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IPA Day 2K15

On August 6, 2015 By

Today marks the fifth annual National IPA Day, and every year the craft beer landscape changes. I feel like the segment as a whole has moved further along what I’ve called the Craft Beer Trajectory, where people now appreciate the subtle nuances…

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Pocketful of Rye

On March 25, 2015 By

The history of rye beers goes back centuries, to Germany, where roggenbiers were brewed with up to 50 or 60% rye in the grist, the rest consisting of barley. A few bad harvests led in part to the Reinheitsgebot, or German purity…

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Well Dear Readers, it’s time to beware the Ides of March.  Spring is supposed to be around the corner, though with our roller coaster weather, it feels like we experience all 4 seasons in a single month!  As we go into this transition, there is always more food and lifestyle (yes, you heard that right) stories for me to tell and I intend to keep up with this as best I can.  Yes, there is a backlog I am clearing out.  I am picking up some of that slack via my Tastemade channel (please follow me there if you are on Tastemade!), but I still like writing and photography the best.  So let’s get to it!!!

Texas Independence Day (since 1836…)

Yeppers!  Remember the Alamo!  Remember Goliad!  COME AND TAKE IT!!! Though I sometimes daydream about the idea of a disjointed nation called the Free Republic of Texas and Quebec–with the best beer, smoked meats and french fries in the world, we are a part of These United States of America, but our special status should not be forgotten, including some of our special food.  And on that note, here are some specials for this month:

Texas Land & Cattle:  From March 2nd through 31st, try their Texas Stuffed Quail, their Bison Burger or Pecos Pecan Trout, available on their lunch or dinner menus! TXLC will also feature its Border Gimlet, an expertly crafted blend of Absolut Texas vodka, fresh lime, agave nectar, cucumber and a kick of jalapeño. Craft beer drinkers never fear. Every TXLC offers an array of local Texas craft beers, so ask your server for details.

“Our Texas heritage will always be at the core of who we are and the experiences we offer to our Guests,” said Tim Dungan, President of Texas Land & Cattle. “Texas Independence Day is one of our favorite holidays and we are going to celebrate all month long. There are layers of greatness in this state and this year we are focused on the wilder side of Texas. Come toast Texas with us and enjoy our Wild, Wild Texas limited time offerings.”

Saint Arnold now in Cans!

Responding to strong customer demand, Saint Arnold Brewing Co., the oldest craft brewery in Texas, today (March 2nd) started rolling out cans for the first time. Cans of the brewery’s two top-selling year-round beers – Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower Beer and Santo – will begin showing up this week wherever Saint Arnold is sold.

Saint Arnold recently completed installing its canning line that features a 20-head filler and can package up to 160 cans per minute. Starting in April, Saint Arnold Summer Pils will become the first of the brewery’s popular seasonal offerings to be offered in cans. “We are excited about commissioning our state-of-the-art canning line which we have successfully shoehorned in between our kegging and bottling lines,” said Saint Arnold Founder/Brewer Brock Wagner. “I’m personally looking forward to being able to enjoy cans of our beer on the beach, while floating the river – where legal, of course – or by the pool.”

To celebrate its new beer can era, Saint Arnold will invite the craft beer community to visit Houston’s iconic Beer Can House on Saturday, March 14th. More than 50,000 beer cans adorn the house at 222 Malone Street in Houston, which has become a folk art monument. The event, which runs from noon to 5:00 p.m., will support the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art’s restoration activities

As someone who has had to forego Saint Arnold’s in areas where glass is restricted, this is VERY GOOD NEWS!!!  Kudos to Brock Wagner and Saint Arnold’s for taking this step!

JerryBuilt Burgers Rolls out the Outlaw Burger!!!
It’s officially Rodeo season in Houston, and if the traffic nightmare or mass crowds surrounding NRG Park are too much for you this time of the year, have no fear, because ​JerryBuilt is bringing the Rodeo flavor to it’s guests with its new Outlaw Burger! The Outlaw ​features in-house prepared pulled pork, batter-fried bacon, ghost pepper cheese and BBQ ​sauce on top of an angus beef patty​.  I do not know what is better about this burger: 3 meats or simply the country fried bacon… OOOOOHHHHHH… (in a Homer Simpson Voice).  This burger is available for what Ken Hoffman calls the “Dreaded Limited Time Only” and I say no time like the present.  I will be sampling this burger and posting a Tastemade video of it this week!

