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The Best Shows (and Beers) to Check Out at Untapped Festival This Weekend
Let us pay homage the beer gods, Houston. It is time for Untapped Festival again — one of our very favorite craft beer and music festivals — and for that, we are thankful.
This Saturday, September 12, Discovery Green will transform from that hilly little grassy park in the middle of downtown into a beer and music haven, featuring music from artists like Fat Tony and Sarah Jaffe, which you can take in while sampling a selection of over 275 different beers. Oh, and not only can you sample beer, you guys. This year, they’ve added wine, too.
Is this place you call Untapped Festival actually heaven? Yes, Virginia. It’s heaven.
But given that there are only a few hours in the day and a lot of options for what to take in at Untapped, we’ve come up with this handy little cheat sheet for you to use this weekend. Bottoms up, Houston. Let’s toast to the beer fest with the most: Untapped.
Must See Acts
4:50pm on the Saint Arnold Stage
Yeah! It’s Fat Tony! Houston loves Fat Tony. We love Fat Tony. And you’ll love Fat Tony, too — which is why you should check him out when he takes the Karbach Stage mid-afternoon. This H-Town rapper has won just about every award ever from the Houston Press Music Awards. Don’t believe us? Well, Fat Tony won the HP Best Underground Hip Hop award in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2013. Mhmm.
That’s a lot of trophies, eh? Well, the thing is, Fat Tony won those awards for a reason, a reason which you’ll completely understand should you make your way over to his set at Untapped. Fat Tony + beer = Your Best Life.
5:55pm on the Karbach Stage
If you haven’t seen Denton’s own Sarah Jaffe in action, you’ll want to swing by the Karbach Stage around 6pm on Saturday, because she’s awesome and you really shouldn’t miss her set. Jaffe’s indie-folk-rock sound and her vibe are so unique — throw in a bit of angst, a bit vulnerability, and a whole lot of accessibility — and she’s quickly becoming one of our favorite Texas musicians. But it’s not only us that have noticed; Jaffe has really gained steam over the last year, earning kudos from the folks at Rolling Stone on up.
It won’t be long before Sarah Jaffe is headlining those big ol’ stages, so you really should catch her while you can — and what better way than with a beer in your hand at Discovery Green?
7:50 on the Karbach Stage
We’re stoked to see Twin Shadow on the lineup for Untapped. These guys were dealt a pretty tough hand back in April, when their tour bus was involved in a serious crash that left 12 people hospitalized. Not only was the bus’ driver injured, but a couple of Twin Shadow’s members were too, and both drummer Andy Bauer and George Lewis Jr. spent a good chunk of time in the hospital. Lewis ultimately ended up undergoing reconstructive hand surgery, which (fairly obviously) makes that fine-tuned guitar work a bit more difficult.
So, yay for Twin Shadow at Untapped. We think you’ll like their stuff. Whether it’s their older, synthy, drum-machine-laden ’80s pop songs or something off of their more recent, grown-up album, these indie pop rockers can do no wrong in our book. Doesn’t really matter what Twin Shadow is playing, as long as they’re up there playing.
Cold War Kids
8:50pm on the Saint Arnold Stage
Stories. The Cold War Kid have so many stories (in song form, of course), and you’ll want to hear them all. Luckily, you’ll have the opportunity to do just that at Untapped, because Cold War Kids will be closing out the festival on the main stage, where they’ll undoubtedly blow your beer-filled mind. From the band’s layering of those bluesy, soulful inflections in their music to the Dylan-esque qualities of front man Nathan Willett — who also plays the piano like a boss — these indie rockers from Anaheim are the very best thing.
Must Drink Beers
Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel 9 – BA Pumpkin Ale
It’s a pumpkin ale! You must. Pumpkin spice lattes are back. Pour some out for your Starbucks-obsessed homie, because they’re missing out by drinking overpriced pumpkin-flavored coffee instead of pumpkin ale. (Don’t really do that. Drink it instead, fools. Every drop.)
Buffalo Bayou Peppermint Gingerbread Stout
It could be interesting, or perhaps awful. Let us know. Preferably before we get to it, so we can dodge the bullet if need be.
Rahr & Sons Ugly Pug
We have an ugly pug. We will be drinking this Schwarzbier in honor of him. You don’t have to join in, but you should. It’s delish.
Revolver Blood & Honey
We lived on this beer while in Dallas for a four month stint, and fully credit it with our survival. Dallas, yes, but damn, this beer is good.
Independence Red Bud
This Berliner weisse comes handed over from the experts at the Austin Independence brewery, and you’ll like it. A lot. Drink it in between some of those heavier porters as a palate cleanser. It’s crisp and slightly tart, and you’ll dig the change of pace. Or you’ll be so full of beer you won’t care. Either way, drink it.
Rogue Dead Guy
This malty beer is lovely, yeasty, and strong. Like, strong strong world’s strongest man strong. But you’ll dig it, and the unique qualities that jump from bitter to warm to crisp and back again. If you try it, you’ll like it.
Jester King La Vie En Rose
Great song, great little beer. You’ll be humming La Vie En Rose all day after this one. Trust.