Independence Brewing Co. and Bouldin Creek Cafe 2.6.2010

My friends pointed out the other day that I could use this blog for restaurants as well as for cooking. I thought I’d give it a try, and what’s more, I decided to branch out to breweries, wineries, and food events, as well.

First Saturday at Independence Brewing Co.

A few of us got together in February for the First Saturday tour and beer tasting at Independence Brewing Co. They hold the event on the first Saturday of every month, and I’ve been to a few now. It’s an inexpensive way to get out on a Saturday, relax with friends, and try a couple new beers while you’re at it. You get to try three free beers on tap, and if you have a large appetite for beer in the afternoon and you’re willing to invest $6 in one of their pint glasses, those three free beers are quite a bit larger.

The atmosphere of the brewery is a bit unexpected. I’m not sure what I was expecting the first time I went, but it definitely wasn’t a warehouse-turned-brewery tucked away amid DiGiorno trucks and food storage facilities behind a strip center. Nonetheless, it’s a nice, casual atmosphere where you can tour the brewery facilities, hear how the beer is made,  listen to live music, and taste a variety of beers like IPA, amber, wheat, and pale ale. My favorites are the Austin Amber and the Freestyle wheat beer. People bring camping chairs (sometimes even folding tables), dogs, and games, and stand or sit around the brewery parking lot to enjoy the event. Don’t forget your sunscreen, though, because you’ll be standing in the sun during the heat of the day and, as I was reminded, you can still sunburn even if it’s not hot outside.

Bouldin Creek Cafe

After the brewery, we stopped at Bouldin Creek Cafe on South First for coffee and food. Chelsea and I shared a delicious hummus plate, and I discovered that Nutella is amazing even in liquid form when I tried the Nutella hot cocoa. The outdoor seating has a great atmosphere, surrounded by twisted trees and colorful murals. Water-filled bowls here and there hint that dogs are welcome, and the counters inside hold delicious-looking pastries and vegan baked goods. I’d love to come back sometime with a good book and spend a weekend afternoon here.

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