3/15/2013 12:28:00 PM

Cocktail Hour: Alteration Beer from Hops and Grain Brewing

Austin’s more than just a drinking town. It’s also a city that produces almost enough alcohol to satisfy its unquenchable thirst. That’s why each week we want to highlight a local spirit maker, brewer or interesting cocktail that keeps our spirits up in more ways than one.

Earlier this week we profiled five awesome craft breweries in Austin, and we’re continuing the celebration today with sustainable brewery Hops and Grain’s flagship beer Alteration. The Altbier brown ale won a gold metal in the 2012 World Beer Cup competition, and it’s quickly gaining fans for its earthy body and nutty notes of toasted grain, chocolate and caramel, as well as its big, beige head of foam and light finish.

Hops and Grain owner Josh Hare is known for his commitment to both beer and sustainability. A former professional triathelete, Hare has been brewing since he was 17 and takes it very seriously. The East Austin microbrewery is part of the 1% for the Planet organization, which means that 1 percent of its profits and time go toward environmental causes. For example, it reclaims all of its hot water and a good portion of the cold water, and its spent grain is used to make dog treats called Brew Biscuits. Hops and Grain has also opted to sell cans rather than bottles because aluminum is more environmentally friendly.

H&G’s other flagship beer is the Pale Dog, an orange-hued, juicy and hoppy American Pale Ale that has notes of biscuit malt and citrus and a medium body. Also check out “anti-seasonal” beers and a new lager that’s just hit the bars.

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