Saturday, August 30, 2014

Drinking Galveston: Beerfoot Brewery Bar Review

When on a beach in Mexico, what I really want is a Corona. When I'm hanging at an all-inclusive resort in Cozumel, I hope I'm drinking some crazy sweet, tropical thing like a Bahama Mama. Coronas and tropicals--the two drinks I associate with the beach.

But Galveston, TX is not that beach. It's not a Mexican beach. It's not a Caribbean beach. It's Galveston. Hell, they have signs on the beach explaining the joys of seaweed. Seriously. Seaweed may indeed be the eight wonder of the world, but it doesn't make me want to hang out on the beach and drink a Corona or even a Bahama Mama.

No, Galveston needs something different.

Enter Beerfoot Brewery, a great spot right on the seawall.

Charlie, the brewmaster of Beerfoot.
Beerfoot is a brewery, yes, but it's mostly a bar. The place where they brew their one-of-a-kind beer is more like a laundry room. Charlie, the brewmaster, is able to make some nifty beers in that little space, but he can only make two kegs at a time. So they have two different Beerfoot brews on tap every week. Yes, Charlie stays busy making each new draught.

When I went, they had two Beerfoot brews: Texas Breakfast, and Chai Wit. Both were really good. The Texas Breakfast was their attempt to make a beer that tastes like Captain Crunch. No, really. And they succeeded, too. You see, Beerfoot's brewery is so small that they invite in other brewers from around Texas, even sometimes homebrewers, to come in and try something that they couldn't do on a larger scale. That's how Texas Breakfast came about. A bit nutty, a bit sweet, a bit, well, crunchy.

The Chai Wit was even better. Most spiced beers just taste like a regular beer with a little spicy oil in it. Not this one. Charlie steeped a bottle of vodka with lots of chai tea, and, bam!, poured it in the wit beer. It is in-your-face spice. Cinnamon and cloves and nutmeg almost jump out of the glass.

The beer selection at Beerfoot Brewery.
Beerfoot Brewery also has a great tap selection. The first beer I had to try was the Hot Sculpin. As I have mentioned before, I love San Diego's Sculpin. It is a serious IPA, and its metallic finish tingles me. For the Hot Sculpin, they put peppers in it and let it steep. It's hot. It's burn-your-mouth weird. And it's not for me. I drank the whole pint, but I didn't really want to.

So stay away from the Hot Sculpin, but definitely drink whatever Charlie has cooked up that week.

If you're not a beer guy, you can still get a Jagerbomb at Beerfoot, too. Even though, they're a brewery, they have a full bar. But why go to a brewery and not drink the interesting beer???

