Category Archives: Jonny’s Blog

Jonathan Niess’ little pocket of Warlocks Games and Beer.

Contest (Expired)

Hey everybody!

 

So I had an idea…

We are holding a contest right now to see how creative you can be. All you need to do is tell us your best super hero names that relate to beer. You know, like Hopman or Barleygirl. Come up with one of the best 3 beer superhero names and you win a Warlocks Games and Beer glass and T-shirt.

To qualify for the contest you will need to “like” and “share” our contest image on Facebook which can be found HERE. Then just shoot out as many beer superhero names as you like on the Warlocks page. Let me be clear about this part. You have to put the superhero names on the Warlocks Games and Beer page, not in the comments of the image. We have designated a post that you can comment on with your name ideas that reads “Beer Superhero names GO!”

You can only win this contest if you are 21 years old or older. The best names will be picked by Warlocks Games and Beer staff/associates.

 

Oh, hey… you should seriously look into going to Comicpalooza in Houston. Your favorite beer/nerd culture concept might be represented there.

New Year

We are getting pretty close to kicking off 2014 and I am a bit anxious and excited about what waits for us on the other side of December 31. Warlocks has made some great strides that I am still amazed by and we are nowhere near slowing down.

In 2013 we experienced many great Warlocks events including a retro video game event, board game event, a two week take over, and an art event. My favorite being the art event. I was very impressed with the talent that showed up for that event. We will continue to find excuses to work with these awesome people.

As for beer! We served close to 20 different beers. Brewing in small batches allows us to bring a large variety to our customers. Speaking of beer, we are releasing a beer on new year’s eve called New Adventure #1. Our plan is to release a New Adventure every year on new year’s eve. Each one of these beers will be a style we have not attempted. ¬†This year we are attempting a wit.

The League of Extraordinary Brewers has also made strides that we are proud of. The brewpub has been consistently open for almost 2 months. The owner Lucrece is still alive despite being 60% done with her beer fast. The League is also on the verge of releasing growlers to the public and to appropriate Kickstarter backers.

I am going to take this opportunity to thank each one of you for buying our beer, listening to our ideas, giving us feedback, buying a shirt, or otherwise believing in Warlocks Games and Beer. I will forever be grateful to our early fans. Without that group of people I very well could have given up and let someone else try to bring brewing and nerd culture together.

Thank you and have a safe new year. Prost.

,Jonathan P. Niess aka Jonnydem

California Trip

Over the Thanksgiving holiday the wife and I headed to California to visit her family. Last time we were there we borrowed a car to hit up my favorite brewery, Stone. This time we had the whole family go with us to Ballast Point on our way to the airport for our return flight back to Houston. Then after being dropped off at the airport Jessica and I found out our plane was delayed a couple of hours sooo… we had a beer at the Stone bar and restaurant in the San Diego airport. Both of these locations were well worth the time.

BallastTapRoom

For those of you who do not know, San Diego has one of the best craft beer scenes in the country. Stone and Ballast point are just two among the long list of awesome breweries in the area. We hope that we can one day make Houston such a place. The League of Extraordinary Brewers, which is Warlocks current home, is going to be a very important part of making Houston a craft beer destination.

In Texas we have just recently witnessed a surge of Ballast Point beers in the area. Little did I know that the history of Ballast Point goes back to 1992 as I learned on the tour we took of the brewery. This brewery is blowing up in California. They are looking at another production location to use in tandem with their current location to answer the demand for their beers.

BallastBrewSystem

I was impressed with their system as a whole. It is a growing and modern brewery with obvious humble but ambitious beginnings. They have come a long way. The inside of their facility has rows of 50 gallon fermenters and a cool bottling and canning setup. The bottling line is an old 7up bottling machine from the 60’s.

Tucked away in a corner near the front of the main room in a fenced off area are a couple distilling contraptions. It is fenced off because of certain laws preventing alcohol and beer being made in the same space. Legally the fenced off area is another suite in the building. Oh, did I forget to mention that Ballast Point is a brewstillery? That’s right, they make beer AND spirits. The spirits are pretty pricey and not distributed nationally. We were lucky enough to get some at the Stone bar in the airport before we left though.

BallastStill2

Not only did we get to try the awesome spirits at the Stone facility in the airport but we actually purchased bottled Stone products that we could take on the plane. We picked up a 2010 Old Guardian and a Southern Charred. We are going to let both of these delicious beauties age a bit alongside my bottles of W00t Stout a while before breaking them open.

StoneBrewCo

Overall this was a great trip. We spent some good quality time with family and managed to make it a good beer trip too. I certainly recommend San Diego to craft beer fans. It is a city all other craft beer cities aspire to be.

Adventures in Brewing

Brewing, Hellyeah!

Adventure Brewing, Fuck Yeah!

