Viewing entries tagged
HighWheel Beer

Comment

We're Canning Betty!

DSC_0960.JPG

Since December 2015, fans of Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co. have asked to take their favorite beers home. Almost four years later, visitors will be able to do just that. 

With the passing of House Bill 1545, which allows breweries to sell beer directly to guests, Dorćol invested in the design of a HighWheel Betty can. Designed by Heavy Heavy Co., a San Antonio-based creative services studio, our Betty can features the now-signature blonde and showcases the ale’s drinkability. 

“To finally be able to send folks home with a sixer of Betty, our most popular beer, will have an impact on brand recognition, marketing and overall growth for us at Dorćol,” said co-founder Boyan Kalusevic. 

Cans will be available for pick up in packs of six starting the night of September 5 during our Music For Advanced Listeners residency with DJs Hello Darby (AKA Steven Darby and co-designer of the label), Nova Soul, and Caribbean snacks by The Jerk Shack. 

“San Antonians and other guests have waited for this for four long years,” said brewer and co-owner Randy Ward, “Come and get it!”

Comment

Comment

Oktoberfest Is Coming!

4th Annual (2).png

Consider this a tease.

Since HighWheel’s launch, Oktoberfest at Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co. has been celebrated concurrently to Munich’s celebration of all things beer.

This year will be no different. But we’re celebrating for three full weekends.

On September 21, we’re releasing our Dunkelweizen, a traditional Bavarian style dark wheat beer and having ourselves a Wurst-Off with local brat vendors.

Stay tuned for more details as they’re released!

Comment

Comment

Meet us at Outlaw Kitchen

Bill Motley

Bill Motley

Peggy Howe and Paul Sartory are no strangers to hard work. After a career as a chef instructor with the Culinary Institute of America, which brought him to San Antonio, Chef Paul wanted something more. It helped he’s married to Peggy, a wiz at rehabbing historic homes. The two combined their passions and set out to work on opening Outlaw Kitchen — a live-work restaurant — eight years in the making.

When Outlaw Kitchen finally opened in September of 2017 inside half of the couple’s Alta Vista home, it became an immediate hit with neighbors and friends. The concept bucks menus and traditional restaurant culture. Instead, a visit to Outlaw Kitchen means guests choose from one of two entrees, one of which is always vegetarian, both always exquisitely satisfying.

“I used to be vegetarian for a long time,” Peggy said. "At first, Paul didn’t want to do it, but he caved.”

Outlaw Kitchen began carrying HighWheel Betty just as it celebrated its first anniversary, though they didn’t set foot at Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co. until this July.

“We were on our way to Dorćol, but we hadn’t had dinner, and so we stopped at Il Forno and tried it there,” Peggy said.

Bill Motley

Bill Motley



They were looking for a specific brew to pair with their eclectic menu that often spans cultures and continents within the same week. Betty’s often used for braises or batters, or for appetizer pairings that simply call for a crisp, refreshing beer such as their fresh spring rolls, or Jamaican goat curry.

Peggy likes to share the story of Boyan visiting for dinner and watching the staff zip by one evening. She said, "We told him, everyone loves the beer! And he goes, "you people are the only ones drinking the beer!”

But it’s not just the “quenching and quaffing” qualities of Betty that keep Peggy and Paul happy.

“Randy and Boyan are consistent and passionate about what they do. We love having them here. It’s always professional and efficient,” Paul said. “There’s no messing around.”

Peggy reiterated Paul’s praise for the guys, saying “They come in and we're all busy and it's very much appreciated that they're so professional. Here's your check. Here's your invoice. That's it!”

Now two years in, Outlaw Kitchen functions as a well oiled machine. Even as newcomers find the restaurant on weekends. They’re often bewildered by the small neighborhood spot with the deeply curated beer and wine list and succinct menu offerings.


Bill Motley

Bill Motley

“They come in and they want the story,” Peggy said. “We eventually win them over. They’re here to relax. We’re a relaxed group around here.”

