Wine Spotlight from New Braunfels Monthly
By: Connor Brown
They say the intense heat and the mocking rays of the sun can make one act and feel strange. Some say this mixture can even cause people to see things that aren’t actually there, and as Texans, most of us have experienced something like this to a slight degree. I recall a particular time wandering around historic Gruene and feeling thirsty, nearly crying for a good beer. I found myself in shop after shop dismissing every taunting Bud Light sign and small refrigerator full of beer cans and bottles only to spot something in the distance. A small building with draft beer handles. “No way,” I thought to myself. “Seven different handles right in the middle of town! Is this a mirage? Did I just stumble upon some sort of beer oasis? Are those mostly Texas Craft beers?” I remained skeptical until I was offered free tastes of my desired brew, and I collapsed in pure joy and elation!
Okay, okay, so maybe I’m a bit dramatic (and full of it), but the tap handles don’t lie! There are now seven beers on tap at The Grapevine, featuring five Texas crafts and a couple staples for your less-hip uncle! However, with so many options it may get confusing, especially when affected by the Texas sun, so here are a couple suggestions to jumpstart your draft beer journey…
Try the Faust Ghostly Pale Ale! A wonderful ale with balanced malty and hoppy flavors. This beer has a semi-sweet caramel flavor on the front that finishes with an earthy airiness that’s just hoppy enough to give it the pale title, but light enough for drinkers who are inching into the pale ale or IPA scene. This beer also lacks the higher alcohol content which many pale ale or IPA’s tend to have, which will allow for a longer day walking around town, or jamming to some tunes in the garden.
Out of all seven beers featured this summer, a favorite despite the heat, is the Hops and Grains Porter Culture. Indeed, the darkest beer on draft is still a favorite Texas craft brew. For most of us, its hard to think of anyone enjoying a Porter in 100+ degree weather, but this one is special because it doesn’t feel like one on the palate. While only feeling a bit heavier than an amber, the flavor will please any seasoned stout or porter drinker with robust notes of malts and coffee, but you won’t be sweating halfway through the pint as the finish is more delicate and smooth. This beer is the perfect pre-game partner for a Gruene Hall concert as it packs a punch at 6.5% so it will keep you dancing all night without weighing you down!
So stop sweating and swing on by to find your favorite summer draft in the heart of Gruene. Let us be your beer guide as we beat the heat and inch closer to cooler days. Keep tasting, Texas! …And don’t forget to hydrate with water when consuming alcohol.