Thirsty Planet’s IPA now in bottles, with new brewery slated to open this fall

Thirsty Planet is celebrating the launch of Buckethead IPA in bottles with a special 7-pack of beer in a bucket-shaped container.

The six-pack bottles of Thirsty Planet’s Buckethead IPA and Yellow Armadillo Wheat that are currently hitting store shelves are an alluring taste of what’s to come: many, many more Thirsty Planet beers.

Thirsty Planet is currently moving into the former Central Texas Food Bank building on South Congress Avenue, a little north of Slaughter Lane, that will nearly quadruple production from 11,000 barrels to 40,000, with considerable room to grow from there. The brewery will start brewing and bottling in the new space before opening an accompanying taproom to the public this fall.

In the meantime, Austinites who miss the old tasting room — it shut down in early March to keep brewery staff completely focused on the transition — can at least console themselves with the new bottles of Buckethead and Yellow Armadillo that now join their behemoth brother Thirsty Goat Amber, previously the only Thirsty Planet brew that was packaged for retail sales.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Towering fermentation tanks at Thirsty Planet’s new facility signal a major expansion for the South Austin brewery.

Plus, in a nod to the brewery’s approaching seven-year anniversary, Thirsty Planet is also releasing a limited number of “Damn-7 Packs”: a special 7-pack of Buckethead beer in a bucket-shaped container.

“Why not seven?” Thirsty Planet owner Brian Smittle said about the limited release that will start going into stores later this week, on May 12. “We’re turning seven this year, and that many beers can fit into the bucket. Nice proportions. And then you can stick it on your head.”

You might be able to get your hands on a Damn-7 Pack early with Thirsty Planet’s Buckethead Launch Party tomorrow at Black Sheep Lodge, where the brewery will take over the taps and offer free bites of food, a photo booth, Thirsty Planet swag and even free branded tattoos. Or look for it at the many HEB locations that are already selling six-packs of Buckethead IPA and Yellow Armadillo Wheat.

Buckethead IPA is no ordinary American-style IPA — at 8.9 percent ABV, it’s “beer you can feel,” as Thirsty Planet phrases it.

Smittle and the brewing team are still making all of the Thirsty Planet beers at the old location on Circle Drive, on the way to Dripping Springs, but are hoping to make the total transition this summer to the new space, six times larger at 60,000 sq. ft.

The South Congress building, because it was formerly the food bank, comes already equipped with a packaging hall with the necessary high ceilings as well as a very large freezer. Thirsty Planet will additionally have a lab for quality control, a 60-barrel brewhouse and a connected 10-barrel system that will be used for experimental beers, and a handful of towering 22-foot-tall fermenters. Smittle is excited in particular to have an entirely automated system.

“It’s definitely been a change in mentality to think how to scale up to the 40,000 barrels we’ll be able to immediately do,” he said. But the brewery’s ultimate goal is much bigger: “Eventually, we think this building could do 100,000 barrels.”

That’s a lot of Thirsty Goat.

The amber is already the top-selling draft beer in Central Texas, according to data from Thirsty Planet’s distributor Capitol Wright, and it’s not hard to imagine the number of tap handles pouring it will only go up with Thirsty Planet’s expansion. The brewery has spent the past nearly seven years in only the three main Central Texas counties of Hays, Travis and Williamson but recently signed an agreement to distribute into 11 more counties.

Depending on the progress of the new brewery, Thirsty Planet may hold early tours of the space, at 8201 S. Congress Ave., in the summer. Keep connected on the progress at thirstyplanet.beer.

Have 67-cent beers at Austin breweries during Barks for Beers fundraiser

Ralph Barrera / American-Statesman. Divine Canines’ annual fundraiser, Barks for Beers, is taking place at 30 local breweries throughout the month of May.

If you visit all 30 of the local brewpubs and breweries participating in this year’s Barks for Beers fundraiser, each of the beers you receive from the fundraiser will amount to a total of roughly 67 cents.

That’s quite a deal, and the organization behind Barks for Beers, the Austin-based pet therapy organization Divine Canines, is banking on it to reach its goal of raising $75,000 — the highest amount yet for the boozy benefit now in its fourth year.

Here’s how it works.

It’s pretty simple: Buy a Barks for Beers pint glass and an accompanying “pawsport” for $20, and you’ll be able to take them to any of the 30 participating breweries and receive a free pint of beer in return (but only one from each brewery). Participants include Barks for Beers veterans like Hops & Grain, Thirsty Planet and the ABGB and newcomers like Hi Sign Brewing, St. Elmo Brewing and Idle Vine Brewing.

Although the fundraiser officially kicks off at the beginning of May and runs the entire month, some breweries are getting started early and already have pint glasses available for purchase.

