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Thoughts on Beer & Food, Home & Away

Deep in the Heart of Texas
Posted Friday, June 27th, 2014 by thewimperoo

Last week, the family and I flew to San Antonio to visit the wife's brother. We hadn't seen him in over 2 years so the main goal was to just hang at his house and spend some time together.  I had a few other goals that I hoped to accomplish during our 4 days in Texas. 


1. Eat BBQ in Lockhart (Smitty's, Black's, etc)

2. Visit Freetail

3. Drink Live Oak Hefeweizen

4. Meet up with Chip and drink at Jester King


Eating BBQ in Lockhart ended up being a failed goal.  Just couldn't make it happen.  In consolation, we paid a visit to the Granary in San Antonio.  For lunch, it's straight market style bbq while dinner is more upscale plates centered around bbq.  We ended up visiting for lunch. In addition to bbq, they make their own beer and soda.


Menu board of options - Turkey was the item sold out


To start we ordered a rye saison, belgian pale ale and ginger peach soda (pictured in that order).  Beers were fine. Nothing special, but clean and drinkable.  The ginger peach soda was fantastic. Not at all sweet. If I had to nitpick, I'd say tone down the ginger a touch and up the peach flavor a bit.


For food, we ordered as much of the menu as we could reasonably eat.  Brisket and Spare Ribs were excellent. Have never been a huge fan of Texas style beef sausage and this version didn't change that opinion. The sides were all quite good. House made pickles, burnt end beans and buttermilk cole slaw.


Sausage Guts


Next day consisted of visiting Freetail and hitting a couple of bottle shops.  Grabbed a few Prairie beers that we can't get at home any longer due to Shelton being Shelton, but other than that not much really aroused my sensibilities.  

Freetail was decent.  Definitely in full World Cup mode. Sports bar atmosphere. Loud with lots of TV's.  9 house beer and 8 guest beers. Wood burning pizza oven.  


Hibiscus Berliner was really nice.  Had two glasses of this one


Amarillo hopped saison was also pretty tasty


The waitress toyed with my emotions and said Live Oak Hefe was on tap, but then once I ordered it she revealed it was gone. Ended up with a White IPA that was ok.


Went with a brisket pizza and a 5 cheese (Gouda, Provolone, Asiago, White Cheddar & Mozz). Both were pretty good. Wish they would have been crispier. 


Next day we were supposed to check out the Riverwalk (FYI: Pretty f'ing lame) so I searched beer lists to make sure we ate lunch somewhere that had Live Oak Hefe on tap.  Ended up at the Esquire Tavern.  Oldest bar on the Riverwalk.  Place had tons of charm.  100 foot long wooden bar, plush bar chairs.  Just seemed like a place where you could spend the day drinking. Very chill.  Food was tasty.  Long story short, Live Oak Hefe was available and I consumed it.  Lived up to the hype. Wish I could drink it much more often. Also had a (512) Pecan Porter, a roasty as fuck porter.


Last day, I ditched the family and made my way up to Jester King for a meat up with Chip. Made great time and arrived about 45 minutes before Jester King opened. This gave me enough time to snap a few pictures of the grounds and then grab a beer and a pizza from the pizza barn on Jester King's property.  

The view that greeted me when I arrived


Ended up going with the Prairie Birra and the Penelope pizza. Crushed the whole pizza in no time.  Really good stuff. 


By the time I was done eating, Jester King was open for business.  They have 3 different areas where you can make purchases.  Inside the barn they have beers on tap, a tent outside with additional taps and another tent where you can buy bottles to go and swag.  The cool part is their POS system had all tents linked together so you could just open a tab and order from any of the areas and then just pay at the end of the day when you were done.  Made it super convenient. Really nice touch.  

I happened upon Jester King on a pretty good day.  Lots of different saisons/sours on tap. 4 different bottles available to go, even if that wasn't really a priority. Started with a glass of Provenance (a lemon lime saison) and Atrial Rubicite. The Provenance was just ok.  Needed more funk to overset all of the sprite-like lemon lime.  Atrial was crazy good.  Almost as jammy as fresh New Glarus VSB, almost.  


Chip and his buddy arrived as I was working through these beers.  Good conversations and laughs were had.  Successful meat up. Thanks again to Chip for the beer and cinammon rolls. 

Next beers for me were Nocturn Chrysalis (blackberry sour) and Biere de Miel (saison with honey). The nocturn was good, but not great. The Biere de Miel was fantastic.  2nd favorite beer of the day.

Next set of beers was Hibernal Dichotomous (blend of old and new saison with different herbs and watermelon juice) and Live Oak Pilz.  The refreshing watermelon finish on Hibernal was quite nice, although all of the herbs gave it a bit of a medicinal aroma.  Live Oak Pilz was a good change up.

Only had a couple of hours before I had to head back to San Antonio so I finished with another set of Biere de Miel and Atrial on cask. 


Definitely a great place to spend the day.  Beautiful atmosphere, excellent beers. Would come often if I lived in Austin. Here's a few other pics of the grounds.



Alamo remembered and now forgotten


Link to full sets of pictures