Houston Daisy Chain: Round-up #1

Southern Star Brewing Company recently started a massive collaboration with twenty-two other local breweries in which each brewery will brew a beer with the same yeast strain. The yeast is being passed down pyramid style with the first beer being brewed by Southern Star and ending when the last set of breweries receive their yeast and brew and release their beer. See the list below for breweries who are known to have links to the Daisy Chain Experiment.
The yeast strain used is “East Coast Ale” which is popular for East Coast IPAs, NEIPAs included, due to it’s neutral and clean yeast profile.  As soon as I heard of this project, I set my sights on being able to try all of the Daisy Chain beers and report my findings at Houston Beer Scene. These beers have been coming out at a rapid clip since the project started, making this a fun, yet slightly more difficult challenge.
I enjoyed the Daisy Chain brews I tried so far (see the reviews below) and all were well-crafted and work well for the styles they represent. These beers seem to be pretty readily available, as I’ve seen all five of these, at quite a few places around town. While the beers are not too hard to find so far, get them while you can. Check back soon for another update on the next five Daisy Chain beers.
Note: All beers are only available on draft unless otherwise noted.
Southern Star Brewing Company – Daisy Chain
I started my Daisy Chain adventure by attending a release event at the original Hughie’s that allowed people to try a flight of the first four beers in the series.   Daisy Chain is a 5.8% American Pale Ale brewed with the Falconer’s Flight hop blend that is on the easy-drinking, smoother end of the style.  It reminds me of what a few breweries call an Extra Pale Ale (XPA).  It’s very balanced and doesn’t blast you with flavoring or bittering hops, but has enough going on to keep me interested. True to expectations the yeast profile is squeaky clean.  A good start to the series, but not most exciting in the series so far.
Copperhead Brewery Copperhead Red – Daisy Chain Edition
Copperhead choose to go with a maltier style by brewing one of their stand-by recipes, Copperhead Red, with the difference being they used the Daisy Chain yeast.  Copperhead Red is a beautiful beer, true to its name by having a deep ruby color. Malt flavors are allowed to shine here with biscuit and caramel standing out.  This is another clean and balanced beer that falls into the easy-to-drink range of craft beer. I’d love to do a side-by-side taste test between the base beer and this one to see how much of a difference the yeast strain makes in the final product.  This is one of the better American Amber Ales I’ve had in awhile – there’s just a fuller malt flavor here than you find in a lot of from the style.
8th Wonder Brewery – Daisy Me Rollin’
8th Wonder’s entry isn’t too different from Southern Star’s Daisy Chain.  Both are clean, smooth examples of an American Pale Ale.  Daisy Be Rollin’ wins the style match-up by having a brighter hop profile with herbal, grassy and lemon flavors.  The elements come together nicely here presenting a fairly complex beer that’s also a fairly easy drinker. I’m impressed with the amount of body and flavor they packed into a 4.2% ABV brew. As a quality session beer, this is a Houston Beer Scene Pick.
Eureka Heights Brewing Company – Daisy Dukes
Eureka Heights went with something not too far from Southern Star and 8th Wonder‘s offerings; it’s a clean beer in the Pale Ale family, but they pushed for a bigger beer by brewing a 6.5% Rye IPA.  The citrusy hop flavors combine nicely with the edge of rye spice.  Fairly bitter and dry, this is another easy drinker in the Daisy Chain line-up.  The level of complexity, quality hop flavor, and ease of drinkability make this an easy recommendation for Rye IPA fans.
Holler Brewing Company – Don’t Dais Me, Bro
This was easily my favorite of the first five and the one I’ve gone back for multiple times, making it a Houston Beer Scene Pick.  Holler went big with their Daisy Chain entry and brewed something you could either call a Hoppy Brown Ale or a Brown IPA.  This 7.6% brew is packed with big, bright tropical fruit flavors atop a rich, chocolate malt.  The bitterness is assertive enough, but not very aggressive at 65 IBU. All these different elements are allowed to shine making for a rich, hoppy experience that offers a lot of depth. This is a fun surprise and gets to be the current Daisy Chain Title Belt holder until I find a beer in the series I enjoy more.
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Also Available Coming Soon
11 Below Brewing Company – Daisy Chain IPA – Brewed with Mosaic, Citra and Amarillo. Available now.
Bearded Fox Brewing Company – Fox Paw – A 6.5% American Pale Ale.  Available now.
Blackwater Draw Brewing Company – Daisy Chain – A 5.5% Session Ale with El Dorado Hops – Available now.
Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company – Hoppy Copper – Simcoe and Cascade hops with a heavy grain bill of Munich malts.  Available now.
Fetching Lab Brewery – Off D. Chain – An apricot Cream Ale. Available now.
Lone Pint Brewery –  Zythophile: Denali – Lone Pint choose to use the Daisy Chain yeast in their latest Zythophile. Available now.
New Republic Brewing Company – Daisy Chain Azacca APA – Available now.
Platypus Brewing – Daisy Chain Wee Heavy – Available now.
Running Walker Beer/Braman – Dee’s Bee’s Honey Blonde Ale  – Available now
Spindletap Brewery – Tiny Gypsies – 7% ABV IPA brewed with Citra, Wai-iti, Azacca, Vic Secret and Motueka hops.  Coming soon and will be available in cans.
Whole Foods Market Brewing Company – Daisy Not Hazy – A 10.6% Imperial Porter. Available now.
Coming Soon
No Label Brewing Company – Daisy Chain White IPA – Releasing in the near future.
Spindletap Brewery – Tiny Gypsies – 7% ABV IPA brewed with Citra, Wai-iti, Azacca, Vic Secret and Motueka hops.  Coming soon and will be available in cans.
Brash Brewing Company – Scotch Hell – A Wee Heavy aged in Scotch barrels. Look for a release later in the year.
Crickets So Far
Bakfish Brewing Company, City Acre Brewing Company, Sigma Brewing Company, and Texas Leaguer Brewing Company.

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