Barks for Beers organizer Mike Pizinger, whose two dogs, Shiner and Amstel, act as therapy dogs through Divine Canines, has been able to grow the event every year, increasing both the number of breweries participating and the number of people purchasing the pint glasses. It helps, of course, that Austin seems to add a new brewery to town on a near-monthly basis. But he thinks the success of Barks for Beers is a result of something else, too.

“It’s just this great way for people to check out the breweries,” he said, noting that he’s heard Barks for Beers used as a brewery-hopping experience during a family reunion, as a welcome-home gift from a father to his college-age daughter and as the first introduction to local breweries from locals who want to help out a good cause.

All proceeds from the sales of the pint glasses go directly toward Divine Canines. So far, Pizinger said, the fundraiser has proved invaluable in more ways than one.

“In addition to Barks for Beers being our primary fundraiser, it is also a community outreach program and how we gain new volunteers,” he said. “We have a waiting list of organization who would like our services, but we need more dogs and handlers to meet the demand. All of the breweries and retailers are dog-friendly, so even if your canine isn’t ‘divine’ yet, bring them out to learn more about the Divine Canines organization.”

You can get your free pint of Barks for Beers brew at any time the breweries are open, but many of them are also throwing specific Barks for Beers events. Here are some of the ones you don’t want to miss:

  • Craft Yoga + Barks for Beers at South Austin Brewery on April 29. You probably won’t see any dogs doing yoga, but you’ll be able to follow up your workout with your first drink in the 2017 Barks for Beers pint glass.
  • Hops & Grain’s Barks for Beers Kickoff Party on April 30. Hops & Grain is one of the breweries wanting to get the fundraiser started early. Visit the East Austin brewery from 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday, and you’ll get to check out pet-friendly vendors on site, a photo booth, a food truck for the humans and YoDog Snackery for the pups, as well as meet Hops & Grain’s four-legged Divine Canines ambassador.
  • Barks for Beers & Baubles at Copeland Jewelers on May 4. Nope, it’s not a brewery, but the Westlake Hills jewelry store is a big supporter of the cause and is selling the pint glasses. There will be many cute Divine Canines running around, as well as free beer from Strange Land Brewery and free pizza from 360 Uno.
  • Barks for Beers at Treaty Oak Brewing & Distilling on May 7. Newly a brewery, Treaty Oak will just about have it all at this special event for dog and beer lovers. Meet some of the dogs involved with Divine Canines and enjoy live music, beer and cocktails, and brunch at the recently opened restaurant on-site at the ranch.
  • Bluebonnet Beer Co.’s Barks for Beer Party on May 13. Even Round Rock is getting a taste of the Barks for Beers fun thanks to Bluebonnet Beer, which became a participant for the first time this year. There will be cool doggy swag at the event, as well as a food truck.
  • Barks for Beers Pup Run on May 13. The first-ever pup run will start at Hops & Grain and will take you and your furry friends on a two-mile adventure to some of the other participating Barks for Beers breweries.

Plus, don’t forget to tag #barksforbeers on Instagram during your Barks for Beers adventures next month to be entered into a weekly contest. One photo will be chosen each week, with the winner getting a cool prize.

For more information, visit divinecanines.org/barksforbeers.

Austin’s drinking events calendar, January 2017

Freedmen's Facebook. On New Year's Day, go out for brunch at places like Freedmen's to recover from the night before and enjoy hair-of-the-dog items like Bloody Marys.
On New Year’s Day, go out for brunch at places like Freedmen’s to recover from the night before and enjoy hair-of-the-dog items like Bloody Marys.

Bubbles & Barbecue Brunch at Freedmen’s, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. The usual barbecue menu is being joined by items like biscuits & gravy, plus bubbly cocktails like mimosas, poinsettias and pomelos.

New Year’s Day Brunch and Football at Uncle Billy’s, 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. NFL games plus the usual college football bonanza on New Year’s – and the brewpub’s barbecue and beer – means football fans are starting 2017 on the right foot.

Irene’s New Year’s Day Biscuits & Booze Brunch, 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. Happy hour specials start extra early. Plus, chow down on black-eyed peas and collard greens for prosperity in the new year.

New Year’s Day Party at Adelbert’s, 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. Start the new year off right by sippping on beermosas while chowing down on grub from Emojis Grilled Cheese Bar.

New Year’s Day Hangover Brunch at Drinks Lounge, 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. No reservations or resolutions required to attend this carb-heavy feast with mimosa buckets and other boozy goodness.

2nd Annual Hair of the Dog New Year’s Day Party at Yard Bar, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. Hairy dog contests, gumbo and Bloody Marys sound like a perfect way to spend the first day of 2017.

Pinthouse Pizza’s 2017 Cellar Series, 6 to 11 p.m. Monday, Jan. 2. This new monthly tradition will feature a rare beer, starting with the Avery Tweak, a bourbon barrel-aged coffee stout.