The soft-spoken Paul, who spends the evenings peeking out of his kitchen window, said, “It’s a very communal thing. They’re all virtually eating the same thing.”





Comment

Comment

Homebrewing and Perfect Timing

DSC_0942.JPG

A lot had to happen before Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co. became the fastest-growing craft brewery in Texas earlier this spring.

Namely, our brewer and owner Randy Ward, had to fall in love with beer, and for that story, we have to hop onto the way-back machine and take a trip to the early 90s.

A fresh graduate of Angelo State at the time, Randy was working for Amoco Oil in Houston, where he lived with his better half Stephanie. While attending church in H-town, Randy met a dude who made his own beer at home, and his curiosity was piqued.

“I had time. I was working 7:30 to 4:30 every day and was bored with that,” Randy said.

That Christmas, Stephanie gifted Randy his own rudimentary home brew kit complete with a 5-gallon bucket and a bottle capper from the only homebrew store in the state at the time. Randy started brewing using beer kits, but eventually graduated to an all-grain system. They eventually moved to Alvin, where Randy put together a decent homebrew operation, and formulated a porter recipe we currently call the HighWheel Porter. He started competing in homebrew competitions — and winning. He took home a Best in Show for his American pilsner in Clear Lake’s Lunar Rendezbrew Homebrew Competition.

But life happens. Son Zach was born in ‘96, Steph started her Ph.D. program at the University of Houston, and Randy started an MBA tract in 1997 at Rice University.

“Homebrewing was set on the back burner,” Randy said.

When laws began to change — allowing brewpubs to open — Randy considered leaving oil and gas to pursue his dreams of opening a brewery of his own.

Because of his relationships within Rice, Randy was able to sit down with another local brewer in the early 2000s. Brock Wagner, one of the founders of Saint Arnold, dissuaded that effort, for the best.

“It turned out to be fortuitous. My career blossomed…and every brewery that opened within a 5-year period of that time went out of business,” Randy said. At the time, legislation had caps on beer, food, and distribution made it difficult for small Texas breweries to succeed.

After 20 years in oil and gas, and having relocated to San Antonio for Stephanie’s work at St. Mary’s University, Randy still had the brewing bug. With retirement in sight, Randy dusted off the brewery idea.

“Laws had changed. It was more favorable. I went out and bought more equipment and converted part of our three-car garage in Fair Oaks into a legitimate brew system to see if I could brew quasi-commercially, and I could,” said Randy.

He hopped around the country gaining more knowledge, first at the Siebel Institute of Technology, then at breweries in Maine and California.

He decided to shoot his shot and start looking for commercial real estate, while also being a part of the first beverage cohort through Launch SA’s Break, Fast & Launch program. Each group ends in a show and tell where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and companies to would-be investors. It was at the end of the first food cohort, where Randy met Boyan and Chris.

And the rest is history…




Comment

Comment

A Visit to the Hoppy Monk

Ricardo Ruiz and Brittany Dinhobl of Hoppy Monk

Ricardo Ruiz and Brittany Dinhobl of Hoppy Monk

It takes a certain kind of company to open a beer depot with locally sourced beers and foods, but that’s exactly what Hoppy Monk did when they first opened their doors in El Paso, and later replicated that same magic in a completely new city while still offering independent breweries a spot on their taps and offering the public a solid menu of high-quality bar snacks and more.

These days, the Hoppy Monk keeps the Northside’s thirst for quality craft beer sated with an enviable wall of beer taps, and food made with ingredients sourced from independent farmers. It’s that attention to detail that helped draw the staff to Dorćol.

When co-owner Joseph Valenzuela began exploring San Antonio, he was introduced to our little tasting room on South Flores by friends, and he shared his newfound spot with his staff. As manager Ricardo Ruiz recalls, “he turned us on to this little bar called Dorćol, it was when Nick was working there, and started going and really enjoying rakia. We were floored by the fact that there’s no other spirit there, and that y’all were making lots of cocktails.”

Ricardo and Joseph brought Kinsman onto their opening menu at Hoppy Monk, and since then, the spirit has remained a favorite.

