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Kyle Caesar

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HPTX Tap Talk – Twisted Acre

Twisted Acre logo

This is the first of a series highlighting local brewers, distillers, and other craft spirit/beer-related people. The first interviewee is Robert Brogden from the new Twisted Acre Brewery. He is a hobbyist who is living the dream of so many by making the transition to pro brewer. Without further ado, here is the story behind the newest brewery in the Houston area.

Twisted Acre Brewery is a true home-built family operation, although one of the two owners may regret that currently. Twisted Acre is owned by the husband and wife team of Robert and Nicole Broaden. The whole operation is due to a gift from Nicole. She purchased Robert his first brewing kit. The beer that came from the first kit, to quote Robert, was “undrinkable.” Rather than quit as most people do, he spent hours on the internet and YouTube learning the details of the art of brewing. I can personally attest his version of brew school 101 was a roaring success.

Robert built his own new setup from the ground up. As a self-diagnosed OCD sufferer, he made sure the new equipment was laid out perfectly. His first beer was a red IPA. He was so proud of the results that he had a party the first night the beer was ready to drink. The rave reviews led him to wonder if he was gifted enough to brew professionally. After years of creating and tweaking recipes in his brew garage, Robert got the blessing from Nicole to make his passion an occupation.

Robert’s brewing style is a modern one. His brews come in a variety of flavors, from easy drinking to the fullest of flavor. He has no fear of non-traditional ingredients or flavors. His base beer is a Mexican lager, a style that a lot of craft brewers look at with scorn. “Green Card,” as it is called, is crisp and refreshing. You can get it dressed with salt and lime as well. This puts Twisted Acre in a prime position to target those new to the craft beer world who want to dip their toes in to the water.

Make no mistake though, Robert also has beers for even the most experienced craft beer drinkers. His honey IPA “Bumbletree” is an intriguing combination, with the sweetness being a great break-up for the high amount of IBUs in it. The mixture makes for an extremely drinkable beer, all things considered. My personal favorite is his coffee stout “21-Gun Salute.” In a collaboration with Counter Strike Coffee and their “Napalm” beans, this flavor-forward beer lets you know it is all about the coffee, but without burning out your taste buds. The creaminess of the stout supports the varying flavors very well, showing that Robert has a vast base of brewing tastes. He came to brewing as an IPA-crazed hophead, but has learned to spread his flavors to be more inviting of other preferences.

Robert and Nicole have given their all to get Twisted Acre open to the public. Their hard work is finally paying off, as their Grand Opening is this weekend. (Tickets are being presold through their website.) Go check them out and you will see a couple’s hard work in totality. Everything in the brewery was built or designed by them. Nicole even hand-drew the logo on her tablet, pixel by pixel. Here’s hoping they get as much out of the brewery as they put into it!

Robert and Nicole

Six Pack to Go

The next section will appear in every Tap Talk from now on: I am calling it the “Six Pack to Go.” It consists of six fun questions I ask the brewer. Robert was gracious enough to serve as my guinea pig (sorry, PETA). Here we go:

What’s your favorite beer/food pairing?
Steak with a nice hearty stout

What’s your favorite brewery in the Houston area (not your own)?
B-52 Brewing Company

What’s your favorite brewery outside of Houston?
Odell Brewing

What’s your favorite beer from a Houston-area brewery (not your own)?
Houston Haze by Spindletap Brewery

What’s your favorite beer from outside of Houston?
Any variety of Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point

If you had to pick your last beer ever, what would it be? (You can choose your own.)
21 Gun Salute Coffee Stout

Details

Twisted Acre Brewery
16103 Grant Rd Space J
Cypress, TX 77429

Official website

Twitter (@twistedacre)

When a Win Feels Like a Loss

The University of Houston football team had one of its biggest wins of the year last night, but you wouldn’t think that from the sports talk today. D’eriq King was injured and is more than likely done for the year. Once again, King’s injury was not the main topic of discussion about the game. The main topic that everyone wants to speak about is a player that did not even play in the game, the great Ed Oliver.

In case you didn’t see the game last night, Oliver put on a jacket that is reserved for active players only. One of the equipment managers confronted him about wearing it. He pulled away to ignore the manager. It was at this point Coach Applewhite got involved. He told Oliver he had to follow the rules, the same as the rest of the players on the sidelines who tried to wear the jackets. Applewhite grabbed the sleeve of the jacket to start removing it from Oliver, before walking away.

