Oktoberfest, or should I say, OktoberFaust, is here!
Our OktoberFaust is officially on draft, and in honor of Oktoberfest, our Brew Master, Ray, collaborated with our Executive Chef, Chris, (with a little help from me!) to write this article to shed some light on the history and brewing process of a Marzen Style Lager, as well as some interesting tips and tricks for cooking with this flavorful beer.
One of the most famous annual events in Germany, Oktoberfest conjures up visions of decorated beer tents, musicians in lederhosen and oompah bands, and women clad in traditional dirndls serving steins full of beer to thirsty patrons.
Taste of New Braunfels Article
We are so excited we had the opportunity to make the cover of the most recent Taste of New Braunfels magazine! In case you haven't seen it or had a chance to read it yet, here's the article:
Sip, savor and stay!
A cold, crisp, freshly brewed ale, a heaping plate of gooey German Nachos, a round of darts…. A perfectly mixed cocktail, savory Stuffed Mushrooms and a team trivia contest… Or a glass of pinot noir paired with seared Ahi tuna and eine kleine nachtmusik… The updated, redesigned Faust Hotel & Brewing Company hosts all these options, and more. It is little wonder that The Faust Hotel was recently voted #1 Hotel of New Braunfels.
The brew pub has something to please everyone in your party: Flat screen TVs, darts, live music, trivia and the comforting surroundings of a classic brauhaus. The warm glow of bright copper tanks and rich wood accents create an ideal environment to hang with your friends, enjoy a drink and a mouthwatering meal.
The Faust Brewing Company now features an array of house brews, including Faust Golden Ale, Altered States German Altbier and Mike Crowe IPA, as well as a variety of seasonal favorites. Leading the production is Ray Mitteldorf, a professional brew master with 17 years experience. Ray brings with him his training from The Seibel Institute in Chicago along with experience at breweries such as The Yellow Rose Brewing Company and The Dodging Duck Brew Haus, and his craft culminates here with his creation of six unique brews thus far.
For a complete experience, the pub has recently launched its new tapas-style menu, created by Chef Chris Kilisz. Chris came to the Faust after a decade’s experience as a sous-chef following his graduation from the Texas Culinary Academy in 2000. His exclusive menu features items specifically designed for sharing and pairing with the pub’s own microbrews: their signature dish, the Faust Wellington, Mini Dogs topped with sauerkraut, sautéed bell peppers and onions and spicy mustard, and German Nachos, to name a few. Just as the pub isn’t limited to beer (there’s liquor and wine, too), the menu isn’t limited to German-inspired options: it boasts a broad spectrum of international cuisine with dishes such as the Croque Monsieur, Souvlaki Skewers, Proscuitto Caprese Bruschetta, and Cochanitas.
The Faust Hotel & Brewing Company is a one-stop destination, so fun you won’t want to leave…and you won’t have to, because you can stay there, too!
Launching a Restaurant
So, not only did we want to get the brewery back up and running, we also hoped to open a restaurant one day. Much like knowing we wanted Ray as our Brew Master, we knew the perfect man for the job of Executive Chef, our friend, Chris Kilisz. Thankfully, being a friend of ours, we didn’t have to try very hard to find him like we did trying to find Ray! Vance and I talked to Chris about the position and hoped we could bring him on shortly after Vance took ownership of The Faust. We were all really looking forward to it but then of course, just as with the brewery, we knew a restaurant would have to wait.
Now, after what has felt like forever, it’s funny to me how seemingly overnight everything we’ve wanted for the Faust Brewing Company is becoming a reality. Over the past two years, if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if we had our own beer or if we served food and had to tell them no, I’d be rich! It’s crazy to think that now not only are we building our selection of house brews, but with Chris joining the team back in March, last Thursday we were finally able to say we have a restaurant! While we expected a typical soft opening for a bar that’s already open and up and running, you know, where you don’t really announce that you’re serving food yet and just hand out the menu if people ask… But that’s quite the opposite of what happened! Apparently word travels fast, and we’ve been serving food non-stop since we opened the kitchen doors! I also must say that I don’t think we could have dreamed of a more perfect first launch of our menu. Even though we weren’t totally expecting the rush we got on our first day open, with Chris as Executive Chef and Trent Wehe, our Bar Manager, it was a huge success! With a Tapas-style menu, our concept is different from anything else in New Braunfels right now and because of that, and more importantly, the amazing staff we have, I have no doubt in the success of The Faust Brewing Company as a brewery, bar and restaurant. It still almost doesn't feel real. The fact that we actually have beer, that we are actually serving food.... It's so awesome, and I’m looking forward to officially kicking it all off this Saturday with a grand opening party!
Faust Brewing Co. Growth & Reopening
Where to start... I've never really "blogged" before, and there is so much happening at The Faust right now it's hard to keep up sometimes! I'll try not to get ahead of myself here and go back to the beginning. When Vance Hinton, the new owner of The Faust, took over in July of 2009, we were beyond excited at the prospect of reopening the brewery and adding a restaurant. Unfortunately, those plans had to be put on hold when we realized very quickly that we would need to reorganize our priorities, and that the brewery would have to take a back seat to all the changes and upgrades that needed to be made to the bar area itself and the hotel rooms.
We focused mainly on the bar at first, but despite all the work we had put into upgrading almost every aspect of it, and that The Faust Brewing Company had finally made it back on the radar as a great place to hang out, I still had a lingering feeling that something was missing. After almost a year, I felt sometimes as if we would never get the brewery itself back up and running. I had a specific person in mind to be our brew master, and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't find him. I had heard so many great things about his abilities as a brew master, and I knew from day one that if I could find him, I would do whatever it took to get him here. Then one day, in the summer of 2010, our visions of reopening the brewery suddenly seemed possible. I met a nice couple in the bar who had been asking me about the brewery, and if we had a brew master yet. After explaining that I couldn't find the person I really wanted, they asked who I was talking about. I told them his name was Ray Mitteldorf, and to my disbelief, a huge grin came across their faces as they chuckled and said, "Ray?? We know him! We'll call him right now for you!" The rest is basically history after that!
Now, with Ray as a part of our team, and after almost two years of waiting, the brewery is FINALLY back up and running and we couldn't be more excited! We recently released Altered States, our German Altbeir, which is our first official batch of beer from the big system. The Faust Golden Ale should be ready to serve later this week, and Ray will also be making an IPA this week, which should be ready just in time for San Antonio Beer Week at the end of May!
With beer in the tanks and a restaurant in the works, big things are going to be happening around here and I can't wait!