Betty and the De Pêche Mode

Betty and the De Pêche Mode

And we’re not just saying that. The De Pêche Mode, a peachy concoction created by bartender and manager Brittany Dinhobl, is currently back on their Greatest Sips menu, a collection of fan-favorite cocktails. Brittany, who started at Hoppy Monk in 2015 and has served just about every position available since, combined the Kinsman with Aperol, lemon juice, and Pêche peach liqueur for a winning combination that’ll sneak up on you.

“It’s pretty popular with the ladies,” Brittany said.

It’s not just Kinsman that gets all the love. The Pale Horse cocktail features 2 ounces of Betty, Scotch, lemon and honey.

“Betty is always easy to talk about. It’s such a good, light beer,” Brittany said.

Randy often sits down with Pedro Longoria, part-owner of Hoppy Monk, whenever he’s got a new brew in the works. New menus are often collaborative efforts between staff members to try and get things right, and this extends to events, on and off-site.

Take for instance our annual Helado Borracho competition that tasks participating bars and restaurants with creating San Antonio’s official, Kinsman-infused ice cream. Hoppy Monk’s kitchen staff works closely with Britt and Ricardo to nail creative and creamy desserts. After winning People’s Choice and Critic’s Choice during the inaugural event, the Hoppy Monk is ready to bring the trophy back home.

Whether you’re looking for your new favorite sipper, or you’re hoping to try one of Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co.’s latest brews, Hoppy Monk should be on your list.

“They picked Stone Oak because they wanted to put a stamp in this area especially with it being family-friendly out here. UTSA is not too far away so we have everything from frat kids, to people in their 70s out for date night,” Brittany said. “Whatever the case, we cater to everybody.”




Comment

Comment

HighWheel Coq Hardi Wins Bronze at L.A. Beer Competition

DSC_0822.JPG

The name is tongue in cheek, but this win certainly is not.

HighWheel Coq Hardi earned a bronze at this year’s Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition this April.

Of the 1,520 entries from 244 breweries hailing from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, HighWheel Coq Hardi was only bested by the Beachwood BBQ-Long Beach’, Un Atout and the 2kids Brewing Company’s Rocket Powered Geese, which won gold and silver, respectively.

HighWheel Coq Hardi is one of Dorcol Distilling + Brewing’s year-round offerings, and was one of the original four beers made by head brewer and co-owner Randy Ward. Coq Hardi, named after the Walloon flag, is a traditional saison.  This food friendly beer is made with a strain of yeast from a well respected saison brewery in the Walloon region of Belgium.  

“The yeast strain, coupled with the simple malt bill and combination of two different hops, gives this beer a crisp flavor with notes of clove, pepper, and bubblegum,” said Ward.

Get a taste for this distinctive brew in our taproom at 1902 S. Flores St., Bar 1919 and SoHill Cafe.

Comment

Comment

Stop, Collaborate + Listen: Our Ranger Creek Collab!

DSC_0790.JPG

Brewers have to stick together. That’s why we invited our friends at Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling to join us for a collaboration brew this spring.

After a San Antonio Beer Week meeting at Ranger Creek, Randy and Ranger Creek brewer Holland Lawrence chatted about brews they wanted to try their hands on. Conversations on sours…well, soured, but they turned their attention to Belgium.

IMG_0228 copy.jpg

Randy and Daniel teamed up with Holland and brewer’s assistant Zach Wolfe this past April to create the latest HighWheel Small Batch release, a Belgian Dubbel using a traditional Trappist strain of yeast and Belgian candy sugar. To put a twist on the classic abbey brew, Randy and Holland infused the beer with a mix of sweet and tart cherries.

Brew day involved an early morning start, breakfast tacos, lots of coffee, pizza, and “studiously watching the brew,” per Randy.

IMG_0221 copy.jpg

The result is a rose-hued beer with notes of fig and cherry with a nice Belgian funk on the back end.

Find it at Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co. and select tap rooms across San Antonio.

18 IBU, 7.9% ABV, 22 SRM

Make sure to check in on Untappd and give us a 5-star review!

