Film on Tap

Debbie Cerda's monthly beer-and-booze-and-movies column.

New Violet Crown Series Blends Craft Beer and Film


Jester King Black MetalOne of the breweries I featured in my first Film on Tap column is Hill Country-based Jester King Craft Brewery, one of the winning plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission (TABC) regarding labeling and marketing. That case helped grease the wheels for the Texas Legislature to work closely with the TABC, craft brewers and other stakeholders to introduce legislation that impacts Texas craft brewers. The bills have made it through the state Senate, with a House vote expected by mid-May.

Jester King is participating in a less controversial endeavor next month, as the Violet Crown Cinema (VCC) has announced their new series CineBrew, a retrospective film program paired with regional craft beer tastings.

The series debuts on Wednesday, May 15, and will feature Jester King's Metal series of farmhouse beers: Black Metal, Funk Metal and Viking Metal. Brewery representatives will discuss the brewing process and how each of the beers attains its own style. My personal favorite featured is the farmhouse imperial stout, Black Metal, along with Funk Metal, a sour barrel-aged stout. Viking Metal is a truly unique beer aged in an Old Tom gin barrel and based on the ancient Swedish Gotlandsdricka, brewed with birchwood smoked malt, juniper and Myrica gale.

Viewers can enjoy the craft brew while watching the digitally remastered and previously unavailable 1992 documentary Dream Deceivers: The Story Behind James Vance vs. Judas Priest, preceded by local filmmaker Kat Candler's powerful short film Black Metal, which screened at Sundance and SXSW this year.

SXSW 2013 Guides: Drink Like an Austinite


Craft Pride Tap Wall

Quite a bit has changed over the last year in the Austin drinking scene -- thankfully more changes for the good than the bad. Sadly, the downtown Lovejoy's Taproom and Brewery closed and the Austin Ginger Man has transitioned to a more corporate model, but plenty of new watering holes are around to satisfy patrons, especially in the growing Rainey Street bar district. One of those is Craft Pride, a craft beer bar serving only Texas beer with regularly rotating selection on 54 taps and two cask engines, as seen above. The bar is introducing the "Texas-sized pints," with most beers served in 20-ounce pint glasses to allow appropriate head for proper presentation -- a novel concept created by owners J.T. and Brandi Egli, who are also local homebrewers. Step out back into the ample beer garden for tasty grub from the Bacon Truck.

In addition to the newest Austin breweries Rogness Brewing Company and South Austin Brewing Company, on the more diverse tap walls across town you can find Texas craft beer Deep Ellum Brewing Company and Lakewood Brewing out of Dallas and Guadalupe Brewing Company from New Braunfels. From hoppy ales with citrus and floral characteristics to barrel-aged milk stouts, these breweries are delivering beers worth trying.

Several well respected breweries from other states have taken notice of the explosive growth in Texas and have moved into the Texas market. Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Lagunitas Brewing are the latest and greatest to offer their award-winning beers here. Be sure to try the Fusion Series beer made exclusively for SXSW 2013, a hoppy ale created by local homebrewers Keith Bradley of the Austin Zealots and Bob Kapusinski of the Texas Carboys that they brewed with Lagunitas head brewer Jeremy Marshall.

Film on Tap: A Drink Before SXSW


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

The SXSW Film Festival and Conference is less than a month away, and the lineup includes a couple of alcohol-related movies worth seeing. Unfortunately the documentary Crafting a Nation, which features several local breweries, wasn't accepted based on their rough-cut submittal, but they are optimistic that the improved final cut will screen in Austin soon.

Joe Swanberg (Hannah Takes The Stairs) will premiere Drinking Buddies, a tale of two co-workers in a Chicago brewery who may be better suited for one another than their current partners. Will love blossom at the brewery, when beer is a factor?

In Hey Bartender (seen at top), documentary filmmaker Douglas Tirola tells the story of "the bartender in the era of the craft cocktail." The documentary focuses on two bartenders -- one young, one old -- pursuing their dreams through bartending. After being injured, a former Marine focuses on being a mixologist at the most popular cocktail bar in New York City. The older bartender left his job decades ago to open a hometown bar, and now struggles to keep it open.

Film on Tap: Hemingway Cocktails, The Taproom and Beer Diaries


Hemingway still photo

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

The festive holidays are upon us, which often means indulging in cocktails. If all you have is an antiquated edition of Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide to guide you, you might want to check out one of the unique cocktail experiences at the Alamo Drafthouse for inspiration and even education. On Monday, November 26 at 7 pm at Alamo Ritz, author Philip Greene hosts "To Have and Have Another -- A Hemingway Cocktail Companion," a 90-minute seminar based on Greene's book of the same name about the drinks featured in the life and works of Ernest Hemingway. Tickets include a flight of four cocktails including The Jack Rose (applejack, grenadine, lime juice) and The Hemingway Daiquiri (white rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice, maraschino liqueur).

