Place visited: Branchline Brewing Company
Location: San Antonio, TX
Date visited: 01/25/2014
A few weeks ago, my good friends over at Branchline Brewing Company celebrated their 1 year anniversary with an open house event, that was one hell of a party!!! You know that scene in almost every high school or college movie when a house party gets out of control caused by way too many people in attendance? Well, that happens in real life too, as I saw it first hand! But just like the movies, the good guys always triumph and win at the end. Branchline Brewing, I congratulate you on your 1st birthday, and to many more to come!
Branchline Brewing Company is a usual frequent stop for me and the BeerMetalChick (Maria, my fiance). As I have said before in my introduction on the beer review for their Woodcutter Rye IPA; I have been to many open house/brewery tour events, and even gone to the brewery on regular open hours for their tap room. Hell, they even let us (Mad Pecker Brewing Company) pour our beer from their tap wall at one of their Home Brew Happy Hour events. I even did a post about their 1st ever Home Brew Happy Hour event. It is safe to say that Branchline Brewing is one of my favorite stops in town for some good quality craft beer.
As usual, the guys outdid themselves with this event. They had tons of goodies for the guests at this party. As entertainment, they had musician, Chris Taylor who played a wide variety of great cover tunes throughout the day. There were a good number of vendors on hand selling anything form custom made jewelery, accessories for pets, and screen printed shirts using hand-carved woodblocks. Food was not an issue, as a few food trucks were on hand, including Slice Brick Oven Pizza. Best for last, Branchline provided guests with a wide selection of beers from their year round favorites, seasonal beers, and small batch releases. Here is a list of what they had:
Year Round/Seasonal: Shady Oak Honey Blonde, Evil Owl Amber, Woodcutter Rye IPA, 1 Anniversary Ale, Nightsky Eggnog Stout, River Bend Pale Ale, Pumpkin Hatch Rauchbier, Randalled 1 Anniversary Ale
Small Batch: Bourbon Barrel Aged Belgian Brown Ale, Scotch Ale, Rye Bourbon Barrel Aged Woodcutter Rye IPA, Sour Pumpkin Hatch, Old Ale, American IPA, Nightsky Eggnog Stout FIRKIN, Bourbon Barrel Aged Belgian Brown Ale, Rye Bourbon Barrel Aged Woodcutter Rye IPA, Black Witbier with Lemongrass, American IPA, 1 Anniversary Ale FIRKIN
As you can see, they were armed ready to not disappoint! The one thing they did not count on was their rise to popularity in San Antonio and surrounding areas. They made a little over 500 1 year anniversary stemware glasses, which they went through rather quickly. They had to move to plan B after that, and that was to bring out some old gems, the original Old Boxcar Brewing Company (Their original name before a stupid lawsuit!) pint glasses. They went through a little over 400 of them, as well. Plan C then came into full effect… Plastic cups, which, you guessed it, they ran out of those as well. Branchline When I asked Branchline Brewing Company’s owner, Jason Ard how many people he guessed showed up to the event, his reply was “Right at 1,000, I guess.” Way to show support San Antonio!
The one thing I was looking forward to was to try all the great beer this day, especially the small batch stuff and the special firkins. Well, due to the very long lines, and not wanting to cut in front of people, I actually only had two beers at this event. I had their 1 year Anniversary beer, which is a wheatwine which was aged in white wine barrels. This is an excellent beer to help them celebrate their 1 year in existence. A proper review for this beer will be posted later after I drink my bottle! The second beer I had was one of the casks, it was their Pumpkin Hatch Rauchbier. The hatch chilies really stood out a lot more in this cask version. I was really being humble and fair to a the guests in attendance, as I could have tried to get to the front of the lines, but I didn’t want to be that guy. I can say that I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to try all the beers I had originally planned to, but that’s OK. As I said, I frequently visit the brewery, and I’m sure I could have a glass or two of each of their beers at any given time.
Well I had a great time at this event, and I look forward to another year of Branchline, and can not wait until next year’s party! For those people who did not have a good time, or was actually turned away at the gate due to the brewery being well over capacity, I do apologize and hope that you all understand that there was a tremendous amount of support for our local brewers at Branchline Brewing Company, and for them to be at the number of guests they had is a great success, in my opinion. Next year, maybe get there early, be patient, and just have a good time! I know I did! Cheers to BRANCHLINE BREWING COMPANY!!!!