Id Beer Release at Black Star Co-op, 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3. This hoppy blonde ale is special because it was brewed exclusively with Texas’ first grown and malted barley from Blacklands Malt.

Star Bar Rolling Blackout, 4 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 4 to 11 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5. Enjoy some high-gravity beers from the past two years that will certainly make 2015 and 2016 seem a little better.

Game Night at Apanas Coffee & Beer, 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4. Specials on beer, wine, coffee and food in honor of this game night featuring UNO, Cards Against Humanity and more.

First Friday Firkin at Uncle Billy’s, 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6. The winter seasonal, Shakolad Chocolate Imperial Stout, gets a peppermint perk with the addition of candy canes.

Pints for Pups at Texas Beer Company, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6. Take a drive to Taylor, east of Round Rock, for a night supporting the Taylor Animal Shelter. $1 per pint will go toward the shelter.

Trivia Night at the Hive, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6. Win prizes at Meridian Hive Meadery’s trivia night featuring teams of 3 to 6 people powered by mead.

Greater Good Coffee Roasting’s Open House, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7. Celebrate the roastery’s new tasting room with live music, brunch goodies from local vendors, and coffee from the big-hearted company.

Vox Table’s Hangover Brunch, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8. Brunch will be extended with a $25 brunch sampling menu and $1 mimosas.

Hops for Hunger at Mort Subite, 2 p.m. Sundays in January. For every glass of Bavik sold, the Belgian beer bar will donate $1 to the Central Texas Food Bank.

Paint Your Own Pale Ale at Real Ale Brewing, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8. Paint your own interpretation of Real Ale’s Four Squared Dry-Hopped Pale Ale can.

Lone Pint Pairing Dinner at G’raj Mahal, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10. This four-course pairing dinner features Lone Pint brews and starts with an all-you-can-drink happy hour.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Treaty Oak brewmaster Chris Lamb has put a lot of work into crafting easy-drinking beers, and he's finally ready to say they're ready for Austin drinkers.
Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Treaty Oak brewmaster Chris Lamb is introducing locals to Treaty Oak beers at Little Woodrow’s locations.

Treaty Oak Tap Takeover at Little Woodrow’s, 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11. Taste Treaty Oak Distilling’s new beers at the Parmer location of Little Woodrow’s. Plus, meet the brewer.

Coffee, Beer & Birthdays at Banger’s, 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12. Celebrate Shiner Beer’s 108th birthday with a new release: the Cold-Brew Coffee Ale, made in collaboration with Chameleon Cold- Brew.

Viva Texas Vino, 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12. The Bullock Museum is hosting a talk by certified sommelier Jessica Dupuy and a tasting featuring Texas Fine Wine.

Lazarus Brewing’s Grand Opening, 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14. Welcome East Austin’s newest brewery by enjoying coffee, tacos, live music and beer, including the much-anticipated 40 Days & 40 Nights American IPA.

Flying Saucer Austin’s 9th Anniversary Party, 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday, Jan. 15. Toast the birthday with Austin Beerworks El Sputniko and other special brews, as well as ‘90s trivia and costume contest.

Lobster Brunch at Craftsman, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15. Enjoy drink specials like champagne and beer buckets with Garbo’s beloved lobster rolls.

Peat Week at the Blackheart, 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15 through midnight Sunday, Jan. 22. The Rainey Street bar loves Scotch whisky so much that it’s devoting an entire week to it.

The Craft Series at 1886 Cafe & Bakery at the Driskill, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16. This month, the beer pairing dinner will feature beers from Last Stand Brewing.

Moebius Release at Black Star Co-op, 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17. The brewpub is putting a very special beer on tap: Black Star’s Woodford Reserve Whiskey barrel-aged imperial stout.

Lord Admiral Gravitas Release at Blue Owl Brewing, 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18. This Balcones barrel-aged beer takes the Admiral Gravitas beer up a boozy notch.

Beer and Cheese Pairing Class with Sweetwater Brewing, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18. Taste five beers and three cheeses at Craftsman with the guidance of a Sweetwater representative. $15.

Silverback Pint Night at Doc’s Backyard, 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19. Proceeds from Thirsty Planet’s Silverback Pale Ale support the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund.

Vietti Winery Free Tasting and Pop-up Dinner at Italic, 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19. No reservations are required for this two-part event featuring winemaker Luca Currado and three special dishes paired with three of the wines.

Inauguration Rapture Happy Hour at the Whip In, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20. Whether in total protest or blissful celebration, day drinking because of the presidential inauguration is qualified, so every local beer is $4.

Ruggedman Brewing Grand Opening Weekend, 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20 through 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22. Taste the mainstay and small-batch brews of this newly opened New Braunfels brewpub owned by three Marine veterans.

