Best Oktoberfest Brew?

PROST!  It’s October, which means it’s time for Texan breweries to start whipping up their own versions of Oktoberfest beer.  We drove all around Georgetown and bought as many Texas-made oktoberfest brews as we could find.  That number was 6.  But we drank em all and made a video about it.  If you’re more of a reader, lookout below.

Shiner Oktoberfest

This one was impressive.  Very drinkable and well balanced between the malt and hops.  This beer was right in all the right places.  Great job to the “little” brewery.

Saint Arnold Brewing Co. Oktoberfest

This one was really high on the malts and low on the hops.  So malty, in fact, that it made us feel like it had honey added to it.  I’d definitely recommend this one to folks who love malty beers, but not the hop heads.  However, if you’re a hop head, you probably aren’t drinking Oktoberfest anyway.

Goliad Brewing Co. Oktoberfest

This one was definitely the hoppy-est of the bunch, making us feel that it wasn’t really an Oktoberfest beer.  Good for hop-lovers though.

Real Ale Brewing Co. Oktoberfest

Really impressed with this one.  It was really malty and sweet, but not too hoppy.  It you’re a fan of Oktoberfest beer, you’ve gotta give this one a shot.  This was Richie and Daniel’s runner up.

Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. Oktoberfest

This one really did it for me.  Just enough balance between the sweet, caramel malts and the hops to make it right up the middle and almost perfect.  Well done.  This was my (Chet) favorite.

Karbach Brewing Co. “Karbachtoberfest”

The tagline on the can is “It’s Still Summer” and they’ve definitely shown it with this beer.  It doesn’t drink like an Oktoberfest at all, but an easy-go-down summer beer.  If you don’t like Oktoberfest beer, you’ll probably ove this one.  I thought it was great, but it doesn’t score high as an Oktoberfest brew, because it isn’t and shouldn’t be called one.  I love you Karbach, but you’re clearly trying to be different from the herd on this one, and cheers to that.  This was Richie and Daniel’s favorite.

14 – “Let’s Talk BBQ!”

This week we talk BBQ! No matter how you spell it – BBQ, Bar-B-Que, Barbeque. No matter how you prepare it – smoked, grilled, with fire, coals or wood. We are talking about it with the experts! Join us with our round table of BBQ experts – Jess Pryles from, Daniel Vaughn from Texas Monthly and Drew Thornley from Man Up Texas BBQ as we talk about meat!

Find out more about our experts at:
Jess Pryles from
Daniel Vaughn from Texas Monthly BBQ
Drew Thornley from Man Up Texas BBQ

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and the Windows store!
Windows – Search for the Daytripper Podcast in your dedicated podcast app.

This endeavor is generously supported by Hat Creek Burger Company and Magic Room Studios.

An Intern’s First Taste of Cuvee

Howdy Daytrippers!  Let me first introduce myself…I am the summer intern, Linsey.  As a fellow Daytripper fan, it’s been fantastic to spend my days following Chet on his crazy adventures.  I’m having a blast!

A week into my internship, Chet found out I claimed to be a coffee-addict but hadn’t yet tried Cuvee Coffee.  Shocked and appalled, he immediately sent me to the Galaxy Bakery down the street to buy a cup.

If you’ve seen the Spicewood episode of The Daytripper, then you saw Chet take a tour of the Cuvee Coffee factory. If not – check this out.

Cuvee Coffee is one of America’s top specialty roasters, and they’re based right here in the Hill Country.  They roast their coffee meticulously, using formulas and coffee-labs to ensure the taste is just right.

While Cuvee gets their beans  from countries all around the world, including Brazil and El Salvador, I chose the Spicewood 71 Classic for my first cup. Usually, I need to load my coffee with tons of cream and sugar, but with Cuvee I didn’t. The taste was sweet and smooth, and not too strong, which I loved.

And since I enjoyed my first cup so much (and since Chet was paying, of course!) I just had to try the Cuvee Meritage Espresso. I’d never had a cup of espresso before and was expecting to be bombarded with bitter coffee grounds and overbearing tastes, yet Cuvee was just the opposite. It tasted fresh and sweet, with just the right of amount of kick to get me through the rest of my day. After all, coffee is an intern’s best friend!

So, fellow coffee lovers, grab yourself a cup of Cuvee, and raise a steaming mug to Texas family values and world-class taste!  I’m now a faithful drinker.