On Tuesday, November 27 at 7 pm at Alamo Slaughter, enjoy a flight of whiskey cocktails also inspired by Philip Greene's novel including a Boulevardier (bourbon, Campari, sweet vermouth) and The Affinity (scotch, sweet vermouth, dry Vermouth, bitters) while watching the charmingly romantic Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris -- read my review. Greene will be in attendance and will talk about the featured libations.

AFF 2012 Guide: Dining (and Drinking)


Banger's MealWhether at home or traveling to new locales, I always try to stick to local fare or independent food establishments. Austin Film Festival (AFF) takes place at venues convenient to some favorites of our Slackerwood contributors, and this year we've put together our personal favorites in this food and beverage guide.

For AFF attendees interested in trying our burgeoning Texas craft beer, timing could not be better with the third annual Austin Beer Week taking place October 20 - 28. Over 150 events spread throughout 40 different venues over 9 days are sure to please craft beer fans of any level or palate. Find out more about food and beverage venues at the end of this article.

The guide is divided into four locales corresponding to the venues: Downtown (easy walk to ACC or Paramount or both); Slightly South (convenient to Rollins/Long Center), Slightly North (Bob Bullock) and Way Up North (Alamo Village). Thanks to my fellow Slackerwood contributors for their input included after the jump:


Downtown Austin is jam-packed with food spots including chain restaurants Chipotle Mexican Grill (801 Congress Avenue) and Jamba Juice (600 Congress Avenue), which are great places to grab a quick bite during the day.

But the overwhelming favorite of Slackerwood contributors is the small urban grocery store Royal Blue Grocery with several locations downtown. Slackerwood contributor Elizabeth Stoddard recommends the 609 Congress Ave location, not far from the Paramount or Driskill. Elizabeth states, "I love their pre-made sandwiches, but they also have pizza (from East Side Pies, I think?) you can buy by the slice. Compared to other downtown eateries, Royal Blue is very reasonably priced. Even when there is a line, it's not too long, and it's a nice place to stop between movies."

Film on Tap Giveaway: Texas Craft Brewers Festival


Christine Celis Still Photo

Want to check out what has documentary filmmakers abuzz about craft beer in Texas? Slackerwood has a pair of tickets to the Texas Craft Brewers Festival on Saturday, October 6, at Fiesta Gardens. These tickets are for two general admission packages worth a total of $50 at the door, and include festival wristband for admission from 2 - 6 pm, six 4 oz sampling tokens, and a commemorative plastic tasting glass.

Twenty-eight Texas breweries will feature over 115 craft beers, many not available in Austin and exclusive to the festival. In addition to craft beer, live music, and great local food, the festival features the Eastside Beer Sessions. The Texas Craft Beer Explosion panel will feature several Texas brewery representatives, but most notably Christine Celis of Celis Brewery (pictured above). Celis is one of several local brewery representatives featured in the upcoming documentary Brewed in Austin: The Zymurgence of Craft Beer in Central Texas. She made the news after reclaiming her father Pierre Celis' intellectual property to all Celis recipes and labels, and hopes to begin brewing the historical Celis beers soon.

Film on Tap: What's Brewing in Austin


Diane and Forrest Rogness of Rogness Brewing

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

Growth of the Texas craft beer industry continues this summer with more breweries and brewpubs coming online or in the planning stage. The Texas Craft Brewers Guild recently released the 2012 annual update of the "Economic Impact of the Texas Craft Brewing Industry." Commissioned by the guild, this study estimates "the size and economic impact of locally owned breweries operating within the state of Texas, specifically focusing on current and potential output, job generation, and wages." The 78 actively licensed small manufacturers of craft beer in Texas -- up from 52 in 2010 -- are estimated to have had an economic impact of $608 million on the state in 2011. The study projects that the industry’s economic impact "could reach $5.6 billion annually in less than a decade should its development resemble that of the Texas wine industry."

As reported early this year in January's Film on Tap, this boom in the Texas craft industry has caught the attention of several documentary film projects including Crafting A Nation and Brewed in Austin - The Zymurgence of Craft Beer in Central Texas. Produced and directed by Chris Erlon of sound post-production studio Digital Domain of Austin (Friday Night Lights), Brewed in Austin tells the story of the boom and bust of Austin craft brewpubs and brewpubs in the 90s, as well as the recent emergence of new local breweries and the impact of recent legal action and legislative efforts on the industry. Rather than use narration, Erlon is relying on several brewers and key players in the local craft beer industry including Diane and Forrest Rogness of Rogness Brewing (pictured above), Chip McElroy of Live Oak Brewing Company, and Christine Celis, who recently gained back the intellectual property and rights to her father and brewmaster Pierre Celis' legacy of Celis Brewing.

