I clearly enjoy Instagram. It’s a fun way to share adventures from the road. But it’s also one of the ways I find great destinations. In this case, one of the fellow wanderers that I follow on Instagram posted a photo a while back of an empty beach with some free camping. A click on the location tag and some cross referencing on FreeCampsites.net and Google and we were off.
Magnolia Beach is a hard packed shell beach, just a few miles south of Port Lavaca Texas. There are about 15 small covered picnic tables spread out along the developed section, with plenty of room for any size RV and grass for tent campers. There’s clearly no utilities here, but there was a full bathroom available. It’s not really the kind of beach you’d swim at or sink your feet into the sand, but honestly I am not partial to either of those things. What it does offer is a quiet, free, beautiful place to camp for a few nights.
There were about 5 or 6 other campers spread around during our stay here, but I can imagine the place gets much busier in the summer months. Thor thoroughly enjoyed being able to run on the beach and chase balls and birds.
We also had a rainy day on the beach, which was perfect for some beer tasting in the Airstream. I’m currently trying all the canned craft beers that I can find, mainly because they travel better in the tiny Airstream fridge. But I’ve also found a trend in that smaller breweries who have a big enough following to grow into packaging are now getting into canning because of the lower cost to entry. Some are even canning via mobile canning lines. I’ve found that some really delicious beer is now being canned, these two are no exception.
Modus Hoperandi from Ska Brewing in Durango Colorado is a delicious golden orange IPA that starts a bit sweet and ends with the great combination of citrus and pine that I love so much.
Deep Ellum IPA from Deep Ellum Brewing in Dallas Texas is another big IPA packed with Citra, Amarillo, Chinook, Palisade and Summit hops and a bit drier and more hop forward that the Hoperandi but equally delicious.
Both of these brews made a rainy day at this beautiful spot even more enjoyable. Now it’s time for a long driving day, we’re heading back to Florida to meet some family at Disney in a few weeks and probably going to check out AlumaFlamingo…
Our first stop in Austin Texas was the Draught House Pub and Brewery. Funny side note, I found them on Yelp and thought this place looks great – as soon as I walked in the door I realized that I had been here before, on my last trip through Austin. It was one of those moments that makes you realize how many places you’ve been in the last 5 years. Last time I was at Draught House was for a hospitality conference, where I had a few beers with the guy I would later buy and open our own restaurant and brewery with… Crazy how the world is so small…
OK so back to this trip. The thing I love about a good beer bar is the staff can help you find what you’ll enjoy. When I asked for a delicious dank but drinkable IPA, the immediate suggestion was Hops and Grain Brewing, Green House, which was a spot on suggestion. So good as a matter of fact that I ordered 2, which is not at all like me. It was from that experience that I set out to visit Hops and Grain Brewing.
Hops and Grain Brewing is located in downtown Austin Texas, just at the end of the popular 6th street area, in a warehouse building. They have a small outdoor area with a few picnic tables that is dog friendly, which is a huge plus as Thor loves to hang out with me while I sample beers. Thor’s favorite part was that they offer house-made brew-biscuits which he seriously enjoyed.
The inside of the space was pretty sparse, a standard warehouse style tasting room, more picnic style tables and a small bar. Didn’t get to see the brewery as they only offer tours on Thursday – Saturday now, but did get the chance to sample all of their brews. They have the “buy the glass, get some tickets, trade tickets for beer” setup here, which I am sure is some clever way to comply with some ridiculous law – but no matter. The beers, across the board, were delicious.
Probably the best beer I had the chance to sample there was their Volumes of Funk series Sour Porter Culture, a sour version of their Porter Culture created by barrel aging their Porter for 2 and a half years. Dark and delicious, it had a solid Brett character that really complimented the base of Porter Culture, which by itself is also really delicious Baltic Porter.
I also had the chance to try the Rye IPA and Experimental Hop #5 which was billed as a pale lager and was delicious. One of their “flagship” beers, The One They Call Zoe was another pale lager that weighs in at just about 5% abv, making it a great session beer and the one we would later hunt down cans of.
I would certainly put Hops and Grain on the Austin area craft beer watch list, they’re making some delicious and unique beers that rival many of the best I’ve tried. Cheers to Hops and Grain Brewing and Thor thanks you for the brew-biscut.
Hello, my name is Tim. I'm a brewer and a traveller.
I started this blog back in 2009 to share my craft beer adventures. Since then I've been fortunate to open a successful craft beer bar, restaurant and brewery in Vermont.
In 2014 my awesome staff gave me the opportunity to travel for 6 months, crossing the country in my 27' Airstream. This led me to realize that my tiny house meant a bigger life.
Today I am selling off all of my baggage and choosing to live small. This blog is now a chronicle of my journey.
- I just earned the 'I Believe in IPA! (Level 40)' badge on @untappd! http://t.co/wz2aPz4VZA
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- Damn. Another slam dunk from our friends at Otter Creek. - Drinking a Backseat Berner at @whetstonebeer - http://t.co/bd76oAn1DB
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