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This Week in Craft Beer: Ash Bash Continues, Beer Legislation News and More

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It's a busy week in beer. That said, it always seems to be a busy week in beer around here lately thanks to Houston's growth in the industry over the past two years. The Craft Brewer's Conference is wrapping up in Washington D.C. and we're creeping closer to National Craft Beer Week, but there's plenty going on here in town as well. Here's a quick round-up:

Southern Tier is almost here

Southern Tier is extremely popular with craft beer fans here in Texas. Until recently, however, the only way to try their brews was to travel outside Texas or to beg a friend to bring some back from one of the many states that do carry the Lakewood, New York brewery's beers. No more! After more than a year of speculation and rumors, Southern Tier officially debuts in Texas on April 1.

This is no April Fool's joke. Look for kegs at your local Flying Saucer on Wednesday, and we'll give you updates on other official Southern Tier debuts here on the blog next week.

Ash Bash at Petrol Station and Cottonwood

Ash Bash has two more events this weekend after a good turn-out for this past week's festivities, including a sold-out beer dinner at The Hay Merchant on Tuesday. Today, Petrol Station will host a party with live music and special kegs to celebrate the life of Duff Beer Distribution founder Ash Rowell. The beer list for tonight is nothing to scoff at and includes:

  • Stone Imperial Russian Stout (2011)
  • Creme Brulee Buried Hatchet Cask
  • Oskar Blues x Ska Oskar the G'rauch
  • 512 Coco Cerise Pecan Porter Cask

I'm pretty sure Houston's No. 1 beer bar is bound to bring out more surprises, so this is not to be missed.

If you don't overdo it tonight at Petrol Station, the party continues tomorrow at Cottonwood starting at noon, when assorted Duff beers will be on special all day with proceeds from draft beer sales going to Texas Children's Hospital. Cottonwood will also have live music from Deep Cuts, Tommy Lynch, The George Mitchell Trio and more.

Growler's grand opening

Believe it or not, the popular Montrose beer station has not even celebrated its official opening yet. If the last eight weeks have been a "soft opening", we see great things in store for the shop. Growler's will be celebrating its grand opening for two weeks beginning today and running through April 13. It will be hosting tasting events and running specials throughout the event so check the store's Facebook and Twitter accounts for news. Tonight, Growler's will be tapping a keg of the highly sought-after Whiskey Barrel Double Pecan Porter. If you've missed this limited beer when it's hit town before, be sure to check it out tonight.

On a related Growler's note, check back on Eating...Our Words next week when we test the store's counter-pressure filling system. We'll be opening eight-week-old jugs of beer to see if the store's vaunted CrafTap system really does keep beer fresh for extended periods of time.

Texas Senate passes Craft Beer Legislation

Both Open the Taps and Beer, TX report that the critical beer legislation we reported on in the past few weeks has passed the state senate and now awaits a vote in the house.

Opposition was almost non-existent, with only one vote coming in against SB 639, the controversial bill that limits brewers ability to sell their distribution rights.

See also: - An Open Letter to Craft Breweries in Texas - What Texas New Beer Laws Could Mean For You

Game of Thrones premiere party at The Hay Merchant

The Hay Merchant is kicking off next week with a celebration of the return of the HBO juggernaut Game of Thrones. A TV show at a beer bar may sound a bit odd till you consider this: Ommegang, one of the most popular breweries in America, is releasing a series of Game of Thrones-themed beers to coincide with the series. The first beer, Iron Throne will be available on Monday, April 1 at Hay Merchant, which will also screen the last five episodes from last season along with the season 3 debut.

Ommegang is tight-lipped about the release of the second beer in the series -- reportedly named "Take the Black" -- which is due for release in the fall.

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