Find out more about Brewed in Austin - The Zymurgence of Craft Beer as well as other boozy movie news after the jump:

Film on Tap: Summer Heat Quenchers


Rogness Brewing

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

After several weeks of traveling and enjoying the best craft beers on both the East and West Coasts, including the National Homebrewers Conference in Seattle, I was feeling "beered out" but still missing my favorite Texas beers.

With the onset of triple digits in Central Texas, excitement has been building around Texas craft breweries introducing lesser known styles to the local market. Well-established and newly certified organic Jester King Craft Brewery may have opened the barn door to low alcohol beers with their Commercial Suicide English style dark style (3% ABV) and Le Petit Prince Farmhouse Table beer (2.9%), but Austin Beerworks has blasted that door off its hinges with last week's release of Einhorn, a rather approachable Berliner Weisse (3.5%). Einhorn's tartness is just enough to ensure its place amongst the top session beers in Texas. Also on that list is Hans Pils from Real Ale Brewing which just celebrated their sixteenth anniversary two weeks ago.

The newest kid on the block to watch is Rogness Brewing Company, located a stone's throw from the old Celis Brewery in northeast Austin. Rogness beers have been slowly entering the local scene, including at an Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar which reportedly offers Rook, their smoky Scotch ale. At their grand opening party last weekend Rogness Brewing served up several selections from their portfolio including Vinton, a sessionable blonde ale (5.3%), as well as the aptly named Beardy Guard, a Biere de Garde (5.2% ABV) which is best described as a French saison. Keep an eye out at Flix Brewhouse and Alamo Drafthouse for Rogness Brewing Company's beers, and you might also run into Rogness' social media coordinator and University of Texas at Austin RTF graduate Jon Airheart -- seen above in Say Anything pose along with former Independence Brewing marketing guru Adam Gonzales.

Film on Tap: Red, White and Brewed


Justin Rizza of Flix Brewhouse, Michael Steffing of Jester King and Michael Waters of Independence BrewingThe dog days of summer are gearing up, which offers the perfect excuse for escaping into air-conditioned theaters and grabbing a cold libation. Production continues on local beer-related documentaries, and the crew from Crafting a Nation are set to return to Austin the first week of August to capture more footage and interviews at central Texas breweries and brewpubs.

The Fourth of July celebration begins a little early at the Flix Brewhouse in Round Rock with their first anniversary celebration from June 29 - July 1. Head brewer Justin Rizza (seen above at left with Michael Steffing of Jester King Craft Brewery and Michael Waters of Independence Brewing) plans to have 12 beers on tap with a "buy the beer, keep the glass" promotion including a special birthday glass. Flix Brewhouse will also be giving away free popcorn. Find out more about their event after the jump.

Film on Tap: American Craft Beer Week


Chris Cherry and Chip McElroy of Live Oak Brewing

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

The Brewers Association, a national non-profit organization that functions on behalf of the majority of today's U.S. breweries, has designated one week each May as American Craft Beer Week, otherwise known as "The Mother of All Beer Weeks". This year's events will run from May 14 - 20, with several craft beer and film-related events around Austin for enthusiasts to enjoy.

This year is of extra significance to several Texas brewers thanks to recent wins in the 2012 World Beer Cup, including local breweries Hops & Grain, Live Oak Brewing -- Chris Cherry and founder Chip McElroy pictured above with their award -- and three medals for Saint Arnold Brewing Company of Houston. The World Beer Cup took place in San Diego, California, during the Craft Brewers Conference where Austin Beerworks took home first place in the Canny Awards "Best Use of Color" category for their Pearl-Snap Pils.

In celebration of American Craft Beer Week, Flix Brewhouse is featuring a "Buy the Beer, Keep the Glass" every day of the week, culminating with a very special unveiling of a new beer on Sunday, May 20. Personally I have more than enough enough glassware -- and overstocked beer fridges-- to open my own craft beer bar, but I love the idea of owning beer glasses labeled "Lupulus" (an American IPA) and its Belgian cousin "Dupulus", a Belgian Double IPA made with Pilsner malt and a touch of rye. As always, Flix will have "Made in Texas Monday" with all Texas pints only $3, and "Pick Your Pint Tuesdays" with $3 for any pint. Sounds like a great week to finally see Hunger Games at Flix now that I've finished reading the trilogy.

Find out about more American Craft Beer Week happenings with award-winning brewers as well as upcoming events around town after the jump.

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