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The Red Granite is brewed with imported British malts, Fuggles hops and English "old stock ale" yeast. It is not pasteurized and has no preservatives. Look for good head retention in this amber-to-red colored, medium-bodied ale. Note a malty, somewhat spicy nose and a clean, crisp malty body, balanced nicely with a slight hop bitterness. Look for a clean, dry finish
Mike McHone, co-owner of Hill Country Brewing, has never entered his beer in an in any kind of a formal judged event. "We are too busy making beer," he said recently, "and we’re really small." Hill Country is about as small as microbreweries come, producing just 3,000 barrels of beer a year. The beers are sold in only in bars and retail stores local to the brewery in Austin, Texas. Nevertheless the beers produced by Hill Country are good enough to have attracted the attention of renowned beer critic Michael Jackson, who visited the brewery this spring, tasted its beers, and declared them "faultless." Quite a nice feature in the cap of such a young brewery.The brewery has gathered its equipment across the country from former national, regional and micro-breweries. It is an eclectic yet simple brew house, comprised of old dairy equipment and a bottling line from the 1940s. For its first year and a half, Hill Country depended on volunteer labor, mainly homebrewers, friends and neighbors. Now in its third year, the brewery has 2 full-time and 2 part-time employees, including a microbiologist.McHone and his brother/co-owner, Marshall, grew up in Austin, and are both passionate about protecting its environment. A percentage from the sale of every case of Balconies Fault Beers is donated to the Hill Country Foundation, a group dedicated to the preservation of the Texas Hill Country and its indigenous species. The Balconies Fault Beers are named for the geological formation created 10 million years ago when the earth's crust between Austin and San Antonio ruptured, creating the Balconies Fault Zone. The Balconies Fault marks the beginning of the Texas Hill Country, separating the Llano Uplift to the west from the Blackland Prairie farmland to the east.This month, you’ll have the chance to sample two of the brewery’s flagship beers, Fault Red Granite English Brown Ale and Pale Malt Extra Special Bitter (ESB). Red Granite is an excellent representation of a classic English Brown Ale, while the brewery’s Pale Malt ESB is a classic British style bitter.The Pale Malt label depicts Hamilton's Pool, a popular natural swimming hole and waterfall west of Austin. McHone said that Austin's two natural water sources -- the Highland Lakes and Austin's spring water -- make for especially good brewing. The Red Granite label shows Red Mountain, part of the Llano Uplift, which exposes remnants of an ancient granite and black schist mountain of the Ouachta Range, the oldest rock in Texas.
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