A few pints of autumn
The weather has been darn near perfect for more than two weeks, which for San Antonio is an embarrassment of riches that only improves accompanied by a good pint of beer.
Beer bars with patios are the first requirement. Second is a great beer selection, even if that means a handful of choice taps or bottles. A bonus is a knowledgeable staff that can help guide patrons through the beer, especially when on an expedition of the zymurgist’s art.
Here are a few recommendations to celebrate warm, dry days and cool nights.
Belgian-style Witbiers: “I’m digging the Belgian whites in this weather,” says Lucas Mobley, general manager of San Antonio’s Flying Saucer Draught Emporium at Huebner Road and Interstate 10 West.
Blanche de Bruxelles from Belgium brings the classic balance of wheat, barley, coriander, and orange peel to provide refreshment and a hearty richness in the same drink. Harpoon White from Harpoon Brewing Co., and Ommegang Wit from Cooperstown, New York, also are popular choices for the style. My additional recommendations are the Avery White Rascal from Colorado and the Freetail Rye Wit available only at Freetail Brewing Co. in San Antonio.
Oktoberfest/Marzen: The original Oktoberfest, celebrating 200 years in Munich, has ended, but in the U.S. the game is on. People in San Antonio, Fredericksburg, and numerous other Texas towns with German heritage are having beer and sausage orgies.
Oktoberfest at the Beethoven in the King William area of San Antonio wrapped up last weekend, which means you can enjoy a pint of Paulaner or Spaten Oktoberfest lager in peace at the bar anytime after 5 p.m. or take it out into the biergarten. It’s malty, a little sweet, and just enough alcohol to warm the soul.
Tripel Karmeliet: Steve Newman of The Friendly Spot in Southtown says this Trappist ale from Belgium is just the quaff for these special days. At about 8.4 percent alcohol, it is warming and refreshing all at once. Other pleasures Newman is finding now are Kwak, another Belgian ale, and a Belgian-style brew from Maine, Allagash Curieux. The bourbon-barrel-aged tripel is as exquisite as it pricey.
The Current’s annual Alefest is on at Hemisfair Park this Saturday. Go to sacurrent.com for ticket information.
Texas Girls’ Pint Out, a new social organization built around the enjoyment of beer, is having its first San Antonio event (after several in the Houston area) at 11 a.m., October 30, at Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling. Details and RSVP are on the blog at tx.girlspintout.com. •