, Rahr & Sons Ugly Pug from Fort Worth, and India's Kingfisher.

The $55, five-course meal includes dim sum and skewered duck, gnocchi, Eintopf German stew, smoked barbecue short ribs, and surprise dessert. Call (210) 558-2305 for reservations.


The Saison d'Schoppe at Freetail Brewing Co., mentioned in the March 7 Bottle & Tap, doesn't contain coriander. Those interesting spice notes come from peppercorns, as mentioned, along with green and black cardamom and rosemary.

Travis E. Poling is beer writer for the Current and is co-author of Beer Across Texas: A Guide to Brews and Brewmasters of the Lone Star State. You can hear him March 8 at The Friendly Spot Ice House leading the monthly Beerducation series.

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