New Beer Round-up
Once again another two weeks have passed and there are plenty of new beers to enjoy. As always, New Beer Round-up includes information on new releases and brief tasting notes on the ones I’ve sampled, including Houston Beer Scene Picks for ones we feel are excellent examples of their style. For more information on new releases, you can also check out our Texas beer label approval updates.
Note: Availability for all beers listed is draft only unless otherwise noted.
Baa Baa Brewhouse – Banana-Rama – This is an interesting creation, the flavor comes across as a hybrid between a bright session IPA and a hefeweizen. A banana-like flavor similar to what I expect in a hefeweizen meets dry-hopped goodness. Bright hop flavors pop out but don’t totally overpower the phenolics. I’ve never had anything quite like this and it’s one worth checking out for something different.
Holler Brewing Company – Black Sunshine – This 8.1% black IPA falls on the hoppier end of the style with strong pine flavor and aroma and plenty of bitterness. A sweet, roasty malt body rounds this one out.
Houston Beer Scene Pick – Holler Brewing Company – Pacific Hazebro – This 8.2% IPA is brewed solely with hops from New Zealand: Nelson Sauvin, Motueka, Rakau, Waimea, and Kohatu. The results are an excellent juicy, citrus flavor with grapefruit standing out. While this is hazy in appearance, it’s not quite a NEIPA and there’s also a pleasant bitterness highlights this difference.
Houston Beer Scene Pick – Holler Brewing Company – That Anniversary Beer – To celebrate their first anniversary Holler brewed a Bourbon barrel aged version on their Looyah Tooyah imperial milk stout. This has an excellent creamy, smoothness that amplifies the sweet, roasted malt flavor and takes off any edge from the bourbon. Complex and almost too easy to drink for such a large beer.
New Republic Brewing Company – Passion Fruit IPA – If you’re a big fan of passion fruit this is worth seeking out. The bitterness is low, making this easy to drink and allows the passion fruit flavor to shine.
Platypus Brewing – Bears. Beets. Battlestar Gallactica. – Platypus describes this 4.0% brew as a table ale. It’s brewed with roasted beets, sage and rosemary. I don’t get much flavor I can identify as coming from the beets or the herbs. Taste is similar to an amber ale with solid caramel malt flavor and a surprisingly stout body for a low ABV beer.
Houston Beer Scene Pick – Saint Arnold Brewing Company – Bishop’s Barrel 19 – The latest entry in this series is their Christmas Ale aged in Chardonnay barrels with cherries and Brettanomyces. The cherry and Chardonnay flavors are most prevalent at front and roll into a somewhat dry, mild brett-tinged finish. Sweet, but not too sweet and lightly tart, the malt backbone from Christmas Ale holds this one together and the overall combination of flavors meld well. Available in individual 12 ounce bottles. There are also a couple of draft-only variants brewed with different yeast strains such as Lambicus and Bruxellensis Var. Drie which have been showing up at special events around town.
Houston Beer Scene Pick – Saint Arnold Brewing Company – Divine Reserve No. 17 Aged in Madeira Barrels – This very limited release is one worth seeking out. I was fortunate enough to find some at a tap takeover at Hughie’s Heights and it looks like it has shown up at a few other Saint Arnold events over the last month or so. The complex flavor is rich, with chocolate malts meeting the fruity notes from the Madeira. A luscious mouthfeel caps off one of the best beers I’ve had in a while. There are also versions of Divine Reserve 17 aged in port and Whistle Pig rye whiskey barrels that have been seen at recent events in Houston.
Sigma Brewing Company – Black Rain – This 12% imperial stout is brewed with cacao nibs, cascabel chilies and guajillo chilies. The chilies provide more of an earthy, fruity flavor to Black Rain than actual heat which accompanies the roasted malt and chocolate flavors nicely.
B-52 Brewing Company – Littering And… – A hazy 7.2% IPA brewed with spelt malt and dry hopped with Motueka and Wakatu hops. Cans were available at the brewery, but probably have sold out by now.
Baa Baa Brewhouse – Gobble Gobble Goo – A 6.9% NEIPA hopped with Citra and Mosaic.
Baa Baa Brewhouse – Orange Is The New Black – An 8.1% New England style double IPA.
Bakfish Brewing Company – Anniversary 1 – This 11.2% Belgian dark strong ale took nine months to age. Bottles were available at the brewery this past Saturday.
Bakfish Brewing Company – Melon Degenerates – A 6.7% black IPA brewed with Cashmere, Columbus and Huell Melon hops.
Bakfish Brewing Company – “You’re My Boy” Blueberry Oatmeal Stout – This 7.9% stout is brewed with whole blueberries and refermented with blueberry juice.
Brazos Valley Brewing Company – Pancho – The latest entry in their B-Sides and Rarities series is a 6.9% IPA brewed with Ekuanot hops. Available in cans.
Galveston Island Brewing Company – Night Janitor – A coconut porter; bombers are available at the brewery.
Galveston Island Brewing Company – Pit Pat – A peanut butter porter; bombers are available at the brewery.
Lone Pint Brewery – Yellow Rose Aged in Chardonnay Barrels – This creation was released for Lone Pint’s 5th anniversary and is now available on limited taps around town.
Texas Leaguer Brewing Company – Farm System #1 – The first in this series is a 6.4% double dry hopped IPA.
Vallensons’ Brewing Company – Cream Ale – This 5.2% brew is described by Vallensons’ as being balanced and thirst quenching.
Whole Foods Brewing Company – Hop Explorer XV – The latest Hop Explorer is wet-hopped with El Dorado, Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight.
Baa Baa Brewhouse – On December 16th, Baa Baa will be releasing three new NEIPAs at their Good, Bad and Ugly Christmas Party.
Brazos Valley Brewing – Lefty – Following Pancho, the next B-Sides and Rarities release is Lefty, a hazy IPA hopped with El Dorado. Lefty is scheduled to hit shelves in mid-December and will be available in cans.
Copperhead Brewery – Mongoose Slayer – On December 17th, Copperhead will release this 9.0% DIPA brewed with Amarillo, Citra, Columbus, and Mosaic hops. Four packs of cans will be available at the brewery
Holler Brewing Company – Festivus MiracAle – This Belgian ale brewed with spices will be released at Holler’s 2nd Annual Festivus Observation on December 23rd.
Saint Arnold Brewing Company – Icon Blue: Milk Chocolate Stout – The latest Icon will be rolling out in December and was brewed with Mexican chocolate from Hugo Ortega. This will be available in bottles.
Town and City Brewing Company – On December 9th at their Cold Dark Day event, T&C will release four limited beers: Ultramafic Imperial Stout, Threat Level Midnight (a Baltic porter), Clam Jam (a clam stout aged on raspberries) and Rye Stout.