Pinthouse Pizza’s Fully Adrift Coffee-Infused Bottle Release, 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. It’s the second edition of the Burnet brewpub’s Fully Adrift Double IPA “Lost at Sea” series, this time featuring a coffee infusion.

Gorilla Pub Crawl, 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. Drink Thirsty Planet’s Silverback Pale Ale and save a gorilla at this crawl along Rainey Street, which kicks off at Banger’s.

Out of the Cellar: A Rare Texas Beer Dinner, 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22. Greenhouse Craft Food in Round Rock is pairing five hard-to-find beers from breweries like (512) and Saint Arnold with five courses. $100.

Angel’s Envy Pairing Dinner at District Kitchen + Cocktails, 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23. Enjoy a specially created dinner paired with Angel’s Envy cocktails for an indulgent evening.

Amari Dinner at Olive & June, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23. Sip on craft cocktails highlighting the flavors of Italian amari while enjoying a four-course menu of Southern Italian cuisine. $68.

“Zoolander” Pub Run, 6 p.m. doors Tuesday, Jan. 24. Join Whole Foods and Stateside at the Paramount for this evening featuring Blue Steel photo sessions, dance music, and a costume contest. $20.

Robert Mondavi Winery & Casa Nobles Tequila Dinner at Oasthouse, 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25. The first chef’s tasting menu of the year will feature four courses from Chef Amir Hajimaleki paired with either a Casa Nobles spirit or Robert Mondavi wine. $65.

Cuvee Coffee Bar’s Crowler Cup Showdown, 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26. Six east side breweries are facing off in the hopes of winning your favor. Your drink equals your vote.

Vigilante Gaming Bar’s Grand Opening, 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27. Game rentals will be free at the opening weekend of the craft beer-focused gaming bar. (Grand opening has been moved to weekend of Feb. 17.)

Real Ale Scots Gone Wild + Coffissar Release Party, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. Two more Mysterium Verum bottles are getting released in one weekend. How empty is your wallet getting?

Barrel Bonanza Smoke Out Saturday at Banger’s, 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. Smoked sausage and brisket will pair nicely with barrel-aged brews like Avery Tangerine Quad and Wicked Weed Silencio.

Idle Vine Brewing’s Grand Opening, 12 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. Food trucks, 12 beers on tap, eight brewery-exclusive beers and a special bottle release mean a drive to Pflugerville will be well worth it.

Austin Bacon & Beer Festival, 12:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. Bacon-centric food prepared by local chefs with Texas craft beers – what could be better than that?

Wicked Weed Beer & Coffee Pairing at WhichCraft Mueller, 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. Try five fruited sours and a bourbon barrel-aged stout from the lauded Asheville brewery alongside four different preparations of coffee from Austin Roasting Co.

The Barber Shop 6th Anniversary, 2 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. The small Dripping Springs brewpub is celebrating another birthday with food, fun and, of course, plenty of beer.

Winter Beer Party at Craft Pride, 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29. Stouts, porters, winter warmers, barleywines and more will go on tap to warm you up on a winter’s day.

Gaming bar Vigilante in North Austin sets Jan. 27 opening date

It has never been more fun to be a nerd.

That’s the basic premise behind Vigilante Gaming Bar, which now has an opening date after the founders secured additional funding this summer through a crowd-sourced investor campaign on NextSeed.

At 7010 Easy Wind Dr. — in the same multi-use complex as Black Star Co-Op, off North Lamar Boulevard — Vigilante is officially opening its doors at 4 p.m. on Jan. 27 next year. The bar’s CEO Preston Swincher and president Philip “Flip” Kromer promise that game lovers will finally have a place to go to both play their favorite games and enjoy good food and beer to boot.

Already, Vigilante has stocked up on the more than 150 games that are going to be offered: everything from the classic chess to Cards Against Humanity to Magic: the Gathering, and far more obscure titles. Participants will get seated based on the size of their group and on what type of table their chosen games require, and they won’t even have to get up to order food and drink — they’ll simply have to press the “Accio Server” button on the custom Vigilante tables.

Contributed by Vigilante. The customized tables at Vigilante Gaming Bar have room for your beer and food orders.
Contributed by Vigilante. The customized tables at Vigilante Gaming Bar have room for your beer and food orders.

“Seeing as we are fortunate to operate in a craft brew hub, we are focusing exclusively on local Austin breweries,” marketing director Zack Daschofsky said via email. “Our vendors include Friends & Allies, Real Ale, Thirsty Planet, Hops & Grain and Austin Beerworks.”

He noted that the Vigilante team, which includes Swincher and Kromer, have developed a digital game menu that will be “accessible via tablets in the space and on the web,” he said. “This tool lets us add custom reviews, categories, mood and a number of other variables to help connect our customers to a game they would love to play.”