Peli Peli in the Galleria Opens This Month

My good friends Chef Paul Friedman and GM Thomas Nguyen have been working for months to get their new Galleria location ready and it will be open to the public on MONDAY MARCH 30TH.  For those of you who  don’t care to venture far from the Inner loop yet have had a craving for the Bobotie or South African Grill can now stay close to home and just get through the traffic on Post Oak and Westheimer instead.  This is one of the most anticipated openings of 2015 thus far and a lot of time, blood, sweat and tears have gone into making this a reality.  I personally am of the opinion that their Galleria location will be a huge success and will be another great jewel in Houston fine dining in that part of town.  Be sure to come on out this month and show your support for one of our great Chefs!

Crave Cupcakes Opens new Concept CRAVE in The Woodlands

Six years ago, Houston-based Cave cupcakes owners Elizabeth Harrison, Peter Cooper and Brad Dorsey catered to Houstonian’s cupcake cravings by opening one of the city’s first cupcake shops. Two years later they captured the hearts of West University residents when it debuted a second location. Next week the trio hope to do the same with The Woodlands community by introducing an equally tantalizing concept that opened today at 2501 Research Forest Drive.. A new concept for The Woodlands, CRAVE represents a multifaceted dining venue with both fast casual and dining options BEYOND CUPCAKES. Envisioned to serve as a gathering place that would appeal to the various needs and tastes of businesses, hotel guests and residents in and around the Woodlands, CRAVE will offer continuous food and coffee service from morning to evening in a comfortable and stylish space that encompasses indoor and alfresco seating.

The Bakeshop will offer a full range of pastries baked fresh on-premises and an extensive coffee program, including freshly ground CRAVE craft coffee. In addition to freshly-baked breakfast items, such as breakfast cupcakes, Texas Kolaches, Egg and Sundried Tomoto on brioche bread and Croque Monsieur—as an added commuter-convenience patrons will be able to place orders in advance online for easy pick up, as well as limited-radius delivery. Located at 2501 Research Blvd., CRAVE will be open Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.’ Saturday and Sunday from, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  This just goes to show you that you don’t have to go into the inner loop to satisfy your gourmet cravings!

Lenten Specials at Jonathan’s The Rub 

Yikes!  For those of you who observe it, it’s time for meatless Fridays until Easter! Jonathan’s The Rub will be offering that are anything other than your ordinary fish dishes. I hope that you will all please keep these in mind if you’re planning to do a round up of where people can dine during Lent without sacrificing flavor!
 – Mango Salmon served in a mango nectar sesame ginger sauce with craisins & mango slices
 – The Red Snapper Fresca is pan-seared in Jonathan’s signature spicy rub and served with tomatillo salsa
 – Antarctic, wild Chilean Sea Bass served broiled, blacked, pan-seared and poached over a bed of fresh spinach.

I’ve had that Chilean Sea Bass before and it is fan-freaking-tastic, and I’d order it any old day of the week, not just on Fridays during Lent!

Jonathan’s The Rub is located at 9061 Gaylord Street; Houston, TX   77024 in the Memorial Villages near I-10 and Campbell Road.

Boxing it Up To Go
Whew!  I haven’t even started going on about the Rodeo yet!  March comes in like a Lion and keeps on roaring for this food writer!  Thanks again for reading and my creedo is as always:

Eat Happy, Y’all!!!
吃得开心!!!
Hank

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Friday Night Frights

On February 12, 2015 By

Paraskevidekatriaphobia is a sort of pseudo-scientific term referring to a fear of Friday the 13th, today being the first of 2015¹. The suffix -phobia is generally used, however, to refer to an irrational fear of something, i.e. something that a greater segment…

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Barrel Rider

On January 29, 2015 By

In the throes of the craft beer boom, consumers have become spoilt for choice. With more than 3000 breweries currently operating in the United States and thousands more on the way, retail shelves are lined with options from coast to…

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The State of Craft Beer

On January 19, 2015 By

Last week, there was a bit of a tempest in a tankard when beer writer Andy Crouch profiled Boston Beer Co. founder Jim Koch and how the craft beer industry he helped launch has now left him behind. The story opens…

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The Carpenters once sang “Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down.” However, for those who love great food and great craft beer or great cocktails, TODAY is a GREAT DAY!!!

Saint Arnold’s Bishop’s Barrel 8 Release
I can already hear Mr. Moustache’s Uncle Tex adding to his rhyme “Bishop’s Barrel 8 is BEYOND GREAT!”  And this beer is a special variation on a classic known formerly as Divine Reserve 5, one of the best loved of Saint Arnold’s Other Special Beer Lines.  Per Saint Arnold Brewing:

In 2007, we released Divine Reserve No. 5, an imperial stout that became a favorite nationally even though you could only get it here in Texas. And only for an hour or two at that. It is just a memory (other than the 100 or so bottles in our cellar and probably a few some of you may have somehow squirreled away). Until now. We rebrewed the DR5 recipe in late 2013 and this time decided to barrel age it for a year, putting it into Woodford Reserve barrels. Now we have bottled it and starting this Monday, January 12, it will start showing up at a few bars and restaurants as Bishop’s Barrel No. 8.

