“Commitment is a big part of what I am and what I believe. How committed are you to winning? How committed are you to being a good friend? To being trustworthy? To being successful? How committed are you to being a good father, a good teammate, a good role model? There’s that moment every morning when you look in the mirror: Are you committed, or are you not? “
“Whatever it is you’re interested in, go do it. There is no winning or losing. You find out when you do it what the experience is. “
It’s October. Four years ago this month, I started working for Twin Liquors, and in that length of time I have watched Texas beer grow, and prosper, and receive international acclaim. Given where we were four years ago and where we are now, it seems nothing short of miraculous. Amazing things are being done locally and state-wide, and there has never been a better time to be a beer drinker.
Anyone who starts a brewery – or any other small business – has to be commended for their bravery and applauded for their commitment. When you’re the only employee, you don’t get sick days, time off, or a guaranteed clock out time. You and your family (if you have one) are the ones on the front line. So I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Texas breweries who took home medals from the Great American Beer Fest this year. I haven’t had all the beers on this list – though I intend to – but the ones that I have had are uniformly well-made and what in wine they call ‘varietally correct’ – if the label says ‘Pilsner’, then the beer tastes like a Pilsner. (Unlike, say, some mass-produced beers who will remain nameless. You know who you are, and you should be ashamed.) ?
Category: American Dark Lager
Beer: Shiner Bock, Spoetzl Brewery
What can I say about Shiner Bock that hasn’t already been said? Everyone drinks it. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it. For me, the real genius in Shiner Bock is its reliability; if I’m in a restaurant where there’s only a few beers on the menu, I can forgo the mass-market yellow fizzy stuff and enjoy Shiner. Get a mess of Tex-Mex food and a couple of cold Shiners and you’ve got yourself a good time.
Category: Classic English-Style Pale Ale
Beer: Royal Scandal, Peticolas Brewing, Dallas
I admit it; I had no idea who these folks were. But being a huge fan of the style, I’m going to get my hands on this beer. From a Dallas microbrewery in its first year of operation, this bodes well for their future.
Category: German-Style Marzen
Beer: Shiner Oktoberfest, Spoetzl Brewery
Doesn’t matter if you’re German or not; this beer, an oom-pah band, and some Wurst mit Senf makes for a perfect fall afternoon.
Category: German-Style Schwarzbier
Beer: Shiner Bohemian Black Lager, Spoetzl Brewery
And Shiner gets the three-fer. This beer’s mingling of dark malt sweetness and a touch of bitterness is a classic.
Category: Kellerbier or Zwickelbier
Beer: Bottle Rocket, Uncle Billy’s Brew and Que, Lake Travis
Austin gets on the GABF scoreboard with their Kellerbier. An unfiltered, cool-fermented lager (usually), kellerbier is a great food beer, and stands up to strong flavors. Jalapeno sausage, anyone?
Categories: German-Style Pilsner and Golden or Blonde Ale
Beers: Hans’ Pils and Fireman’s #4, Real Ale, Blanco
The epitome of delicious and easy-drinking, Real Ale’s Fireman’s #4 is one of my favorite beers. Not content to sit on their ale laurels, they won a medal with their first-ever lager-fermented beer as well.
Category: Scotch Ale
Beer: Iron Thistle, Rahr and Son Breweries, Dallas
Scotch ales, a low-hops, high-malt dark ale, are wonderful when the weather turns colder. Make sure you check this one out.
Category: American-Style Amber Lager
Beer: Uberbrau, Humperdink’s Restaurant and Brewery
That’s it. Dallas Roadtrip!!!!
A big congratulations to all the Texas winners! Until next time, keep your head up, your lace delicate, your malt toasty, and your hops snappy.