After a Saturday filled with boozy anniversary celebrations at Real Ale (lurid details coming soon) and a beer-packed night at Craft Pride, myself and a couple of the betches took Sunday afternoon to languidly mosey on down to one of our very most favorite haunts on the East side Hi Hat Public House for a balls-to-the-wall, down-home bottle share. Surrounded by some of our closest beer-loving friends, we took part in a toe-curling array of excellent, and I do mean excellent brew.
If you live in Austin and haven’t been to the Hi Hat, firstly, shame on you. Secondly, get there at your very first opportunity. Owners Steve and Rena Schrader are fantastic hosts, always ensuring a great time, and William and the rest of the staff are simply phenomanal, so it came as a huge surprise to no one ever that the bottle share they put on brought out the coolest beer aficionados in the city (not to mention some gems from their sweet-ass beer collections).
We lucky bitches sampled over 60 different extraordinary beers. Seriously, I don’t think any of us have experienced such complete satisfaction maybe ever in our cumulative 60+ years on this earth. Plus, how often do you walk away with catch phrases like “catch my boner?” Only at bottle shares, my friends. Only at bottle shares.
Check out, in humbled reverence, the very abridged list of the offerings sampled. Try not to hate us too hard while you drool.
- Black Butte XXIV by Deschutes Brewery – Deschutes releases a limited number of bottles each year of a delicious and meticulously crafted one off to celebrate Black Butte Porter’s anniversary. This year’s beer, celebrating 24 and made with dark chocolate nibs and two varieties of figs, was definitely a treat to try.
- Funky Jewbelation by Shmaltz Brewing Co – Funky Jewbelation is a late winter seasonal from Shmaltz’ He’brew series that blends ales and lagers aged in bourbon and rye whiskey barrels. Its a really interesting get-together.
- Mosaic by Terrapin Beer Co – Terrapin does these seriously cool side – project beers. Mosaic is volume 19 of the series and focuses flavors around the Mosaic hop. Its complex, citrus-y and surprisingly spicy. Added bonus, the bottle art is lovely.
- Zombie Dust APA AND Moloko Milk Stout by Three Floyds Brewing Co – I’ve mentioned before wanting to get my hands on some Three Floyds before, and both Zombie Dust and Moloko were fantastic first times. Zombie Dust, in particular, was really balanced and drinkable while still packing a hoppy punch to keep things lively.
- Cereal Killer Barleywine by Arcadia Brewing Company – This barleywine firstly comes in at 10% ABV, because with a literal crap-ton of beers, that’s what this particular group of vagabonds needed. Secondly, its really surprising, even for how complex barelywines tend to get! It smells characteristically anise-heavy, but tastes sweet and fruity before decking you in the pie-hole with a strong alcohol finish.
- Our Special Ale 2008 by Anchor Brewing Company – Rolled up to the party in a full fucking magnum, this was an oh-so-delicious Christmas Ale from 2008. Because it had 5 full years to develop, it was very very well balanced. I described it to myself as “eating a rum-dipped gingerbread cookie in a pine forest. Probably in Belgium based on the pine” as I sipped a generous pour. Warning – I get descriptive when I drink, but only to myself. And also, now all of you. Anyway…
- Pentagram by Surly Brewing Co – Pentagram is an American Wild Ale fermented with Brettanomyces yeast and aged in red wine barrels. Its dark and sour but also considerably earthy. It has a certain je ne sais quoi that’s making it hard to describe but was fun to try for sure.
- Speedway Stout by AleSmith Brewing Co – This was another heavy hitter in the mouth in the alcohol department, but at 12%, that shouldn’t have been alarming. It was also incredibly coffee-esque. People were psyched to get some for good reason. It was tasty!
- Ananke by Freetail Brewing Co PLUS a Year of the Bat and FOUR to boot – Freetail always offers delicious beer, and I think the three different styles we enjoyed were representative of that. This particular bottle of Ananke was brewed in 2011 and was so scrumptiously peachy and exceedingly sour. I was bummed that it would have been inappropriate to take that bomber to the head. But that’s not right to do. Year of the Bat is really interesting. Its brewed with beets and that flavor comes across in a pleasant way. It gives it an “earthy juiciness” is how I’d best describe it. And FOUR is a spiced ale brewed for Freetail’s fourth anniversary. I only have three words. German. Chocolate. Cake.
- Moa Imperial Stout by Moa Brewing – Someone was holding out on the Moa until the end of the share, so things were a little hazy by this point, but from what I recall, I enjoyed it. Its a Russian Imperial stout from New Zealand. You don’t pass on an opportunity like that.
- 5 Golden Rings by The Bruery – Fun fact – 5 Golden Rings is part The Bruery’s “12 days of Christmas” series (like the song) which they are releasing one brew at a time until 2019. I’d be interested in trying the batch all together, but who’s to say where we will be in 2019? Isn’t there another Mayan calendar or something we should be on the lookout for? So, we were all more than willing to break into this puppy. Its overarching flavor is pineapple, but its nice and spicy and a little tart. Definitely worth breaking open, but I’m sure it will also be so good in 2019. Look for a follow up.
- Also featuring multiple bottles of Pliny the Elder by Russian River Brewing so there was Pleny of Pliny (see what I did there?), beers from Jolly Pumpkin and Urban Chestnut, a homebrewed beauty of a Mexican hot chocolate Porter and well-balanced meal at the East Side King truck at the Liberty Bar with a couple of Pearlsnaps to lull us into an ethereal restfulness.
Now that you may have the biggest beer-fueled hard-on of your life, make sure you make it out to the Hi Hat on April 23rd for Bitch Beer’s Time of the Month. The whole crew will be there with fun and prizes, and Hi Hat’s 24 taps flowing full force. I’m sure you could score insider details about future bottle shares happening at the Hi Hat. And by “could” I of course meant “must if you have a brain in your head.” If there is anything you’ve taken from this, its that you do not want to miss another party like this one.