That is when all hell broke out. Oliver, in a fury, started cursing, screaming, and acting like he was going to fight Applewhite to the point that he had to be restrained. He never reemerged from the locker room. Applewhite did his best to downplay the incident in the post-game press conference, but the damage was done. Everyone has taken sides on the issue. So here is mine:

Major Applewhite is no Cougar fan’s favorite coach right now. The SMU and Temple games ruined a shot at a New Year’s Six bowl game. He should still be judged fairly. This moment is one that he had no way out without hurting someone. Applewhite may be frustrated by Oliver not playing. I do not believe he was trying to embarrass Ed.

Applewhite probably shouldn’t have grabbed the jacket. He had to intervene, though. Make no mistake: acting was necessary. It wasn’t about the jacket. Ed Oliver disregarding that equipment manager, made him bigger than the team. A head coach can never allow that to happen. Applewhite had to show the rest of the team that even a player as great as Oliver must follow the rules. In truth, I think this will help Major more than it will hurt him in the long run. Teams like to see that the rules apply to everyone. I think that will help in recruiting and rallying the team.

I also want to make clear that I hold no grudges against Ed Oliver. He has been one of the most amazing players that I have ever had the privilege of watching in Scarlet and White. I believe he wants to be playing right now, and that is part of what made him so upset. I would hold no ill will if Ed doesn’t play for UH again. I hope he does, just for selfish reasons. The main thing from here is that Oliver must realize that if he wants to remain on the team, he is subject to the same rules as everyone else.

No matter what happens from here, I hope Oliver and Applewhite can work things out. I do not want Ed Oliver regretting spending his time at our great university.

Major Cooged It

“Houston sports” is a phrase that can cause fear with everyone in this great city. We have seen our fair share of heartbreak. The rare occasions where it all goes right is what makes sports special. The joy of the Astros’ World Series victory was boosted by the collapse of the 2015 team in the ALDS even with a late four run lead.

The Cougars have their own phrase that has become a moniker for collapsing: it’s “Cooging it.” It’s happened countless times, yet it hurts no less each time. Head Coach Major Applewhite had his first run in with really Cooging it, against SMU in Dallas. He then let Temple stomp all over his defense at Homecoming. Coach Applewhite better figure everything out quick or he will be out of a job.

Coach Applewhite wasn’t the choice for most Cougars. He wasn’t an inspiring hire. He isn’t very fiery. Coming from the likes of Tom Herman to him was hard to take. I was one who said he needed a fair shot. His first season was full of hits and misses. His hire of Kendal Briles to lead the offense was a brilliant one.

Applewhite’s decision to stick with Mark D’Onofrio seems to be a glaring mistake. There has been a rash of injuries. There just hasn’t been enough signs that there is an actual method to playing defense with this team. That omission has cost UH a possible trip to a big bowl game and more. Opportunities like this season do not come around very often.

Cooging it is something I wish I haven’t experienced, but I have. The heartbreak of the 2011 Conference title game is still fresh in my mind. Coming so close to the Sugar Bowl, only to be relegated to playing a post-scandal Penn State. I will also never forget ruining the opening of the brand new TDECU Stadium by losing to the great football power that is the University of Texas at San Antonio. It doesn’t sound bad until you realize it’s not The University of Texas. Luckily, that one game hasn’t defined the wonderful stadium that the football program now calls home. My hope is that we don’t to have to say our hire at Head Coach was an example of Cooging it as well.

The rest of this season should now become a job interview for his future. Applewhite must realize that he must show that he can effectively manage this team out of this funk into a respectable finish. If the administration decides to keep Major, he must show that he can be an effective leader. He will have to replace his defensive coordinator.

Applewhite managed to nail his Offensive Coordinator hire when given a second shot. He can’t get a second chance on every decision, though. I hope he can turn his tenure around. I like Applewhite a lot. I hope he can be the coach we Cougar fans want him to be. More importantly, though, I want to start winning again, and fast. Major Applewhite should too, because he is quickly running out of chances to prove he isn’t another Cooging it mistake.