Words: Harrison Civick
Photos: JoMando Cruz
We’re often asked why we cover breweries from other cities if we are the San Antonio Beer Magazine (Fun fact: We’ve never explicitly stated that the SA stands for San Antonio), and the answer is simple. Why the hell wouldn’t we? The goal of the magazine is to highlight all aspects of the beer community. We just happen to be based in San Antonio which translates to us having heavier coverage of our hometown heroes.
When Live Oak Brewing Co. reached out about partnering, we didn’t have to justify it. But if we DID feel the need to, we would talk about the history of Freetail’s head brewer, Jason Davis, and his early days at Waterloo Brewing Co. in Austin, Texas where he worked and studied under the late Steve Anderson, a true pioneer of the Texas beer scene. Anderson would later become the brewmaster at Live Oak Brewing Co. after the tragic downfall of Waterloo. And after a long stint there, Anderson would eventually move on to open Big Bend Brewing Co., in Alpine, Texas. Big Bend was even set to launch a production facility in San Antonio (which you should know after reading our recent Issue 9) until an untimely demise due to multiple circumstances. Is that enough San Antonio relevance for you all? Phew! That’s a long introduction for an otherwise straightforward article.
Live Oak is a brewery that we’ve long admired for their dedication to old-world brewing methods, the deep impact they’ve made in the Texas beer community, and for their ability to deliver a product that never disappoints. We were ecstatic to see their care package finally arrive at our door and quickly threw the cans in the fridge so that we could chug—I mean, document—their offerings.
Although their Pilz and Big Bark Amber have always been staples in my fridge, it was a pleasant surprise to see two less familiar faces. One is the current seasonal, Oaktoberfest, a traditional style for this time of year, and the other is their newly released Pre-War Pils, a beer dedicated to early American lager brewing. Live Oak beers always seem to find a balance between being delicate, nuanced, and beautiful, as well as just being downright fucking crushable. So crushable, in fact, that we might have taken it too literally. Oops.
We had a wonderful time documenting (not chugging) these and we invite you to pick up a sixer of Live Oak next time you spot it around town. Actually, do us one better. Come out and party with us this Friday, October 11th, from 7-10pm at Cullum’s Attagirl as we celebrate Oaktoberfest with Live Oak Brewing Company. There will be special tappings, merchandise, and a one-off menu by Attagirl to mark the occasion. Just try not to make the mess that we did.