The new Prohibition Creamery combines booze with dessert

Photo by Nicolai McCrary. Prohibition Creamery, opening Tuesday, offers boozy frozen desserts in a welcoming East Austin bungalow.
Photo by Nicolai McCrary. Prohibition Creamery, opening Tuesday, offers boozy frozen desserts in a welcoming East Austin bungalow.

Opening in East Austin tomorrow, Prohibition Creamery is combining two of our favorite things by creating boozy ice creams, sorbets, shakes and floats.

Visitors to the ice cream shop, located in a 1920s-era bungalow at 1407 E. Seventh St., can also have the all-natural ice cream without alcohol. And for an extra kick, they can order a cocktail — like a Vanilla Bean Daiquiri or Tamarind Whiskey Sour — to go with their dessert.

Prohibition Creamery, according to a press release, was founded by Laura Aidan to bring together two of our “favorite indulgences — alcohol and ice cream — (producing) handcrafted ice creams with attitude.” Aidan makes the ice cream using old-fashioned methods that are more labor-intensive but allow “control of the source and quality of each ingredient, enabling Laura to get really creative with flavors.”

The flavors of these frozen treats include Whiskey Chocolate and Pineapple Tequila Sorbet, as well as Salted Caramel, PB&J and Ginger Caramel Brown Sugar. Even the toppings would make the old Prohibition supporters shudder, with Bourbon Whipped Cream and alcoholic pour-overs like espresso liqueur available.

In addition to the cocktails, Prohibition Creamery offers wine and beer from local spots like Austin Beerworks and Adelbert’s.

The 1,400 sq. ft. spot, despite offering all that booze, might take you back to that era of no alcohol with a look and atmosphere designed by Forge Craft Architecture + Design. “Prohibition Creamery features original 1920s hardwood floors, hand-milled dark walnut wood bar fronts, custom brass countertops and brass accents throughout,” according to the press release.

And there’s lots of room for relaxing with a dessert in hand, with large front and back patios, bar seating and a separate seating area that can be rented out for private events.

Prohibition Creamery is opened from 12 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays and 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays starting tomorrow. There’s also happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. For more information, visit prohibitioncreamery.com.

Rogness Brewing going on hiatus with final party

One Pflugerville brewery is calling it quits — for now.

Photo by Emma Janzen / American-Statesman. The small operation of Rogness Brewing in Pflugerville still does all the bottling themselves, three years after opening, but the brewery has quite a roster of beers.
Photo by Emma Janzen / American-Statesman. The small operation of Rogness Brewing in Pflugerville is closing temporarily, with plans for a new brewery.

Rogness Brewing has announced that a final party on Saturday will be the last time that fans can drink at Rogness until “version 2.0,” which is currently in the works. The brewery is going on hiatus.

The news, certainly, isn’t all bad: “This is actually something we have wanted to do for a while now,” Rogness notes on its Facebook page. “We’re drawing up plans for a new and improved facility in downtown Pflugerville.”

At the moment, the brewery isn’t releasing more information on these upcoming plans, but Saturday will serve as one last chance to drink some of the beers that have become adored in Austin since the brewery opened as the dream of two former owners of the Austin Homebrew Supply Store.

Rogness Brewing is known for producing bombers of tasty offerings like the Rook, a Scotch Ale, and Joie d’Été, a Saison.

The Saturday hiatus party — “our last day open to the public at 2400 Patterson Industrial Dr.,” according to the Facebook page — will have Rogness’ two owners, Forrest and Diane Rogness, pouring beers throughout the day starting at 1 p.m.

Bid a temporary adieu to Rogness then. The party runs through 10 p.m. For more information, visit facebook.com/rognessbrewing.

Odell Brewing teams up with Alamo Drafthouse, Easy Tiger

Odell Brewing might be located in Colorado, but the brewery clearly loves Texas — recently collaborating with both the Alamo Drafthouse and Easy Tiger to make hop-forward beers.

Photo by Bret Gerbe for American-Statesman. The Alamo Drafthouse has always been a big supporter of craft beer and teamed up with Odell Brewing to make a beer in honor of "Star Trek Beyond."
Photo by Bret Gerbe for American-Statesman. The Alamo Drafthouse has always been a big supporter of craft beer and teamed up with Odell Brewing to make a beer in honor of “Star Trek Beyond.”

The Beyond IPA

Following their first partnership last year, Odell and the Alamo Drafthouse are again paying tribute to film through beer. This time, the beer is the Beyond IPA, crafted in honor of the upcoming “Star Trek Beyond,” which hits theaters on July 22. Alamo Drafthouse locations throughout Texas, Colorado, Missouri and Nebraska will all have the beer on tap, in addition to a few other Odell brews tapping throughout this month.

“It’s a pleasure to have our second collaboration with Odell available to Alamo guests at just the right time: when temperatures are rocketing upwards, and a cool, dark theater and cold beer are vital life support,” John Gross, Alamo’s director of national beer promotions, said in a press release.

The result of their liquid tribute to space exploration is “is a great big, floral, double IPA that effortlessly pushes the style out of the stratosphere,” he said.

