Austin Beer

Austin Beer

Stories of the dangers of alcohol consumption are unfortunately abundant, and so when reports popped up that drinking beer saved the life of a young Texas State student and his pets, it’s all I can do to resist jumping at the opportunity to share.

Collin Iliff, an environmental studies senior at Texas State, was housesitting for his aunt in Wimberley when the flooding of several weeks ago began. At one point in the night the power shut off, and Iliff considered calling it a night.

Then, noticing his favorite Austin-brewed beer in his aunt’s fridge, he decided to stay up with the dogs he was watching, as the storm had been stressing them out. He opened up the beer and enjoyed the quiet peace of drinking alone in a house without power surrounded by dogs, one of the truly elusive pleasures in life.

Suddenly, Iliff heard a roaring sound coming from the backyard and decided to poke his head out the door. “[The water] had already gotten up to the level of house,” he says, “I needed to grab the dogs and get out right then.”

Iliff was able to take the dogs and several toys to the car and drive uphill, where he parked the car and surveyed the house. At that moment, a huge wall of water, debris and his aunt’s propane tank slammed into the side of the house, leaving nothing but the foundation.

“If I hadn’t decided to stay up with the dogs and have that beer, I would have been dead,” Iliff said. “I would have just been swept away with the dogs.”

Iliff credits his decision to stay up and drink his favorite beer with saving his life, as well as the lives of the dogs he was housesitting.

Unfortunately, do to either an oversight in questioning or legal snafus, the exact beer that saved Iliff’s life is not mentioned in any reports, and it remains up to speculation what brew it was exactly.

The fact that it was an Austin beer narrows it down significantly, but given Austin’s booming craft scene, accurately guessing the variety would be next to impossible. In fact, according to a Fortune article, there are 18 licensed breweries in Austin alone, with another 4-5 on the way.

Perhaps my favorite local beer, the Austin Beerworks Pearl Snap is an incredibly popular local brew, as well as—according to the Austin Chronicle—the “New Official Beer of Austin,” a decision I had no part in unless gross sales are considered, in which case I had a huge part.

It remains unclear whether Iliff was drinking a Pearl Snap or not, but given its popularity in Austin, the fact that the company’s name is “Austin Beerworks,” and that the only information given about Iliff’s choice was that it was an “Austin beer,” it seems like a reasonable hypothesis.

Iliff’s taste in beer would be valuable information as well, and our sources have reached out to several informants in hopes of discovering whether Iliff is a IPA guy, an amber guy or more of a stout guy.

Being summer, one would hope Iliff would have the sense to indulge in a lighter, hoppier beer in the pursuit of crisper refreshment, but personal taste will prevail. If it turns out that Iliff was drinking a Pearl Snap then I should get an award for journalism that verges on fortune telling, and would use the cause to celebrate by drinking a Pearl Snap, hopefully with Iliff and his dogs.