This is a Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout, similar to BB 1, but using the Divine Reserve 5 as a template but this time correcting for a mistake where not enough hops were used in the tanks.  This time, no mistakes were made and the recipe is simply Divine.  I have already gotten my #Wink #Connection for this beer and will be posting tasting notes on it later in the week.  If you want to enjoy this wonderful beer, several of the usual locations will have it for the roll out today.  They include but are not limited to:

Other places, like Guru Burgers & Crepes and Yaga’s Chili Quest & Beer Fest will get it later in the week.  Come early, as this will be gone faster than Uncle Tex can say “Bishop’s Barrel 9 will be MIGHTY FINE!”
College Football Championship and Dinner at Jonathan’s The Rub
The Double-O match (Oregon vs. Ohio State) for the NCAA Football Division I Championship is on tonight! Jonathan’s The Rub has a special night planned for football fans wanting to watch the College National Championship Game on Monday night. Jonathan’s recently remodeled the back dining room and it is now complete with a big screen TV. Guests will be able to watch Ohio State and Oregon face-off while enjoying hearty burgers, $2.50 Karbach beers, and complimentary appetizers from 7:30 until the end of the game.

Those of y’all who’ve been to Jonathan’s The Rub know that Jonathan and his son Sam make some of the most wonderful and delicious burgers, appetizers and sides, that make you happy and leave you feeling satisfied.  And Karbach is another great HOUSTON based Craft Beer that we all know and love!  And at that special price, you can (RESPONSIBLY) order more and love it even more!

Mr Peeples 3rd Annual Mixology Challenge 
If cocktails are more your thing, Mr Peeples on Bagby is hosting their 3rd Annual Mixology Challenge tonight at 6:30 PM.

6:30 PM This mixology contest pits 5 bartenders against one another for bragging rights. Guests will enjoy cocktail tastings, light bites and live entertainment by DJ Tiffany.
Contestants in the Mixology Contest include:

  • Jonathon Gallardo from Prohibition Supperclub and Bar
  • Jordan Pitts from Prohibition Supperclub and Bar
  • Nathan Reffel from 1919 Wine and Mixology
  • Two additional mixologist to be announced

Tickets are $12 & available at http://mrpeeples.com/houston-mixology-contest
Sponsored by Pura Vida Tequila, Mr. Peeples, and Landmark Houston Hospitality Group

Wrapping it up
Plenty of great food and Craft Beer for us all, and I do believe this news will make a lot of y’all happier!

Eat Happy, Y’all!!!
吃得开心!!!
Hank

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Pumpkinpalooza

On November 20, 2014 By

George Washington Carver is well-known to history for coming up with about 100 products made from peanuts, and even more food recipes. I feel like he had to have had some sort of pumpkin-whisperer counterpart because, come October, the gamboge gourds…

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Mosaic, Mo’ Problems

On September 18, 2014 By

When Houstonia magazine asked some local craft beer cognoscenti to render a verdict on some of the best beers and breweries in town, it naturally engendered a lively debate. The city’s godfather of craft beer, Saint Arnold, justifiably took the…

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Saint Arnold’s own Chef Ryan Savoie

Houston’s Saint Arnold Brewing Co. is an institution that has been creatively brewing excellent craft beer for 20 years.  Besides brewing awesome beers, they also serve up great food in their restaurant for lunch and for pub nights.  Chef Ryan Savoie isn’t shy about using whatever Saint Arnold’s is available in creating wonderful recipes and their lunch service has grown tremendously as a result of great food from a Master Chef served with excellent craft beer.  Over the Labor Day weekend, Galveston’s Moody Gardens will be hosting the Brewmaster’s Craft Beer Festival, with a special sub-event of Brewlicious Brews and Food Pairing on Friday, August 29th.  Chef Savoy and Saint Arnold got in touch with me recently and asked if I would Preview their entry to this event.  Suffice it to say, Saint Arnold’s calls, I try to come a running as fast as possible, and knowing how they operate, and being a fan of Chef Savoie’s work, I knew it was going to be excellent stuff!!!  After a nice chat with Chef Savoie and with Josh Nelson of Saint Arnold’s, I was ready to chow down.

First about the events:

Brewmaster’s Beerfest
Beer Lovers Rejoice! The fifth annual BrewMaster’s Craft Beer Festival is a unique multi-day event created for beer drinkers, learners, enthusiasts and experts. Home based at Galveston’s Moody Gardens, this three-day weekend is all about beer and cheer, offering over 400 craft beers and culinary variety. The festivities will be throughout the 242 acres of botanical beauty with specialty events at various venues around Galveston Island. The three-day celebration will showcase two signature events: BrewLicious Brews and Foods Pairing and BrewHaHa Grand Tasting. There are a host of related events like the BrewMasters PubCrawl and Texas Brewery Tasting Tours. Featured activities include: live music and fireworks at Palm Beach, educational events, a slew of Brew Brains and industry experts including award-winning BrewMasters and home brewing masters.

