Film on Tap: 3, 2, 1 Lift-off!



Film on Tap is a column about the many ways that beer (or sometimes booze) and cinema intersect in Austin.

One of the newest local breweries is Austin Beerworks, located in North Austin. This microbrewery blasted out this summer with a firm grasp on the sparsely populated canned craft beer market, winning a silver medal in the English-style summer ale category at the Great American Beer Festival for their Peacemaker Extra Pale Ale. Austin Beerworks has redefined the term "river beer" --  beer that will quench the thirst while floating down the Guadalupe and adhering to the no-glass restrictions. No more "sex in a canoe" beer of American light lager selections, but instead a more diverse selection of beer styles is available for packing in on camping and float trips.

A growing trend in the craft beer industry is collaboration beers, whether between brewers or local businesses. Austin Beerworks brewer Will Golden is a friend of local filmmaker Mike Woolf of Beef and Pie Productions, and a fan of Woolf's documentary Richard Garriott: Man on a Mission (my review). To commemorate beer for the movie's theatrical release in January, the brewers including Michael Graham (seen above) decided to create a Russian Imperial Stout aptly named Sputnik, after the first artificial satellite launched into orbit by the Russian space program. During my SXSW 2010 Spotlight interview with Woolf, I learned he also homebrews and so was naturally enthusiastic about collaborating with Austin Beerworks.


The idea to create a Russian Imperial Stout (RIS) was born out of a conversation over beers about what beers best match particular films. Golden thought a RIS was a natural choice for Man on a Mission, since it documents Dr. Richard Garriott de Cayeux's journey to the stars via the Russian space program. The brewers also added oats and coffee, for which they met up with local roaster Cuvee Coffee to determine which roast and proportion of coffee would best complement and balance the RIS.

I stopped by the brewery to observe the collaborative pilot blending process with Cuvee Coffee founder Mike McKim, who brought beans from Fazendo Pantano, Brazil and San José Ocaña, Guatemala. Mike Woolf and Andrew Yates (pictured above) were on hand to document the action on video, and we were fortunate to join in the tasting. I'll keep you posted when the video is ready for viewing. 

Sputnik will be available on tap during the Austin premiere of Man on a Mission at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar on January 20, as well as screenings on February 1 at Alamo Village and February 9 at Alamo Lake Creek. You'll also be able to find Sputnik on tap at local craft beer bars and brewpubs.

Speaking of Alamo Drafthouse, Sommelier Cinema has now expanded to an additional location with an event at Alamo Lake Creek on Tuesday, December 13 at 7 pm. Wine expert June Rodil of Second Bar + Kitchen is pairing the wines and Antonelli's Cheese Shop for this month's film feature, Midnight in Paris (my review here).

In their "Meet the Brewers" series, the brewers of Jester King Craft Brewery will be at Alamo Drafthouse Village on December 16 with their newest release, Le Petit Prince Farmhouse Table Beer dry-hopped in the cask with whole leaf East Kent Golding. Mark your calendar for January 6 for the next "Meet the Brewer" at Lake Creek, brewery to be announced. You can also find out via Twitter what's on the "Bad-Ass" tap at Drafthouse locations, with new additions at the South Lamar location including Brewluminati Stoned Crow Porter from local Independence Brewing Company and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery's 120 Minute IPA.

Flix Brewhouse is currently offering their newest house brewed beer, Kill Shot, a strong scotch ale made with floor-malted scottish malt and roasted barley and oats. This dark red ale is lightly sweet and intensely malty, but you'll want to moderate your consumption with an ABV of 8.5 percent. Also on tap is the inaugural pro-am competition winner of Texas Pecan Brown Ale from David Garcia and David Hulama of The Round Rock Homebrewers Guild. This 5.7 percent American style brown ale is brewed with a variety of malts as well as an addition of roasted pecans, delivering a robust roasted malt flavor with a nutty undertone as well as a noticeable hop aroma and flavor.

Local homebrewer Corey Martin of the Austin Zealots won the most recent competition in the rolling pro-am that Flix is running for the three largest homebrew clubs in the Austin metro area. Martin won for the French Saison category, and he'll join head brewer Justin Rizza in the brewhouse to brew up a batch to be available around February -- about the same time that Martin's Samuel Adams Longshot Competition winner "A Dark Night in Munich" Dunkel will be hitting the shelves. Watch this video interview courtesy of Austin Homebrew Supply where Martin talks about how 18 years ago, his wife drove him to homebrewing:

Have a favorite wine or beer you enjoy while movie watching, either at home or at Flix Brewhouse or Alamo Drafthouse? Share your favorites by leaving a comment below. 

[Photo credit: Michael Graham of Austin Beerworks; Mike Woolf and Andrew Yates of Beef and Pie Productions; all photos by Debbie Cerda, available with attribution]