Comment

Comment

Sooner or Lager: We're making a Pils!

DSC_0230 copy.JPG

Spring has sprung at the warehouse, but while we’re enjoying the mild temperatures, Randy’s thinking ahead to those sweltering South Texas days. As such, he created our first HighWheel lager, a golden yellow Czech-style number that’ll keep you cool as the temperatures keep climbing.

This time, Randy leaned into the pils, named after the Czech city of Plzen and known for its crisp, clean finish. Using traditional Czech hops, he delivered a 5.9 percent ABV pale lager with mild bitterness, that’ll rival Betty with its refreshing and easy-drinking quality. Come try one in the tasting room starting April 26!

IBU:  30, ABV: 5.9%, color: 3.8 SRM


Comment

Comment

On Transforming the Broadway Corridor: Jeret Pena, The Brooklynite's Future + More

Stephan Mendez, Jeret Pena and Rob Gourlay of The Boulevardier Group

Stephan Mendez, Jeret Pena and Rob Gourlay of The Boulevardier Group

One of the first barmen ever to test out Kinsman Rakia in cocktails in our very own taproom will open what is undoubtedly the city’s most anticipated new bar later this summer.

But this isn’t Jeret Pena’s first rodeo. After he helped open The Esquire Tavern in 2011, before moving on to open The Brooklynite in 2012, Pena has kept plenty busy and he’s learned a lot along the way. When the chance to lease a new space for the award-winning Brooklynite came up, he couldn’t pass it up. Not this time.

“Where The Brooklynite will be is where we wanted it to be from the beginning,” Pena said.

The appeal of opening his own craft cocktail bar superseded wanting to take on the higher rent of the Broadway corridor, which has seen enormous growth in the last five years. Pena and The Boulevardier Group leased the Brooklynite’s original location off Brooklyn Ave. and quickly turned it into a must-visit bar for the area, drawing plenty of national attention for their inventive cocktails, raucous Tiki Tuesdays and attention to detail.

Other bars would follow: Stay Golden Social House, The Last Word, The Old Main Assoc. (the latter would eventually close). Stay Golden, the casual patio bar with accessible porch-sippers, closed in 2017, only to open as Still Golden Social House, which Pena likens to an anarchist punk who grew up and went to college.

“It went off and got a degree, but it’s still kind of that punk kid. It’s a teenager that grew up,” Pena said.

Still Golden’s success, which he credits to its affordability and comfort level, have paid off enough to mean the barman can get back into cocktails.

“I didn’t want to let go of The Brooklynite. It (and Chris Hill at the Esquire) are what brought us here and put us on the map. We got tattoos of the damn thing!” Pena said.

After closing this past February, The Brooklynite will reopen behind Still Golden Social House at the intersection of Broadway and Grayson with a new look, and a re-imagined love of cocktails.

“It’s going to look timeless. The old Brooklynite looked like a period piece, a little doll house from the early 20th century,” Pena said. “We’re going with something more timeless you won’t be able to pin-point with Mid-century and splashes of art deco, Herringbone flooring, demascus wallpaper.”

Pena will lean on eau de vie, or unaged fruit brandies, for some of his creations.

“It’s a lot like math for me. If you can consolidate the strength of the spirit with its main flavor profile, like in Kinsman, you’re able to add modifiers and develop the complexity of the drink,” Pena said.

“That’s what I like about Kinsman — it’s a strong spirit and it puts that apricot flavor on center stage.”

Look for The Brooklynite to open with cocktails prices between $12-$18, for all to enjoy.

Comment

1 Comment

FeBREWary Updates

IMG_5882.jpg

This January, we released our heftiest ale yet — our HighWheel Russian Imperial Stout.

For February, Randy took it down a notch with an American Brown Ale, released during our GroundDog Day celebration on February 2 (Groundhog Day, get it?). This was only the third-ever HighWheel American Brown Ale.