If you’ve never had it (or need to restock), Cuvee Coffee is now available via The Daytripper General Store where Chet is compiling some of his favorite Texas-based shirts, food, and cool stuff.  Order some today.  You won’t regret it.

Coffee Picture

Cans for Q in Arlington!

CansForQHowdy Daytrippers! Join us next Friday, May 2, in Arlington for “Cans for Q!” Come on out to celebrate the debut of the Arlington episode as well as raise support for your local food bank. The party will be at Rudy’s Bar-B-Q on Friday, May 2, 2014. We will all eat together starting at 6:30pm and at 8:00pm we will debut the Arlington episode!

Here’s the deal – Bring a canned good donation and we’ll give you a free 1/4 lb of brisket (one per customer). Turn your cans into delicious BBQ…yep, that’s what we do!

So, come on out on Friday, May 2 at 6:30pm to the Rudy’s BBQ and join us for “Cans for Q!” In the meantime, enjoy a sneak peek at the Arlington episode.

Arlington Cans for Q
Friday, May 2, 2014, 6:30pm-8:30PM
Rudy’s Bar-B-Q, 451 East I-20, Arlington, TX 76018

Join Me on a BBQ Tour!


I’ve got some exciting news. On Saturday, March 2, we are taking our second official “Day Trip with The Daytripper”. It’s a full-on day trip with ME embarking on an epic barbeque tour and I want YOU to come along for the ride.

We’ll be making stops at Snow’s BBQ, Southside Market and Louie Mueller BBQ. Pitmasters from each of these great Texas “Q” joints will be providing us with an exclusive behind the scenes tour on what makes their smoked meats so heavenly. And along the way we’ll be throwing in some surprises!

Tickets are $125 per person and includes transportation, food and non-alcoholic beverages during the tour. Tickets can be purchased by clicking on the “BUY NOW” button below. The tour will be departing from a central location in the Austin area around 8:30 AM in the morning and will return around 4:00 PM. Details will be emailed to all participants one week prior to the trip. All tickets are 100% non-refundable but are transferable to another person. Event will go on, rain or shine.

I hope to see you there. Keep on trippin!



MEAT UP photos

The inaugural MEAT UP was Awesome! We had about 80 hungry Daytrippers load up into two giant buses and head to Lockhart and Luling for some serious Bar-B-Q grub. I was too busy eating to take any pictures, but luckily lots of other folks did.

Here are some of the AWESOME photos that folks took in between the Bar-B-Q gorgings.  Check em out.

FoodJoy Blog – Barbecue Road Trip with KLRU and Chet Garner

Austin Pixels – A Day Trip with The Daytripper

Blue Eyed Bon Vivant – Meat Up BBQ Tour with The Daytripper

Caleb Marsh – Daytripper Meat Up 2011

David J. Neff – KLRU TV BBQ Meat Up

Rick Ward – BBQ

Yeah, the bus broke down, but not even that could stop the Bar-B-Q train.

A sincere THANK YOU to everyone who came out, and to KLRU for hosting the event.

If you missed this one, don’t worry.  Just stay tuned…

MEAT UP with The Daytripper

KLRU Meat UpIn case you missed the LIVE pledge event, there are still a very limited number of seats left on the MEAT UP tour.  Read more for more information…

This event is going to be AWESOME.  One Day.  Three Bar-B-Q joints.  Hosted by yours truly.  To support KLRU and join me on the “Meat Up” follow this LINK.

Hope to “meat” you there.

Cans for Q

Cans for Q food driveThe Daytripper has teamed up with Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q for the first ever “CANS for Q” food drive happening at the Rudy’s in Houston on Hwy 290 on Friday night (July 8th) from 7-9pm.

How does it work?  You bring a canned good, and we magically upgrade it to a 1/4 lb of brisket.  It’s as easy as that.  All the items collected will be donated to the Houston Food Bank.  More Details HERE.

The Cult of Saint Arnold

To make beer is human, but to make beer in tiny batches, secretly placed all over Texas, instigating a fan-obsessed scavenger hunt…is divine.

On Monday, Houston-based Saint Arnold Brewing Company, announced that on Tuesday it would be releasing a batch of Divine Reserve No. 11.  But where? when? how much?….I was on a quest to find out.