Those of you lucky people out there who have had the rare chance to drink a Green Ogre or a Health Potion down at The League of Extraordinary Brewers know that the Warlocks brewing crew loves to make some adventurous beers. Well, we have not ended our brewing adventures at just those beers mentioned above. We have a fever and the only prescription is more adventurous brews.

As I am typing this we are baking a whole pumpkin in the hopes we can use it as a fermenter. You heard right. A pumpkin fermenter. Yeah, I have not made a pumpkin beer before because I am always reluctant to do things that everybody else does. So when Lucrece (of the League of Extraordinary Brewers) suggested I do a pumpkin beer I knew we were somehow going to make it our own one way or another. Turns out that meant fermenting in a pumpkin. This very well could be a huge failure but you don’t stand out if you don’t take risks. Oh, and not all of the batch is going into a pumpkin so we could have good beer despite that experiment.

Today we are also brewing our holiday seasonal, Wassail-copter. We brewed this beer last year but of course did not have it for purchase in the brewpub as the brewpub was not open at that time. I went through a couple batches of this beer before I made a batch I enjoyed. If you have not figured it out this beer is brewed with wassail which is a German holiday beverage. Wassail can be summed up easily as it is just a hot spiced apple cider. It’s great to drink on a cold night in December. The beer itself benefits from the spices mostly.

While Jonsey was in town we also made it a point to brew an Imperial IPA that we have named The Hop Elemental. This beer is huge on the earthy and herbal hop varieties and also benefits from a short oak chip aging. This beer is over 100 IBUs. Go big or go home, I always say. Not really, I don’t think I have ever said that. Due to a very fast acting yeast strain this beer will be ready much earlier than anticipated.

Another beer idea we are working on for the holiday season is a beer smoked with Frankincense and Myrrh. This is very much a work in progress but you should be able to expect it sometime in December.

As you can see we have a lot of fun with our beer. We hope you have enjoyed this peek into our adventurous beer lineup. We love to get feedback from our fans so please do not hesitate to let us know what you think of our beer or any suggestions you might have for us. We also like to answer questions on our podcast. Please direct all questions to the twitter account @warlocksbrew and use #warpod to get our attention. We are also on Facebook. Oh, and we are on Instagram too!

OH, and go buy a shirt. CLICK HERE!

 

10/24/2013 Jonathan P. Niess

Halfway Through the Art Event

I just wanted to put a quick note out there about the Graphic Art and Beer Event that we are putting on. The night started out fairly slow but picked up in a big way as the evening went on. We had beer fans and art fans alike come through our front door at The League of Extraordinary Brewers.

I take a lot of pride when I see people connect with things that I have created. This means a lot to me especially when it comes to the beer I make. I saw this happen a couple of times on Friday. To tell you the truth it also feels good just matching a person with the right beer whether it is my beer or not. Spiller Artisan Ales fills a void in my library of beers. He is great at making Belgian style ales that I just have not even attempted to make. I know he does not like to be pigeon holed as the Belgian beer guy but he is damn good at them.

The art is also coming along well at the event. If you were unaware, we have local artists creating a mural piece that will be displayed in the Warlocks lounge after it is complete. The featured image of this post is of the mural not yet complete. The artists that attended Friday have been awesome and I can not wait to see the completed mural. Today, Saturday, I expect more artists and more awesomess. If you are reading this on Saturday September 28th 2013 there is still time for you to come down and watch the mural being made.

On a less awesome note… my phone was stolen on Friday. I am getting that taken care of and I should have a new phone by Tuesday.

Warpoding

We are putting out our 8th episode of the Warlocks podcast (AKA WarPod) next Tuesday. Exploring the world of podcasting has been a lot of fun for the Warlocks crew. We get to talk about the things we love and share them with other like minded people. Why wouldn’t we love it?

I think the most enjoyable part of this whole process is expanding my own understanding of the things I love. I generally don’t spend a lot of time with other people which is really just a product of habit. Anyway, when I get to discuss things that I enjoy with other people I feel enriched. I get to expand my knowledge, challenge my own point of view, and sometimes reinforce my opinions. It’s a stimulating process.

This whole podcasting experience has been a very spontaneous one for sure. When we came up with the Warlocks concept nobody said, “Hey, let’s start a podcast.” It was any idea that came out of a need. Without a brewpub that we can call exclusively ours we started grasping for other things to call our own. We felt the Warlocks website was the best place to do that. It started with articles. Then came some videos. Then a short comic. Then the podcast. Now we do all of it and I’m not sure how we will keep doing it all once the time requirement of brewing beer becomes as great as we expect it to.

I hope you have taken the time to listen to a podcast or to. If you think that we take too long to actually start talking about good content or are just unimpressed by the quality… please stay tuned. This is still relatively new to us and we are improving all the time.

Don’t be a 206er. You will have to listen to the podcast to learn what that means.