Circle Brewery Tour

Austin’s support of all things local, its commitment to mass beer consumption, and its, laid back pretentiousness (we’re actually not knocking it) create the perfect conditions for successful craft breweries. As of late, Austin has been exploding in this market, and among those start-ups is Circle Brewery.

As if being a small craft brewery who must contend with the aggressive politics and strangle-hold of brew giants like Anheuser Bucsh wasn’t enough, Circle has self-imposed the some strict guidelines for the brewing of their tasty beers. First, all brews produced by Circle are unfiltered. Second, the team only uses the primary four ingredients of brewing: water, starch, yeast, and hops. This fundamental and simple approach to brewing is symbolized by the company’s zen-like name and logo and all that it implies.

The self-guided tour allowed for a casual stroll through the facilities while consuming beverages, which greatly increased our enjoyment. We weren’t simply waiting for the booze to come. Circle is a small but highly organized operation whose simple, clean approach to beer craft is reflected in their brewing space.  As we read from the guide pamphlet and moved about the area, we sipped on three different beers produced under Circle’s fundamental guidelines.

Each of their beers is a testament to the fact that amazing flavor does not have to result from a complicated recipe. We first fell in love with the company when we tried their Blur German wheat beer at Dog and Duck Pub almost a year ago now. Although they were, not surprisingly, out of Blur when we showed up for the tour, it didn’t matter much, since we had their other equally outstanding brews to choose from.

We started with their Envy amber, which proved to be a well-balanced brew that was rich enough to be a mouthful without being a meal. The medium hops and smoothness provide plenty to be jealous of for other beers. From there we moved on to the Nameless Winter Amber Ale—a fairly hoppy winter beer with a complex favor profile. Again, Circle does a fantastic job of producing beverages with enough body to be substantial without crossing into territory that makes a second round a chore. The last beer we tried was their Dry Irish Stout called Nightlight. Remarkably crisp for a stout and full of roasted and oaky flavors, this brew falls on the light-bodied end of the stout spectrum and no bitterness lingers on the palette. It would even do on a late summer afternoon, perfect for Texans. As a drinker who prefers a hefe to a stout any day of the week, I still greatly enjoyed this beer—a testament to the accessibility of Circle’s brews.

At the end of our tour, we can easily recommend any of Circle’s products.  Find out if your area pub has Circle on draft, and if not—request it.  We expect this brewery will continue to see increased exposure in a community that supports hometown businesses, especially those that emphasize simple, natural processes.

About author
Bryan Parker is a writer and photographer living and working in Austin, TX. He is the founder of blog Pop Press International and print journal True Sincerity and recently released his first book, a volume on Beat Happening in the 33 1/3 series.
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