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New Variations on a Classic Theme at Guadalupe Brewing

By David Boegaard

America has been a beer culture for more than a century, since the waves of German and Northern European immigrants came to the United States. But after a series of temperance movements and, of course, prohibition, Americans developed a taste for beer that appeared to have low alcohol content. That meant bland, blond beers like the lagers and pilsners that still overwhelm US sales.

In the last 20 years, however, a movement of small, craft brewers has arisen to challenge the dominance of the giant brewing companies. These craft brewers add variety to the marketplace, and an opportunity for connoisseurs to find playful innovations and subtle intonations. Guadalupe Brewing Company in New Branfels, Texas, is one of the new craft breweries that is shaking up the bland old world of American beer.

Guadalupe Brewing is a new upstart with new ideas. While they take inspiration from craft brewers from around the world, their beers are brewed with Texas ingredients and sold exclusively within the Texas marketplace.

Guadalupe Brewing started from the simple love of good beer. "We love the Pacific Northwest craft beer scene and our travels to Europe also exposed us to what beer could and should taste like," says Owner Keith Kilker. That led the founders to attend courses in brewing science, and experiment with ingredients and flavors.

Dedicated to making the best possible beers, the founders made the decision to start a brewery while musing over some of their private homebrews. After a brewing apprenticeship in Colorado, they launched the Guadalupe Brewing Company right here in New Branfels. "Passion should be the drive for your career," notes Kilker, "and we have yet to look back."

While most Americans are accustomed to lagers, like Budweiser, the Guadalupe Brewing Company focuses on distinctive beers, especially Ales. "The majority of our beers are high gravity meaning high alcohol and loads of flavor," says Kilker. They have a wide variety of beers running from milder (but still strong!) creations like the Texas Honey Ale to deep, dark chocolate stouts aged in bourbon barrels. "If you can dream it we have tried it."

Today, American beer is much more than just a means to get drunk with your friends. Not only are many of the new beers tastier, but they've made beer exciting again. "Big corporate beer just can't do the things we do and have the flexibility of experimenting with new and crazy ingredients," says Kilker. It's that sense of experimentation and fun that makes Guadalupe Brewing Company stand out from the crowd. Come by Guadalupe Brewing in New Branfels, or try one out at a local Texas bar, and find out what everyone is talking about.

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