It’s still in beta for now, but the late January opening will give Vigilante time to perfect it and other key elements to the bar. Chief among them are the custom private rooms, like the first one called the Wizard’s Office, that will transform the gaming experience.

“Our goal (with these rooms) is for our patrons to feel like they are stepping into a completely new space/world,” he said.

Before the Jan. 27 official opening is Sneak-Peek Week, available to anyone who backed Vigilante in the NextSeed campaign or the Kickstarter before that.

Once Vigilante Gaming Bar is up and running, it’ll be open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily and offer a full kitchen; a drinks list of beer, wine and sake; and the digital game menu with a variety of different games to choose from.

Austin’s drinking events calendar, December 2016

Photo by Ricardo B. Brazziell / American-Statesman. 'Tis the season for holiday treats like spiked hot chocolate, which will be at LaV's Christmas tree lighting on Dec. 5.
Photo by Ricardo B. Brazziell / American-Statesman. ‘Tis the season for holiday treats like hot chocolate, which will be pouring at Jacoby’s Festivus on Dec. 6.

Opal Divine’s 14th Annual Whisky Festival, 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1. Sample the finest whiskies from Scotland and beyond while enjoying food and holiday merriment. $40 in advance, $45 at the door.

Six Pack Stories, 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1. The final installment of this speaker series about beer focuses on why we love it so much – the taste. Prepare for beer pairings with food, coffee and spirits. $35.

Rolling Stones Listening Party at Irene’s, 11 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1. Sip on Rolling Stones-inspired drinks as one of the first to hear the Stones’ first new record in a decade.

The Brass Tap Domain’s Grand Opening, 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2 to 2 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. It’s a full weekend of festivities, with live music, rare beer releases (including Goose Island Bourbon County Rare) and more.

First Friday Firkin at Uncle Billy’s, 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2. This month’s firkin is festive: Uncle Billy’s Green Room IPA with spruce tips and cinnamon added. $3.

St. Elmo Brewing’s Grand Opening Party, 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Celebrate the opening of the new South Austin brewery with more than six beers on draft, live music and Southeast Asian bites from on-site food truck Soursop.

Thirsty Planet’s Silverback Pale Ale Release, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Silverback season has returned. Stop into the tasting room for a pint and sign up for the Austin Gorilla Run while you’re at it.

Leap into the Holidays Party at Armadillo’s Leap Winery, 12 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Both locations of the winery are offering a celebration with wine tastings and reindeer mix to snack on.

Texas Keeper's Cider Noir is a perfect Christmastime treat releasing the first weekend in December at the cidery.
Texas Keeper’s Cider Noir is a perfect Christmastime treat releasing the first weekend in December at the cidery.

Texas Keeper Cider’s Cider Noir Release Party, 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Try this special winter cider alongside smoked meats and sides from pitmaster Evan LeRoy, formerly of Freedmen’s.

Hot Drinks Menu Party at Craftsman, 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. A new menu of hot cocktails is debuting, with s’mores also available for $5. Part of the proceeds benefit the American-Statesman’s Season for Caring campaign.

Little Woodrow’s at Tech Ridge One-Year Anniversary Party, 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Taste samples of Independence Brewing’s new Brown Sabbath beer, as well as other Indy beers at this tap takeover.

Champagne Class at Backbeat, 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. This primer on champagne will get you all prepared for New Year’s Eve festivities – you’ll embark on a guided tasting to learn how the bubbly wine is made, why it’s so special and more. $50.

Christmas Flight Nights at Easy Tiger, 4:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5 and Tuesday, Dec. 6. Get into the holiday spirit by sipping four winter brews, including the Ballast Point Peppermint Victory at Sea. $10.

Jacoby’s Festivus, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6. Enjoy hot chocolate and holiday cookies while gathering on Jacoby’s bluff overlooking the Colorado River. Then, Sip & Shop in Jacoby’s Mercantile.

Russian Tea Drinking & Traditions at Russian House, 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7. Sip an unlimited supply of Russian tea while learning the importance of tea in Russian culture. $12.

2nd Annual Odell Brewing Ugly Sweater Party, 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8. Come decked out appropriately for this party at Pinthouse Pizza, which will have rare and seasonal Odell beers on tap. Odell is donating $10 to the Central Texas Food Bank for every ugly sweater present.

Holiday Wine Dinner at Duchman Family Winery, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. Gift yourself this four-course feast featuring Duchman’s Italian-focused wines. $65.

Holiday Spirits Mingle at the Spirit of Texas Distillery, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. Party at the Pflugerville distillery, which will have food, drink and music for the festive afternoon.

12 Bars of Charity, 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. Sign up for this bar crawl that will help raise money for specific local charities. Just donate $10 and you’ll be able to enjoy half-priced drink specials at participating bars.

