Austin News


The Badass Tap: Release The Kraken!!!


Kraken (krãkn). 1755. [-Norw. kraken (n is the suffixed def. art.).]  A mythical sea-monster of enormous size, said to have been seen at times off the coast of Norway.

Kraken (krãkn). 2010.  A mythical beer monster of enormous flavour, said to have been seen in Texas in the early 21st century.


Y'know, two of the biggest reasons to be glad about living in central Texas right now are 1) the fantastic breweries and brewpubs we have here, and 2) the prospective breweries in various stages of development (five... or is it six... at the last count), plus the Black Star Co-op. Now that's what I call an embarrassment of riches!

Up there with the best of them is Real Ale Brewing in Blanco. Not only do they make our house beer (Drafthouse ESB, and if you haven't tried it yet... why not?) but also our biggest selling draft beer - Fireman's #4. They also make a fantastic range of seasonal beers, from Coffee Porter to Devil's Backbone Tripel to Oktoberfest to Lost Gold IPA to Phoenixx Double ESB, not forgetting Sisyphus Barley Wine. Yum.

Recently they've been experimenting with barrel-ageing several of their beers to give them extra layers of flavour and aroma, and in the past few weeks some of these beers have been making an appearance around Austin.

We've got ourselves a keg of Barrel-Aged Sisyphus Barley Wine, which Real Ale have named The Kraken. Now, Sisyphus is a pretty damn good beer to start with, but this is the '08 release so it's already two years old, and Real Ale have put some of it in French oak barrels and some of it in American oak barrels, both of which previously held red wine. They left it there for three months, blended it and kegged it, and now you and I have a chance to sample it.

I could try to describe The Kraken but I don't think I have words to justify its qualities. All I can say is that the oak and the red wine are both prominent, overlaying the already delicious Sisyphus. It's one of the best beers I've tasted.

I have to warn you that this is the most expensive beer we've ever had in our walk-in, pint for pint; even more than that keg of... well, that's for another time. So we're going to serve this one in half pints, and I'll give you a heads up that it'll be $8.00 a glass. Not cheap, I know, but it's so worth it, at least for one glass-worth. It would have been cool if we'd had this one on tap during Clash of the Titans but we just couldn't get it in time. Ah well, you win some you lose some. It's a damn fine beer either way.

Jim Hughes, Head Beer Nerd, Alamo South Lamar “If I had all the money I’ve spent on drink… I’d spend it on drink.” ~ Sir Henry Rawlinson

News Categories: General News, Austin


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