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Friday, November 21, 2014

Untappd: Austin Local Beer

As I mentioned yesterday, I traveled to Austin, TX, for an academic conference last weekend. This was my first trip to the booming city since conducting dissertation work at the LBJ Library in the late 1980s. I spent some time walking around downtown, but the conference is short and intense, so I had very little free time to do much during the 48 hours I was there. Nonetheless, I was able to take in some of what the city has to offer as the alleged "Live Music Capital of the World."

From my experience, it appears that Austin's 6th Street genuinely rivals or even surpasses Beale Street in Memphis or Bourbon Street in New Orleans for nightlife and entertainment. On Saturday night, some friends and I walked around that area of Austin looking for good live music and local beer. It didn't take long to find what we sought.

I think the band that we all enjoyed the most was Light Horse Harry, which we caught at an Irish pub (B.D. Riley's) near the end of our evening. All the musicians are UT-Austin students and they played a nice mix of covers and original songs. Earlier, we also liked Larry g(EE), who played an eclectic set of music with a very large band at Gatsby's.

During that evening, I tried Austin Beerwork's tasty Fire Eagle IPA, Independence Brewing's very good Stash IPA, and Thirsty Planet's potent Buckethead IPA (8.9% ABV). I typically avoid the high alcohol IPA's, but I didn't realize the ABV until I had the beer in hand and looked it up on Untappd. Despite the fact that it was an excellent brew, I left one-third of it behind because it was served in a pint glass and I had to give a presentation as a discussant on Sunday morning.

During the conference, I also had a bottle of Shiner Bock at the reception and drank a delicious pint of Racer 5 IPA at Haymaker. The latter California beer is difficult if not impossible to find in Louisville, so that is my main justification for not trying another local beer. Incidentally, Haymaker came recommended to me and its beer list was certainly quite impressive. Unfortunately, the Fire Eagle IPA served to me there lacked carbonation and seemed flat. That's another reason why I followed up with the Racer 5.

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