Our first stop down here in Austin, TX was at Thirsty Planet on Saturday, 1/4/14. It was also the first brewery we did on a whim; we just showed up to their public Saturday tour, let them know what we’re doing, and asked if it would be okay to get pictures and tour their facilities. Without hesitation they said yes and our awesome day began.
Thirsty Planet was established back in 2010 by Brian and Tammy Smittle after Brian spent a number of years in the brewing business. He started off as a volunteer at a brewery called the Hubcap in Colorado, ended up brewing beer there full-time, moved to Oklahoma to open up a brewery with some friends in 1993, and after much success moved down south to Austin where he is now owner and brewer at Thirsty Planet.
Their year-round beers include Buckethead IPA, Thirsty Goat Amber, and Yellow Armadillo wheat. They expand on that selection with a plethora of seasonal beers like the charity brew named Silverback Pale Ale. Silverback is a 5.5% pale ale brewed with Grains of Paradise, a spice crucial to the diet of the mountain gorilla. This is no coincidence, as 100% goes to support the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund (MGCF), which they further support by sponsoring a 5k run through Austin in Gorilla suits. On top of that, Thirsty Planet uses renewable resources to reduce their carbon footprint. We are definitely happy to see that this brewery is going out of their way to help Mother Earth, especially since it explained why there was a man in a gorilla suit sitting at the bar when we first walked in.
The brewery only distributes their brews in kegs around the Austin area, but will be bottling very soon. Public tours are also offered on site every Saturday, which are a must for anyone reading this; they only charge $7 for 3 fills of a pint glass you get to keep! As of the date we wrote this blog, that is.
Big thanks to Ben Sabin who handles sales, brewing, PR, events, and social media for the brewery for letting us tour their facilities and answer our questions. Cheers to you, Ben!
Author: Michael Roberts