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Austin Brewmasters

Shane Bordeau & Brian Peters Talk Beer

Interviewed by Marshall Wright

Shane Bordeau
Co-Owner of Twisted X Brewing Co.

Q1:Twisted X is relatively new to the Austin craft-brew scene. Tell us a little bit about you. Why Twisted X?
Shane Bordeau: Twisted X was founded in 2010 by myself and Jim Sampson, and we are a manufacturing brewery currently located in Cedar Park, TX. We are focused on a unique approach to craft beer much different than many of the existing Texas craft breweries. Our beer lineup includes Mexican-styled premium craft lagers made right here in Central Texas called Tex Mex Beer. We are the pioneers of the Tex Mex beer market.

Q2:When do you expect Twisted X to hit the market? Where will Twisted X beers be available?

SB: We are a very small brewery. We have been commercially selling beer since Cinco de Mayo [May 5, 2011] at our official release party. We have big plans to expand and will update folks as soon as things are moving forward there. Currently, the Twisted X Beer line is available in Cedar Park, but we are slowly expanding to Austin and Central Texas as we increase production runs. Unfortunately, TABC prevents us from stating where the beers are available [specifically], but check our Facebook page for announcements (facebook.com/TexMexBeer).

Q3:What is your flagship beer? Can you describe it?

SB: We have three flagship beers [malt beverages due to plus-5% ABV TABC rating]: Twisted X Premium Tex Mex Lager, light lager with subtle hop flavor and a crisp clean finish [think Dos Equis or Corona with much more flavor]; Cow Creek Premium Tex Mex Dark Lager, dark lager, deep, smooth flavor with a sophisticated character; and the most popular and unique, Fuego Jalapeño-Infused Tex Mex Pilsner, light and crisp but 100% beer with a mild jalapeno flavor and warm back-of-the-throat finish. Other seasonal beers will include a prickly pear lager, and Siesta & Señor Viejo, an imperial black lager aged in Republic Tequila barrels.

Q4:What is your favorite Twisted X beer? Can you describe it?

SB: My favorite is the Señor Viejo. At nearly 8% with rich Schwarzbier, vanilla bourbon and agave tequila back tones, there is just nothing like it out there anywhere. But everyone must try the Fuego Jalapeño Pilsner because it’s so very Texan you can’t help not to.

Q5:What makes Twisted X different from the other Austin-based craft brews?

SB: We are making almost exclusively lagers with a Mexican lager yeast and Texas/south-of-the-border unique recipes and ingredients. We have a Texas/Southwest appeal that will connect well with Mexican, Tex-Mex, icehouses, steak and roadhouses. We may be able to bring craft beer on draft to many more locations where traditional ales, which we still love, aren’t a great fit.

 

Brian Peters
Brewmaster, Uncle Billy’s Brew & Cue

Q1:What’s the perfect beer to go with barbecue? Do you find it difficult to pair beer with barbecue?

Brian Peters: Beer and ’cue are a match made in heaven. The smoke flavor from the meat needs the malt and hops to maintain the balance in the universe. I like a hoppy lager like the [Uncle Billy’s] Hell In Keller to wash down my smoked meat.

Q2:Austin’s craft-beer scene is really starting to mature. How do you feel you helped shape that scene?

BP: Chip McElroy and I started Live Oak Brewing Company and it worked out great. Along with Real Ale, Waterloo Brewing and the Bitter End, we built the local market from the ground up through the boom and bust of the late 90s. We laid the groundwork for the next wave. The Austin scene would not be what it is today without the hard work and great beer from brewers like Tim Schwartz (Bitter End, Real Ale), Steve Anderson (Waterloo, Live Oak) and myself.

Q3:What do you think of the proliferation of craft brewers in Austin?

BP: It’s exciting! I love it and feel like we are finally getting the national notoriety that we deserve. I like that the new breweries are all founded on great beer but that they all have a unique approach. We’ll have great variety for years to come without having to look out-of-state.

Q4:What are the local beers that you are most excited about?

BP: I have a soft spot for Pilsners and Real Ale just released its seasonal Hans’ Pils. Austin Beerworks makes a tasty Pils called Pearl Snap. I do wish that more breweries would make a Pilsner and we would become a destination for Pils lovers. However, I do think Austin is on its way.

Q5:How would you recommend a newcomer to Uncle Billy’s should start off with tasting the beers?

BP: Get a beer sampler and start drinking from left to right (lightest to darkest). With eight different beers on tap, you are bound to find a beer you like.

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  1. I disagree with Swifty (Brian). If you get an Uncle Billy’s sampler you’re bound to find more than one beer you’ll like. He makes some damn fine beer.

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