Austin Beerworks Sputnik Launch, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. The beloved Sputnik Russian Imperial Coffee Oatmeal Stout is making its return. The launch opens to the public at 1 p.m., but come early for $30-$45.

Beer & Brunch at Blue Owl Brewing, 12 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. Pair Blue Owl’s sour-mashed suds with kolaches from the upcoming Batch Craft Beer and Kolaches eatery.

Juniper’s 1st Annual Ugly Sweater Holiday Party, 4 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. A ticket gets you two cocktails, some of the chef’s most popular treats, live music and dancing, and a chance to win door prizes. $30 in advance, $40 at the door.

The Craft Series at the Driskill, 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12. Feast on four courses with four Austin Beerworks beers — including the hotel and Austin Beerworks’ special collaboration brew, the Cattle Baron Wheatwine. $40.

Mega Mutt Monday at Banger’s, 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12. At this holiday edition of the pet-friendly event, Santa will be at the bar to pose with your furry friends, along with the usual pet vendors.

Rabbit Hole Brewing’s Austin Debut, 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13. The brewery from the Texas town of Justin is coming for tap takeovers at Star Bar and other places.

Uncle Billy’s Shakolad Chocolate Imperial Stout Release, 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14. These seasonal suds contain large amounts of cocoa nibs from Srsly Chocolate to give it flavors of dark cherry, plum and chocolate.

Austin Beer Guide 2016 Awards Party, 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15. Find out who the winners of this year’s awards are while sipping on special beers. Craft Santa will even be on hand to hand out the awards.

A Founders’ Christmas Carol at Banger’s, 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15. Some harder-to-find Founders beers will be on draft and paired with different chocolates.

Real Ale Mysterium Verum Benedictum Bottle Release, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. The rare bottles of Real Ale continue their launch with Benedictum, a sour brown ale barrel-aged with wild yeast, bacteria and tart cherries.

Hi Hat Public House’s 4th Birthday Bash, 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Drool-worthy beers on tap and a dance party with Foot Patrol music starting at 9:30 p.m.

Pinthouse Pizza’s Fully Adrift Wet Hop Double IPA Bottle Release, 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Grab the first edition in the Lost at Sea series featuring different Fully Adrift versions.

Holiday Pop-Up Market at Circle Brewing, 12 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Finish up your holiday shopping with local vendors. Plus, enjoy holiday cask beers, cheery tunes, food truck grub and more.

2016 FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships, 1 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. This unofficial sport’s final race dashes into Austin, featuring some of the world’s best beer milers who know how to run with a belly full of beer.

Julia Robinson for American-Statesman. Think you can chug a beer and then run a mile? These champions at the FloTrack Beer Mile sure can.
Julia Robinson for American-Statesman. Think you can chug a beer and then run a mile? These champions at the FloTrack Beer Mile sure can.

Howliday Market at the ABGB, 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. The ABGB’s latest release in the APA!APA series, which raises funds for Austin Pets Alive, is debuting with a market of holiday goodies for your pup.

“Home Alone” at Live Oak Brewing, 6:30 p.m. doors Dec. 17. Bring your fold-out chairs and blankets for this outdoor screening of the Macaulay Culkin classic. Beer and food will be available for purchase. $10.

Sundayfundaymas at the ABGB, 1 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18. On this last Sunday before Christmas, enjoy reindeer games, a holiday market and song swap, and beer from the ABGB.

More Than a Tip at the Dig Pub, 4 to 11 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19. Bartender Ben Kazda is once again donating all tips of the night to the Salvation Army’s Austin Shelter for Women and Children.

Idle Vine Brewery Debut Party, 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21. Get a first taste of the beers from the new Pflugerville brewery, which will have its four core beers on draft at the Dig Pub.

Tun Tun Tun Fest 4.0, 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21. The Brew & Brew’s blowout beer celebration returns with beers from Jester King, the Bruery, Dogfish Head, Cascade and more.

St. Elmo Sing-a-Long, 8 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21. St. Elmo Brewing is hosting musicians Craig Calvert and Mike Jackson, as well as their guitars, for this evening of merriment, beer and hot cocoa.

Prairie Christmas Bomb Tapping at Flying Saucer, 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 24. There’s no better beer for some Christmas Eve fun than this dark, spicy and chocolatey brew from Prairie Artisan Ales.

NYE Wee Celebration at Blue Owl Brewing, 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31. Ring in the New Year six hours early (hey, it’s midnight in Scotland) with Wee Beastie in hand.

Hopfields’ Rat Pack New Years Eve, 6:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31. Dress in your best Sinatra, Havana nights, Mad Men, Rat Pack wear and join the beer bar for a party complete with champagne toasts and a photo booth.

Austin’s drinking events calendar, September 2016

Photo by Tyler Malone. The Texas Craft Brewers Festival on Saturday has some exciting new additions on tap, including brewers' talks throughout the afternoon.
Photo by Tyler Malone. The Texas Craft Brewers Festival on Sept 24 is the biggest boozy event happening this month.

