Karbach Tap Takeover Invades Houston Bars in 2013, Plus Hellfighter Bottles

Categories: Booze, Brew Blog

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You can hardly throw a rock in Houston these days without hitting a Karbach beer. Most larger grocery stores and liquor stores carry their canned beer 365 days a year. Hundreds of bars from The Hay Merchant down to local ice houses have their tap handles in their lineup of draft beer. It's an encouraging sign that a brewery less than two years old can find itself with such a prolific lineup of accounts in the fourth largest city in the country.

What isn't quite so easy to find are some of Karbach's more limited releases, such as the hot-selling winter seasonal Yule Shoot Your Eye Out and recent 2012 Top Ten beer, Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter.

Fret not, though, as Karbach will soon be rolling out a special lineup featuring a large portion of their portfolio, including the two aforementioned beers plus nine more.

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The rolling takeover will hit eight Houston area bars -- plus one more in College Station -- each and every Wednesday beginning January 2 at Flying Saucer Downtown. With two full months to take advantage of this tap takeover, you have no excuse for missing your favorite Karbach beers in 2013.

The full tap list planned for all nine locations includes:

  • Sympathy for the Lager
  • Weisse Versa Wheat
  • Hopadillo IPA
  • Rodeo Clown Double IPA
  • Weekend Warrior Pale Ale
  • Pontificator Smoked Doppelbock
  • Hellfighter Imperial Porter
  • Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter Imperial Porter
  • Yule Shoot Your Eye Out
  • Fra-Gee-Lay
  • Bodacious

While we expect most of these beers to be available for a couple days at each location, look for Fra-Gee-Lay -- which is Yule Shoot Your Eye Out aged in bourbon barrels -- and Barrel Aged Hellfighter to go quickly. You can find the full list of locations below:

January 2 - Flying Saucer Downtown
January 9 - Flying Saucer Sugar Land
January 16 - The Hay Merchant
January 23 - Rockwell Tavern
January 30 - Whole Foods Waugh
February 6 - O'Bannon's (College Station)
February 13 - Cottonwood
February 20 - Cedar Creek
February 27 - BRC Gastropub

In other Karbach news, yesterday they guys posted pictures to Facebook of Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter bottles fresh off the line. The beer will be available beginning Monday January 7th. If this release is anything like Karbach's previous bottling runs -- Bodacious and Fra-Gee_Lay -- expect these to go fast.



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Location Info

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Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

705 Main, Houston, TX

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4 comments
timblack2
timblack2 topcommenter

Well the rapid availability is because they went with Silver Eagle (aka AB-Inbev aka Satan) for their distribution instead of a local like Duff. It's no secret they're in it for the short haul and the cash. Look for a Goose Island style buyout within 2-3 years.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

@timblack2 Silver Eagle sucks and they are AB-Inbev's largest distributor in the country, but that doesn't mean they are AB-Inbev. Their conflicting interests came into play during the HB620 debate. Silver Eagle was demanding concessions that AB-Inbev refused to endorse (in particular, allowing sale of beer during tours only at microbreweries).

Steve1152
Steve1152

@timblack2 Silver Eagle also distributes Sierra Nevada (maybe the second oldest craft brewery) and Saint Arnold (Texas's oldest and a company that recently declined a big dollar buyout). 

timblack2
timblack2 topcommenter

@Kylejack @timblack2 @steve1152 True, Kyle. But SE are related and influenced by AB in many ways. I just see AB taking over smaller breweries as another way of gaining more shelf space (because ya know, 50%% just isn't enough for them). I think they may have an MO in place...get cozy and set up distro for a few years with a craft, then drive a dump truck full of money up for the buyout. Read the story of how they did that with Goose Island. I can see that replicating.

Steve is right about SE distro with Sierra, etc...but you almost have to go with them in TX over a new indie like Duff, which is a shame. Plus, Duff wasn't even around when Sierra came to TX and St A aet up distribution with SE. There was pretty much only one option, And a lot of people don't know you can't just switch distributors in TX. You have to have a 2 year wait before signing with another one (?!) which would of course kill the business. Which of course AB and SE fully support so I don't expect to see that idiotic law changed any time soon.

As far as St A resisting an offer, that has zero bearing on if Karbach will. Which they will. And everyone has a price, even Brock. They may not have just gotten the right number yet.

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