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Bottle & Tap

Ranger's small-batch brews

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Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling Co. has made special releases of their beers a habit even as they establish their main brands to keep the beer hunters and loyal fans coming back for more. This time, they’re following a trend that has long been a part of the whiskey business and in recent years has found its way into the craft brewing world: the small batch series.

The first in the line of Ranger Creek Small Batch Series comes in special .375 liter bottles known as “baby Belgian bottles.” Each entry in the series will come with a QR code to identify each batch. For those of you not indoctrinated into the world of smart phones, the QR code is a square symbol with dots at three corners. Using a QR application and the camera function on the phone, bottle beholders will automatically be taken to information about the beer including just what the heck is in the bottle.

For you analog types, Bottle & Tap did the work for you. No. 1 in the series is an oak-aged Rye Oatmeal Pale Ale that weighs in at 7 percent alcohol by volume and should cellar nicely with the added protection of a wax seal on the cap.

Brewer Rob Landerman brought back the recipe for the first anniversary beer UNO for the occasion. The brewery’s signature Oatmeal Pale Ale, or OPA, was made with an addition of rye and then aged in oak barrels for a month.

Ranger Creek describes it as having a “soft malt sweetness highlighted with spicy and earthy rye malt, toasted coconut, soft pineapple, apricot, citrus, floral hop flavor and aroma with a dry finish of oak. The wax used to seal the bottles smells a little funky, but don’t let that scare you away from the good stuff inside. Ranger Creek’s Mark McDavid said it will have no affect on the beer and that they will be using a “less aromatic solution” for future releases.

Brooklyn Brewery at Lüke

On June 7, Lüke restaurant on the River Walk is featuring the beers of the highly regarded Brooklyn Brewing Co. in a dinner pairing with Chef Steven McHugh’s creations.

The beers include Brooklyn Summer Ale, Brooklyner Weisse, Sorachi Ace, Brown Ale, East India Pale Ale, and Belgian-inspired Local 2, which includes raw wildflower honey from a New York family farm.

McHugh is preparing heirloom tomato salad with grilled peaches, Texas feta and country ham, and green heirloom tomato gazpacho for the first course. Main dishes feature roast rabbit ravioli with baby eggplant and basil, cabrito “two ways,” and Sue Peavy’s brussel sprouts. Peavy won the Lüke contest by creating a dish with her favorite Brooklyn beer.

Dessert paired with the sweet Local 2 is dulce de leche and duck egg crème brûlée.

For more information, call (210) 227-5853.

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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