Banger’s and Brown Brewers’ Brawl, 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1. Choose the ultimate winner between two contests, Hop Heaven and Category Busters, with beers scored blindly.

Uncle Billy’s First Friday Firkin, 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2. The Back-to-School Barton is a lively pale ale with pureed apple, green apples and cinnamon and $3 a pint.

Trivia Night at Meridian Hive Meadery, 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2. Sip some mead while you and your team try to dominate at trivia, with the victors each earning a prize.

Art of the Brew, 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3. This event pairing visual and multimedia art with beer returns with one-off beer collaborations from the likes of NXNW, Pinthouse Pizza and more.

Ginger Man’s Annual Labor Day End of Summer Party, 12 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4. Bid adieu to summer with beers from Rahr & Sons and barbecue from Ed’s BBQ.

Lobby Lounge Longhorn Tailgate, 12 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4. The Four Seasons is hosting an afternoon of pre-game shenanigans, including a Bevo Ice Luge and Treaty Oak cocktails.

Photo by Knoxy Knox. Cocktail bar Backbeat, from the owners of Drink.Well, is now offering weekly happy hours.
Photo by Knoxy Knox. Say farewell to summer at Backbeat’s tiki-focused luau on Labor Day weekend.

Tikitaliano at Backbeat, 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4. The South Lamar bar is being taken over by tiki cocktails and beachside-inspired bites for this one-day-only luau celebrating summer’s end.

Shed Barbershop’s End of Summer Party, 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4. A waterslide, DJ sets, drink tickets and more await at this Cheer Up Charlies bash.

The ABGB’s 3rd Anniversary Party, 12 to 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5. It’s been another year of live music, beer and pizza at this brewpub, so celebrate with all of those things and more, including Austin Pets Alive puppies.

Live Oak Brewing Labor Day Pig Roast, 12 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5. A special menu from the Melted Food Truck pairs well with live Americana music and brews from Live Oak.

Burgundy Wine Tasting at Red Room Lounge, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6. The wine bar has brought French wine lovers a special treat: Jeanne-Marie de Champs is a Burgundy wine distributor who will have wines from that region, as well from the Loire Valley and Champagne. $25.

Whiskey Wednesday at Easy Tiger, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7. Dan Garrison of Garrison Brothers will lead a free seminar on Texas bourbon; a Garrison bourbon flight will also be available for $20.

National Beer Lover’s Day at Hopdoddy, 6:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7. Saint Arnold beer specials, like Divine Reserve #16, will be available to pair irresistibly with a poutine burger.

Meridian Hive Rebrand Party at Spider House, 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8. The local meadery is unveiling a new look with four meads on tap, live music and more.

Smittlefest Release at Thirsty Planet, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. It’s time for the brewery’s annual Oktoberfest beer. You might even catch some of the brewers in lederhosen.

Real Ale Oktoberfest, 12 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. Day trip to Blanco for this party that will have live polka music, Best Wurst sausages and Oktoberfest beer. Real Ale’s also offering a first taste of something special. $25.

Oktoberfest at Last Stand Brewing, 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. The Hill Country brewery will have a new Oktoberfest beer to share, as well as a $10 branded mug that includes a fill in the purchase.

Off-Flavor Tasting at B.B. Rover’s, 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. $20 will get you a guided tour through the main six off-flavors of beer, plus a control sample. You don’t have to be studying for a cicerone exam to find this lesson intriguing.

NXNW’s 17th Anniversary Party, 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11. Celebrate with live music, birthday cake, a bounce house and, of course, with an anniversary ale cask and keg tapping.

Seafood Bistro with Beer at Central Market Cooking School, 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11. Learn how to pair clam chowder, crab cakes and more with different styles of beer. $70.

Real Ale Axis IPA Tapping at Craft Pride, 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13. Real Ale’s newest IPA was brewed for tap walls overrun with the white noise of West Coast IPAs.

The Prisoner Wine Company Tasting at Fixe, 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14. The California winery is offering a variety of their wines for tasting; call or make reservations online to participate. $25.

Six Pack Stories at the Highball, 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. Listen to the designers who make a beer brand come to life at this panel that will have free snacks as well as beer before, during and after.

Fall Creek Vineyards in Tow is throwing a Wine and Roses luncheon on Valentine's Day. Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez / American-Statesman.
Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez / American-Statesman. Sample wines at the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas’ New Vintage event.

The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas’ the New Vintage, 8 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. Sample wines of various styles and from various regions, with bites from Austin all-star chefs. $65-$85.

Easy Tiger’s Oktoberfest, 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 to 2 a.m. Monday, Sept. 19. This annual party will have another release of Montecore, the bar’s märzen-style collaboration beer with Austin Beerworks.