For the Beyond IPA, the brewers focused on a little-used hop known as Comet. Although it was originally developed in the 1970s, the light lagers that dominated back then had no use for Comet’s aggressive hop profile — but now, of course, all that flavor is just what many brewers are looking for (and why the adventurousness of hop growers is so important).

“We were blown away by the intense grapefruit zest and sticky marijuana aromas while rubbing hop cones in the field,” Brendan McGivney, Odell’s director of brewing operations, said in the release.

The Tiger Whisper Pale Ale

Odell’s second collaboration with one of Austin’s beer-loving businesses, Easy Tiger, isn’t the first time that the East Sixth beer bar has teamed up with a brewery. Easy Tiger has also made beer before with Austin Beerworks — an Oktoberfest-style brew called Montecore.

This time, Easy Tiger and Odell made a pale ale called Tiger Whisper. Easy Tiger chef Drew Curren, beverage director Craig Collins, bar manager Matt Russell and ELM Restaurant Group Partner Chad Gluckson traveled to Colorado earlier this year to brew the limited-release, single-hop beer featuring the reliable, long-used hop Centennial. Tiger Whisper also has some ginger added into the brew for a little spice.

As a video on Easy Tiger’s Facebook notes, the bar went “in search of the perfect hop” with Odell’s help. Decide for yourself if they did when Easy Tiger celebrates the release of the beer on Tuesday. Pints of the Tiger Whisper will be $3 during the party.

In true Alamo style, the video about Tiger Whisper looks like the trailer to a fun, beer-focused film. Check it out at Facebook.com/EasyTigerATX.

Why Texas is made for rosé wines

In Texas, it’s never been easier to enjoy rosé all day.

Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Texas-grown rosés were spotlighted at a recent wine event.
Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Texas-grown rosés were spotlighted at a recent wine event.

The inaugural Texas Wine Revolution on Sunday brought together a variety of these Texas-grown wines — each with their own flavorful nuances and refreshing, beat-the-heat qualities.

William Chris Vineyards’ event proved that Texas excels at making this increasingly popular style of wine. In fact, grape growers and winemakers in the state are now deliberately setting aside acreage to make rosé, which used to be (and sometimes still is) a mere byproduct in the production of making red wine. By growing grapes for rosé — which isn’t made the same way as its red counterpart — producers are raising the quality of the wine.

“We have the perfect climate and weather for rosé,” Doug Lewis of Johnson City’s Lewis Wines said at a VIP panel before the Texas Wine Revolution officially kicked off. “Texas, especially the Hill Country and the High Plains, has a competitive advantage in making a good rosé. We’ve had to figure out what nature is giving us, and rosé seems to be one of those things. And it really doesn’t take long to make those wines.”

They are the money makers for many winemakers because “they don’t need time in the barrel or bottle,” he said. And with sales of rosé wine at a 52 percent increase, there’s even more reason for wine producers to make them.

Here are three (my favorites at the fest) that demonstrate Texas’ distinct ability to make good rosés:

  • Becker Vineyards Jolie 2014: A recent award winner, this dry everyday wine “is filled with floral notes of strawberry, peach and violet,” according to Becker.
  • William Chris Vineyards 2015 Cinsault Rosé: Made with a grape that’s showing promise in Texas, it lures you in with notes of berry and orange and keeps you hooked with fresh sage.
  • McPherson Cellars 2015 Les Copains Rosé: The Lubbock winery knows how to make a consistently good rosé, with crisp acidity and delicate fruitiness balancing out herbal notes.

“A Clockwork Orange”-inspired bar slated for East Austin

Charlie Valentine, who has worked as a local bartender, plans to open his first bar in East Austin this summer.
Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Charlie Valentine, who has worked as a local bartender, plans to open his first bar in East Austin this summer.

One local entrepreneur wants to combine his love of film, music and New York with the opening of his first bar, Moloko, named after the made-up milk-based drink served in the Stanley Kubrick movie “A Clockwork Orange.”

Although Charlie Valentine is paying tribute to the film — which is based off the linguistically marvelous Anthony Burgess novel of the same name — the bar isn’t completely an homage to it. At only 500 sq. ft., it’s more like the old hole-in-the-wall punk rock bars on the Lower East Side in New York where Valentine used to spend much of his time, attracted to the casual ambience and the music playing out of jukeboxes.

“I was always intrigued by the drink in ‘A Clockwork Orange,'” he says. “I felt like the concept of that drink, absolutely fictitious, is that it’s mysterious, it’s cool, full of adventure. And also, that space where the scene takes place in, it’s a beautiful space. Our bar won’t be like it, though. We took inspiration from it, but the feel and design of Moloko is going to be more mid-century, simple and chic.”

He and business partner Miguel Jimenez — owner of Nomad Bar, the Lost Well and St. Roch’s — are hoping to open Moloko by month’s end along an increasingly more lively stretch of East Twelfth Street where bars like the King Bee Lounge already dwell.

Although the corner of East Twelfth and Chicon used to be known for drug deals and other shady occurrences, Moloko will become the fifth bar there, transforming the area into another gentrified, entertainment-focused swath of East Austin. It’s the only part of town where Valentine would look for a space, he says, because the east side reminds him of Brooklyn: “all about counter culture, young entrepreneurs, very trend-setting,” he says. “It’s the perfect neighborhood for my bar.”

