Houston Daisy Chain: Round-up #3

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The majority of the breweries involved in the Daisy Chain have released their contributions; however, it appears there are at least two more beers in the chain than originally expected. See the News section below for details on upcoming Daisy Chain beers and also check out the cool “family tree” that has been released to show the paths the Daisy Chain yeast has taken, as it gets passed down from brewery to brewery.  Unlike the past entries, some of these beers are a bit harder to find – check out my notes on availability in the notes below.  Salud!
Note: All releases are draft only unless otherwise noted.
Blackwater Draw Brewing Company – Daisy Chain Session Ale
Blackwater Draw went with an interesting choice for their Daisy Chain brew.  They’re calling it a “session ale”, but I could easily call this a “shake American Pale Ale” as it’s brewed with lactose, hazy and is only 16 IBU.  Session Ale pours a very creamy head that leaves a nice trail of Brussels lace.  The mouthfeel follows the appearance as this is a super creamy brew with almost no bitterness. El Dorado hops were used, but there isn’t much of a district hop character as the sweet lactose takes over. Unfortunately, the use of lactose throws this too off balance and leaves me wanting more hop flavor.  The different elements just don’t quite come together. As far as I know, Blackwater Draw doesn’t have Houston area distribution; I had to drive to the brewery in Bryan to track it down.
New Republic Brewing Company – Azacca APA
New Republic’s Daisy Chain contribution is a more typical West Coast style Pale Ale. It’s a well-composed brew featuring a touch of sweet grain flavor mixed with tropical hop flavor.  The overall approach is balanced and this doesn’t have the big blast of hop flavor I would prefer.  This one isn’t available all over town but it’s not that hard to find in the Greater Houston area if you are looking for it.
Running Walker – Dee’s Bees Honey Blonde Ale
I’ve seen this beer listed as Running Walker Honey Blonde in addition to the Dee’s Bees name. I’m usually not a big fan of Honey Blonde Ales, but Running Walker did a solid job here.  The key is that there is a nice honey flavor and sweetness, but not a thick, cloying honey taste that hurts many beers in this style.  The honey is accompanied by a pleasant graininess and crisp feel.  This is nicely balanced, with all of the elements coming together to create a quality American Blonde Ale.  As this hits the style well and features a great use of honey, this is a Houston Beer Scene Pick.  This is another brew that isn’t available everywhere but should be easy enough to find for those seeking it out.
SpindleTap Brewery – Tiny Gypsies
Another hazy brew from SpindleTap, another Houston Beer Scene Pick. This one is brewed with Citra, Wai-iti, Azacca, Vic Secret and Motueka hops. As expected Tiny Gypsies has a very solid juicy, citrus flavor here accompanied by a low bitterness and smooth feel. This was sold in cans at the brewery, which sold out quickly as usual. This probably won’t be available at too many accounts, so if you see it, pick it up or hope that one of your buddies has one to share or trade.
Whole Foods Brewing Company – Daisy Not Hazy
Whole Foods is calling this a “double Porter”, but the flavor is very reminiscent of an English Old Ale or English Barleywine.  There’s a big, sweet dark fruit flavor here, but it’s too sweet and cloying for my tastes.  There’s also a bit more alcohol heat than I would expect from a 10.6% brew.  Fans of big, sweet dessert beers will probably like this, but the sweetness is just too much for me.  Whole Foods usually doesn’t distribute outside of their stores, so if you’re looking for this, I would concentrate your search on their brewery and the taprooms in other Whole Foods locations.
Daisy Chain Title Belt
SpindleTap’s Tiny Gypsies might be the strongest competition to Holler to date, but Don’t Dais Me, Bro retains the belt through another Daisy Chain Round-Up.  The great flavor, complexity, and unique nature of Holler’s Daisy Chain entry was able to withstand the juicy Tiny Gypsies. We have at least two updates to go (maybe more if even more entries get added to the Daisy Chain) so it will be interesting to see if Holler is able to continue to defend the strap.
Release Updates
8th Wonder Brewery – The “family tree” indicates 8th Wonder will be producing a second brew in the Daisy Chain. Details on the beer are unknown at this time.
Bakfish Brewing Company – Polarizer – 8.1% New England IPA brewed with Nelson Sauvin, Mosaic, and Lemon Drop hops. Available now.
Brash Brewing Company – Spud – A surprise release and 2nd announced beer for the Daisy Chain from Brash, Spud Wee Heavy is the base beer for the previously announced Scottish Hell.  Available now only at the brewery.
City Acre Brewing Company – HTXPA – 5.4% APA brewed with lemongrass.  Available now.
Daisy Chain Family Tree
Image Credit: SpindleTap Brewery
No News Yet
Sigma Brewing Company and Town in City Brewing Company

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