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Belgian Beer from Texas

Well, we must bid farewell to a number of beers, as the Toronado prepares for the Halloween and Christmas beers. Hoppy Face and the Full Sail Octoberfest have left in order to make room for the Young’s Old Nick Barleywine and the Lucifer. Also, the Lindeman’s Gluhkriek has re-appeared in 750ml bottles. Is the new Jubelale, and the Sierra Nevada Celebration far behind?

All of these are great questions, but unfortunately I don’t care, because tonight is Hoegaarden White night at the Toronado!

Yes, Hoegaarden White… the creation of Pierre Celis, of Austin Texas. When Pierre Celis wanted to learn the art of brewing, he went to Belgium to learn the craft. While there, he started brewing an old style of beer… one that was not being mass produced at the time: the Witbier. Witbiers are bright yellow ales, lightly spiced with coriander and Curacao orange peel. It is the perfect summer beer. Hoegaarden White became the benchmark for a whole new breed of witbiers… there were many competitors, but none could unseat Celis’ Hoegaarden White from the top rung of the witbier ladder.

Then Pierre Celis decided to leave for his new home… Austin, Texas.

In Austin, Celis founded a new brewery, aptly named Celis Brewery… and he started brewing a new beer, Celis White. Now, Hoegaarden and Celis regularly trade places on the top rung of the witbier ladder. Unfortunately, Celis is now in the hands of the brewing conglomerate Miller. It’s still a great beer, but I haven’t let it pass through my lips since the buyout.

Anyway, back to the Toronado. The Hoegaarden was flowing, into the appropriate oversized 500ml glasses. The glasses were massive, so large that they were difficult to hold… but that didn’t stop Janet, Carlos and me from finishing a glass off. In Toronado’s fine tradition, for $7.50 you got a beer and the glass.

We were only there for a beer so nothing much happened. We got to see the new shirt that Carlos bought for a halloween wedding that he will be attending on… well… halloween. It’s two-tone and satiny. That, and we got confirmation that the Belgian Beer Festival will be on December 13, the Celebrator Doppelbock will be available on November 4 (new glasses too!) and the Brains Dylan Thomas will be released on November 12.


Posted in The Barfly Chronicles.

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