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The ultimate San Antonio beer, Alamo City Cerveza Fest, beer dinners, and the passing of a brewing pioneer



The ultimate San Antonio beer

Beer meisters from five San Antonio-area breweries gathered at Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling last week to collaborate on a commemorative beer to mark the first San Antonio Beer Week.

Malt, classic Czech and German hops, water from each brewery, and the considerable combined brewing talents all merge in Cinco Pils. The pilsner-style beer, a staple of the German and Czech brewers that pioneered brewing in Texas in the mid to late 1800s, will be sold at great beer bars throughout the city during Beer Week, May 15-22.

In addition, the brewpubs involved with Cinco Pils will be making in-house versions of the beer with slight changes to encourage traffic among the breweries and teach the public about the subtleties of the brewers’ art.

Collaborators included Ranger Creek’s Rob Landerman, Blue Star Brewing’s Joey Villarreal, Jason Davis and John Lee of Freetail Brewing, and Ray Mitteldorf of the Faust Brewing Co. in New Braunfels. Keith Moore was there in spirit, contributing a growler of water from his Boerne brewery Dodging Duck.


Good and funky

The annual Alamo City Cerveza Fest homebrew competition is coming up April 29 and 30 with final rounds of beer judging, speakers, a pub crawl, and hijinks by homebrewers from around the state. (See for more details.)

The best part for local imbibers is that the winner of the 2010 competition has been commercially brewed and will be available to all comers for purchase beginning Saturday.

The Best of Show winner, a Maibock from Jeff Reilly and Jimmy Paige of the J&J Brew Crew and Foam Rangers homebrew club of Houston, is ready for tapping at Blue Star. The Funkiest of Show winner from Mark Schoppe of the Austin Zealots won’t be brewed at Freetail until May or June.


Beer dinners

Brasserie Pavil will be featuring three brews from Holland’s Trappist-monk run La Trappe brewery (also known as Koningshoeven) and some other surprises at its monthly beer dinner Tuesday, May 3. Yours truly will present the beers and heralded Chef Rene Bajeux will elaborate on a one-of-a-kind menu with five courses and six beers. Call (210) 479-5000 for tickets.

But why should French food have all the fun playing with beer? Maggiano’s Little Italy is having its own beer dinner May 6, pairing special creations from Chef Paolo Pineda with five beers from Samuel Adams. Call (210) 451-6000 for tickets.


Pioneer passing

On April 9, an inspiration to brewers on two continents passed on at 86 to that place where the beer glass is always full. Pierre Celis revived the classic Belgian witbier style in his hometown of Hoegaarden and then recreated it at his one-time Austin brewery as Celis White.


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 [email protected]

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