Rice University didn't make the list of America's biggest party schools (for good reason) but its alumni sure know a thing or two about beer.
With 20 investors (including founder and CEO Rassul Zarinfar) holding Rice degrees, it's no surprise that Houston's Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. has created 1912, a new limited-edition beer created especially to commemorate Rice's centennial celebration.
"We’ve put Rice hulls in the mash, used 'Centennial' hops, and layered them onto a red ale base — because I still bleed Baker red, of course!" Zarinfar says. Working with the Rice arborist, Buffalo Bayou also sourced wood trimmings from Rice's famous live oak trees and are using them to age the beer.
"We’ve put Rice hulls in the mash, used 'Centennial' hops, and layered them onto a red ale base — because I still bleed Baker red, of course!" Zarinfar says.
1912 will be available at Willy's Pub on the Rice University campus starting on Oct. 10, and will be available very selectively across the city, with Rice receiving most of the 40 kegs for Willy's, Valhalla (you know, the other on-campus bar) and Rice homecoming and centennial events throughout October.
Zarinfar says the beer will be "hop-forward with mostly citrus notes, with the oak coming through at the end with what we expect to be tannin-y vanilla notes."
However Buffalo Bayou isn't the only brewery in town with Rice roots, and 1912 isn't the only beer released locally this year to mark the school's centennial. Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner is another Owl alum, and the brewery released a duo of Rice-themed Centenni-Ales a year ago.
The blonde ale is a repackaging of Saint Arnold's Weedwacker, while the dark is Brown Ale. The beers may not be new, but profits from the special editions (which can sometimes still be found at Valhalla and at the Spec's superstore in Midtown) go to support the university.