Monday, August 25, 2014

Texas Beer and Cocktail News: August 2014

The Funnel Cake Ale from Community Brewing. Funnel cakes: is there anything they can't do?
  • There's a new Texas cocktail/food blog in town! Welcome Whiskey and Wry!
  • Alba Huerta of Anvil fame has now opened her long-awaited bar called Julep on the eastern side of the Washington corridor. The place has gotten tons of press in the Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Eater, even Zagat. Set to become one of Houston's (and the country's!) premiere bars, I'm sure.
  • Rudyard's and O'Dell Brewing Company are bringing you their 82nd monthly beer dinner this Thursday. Check it out!
  • There's a new bar on the Westheimer curve from the people who brought us Royal Oak and Boondocks. I must admit: I love Boondocks. Their $1 happy hour well drinks special is one of the best deals in town, even if you do have to brave those bathrooms. Stone's Throw, right next door to Boondocks, on the other hand, looks gorgeous, and the cocktail menu is inviting, too! Very different from Boondocks, that's for sure.
  • If you're in Austin battling the heat, Food Republic has you list of bars to go to for seven inviting frozen drinks. Frozen Chartreuse Swizzle, anyone?
  • Austin now has a craft cidery. Sounds like a Texas Keeper to me.
  • Dallas's Alamo Drafthouse is premiering Deep Ellum's new Belgian IPA called Boomstick while showing the movie that inspired it, Army of Darkness. "Oh, that's just what we call pillowtalk, baby." "Hail to the king, baby." August 26.
  • New Braunfels is going to get a growler place. Can you take a growler on your raft as you float on the river? Man, I hope so.
  • Prohibition Supperclub is set to open sometime later this summer in downtown Houston. Burlesque, anyone?
  • If you're looking for a beer and/or wine festival around Houston, the Houston Chronicle has you covered. Lots of good stuff happening. 
  • And if you're in Dallas, the Dallas News has your beer festivals there, too. 
  • Austin's Independence Brewing Company launches its new lower-ABV pale ale called Power and Light. I like the trend of the more drinkable pale ales, I must admit.
  • I don't know what a beer is doing as a finalist for the State of Texas Fried Food competition, but Community Brewing actually has a Funnel-Cake beer. I should write an entire post about this stuff, even though I haven't even tried it. But I LOVE funnel cakes. Memories of going to the jockey lot in Anderson, SC as a kid. Oh, man.
Remember to send all of your Texas beer and cocktail news. Openings, happenings, whatever. I will include them in the monthly list.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Celebrate National Rum Day with a Curacao Punch: Brandy, Curacao, Rum

As a caveat, I tried to schedule this one to publish on Friday, August 15. It didn't. For some reason. But here it is a day after National Rum Day. Hell, drink rum anyway.

This one comes from Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, a fantastic tome of everything good from the original bartender manuals. You know, the ones from the nineteenth century.

While I don't generally get into the "national X spirit day" festivities, any excuse to drink a particular spirit is fine by me. Honestly, rum isn't a spirit I play with very much, so looking up drinks featuring rum was a good exercise. This cocktail uses both rum and brandy, but curacao is actually the main ingredient. Weird, I know. Maybe it doesn't celebrate rum quite as much as a National Rum Day drink should, but it's still a fine drink, and I like the mixture of brandy and rum.
Curacao Punch: Brandy, Curacao, Rum

To make a Curacao Punch, combine in a large glass:
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  •  2 or three dashes lemon juice (I used 1/4 ounce)
  • 1 ounce soda water
and stir until the sugar is all dissolved. Then fill the glass with crushed ice and add
  • 1 oz Martell cognac
  • 2 oz orange curacao
  • 1 oz Bacardi rum
and garnish with whatever fruit you want.

It's a sweet drink, don't get me wrong. I tried it without the sugar, and it's good that way, too. What you taste the most here is the curacao. It's like an orange Kool-Aid drink. I have never had a drink that actually featured curacao, so this one is good to have on hand when someone says they don't know what to do with curacao.

By the way, I just read an anthology of short stories called Zombies Vs. Unicorns, where each story highlights either zombies or unicorns. One of the best stories of the bunch was by Carrie Ryan, and it took place on the island of Curacao. Every time they mentioned it, I thought of orange-y cocktails. Ah, zombies. I mean, ah, cocktails.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

National Rum Day with Sailor Jerry and the Bloody Jerry Saturday is National Rum Day. That's a day I can celebrate. Expect a post from me this Friday featuring a drink with rum. Hell, it's always a good day to drink rum.

And to help you celebrate, Sailor Jerry, the original spiced rum, is having a contest! Just make a Bloody Jerry (a Bloody Mary with rum, essentially), and then make a crazy garnish. You know, kind of like the ones you can find all over the internet, like the one pictured here. Just be sure to drink the drink. It doesn't have to be a crappy drink to have fun, after all, no matter what says. And Sailor Jerry is good stuff.

Once you get the donut to stay on your Bloody Jerry, snap a photo, and post your photos to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @SailorJerry with the hashtag #ScrewTheCelery. The best and most outrageous photo will win a DIY Bloody Jerry brunch for 10.  Copy @AtHomeCocktails, too, so I can look at it! Full contest rules are here.