Monthly Archives: June 2010

Real Ale – Rio Blanco Pale Ale

I picked up this pale ale as part of a mixed 6’er, it included a brown and rye ale as well.  This is from a small brewery in Blanco Texas with about 52,000 to 70,000 barrel output a year.

According to their website, this is the description of their pale ale:

Deep golden and malty, with a spicy hop flavor and well balanced hop bitterness, Rio Blanco is a uniquely Texan interpretation of an English-style pale ale. Czech Saaz hops provide a crisp finish and delicate aroma.


This was a cloudy copper color that had little to no head.  About 1/8 inch white head at max that didn’t last.


A slightly sweet, malty scent with a noticeable lack of hops which would match a lighter english style pale ale.


Matching the description and aroma, this had a malty back that over-rides any hop bitterness, or flavoring.   The malt sticks on the tongue after it’s gone.


This is an easy drinking session type pale ale, if one exists.  I much prefer American pale ales over the malty english styles, but this is overall a clean simple beer worth keeping around as a light introduction for non craft beer friends.

Mash Tun Construction

Today I put together my 5 gallon ‘Home Depot’ water cooler mash tun.  Took a little bit of work but was done in a relatively short time.  I used the below video as my guide, and it worked well.

Once I got it together the leak cheak came out good, not a drop getting by!

Some pics:

Inside the new mashtun

No leaks at the 1/2 drain valve

Some of the parts used

Stainless Filter

Southern Start Buried Hatchet Stout

I have seemed to have found a new favorite Texas beer.  Last night I had a nice glass of Southern Start Buried Hatchet Stout at a local beer bar.

This came across as a good chocolate nose with a bit of hops.  This went down smooth with some definite coffee flavor at the end and it was good.  It was slightly dry which I think lent the bit of hops present to be noticed.  A obviously dark black color with a small 1/2 inch tan colored head, this beer tasted every bit as good as it looked.  The stats of this beer put it pretty close to a “Foreign Extra Stout” category, 13D in the BJCP guidelines.  Beer Advocate currently has this at an A-, and deservedly so.

There is a nice article from the Houston Chronicle that came out earlier this year on the new brewers, a good read.

A New Start

Well, it has been about three years since I’ve home brewed, and I am on my way to making my re-start.  I have decided to start THIS blog as a way to chronicle my home brewing adventures, log my craft brew tastings, and keep track of other misc things such as my recipes, nights out, and general craft brew & home brew news I find interesting.

I don’t expect this blog to be widely read, or read at all.  If that is the case, I am OK as it is mainly for my notes.  Instead of just relying on a spreadsheet for my tasting notes, some software to keep track and formulate my home brew, I will compile all things BEER for me, here.

Over time, I imagine I will have pictures of my brewing, beers I drink and other additions to this site (like a feed of my tweets).  I also will figure out the customization of the look of this site as well.

I welcome those who do find this site and browse over it, and raise a pint to your interest!