12 March 2013

Horny Toad Brewing Company, Rowena, Texas

On a somber day in 1911, the citizens of Rowena, Texas, commemorated the arrival of Prohibition by burying a bottle of whiskey on city property. They erected a headstone that reads "Here Lies our Liberty - April 28, 1911."  On March 2, one hundred and 2 years later, they might have shot off fireworks because there's a brewery across the street!

Rowena is about twenty miles east of San Angelo on US Highway 67. Originally settled by Czechs and Germans in the late 1890s, the towns earlier claim to fame has been the birthplace of Bonnie Parker, former partner of Clyde Barrow. Now, on a more pleasant note, it is the home of Horny Toad Brewing Company.

Satan and I, and a couple of friends decided to attend their Spring Open House.

We met up in Eola, where we surprised Mark Cannon before he'd even had a cup of coffee.  We sampled the current line up and chatted a bit before heading up the road to Rowena.

Horny Toad Brewing opened in October of 2012 under owner/brewmaster Mike McNeill.

We joined a brewery tour in progress, and Mike described how he brews on his seven barrel system made from converted dairy equipment. Parched from the short drive from Eola to Rowena, we slipped out of the tour and into the old gas station, which houses a well decorated tap room.

There were three beers on tap: Concho Ale (a crisp, refreshing cream ale that should do well when the murcury hits triple digits), Angelo Amber (a surprisingly drinkable amber with notes of chocolate and roast), and an unnamed IPA (my favorite on tap, made with Csacade Centennial and Chinook hops). There were BBQ sandwiches and  Horny Toad t-shirts for sale.

There was a good crowd around. Some locals attended, including a gent in a bright blue cowboy hat who was walking down the road when we arrived. There were a group of vets on their motorcycles, and some beer geeks milling together in the warm sunshine.

You can find Horny Toad Beer at: Joe’s Brewhouse at 113 East Concho 210 Suite L in San Angelo; Sealy Flats at 204 South Oakes Street in San Angelo; and The Turnrow Bar & Grill 12143 US Hwy 67 in Rowena.

We left around three, heading back to my car at Eola, stopping at Lowake Inn for an amazing Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich and fries, before heading back home.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:00

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