For those that don’t know, Saint Arnold Brewing Company is Texas’s oldest craft brewery based in Houston and distributing its craft-style brews all over Texas.  They make 5 beers year round, 5 seasonally, and one VERY tasty root beer.  But in addition to beer made in the ordinary course of business, Saint Arnold experiments like a brew-obsessed mad scientist.  And if the batch is blessed causing the ingredients to transcend beer and reach the realm of the divine, Saint Arnold releases a DIVINE RESERVE.  Very limited in quantity and very selective in placement.  Since 2005, there have only been 10 Divine Reserve batches, that is until Tuesday, March 29, 2011, when Saint Arnold released No. 11.

Up until recently, I was completely unaware of the Divine Reserve craze which sends the Cult of Saint Arnold into a frenzy.  You see, rather than just putting it on the shelf and letting customers pick it up if they want, Saint Arnold does it a bit different.  First they send out an email telling you the day it will be released, but leave it to YOU to figure out where.  And then the scavenger hunt begins.  The Saint Arnold faithful collectively scour their local beer coolers and share their finds and misses with other members of the cult.  And once the beer is located, they sound the alarm.  Then within hours, the few cases the location received are GONE.  Supply is low and demand is through the roof.

I’ve never participated in the Divine Reserve hunt until Tuesday after I received an email that sucker-punched me right in the taste buds.  Divine Reserve No. 11 was to be a double IPA.  Read how they describe it HERE, and tell me that doesn’t make you thirsty.  I don’t have time to search Texas looking for it, so I decided to sit back and let others do the legwork.  Thanks Craft Austin.

The beer popped up at Central Market on North Lamar.  I couldn’t go immediately, so I had to roll the dice on whether or not it would still be available later in the day.  I arrived at about 7:30pm and ran to the Saint Arnold section. Nothing.  I scanned the other coolers.  Nothing.  I had waited too long.  But before giving up, I decided to ask a worker.

Me: Excuse me, but do you guys have any Saint Arnold Divine Reserve left?

Her: (smiling slyly) Oh, you want some Divine Reserve, huh?  I might have some left.

Me: Really, I didn’t see it on the shelf.

Her: Oh, it’s not on the shelf.

She led me to the back where sitting on a dolly were about 3 cases of Divine Reserve No. 11.  She pulled out a six pack and said “you can only get one.”  That was fine by me.  My quest was victorious and I could now kick back and enjoy a beer that might never be released…ever again.  It was my initiation into the Cult of Saint Arnold.  You might still be able to find some around your town, and it is even on tap in select locations.

Like so many things in life, the joy is not so much in the destination, but in the journey.  And in this case, that couldn’t be more true.  Finding the beer is just as fun as drinking the beer.  Cheers!

Hoo-wee Chicken Fried Bacon

I would love to have been in the room when the Sodolaks dreamed up the notion of chicken frying bacon. After all, anyone can fry bacon, but it takes a visionary to chicken-fry Bacon.

The chicken-fried bacon at Sodolak’s Country Inn in Snook, TX is the stuff Texas Legends are made of. And what’s even more shocking than the idea of “Chicken Fried Bacon”, is that its actually good.

Snook, Texas is a small community about 15 miles southwest of College Station. The exterior at Sodolak’s Country Inn is nothing fancy (neither is the interior for that matter).

And if you had any question as to what kind of food Sodolak’s serves, they’ve made it blaringly obvious. Sodolaks is a “STEAK HOUSE”. (no need for subtlety in Snook). But the day I visited I wasn’t on a mission for steak, but for bacon.

Chet at Sodolak's Country Inn in Snook, TX

The Chicken Fried Bacon is an appetizer consisting of a half dozen or so thinly sliced strips of bacon, battered in Sodolak’s bacon batter, and then deep fried to a golden brown. And as with anything that’s “chicken-fried”, it came with a dipping portion of cream gravy. And there you go…

I expected greasy, fatty bacon, covered in oozing batter dripping with grease. Something like frying fat in more fat and then dipping it into a vat of fat. I told my wife to get the defibrillator ready. Let’s be honest, that’s what you would expect too. However, I was wrong. The chicken fried bacon is surprisingly crisp. I won’t call it “light” but it’s not heavy. The bacon is sliced so thin that it seems like it’s only there to help the batter hold its shape and to give the crunchy batter a nice hint of bacon flavor. The cream gravy only made it tastier.

Salad at Sodolak's Country Inn in Snook, TX

With the help of my wife, 2 year old son, and Aggie sister and brother-in-law we polished off the plate in no time, and then readied our stomachs for lunch. Ironically, I think the salad put me closer to the grave than the bacon. There’s a salad somewhere under that dressing, I promise.