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Bottle & Tap

Ranger Creek releases

Ranger Creek releases

The folks at Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling Co. will soon release a hefeweizen for the doggiest days of summer. The refreshing German beer features wheat, barley, and a special yeast that gives interesting fruity and spicy flavors.

The beer dates back to before the brewery was a gleam in the owners’ eyes. Ranger Creek’s take on the German concoction once reserved for Bavarian royalty was adapted from a homebrew recipe that brought the brewery founders two medals, including one from the famed Dixie Cup competition in Houston. Expect to see it on draft in the coming weeks.

To date, Ranger Creek has only bottled one of its beers, the Belgian dark strong La Bestia Aimable, but a limited bottle release of the Mesquite Smoked Porter is available in 22-ounce bombers at Spec’s and the Gabriel’s at Loop 1604.

A bottle purchased the first day of July poured murky (despite a rest of several days) and left enough sediment for Nile farmers to plant a crop. But the smoke and roasted coffee flavors along with a backdrop of velvety chocolate were still there in all their glory as with the draft version.

And the most tantalizing bit of news out of Ranger Creek this month is the introduction of a sour beer series. Sour beer is an intentional creation made with the introduction of several special yeast strains that can make beer tartly refreshing.

The first in the series is Aimee, a barrel-aged version of the La Bestia Aimable. Two small batches have been aging in five-gallon barrels since October 27 in honor of head brewer Rob Landerman’s wife on their anniversary. It will be tough to find, but good bets are The Friendly Spot and Flying Saucer Draught Emporium.


Napa beers

Napa wines are known the world over, but the California region has become thriving land for craft brewing in recent years. One of those breweries, Napa Smith Brewery, is making its way to Texas through distributor Ben E. Keith. With the tag line “brewed for food,” Napa Smith Wheat, Organic IPA, and Lost Dog Red Ale will be available in bottles. The wheat and IPA also will be available on draft in Texas.


Dinner date

Save the date for the second Westin La Cantera beer dinner, this time featuring the beers of Blanco’s Real Ale Brewing Co. on July 22 at 7 p.m. There should be more details at the resort website by next week.


Brewer medals

John Jurgensen of the Bexar Brewers homebrew club took home silver for his fruit mead in the 2011 American Homebrewers Association National Homebrew Competition held in San Diego. There were more than 6,000 entries in all categories. Jurgensen was named Cidermaker of the Year by the AHA in 2010.


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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