The Bloody Good Beer Fest at Craftsman, 12 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. This fundraiser for the Blood & Tissue Center of Central Texas will have beers from Austin Beerworks, Thirsty Planet, Deschutes and more. $10.

Oskar Blues Brewery’s Can’d Opening, 12 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. The grand opening of the Austin location of Oskar Blues will have a commemorative glass, beer pours (including a Texas-only beer) and live music throughout the day. $5-$15.

Beer Flyer with Circle Brewing, 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. Hop aboard the Austin Steam Train for a night of Circle brews paired with bites from Greenhouse Craft Food. $50-$55.

The Craft Series at the Driskill, 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19. This monthly beer pairing dinner series is bringing in Blue Owl Brewing this time. $40.

Mega Mutt Monday at Banger’s, 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19. Celebrate your pooch with all day happy hour, pet-friendly vendors and live music by Nate Boff.

Oktoberfest at Black Star Co-op, 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21. The brewpub is tapping Southern Star’s German-style festbier, as well as its Bavarian Hefeweizen, for this mid-week celebration. The Oktoberfest festivities continue off and on through Sept. 28.

Texas Craft Brewers Festival, 2 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. The state’s largest beer event featuring only Texas beer returns with more than 65 Texas breweries represented. $10-$35.

Official After-Party of the 2016 Texas Craft Brewers Fest, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. Special releases from more than 20 Texas craft breweries await.

Discovery Series: Hard Ciders at Central Market Cooking School, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26. Taste your way through ciders from around the world, including local Texas Keeper Ciderweizen and Spain’s Gobernador. $25.

Bourbon Heritage Month Dinner at Juliet, 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27. Five course dinner paired with some extremely rare whiskeys hosted by Aaron Beavers, the luxury spirits specialist for Beam Suntory. $100; reservations required.

Ballast Point 20 for 20 at Banger’s, 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. It’s the 20th anniversary of California’s Ballast Point Brewing, so Banger’s has rounded up 20 of their beers to put on tap, including the fruited variations on Sculpin IPA.

Whiskies of the World, 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. As one of the largest whisky tastings in the U.S., this event will have more than 200 spirits from around the globe. $140.

Oktoberfest at Infamous Brewing, 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30. This family-style dinner, paired with polka music and Infamous brews, benefits Austin’s Habitat for Humanity: the House that Beer Built project. $50.

Thirsty Planet’s upcoming South Congress brewery to triple capacity

Thirsty Planet Brewing is bringing its location farther into Austin, a move that will triple the amount of beer being produced.

Photo by Emma Janzen. Later this year, Austinites will be able to enjoy Thirsty Planet beers closer to town when the brewery opens a new, much larger facility on South Congress Avenue near Slaughter Lane.
Photo by Emma Janzen. Later this year, Austinites will be able to enjoy Thirsty Planet beers closer to town when the brewery opens a new, much larger facility on South Congress Avenue near Slaughter Lane.

On the road to Dripping Springs, the almost 6-year-old brewery has been limited to a maximum of 10,000 barrels per year — but the new space on South Congress Avenue, just north of Slaughter Lane, gives Thirsty Planet a significant increase of 30,000 barrels per year, with room to grow. Its anticipated opening is late fall this year.

“The overwhelming local demand for our beer is very humbling, and we’re thrilled to keep contributing to the increasing enthusiasm for craft brewing here in Austin,” Brian Smittle, owner and founder of Thirsty Planet, said in a press release. “We are deeply invested in the unique culture of this community and want to continue bringing people together over quality beer.”

The brewery will be moving into the Capital Area Food Bank building at 8201 S. Congress Ave., according to a brewery representative. (The nonprofit is moving to East Austin this summer.)

With the 60,000 sq. ft. facility, Thirsty Planet will be able “to meet current product demand and expand its bottle offerings to include its Buckethead IPA and Yellow Armadillo Wheat,” according to the release. So far, only its beloved Thirsty Goat Amber is bottled.

Additionally, Thirsty Planet can start offering a bigger variety of seasonal and specialty brews in the tasting room and increase the distribution of its mainstay options, including Thirsty Goat, Buckethead and Yellow Armadillo, out of Austin to Waco and San Antonio.

The architectural firm of V Three Studios, based in Missouri, is designing the brewery and tasting room, and the firm already has a clear vision of what the new space will look like.

Once it’s finished, V Three’s principal and founder Kurt Kerns said in the press release, the tasting room will allow “people to appreciate really great beer while getting a sense of Thirsty Planet’s unique style and sense of humor, which will be on full display with beer pallets used as ceiling elements, open views of the brewing process and wall-mounted papier–mâché heads representing the brewery’s best-selling beers.”

For more information about Thirsty Planet, visit www.thirstyplanet.beer.