So, in general, when we get invited to an event it is to try a new restaurant or to try the new menu at a restaurant we have been to before. These events are great, absolutely stellar stuff, trying the creative babies of some of Austin’s best chefs is a wonderful experience. This time the event was a little different though; we were invited to schmooze with a brew master, taste his beer and snack on appetizers that went well with said beer. The beer man (not Spoonman, that’s Soundgarden) in question was Brian Peters, the restaurant at which he works his magic, Uncle Billy’s on Lake Travis and his product, absolutely stellar beer made right there on the spot.
We tried all of the available beers at the pub in order from lightest in flavor and color to richest and darkest. I thought everything we had was great, the Bottle Rocket lager is now my second favorite lager/pilsner style beer after Paulaner Pils. I would like to focus on a few that really got my attention though: the Agave Wheat, the Hop Zombie IPA and the Woodeye IPA. The Agave Wheat is the perfect example of a great German wheat beer, nicely balanced with great flavor and not too much body, the perfect hot day beer. The nose is a little sweet and very malty, but the maltiness does not make the beer too thick or too heavy, instead you are left with a nice medium bodied beer full of great spicy notes and ester flavors (ester is the flavor some people describe as sort of like banana in many German Hefeweizens). The Hop Zombie is a nice, punchy India Pale Ale, perfect for a hop head like me. The beer resounds with that great hoppy flavor and aroma you look for in any good IPA, a little bitter, a little sour and a lot floral. One of my favorite things about this beer is he uses the Amarillo hop for aroma, a personal favorite of mine. Brain said he named this beer because hop freaks, like myself, often seem like they have risen from the dead to get their IPA’s, they walk in the bar and don’t even say "Hi.", just "What’s your hoppiest beer?" Well Brian, I gotta say that I would definitely come stumbling into your pub for one of these, looking for all the world like I just came off of one of George A. Romero’s movies only uttering the word "Hops, HOPS!" Finally, the Woodeye IPA, another nicely hopped beer. This one is not only hoppy, but a little oaky as well, since it is barrel aged. This beer has a nice balance of smokiness and hops that hits the palate just perfectly.
The appetizers were very nice, homemade kettle chips, wings and spicy fried pickle chips. I love fried pickles, I don’t care If it’s chips or spears, just give me a fried pickle and I’ll devour it like a hungry llama(llama’s being the most ferocious eaters when they are famished, look it up!). These fried pickles were stellar, not too much breading, perfectly sour and salty with just a little bit of spice to them. They were the perfect complement to the beer that was flowing like wine (or beer as the case may be).
This was a fantastic night at a great location with some wonderful beer and food. Thanks to Brian Peters for having us out and sharing some of his vast knowledge of all things brew with us. We look forward to coming back out again for a pint soon!