This weekend I drove up to Marble Falls to hike the beautiful Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, a fantastic experience that I highly recommend. While I was in the area I dropped by Double Horn Brewery, one of the two Marble Falls breweries on my list to visit (the other is Save the World).
I’ll be honest from the start – this will be a short review. As a policy, my reviews are meant to be informative rather than a “good or bad” judgement. But in this case, I don’t have much to say. I did not stay long at Double Horn because I was uncomfortable with their lack of COVID-19 health precautions. Remember, this visit was in early January, right after the really bad holiday spike in cases. Marble Falls isn’t Austin, but I still expect some level of responsibility with virus mitigation.
The host who seated us was not wearing a mask, but kept his distance well enough that I wasn’t too concerned (and I was wearing my mask). Then, the waiter wasn’t wearing a mask, so I kept mine on at the table while we gave our order. I decided to risk ordering a drink because I noticed the server behind the bar was wearing a mask. I had also driven a good bit out of my way to try this brewery, and didn’t want to leave without trying something.
I ordered the “The Wet Bandit” Oatmeal Porter. I’ll review that below. But after I started drinking, I noticed that our unmasked server was also pouring beers behind the bar (he may have poured mine, I didn’t notice). That was the last straw for me, so I did not order a second drink. Normally I would try to review at least 3, but in this case I wasn’t going to risk it.
Double Horn is right off the main road through Marble Falls, straight across the street from the famous Bluebonnet Cafe.
“The Wet Bandit” Oatmeal Porter
6.6% ABV | 35 IBU
I am a big fan of the thickness of oatmeal stouts but I generally prefer the flavor profile of porters, so I was excited to try this less typical combination. It wasn’t anything mindblowing, but it certainly did not disappoint – this is the kind of simple and good beer you could drink a whole pitcher of. The flavor was gentle, slightly smokey with a hint of dark fruit and just enough hops to balance out the malt. And as I hoped, the mouthfeel was heavy and silky (but not syrupy).
Since I usually write a section on the experience and ambience of a brewery, I do have to note one more thing that is not directly related to the beer or beer service. This visit was 2 days after the Capitol was stormed by Trump supporters who did not want to see the election certified. Government leaders on both sides of the aisle, including the Vice President, have agreed that this was an attempted assault on the democratic process, and a very serious matter. Despite this political context, staff at Double Horn were wearing Trump-campaign style t-shirts that said “Make Double Horn Great Again”. I found that to be in bad taste, at best.
Of course, private businesses have every right to express their political leanings in this way. But as a consumer, I would prefer not to support businesses that show support for a dangerous movement against a democratic election. Take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I’ve given you a description of my experience and you can decide what to do with that information.