Moloko is going to have a namesake milk punch with secret ingredients, Valentine says, as well as craft beer and other cocktails that he and a bartender from Weather Up are currently mocking up. He also wants to offer a good wine selection, which isn’t a common offering at other dive bars.

And unlike many other local watering holes, Moloko won’t have much live music because of the small size of the space. That’s OK to him, though: Valentine says “the focal point for me, at all the bars in New York that I went to, was a jukebox, so there definitely will be one of those. It’s going to have a mix of punk rock, soul, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, classic rock. Maybe even some Mozart and Beethoven,” as another nod to “A Clockwork Orange.”

He’s hoping the bar becomes a place for musicians living or working on the east side to hang out. And with plans to offer a “punk rock drag queen karaoke night,” he wants to attract LGBT folks, too.

“I want a diverse crowd,” he says.

Although Valentine has worked at places where craft cocktails are top of mind and menu, like Peche, Barlata and the now-shuttered Haddingtons, the drinks are less important to him than the atmosphere and overall vibe of Moloko.

“The focus for me is more on the ambience and the people. And the bartenders; we’re there to facilitate all of that,” he says. “But everyone continues to ask me about the drinks. What drinks we’re going to have. I tell them, ‘Sure, we’ll have those, but it’s not about the drinks.’ It’s a trend in Austin to focus on the products of a place, but I think that ignores the reason we’re really there: for the experiences and the people. It’s not about what’s behind the bar but beyond it.”

Moloko will open at 1812 E. Twelfth St. For more information, visit molokobaratx.com/.

Austin restaurants make Riesling the wine of summer

Sway is one of the local restaurants participating in the Wines of Germany's Summer of Riesling program.
The Thai-focused Sway is one of the local restaurants participating in the Wines of Germany’s Summer of Riesling program.

As a traditionally sweet wine, Riesling hasn’t always been the drink of choice among wine lovers, but 16 local restaurants are hoping to change that with a special running through August this year.

The Summer of Riesling is offering diners who want wine with their meal the chance to try German-made Rieslings by the glass. Each participating restaurant will have at least two of these wines available. Plus, several of these places, like Perla’s, Whip In and Sway, will also be pouring a third German varietal (which is being kept a surprise) and educating their guests about Riesling through tasting programs.

One master sommelier whose group of restaurants is partaking in the Summer of Riesling program wants to make a few Riesling converts out of her customers. June Rodil, beverage director for the McGuire Moorman Hospitality Group, has brought this program from the Wines of Germany to several McGuire Moorman dining spots, including Jeffrey’s and Josephine House, because of her deep love for the white wine.

“By opening up a fun and accessible dialogue with our guests, we hope to encourage them to shed any negative images they have of this amazing wine and, more so, encourage guests to learn a little more about their own palates ’cause there’s a Riesling for everyone,” she said. “I could go on and on about the nuances and versatility and ageablity of the grape, but frankly — it’s just damn delicious and refreshing. Quite simply — Riesling is my desert island wine, and sometimes Texas seems like a desert in the summer.”

Participating Austin restaurants include (in addition to the ones already listed) Lenoir, Otto’s German Bistro, Parkside, Red Room Lounge and Trio. For the full list, visit germanwineusa.com/news/summer-of-riesling-returns-its-all-german-all-summer/.

East Side Showroom to become a new bar with Dickensian name

Photo by Emma Janzen. Toast to the end of East Side Showroom on its last day on July 24. The bar will become a new spot called Ah Sing Den "by summer's end."
Photo by Emma Janzen. Toast to the end of East Side Showroom on its last day on July 24. The bar will become a new spot called Ah Sing Den “by summer’s end.”

It turns out the news that East Side Showroom is closing on July 24, on the heels of its seventh anniversary, isn’t all bad. The bar announced on Facebook today that the team that runs it has a new concept in mind for the space: Ah Sing Den.

“As seven year itches tend to ignite in us a need to embark on change, we hope you will join us in a new era of more unforgettable memories, love stories, and friendships,” the Facebook page reads. “Before summer’s end, we will be honored to host you again at the new” Ah Sing Den.

Along with the small paragraph about the upcoming bar, East Side Showroom’s Facebook post also includes a quote from Charles Dickens — “The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again” — that hints at the meaning behind the unusual name.

The famous nineteenth-century writer, ever the chronicler of the Victorian era’s gloomier side, featured a real London opium den run by a man named Ah Sing in the Dickens’ novel “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” Opium dens, where the poppy-derived drug was sold and smoked, were common in the 1800s. This rich history behind the name Ah Sing Den suggests the new concept will be tied to that time period — in all the best, no-actual-opium-sold-here kind of ways, of course.

But even though we’ll have somewhere new to go in place of East Side Showroom, the closing of this beloved East Sixth Street spot feels, as Statesman food writer Matthew Odam noted last week, like the “end of an era.” The Showroom, after all, was one of the first places to introduce Austin to well-made classic cocktails. Bid adieu at a party on July 24.