This malty beer with an American hop presence clocked in at 30 IBUs, 6.1 percent ABV , and 19 SRM. Ask for it at Piatti Eilan, all Big Hops locations, Stout House, Dignowity Meats, St. Joseph’s Hall, The Point Park & Eats and 502 Bar.

Or stop by Dorćol for a taste, and while you’re here, sample our core lineup (Betty Kölsch, Coq Hardi Saison, 56 IPA, Porter, Hefeweizen, Irish Red Ale and Extra Pale Ale), as well as our HighWheel Small Batch series (Russian Imperial Stout, and Black Kölsch).

1 Comment

Comment

Mardi Paws Takes Over Dorćol Distilling + Brewing on February 23

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 9.07.17 PM.png

This February 23, we’re celebrating all things pets with our friends at 4 Paws Animal Hospital.

From noon to 4 p.m., we’re hosting a Mardi Paws Block Party and closing a portion of LaChapelle Street to welcome pet-supply vendors with treats, the latest in pooch and kitty fashions and pet-friendly services. Ten percent of the bar’s proceeds will benefit the Animal Defense League of Texas.

There will be treats aplenty for all the humans as well, as we welcome Third Coast Kitchens (the restaurant group behind The Cookhouse, NOLA Brunch, and Bud’s Rotisserie) for an authentic crawfish boil; fresh-fried beignets from market-favorite The Beignet Stand; and whimsical milkshakes from Honeysuckle.

Leashed and well-behaved pets are invited to don their best Nawlins-inspired ensembles for our pet parade, emceed by local fashion guru and former Express-News staff writer Michael Quintanilla.

Join us for Heritage Ranch pet food samples from our friends at H-E-B; giveaways from Rudy’s Feed Store; training demos by Stephanie Garza of Pup, Pup and Away; fun games from See Spot Run Pet Sitting, pet ambassadors from the Animal Defense League of Texas, Kinsman-filled FURRICANES, and more!

Noon-4pm, Saturday, February 23, Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co., 1902 S. Flores St.

Text placeholder (7).png

Comment

Comment

We're Celebrating Valentine's Day at Dorćol by Eating Dessert First

DSC_0862.JPG

This Valentine’s Day, Dorćol is dimming the lights…

…and getting ready to celebrate the sweeter side of things.

On February 14, we’re teaming up with The Sinister Sisters, Stephanie and Stacy, to showcase the versatility of our warehouse. By day, we produce and brew some of the finest spirits and beers in Texas. By night, we’ll transition our space to a candlelit respite from the urban madness. The evening will be perfect for cocktails and a lil somethin’ sweet.

ACS_0412.JPG

Join us for a trio of desserts, a warm apricot bread pudding with Kinsman-soaked apricots, salted caramel drizzle topped with toasted almonds, and a Brandy Alexander cheesecake with chocolate cracker crust paired with a raspberry coulis. There’s also a sweet and fluffy surprise in store.

Desserts (meant for sharing) will be paired with Kinsman cocktails created by two of our favorite barkeeps, “Doc” Elliott and Ron Bechtol. Enjoy the Sherry Baby with Kinsman Rakia, Pedro Ximenez Sherry and Frangelico, and the coffee-based KinKafa with Aztec chocolate bitters, cardamom bitters and Kinsman Rakia.

Seatings are available for 7 to 8:30 p.m. and 9 to 10:30 p.m.

Tickets, available through Eventbrite.com, includes one portion of each dessert for the table, as well as two cocktail pairings, two HighWheel Beer pours (Russian Imperial Stout & Betty) and complimentary bubbles per person.

Comment

Comment

Farm Feast at Dorcol (Spring 2017)

Our goal is to scour the world for greatest ingredients possible. From the fruit we distill, to the yeast we ferment with, each is native to its style and brewing or distilling region.

So when we hooked up with Chefs John and Elise Russ, Truckin' Tomato, and Texas farmers, ranchers and purveyors of dry goods, we knew damn well we'd be in for a culinary farm-to-table treat; a true Farm Feast! 

If you think you'd enjoy joining us, be sure to sign up to receive invites for future events!

Comment