Brewlicious Beer and Food Pairing
Date: Friday, August 29, 2014
Time: 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Price: $75 pp in advance
Location: The Frances Anne Moody Ballroom @ Moody Gardens

What’s better than beer paired with great food? Bring your thirst and appetite over for the BrewLicious Brews & Foods Pairing. Don’t miss this event with professional chefs and featured restaurants pairing specialty beers to compliment the delicious food. This spectacular evening is for the serious beer and culinary enthusiast. All kinds of high-end, premium, unique beers will be paired with food that is the perfect culinary accompaniment. All Guests must be at least 21 years old on the day of the event to enter the event. No small children or strollers will be admitted.

If this isn’t an event for all of us Craft Beer Lovers, I’ll be switched!  Anyway, I was more interested in checking out Saint Arnold’s Offering–a spicy pulled pork sandwich topped with Saint Arnold’s Weedwacker infused Kimchi.  From the description, it was a fusion approach to the traditional pulled pork sandwich, using a spicy Korean inspired kim chi instead of cole slaw.  Chef Savoie wasn’t going to spill the beans on everything, and I wouldn’t expect to.  However, what I got from him was that the pork was seasoned with his secret combination of spices and slow smoked over night.  Similarly, he gathered fresh veggies including crispy cabbage, carrots, mushrooms and hot peppers, along with more seasonings, and had them percolate in Saint Arnold’s Weedwacker under proper temperatures for a good period of time.  The pork is served on a Challah long bun with the Kim chi on top and garnished with a spicy plum sauce.  Your nose gets teased with a spicy, sweet, sour and bitter essence, with a bit of heat before you even take the first bite.  When I took that first bite, I got a bit more heat–enough to singe, but not so much that I couldn’t taste anything else.  This sandwich activates all your taste buds and nerve endings designed to get all of those flavours you can taste.  The pork is sweet and tender, the plum sauce sour, sweet and spicy, the Kim chi is mostly crispy, but also hits the bitter and salty sensors as well.  When you wash it down with the yeasty, unfiltered Kolsch/Hefeweizen fusion of the Weedwacker, the heat builds a little–not as much as it would with an IPA, but still, it’s a nice effect and makes for a great pairing for sure.  Grade: A+ and likely to be very popular with the crowd on August 29th!

While I was there, Chef Savoie and Josh Nelson wanted me to remind y’all that Saint Arnold’s has their expanded menu which has regular items, not just the special of the day like when they first started.  To that end, they suggested I try their Prime Rib French Dip with provolone, caramelized onions and au jus on a pretzel bun.  This tender Prime Rib Sandwich has that rich beefy aroma that the mild provolone and sweet caramelized onions was meant to be served with.  The pretzel bun is thick and soaks up the beefy au jus nicely.  Chef Savoie and Josh Ryan recommended it be paired with Saint Arnold’s Brown Ale.  This is a rich, copper coloured malty slightly sweet brown ale.  Oddly, it’s not as popular as some of their other year round beers, but it has a strongly loyal following among those who love it.  Those malty sweet essences meld so well with beef, I felt chastened to buy a six-pack on my next trip to HEB.  Definitely a satisfying sandwich for beef lovers.  Grade: Solid A

One last note:  Jason said that Mr. Moustache’s Uncle Tex got to join us at Saint Arnold’s.  As many of y’all on Twitter know, Uncle Tex appreciates a good craft beer and was notorious for his Bishop’s Barrel Series Rhymes:

“Bishop’s Barrel 1 is Totally Fun!
Bishop’s Barrel 2 Don’t mind if I do!
Bishop’s Barrel 3 is just for me!
Bishop’s Barrel 4? Shut the Front Door!
Bishop’s Barrel 5 makes me feel alive!
Bishop’s Barrel 6 is good for kicks!
Bishop’s Barrel 7 put me in Heaven!”

Suffice it to say, everyone’s favourite Boss of the Plains wearing Bad Piggie was totally happy to visit the folks at Saint Arnold, yet managed to show proper restraint when enjoying some samples in the tap room.

I want to thank Josh Nelson (who reminds me a bit of Jake from Fox-Tv’s New Girl), Chef Ryan Savoie, and Kathy Colwell for hosting me and Uncle Tex.  And I wish them total success during Brewlicious on August 29th!!!

Drink Craft Beer AND Eat Happy Y’all!!!
吃得开心也和得开心啤酒!!!
Hank

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