Each month, we list our favorite beers from the previous month. Because we focus on the Houston Beer Scene, we will always list our favorite from the Houston area/market, but will occasionally include beers from outside of Houston.
Follow us on our beer drinking adventure!
Baileson Brewing Co – Structural Stout
Another month, another hard choice. Over the last month, I had three or four beers that I was convinced were going to be my Houston Beer of the Month while I was enjoying them. I think I could have picked any one of those and been satisfied with my choice, but I kept coming back to Structural Stout. I’ve had the beer before, but I’m not sure if the coffee used was always the same or how fresh the beer was last time, but it really struck me this time as an almost flawlessly executed beer.
Structural Stout is a breakfast stout brewed with flaked oats, Belgian chocolate malt, British Black Patent Malt, double-roasted barley, and coffee from House of Coffee Beans, one of Baileson’s neighbors. This beer is pretty coffee forward, but it’s also nicely balanced. As the beer warms, the chocolate malt and the coffee get even better. I’d love to see this Barrel Aged Structural Stout at some point in the future, that would be awesome.
Side Project Brewing. – Fuzzy batch 3
So two months in a row I’m selecting a foeder as my favorite non-Houston beer. The French spelling of the word Foeder is Foedre, since that is how Side Project spells it, so shall I. As I said before, I have a huge soft spot for Foedre beers. For those who are unfamiliar with what a foeder beer is, see What is a Foeder? or if you see a time lapsed video of one being built in 1 minute, see Foeder Build Time Lapse
Batch #3 of Fuzzy is a Missouri Wild Ale aged in the French Oak Foudres at Side Project that has been blended with older versions of the beer. According to Side Project, at least some of this beer is 4 years old. Prior to being bottled, the beer was re-fermented and aged on white peaches. While I was at Side Project I got to try the base beer, “Foedre Beer” that actually has some really nice notes of apricot. If you are ever in St Louis, Side Project is a must visit. Quick tip: they have a Cellar that is about a block away, definitely check that out, they had more bottles from previous releases at the Cellar than at the Brewery.
Saloon Door Brewing – S’Most Russian Imperial Stout
Making a s’more flavored beer is a lofty goal and fortunately Saloon Door nailed it! S’Most is one big, decadent beast and one of the best dessert beers I‘ve had in awhile.
To achieve the desired flavor Saloon Door added chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker to their base Russian Imperial Stout recipe. A similar Saloon Door RIS brewed with peanut butter called Ridiculous AF is also excellent. S’Most’s deep, dark color accompanied by a light mocha head is inviting enough, but the rich, powerful aroma that’s full of chocolate, coffee, and, yes, marshmallow is the star of the show. The aroma is one of the most inviting in recent memory. The flavor matches the aroma nicely. Chocolate flavors dominate, but marshmallow and roast add to a wonderful complexity. The chocolate notes are thick and deep. Rich, velvety, but short of cloying, the mouthfeel is an almost perfect match for the flavors involved. S’Most is 12% ABV, but it is all body and no heat. The entire package comes across as a beer interpretation of the richest s’more you’ve ever had. Saloon Door is great at creating beers like this; a trip out to their brewery is worthwhile if you like rich, malty beers and/or are a huge fan of nitro taps. This is a limited release beer, it may still be available at the brewery and on a limited amount of taps, so drink it if you see it!
TUPPS Brewery – Double Dry Hopped IPA Series #2
Word on the street was there aren’t any amazing hazy IPAs from DFW. TUPPS from the northeast Dallas suburb, McKinney proves that DFW has at least one amazing New England India Pale Ale (NEIPA). Series #2 is brewed with a break down of 50% Galaxy, 35% Citra and 15% Mosaic hops. The aroma and flavor both provide bright, juicy tropical and citrus notes. I just love the hop flavor on this one, everything seems to hit just right. Bitterness is low, providing the smoother feel you expect from this style. If you’re wondering about the appearance, Serie’s #2 is super hazy, but not at the chicken soup extremes you see from some NEIPAs. This one can hang with some of the greats from B-52, SpindleTap and Baa Baa. I’ll be excited to see if TUPPS will push to make more in the style and will seek Houston distribution.
Galveston Island Brewing – Pit Pat Peanut Butter Porter (Nitro) 5% abv / 27 IBU
While doing some training down in Galveston a few weeks ago, I was able to slip out early and check out Galveston Island Brewing (GIB). Normally when I think of beer on an island I think of light and golden beer, dressed with a little salt and lime. While GIB has plenty of sessionable and lighter brews available at the taproom (I sampled many of them), and distributed across the lower Houston-area, it was a surprise to find a peanut butter porter available. The surprise was a delight. Pit Pat delivers a wonderful peanut butter flavor throughout the nose and sip. A nuttiness, maltiness, and a tad bit of chocolate helps balance Pit Pat out as you drink it. Some patrons in the bar and on review sites like Untappd have compared Pit Pat to another great South Houston beer, Saloon Door’s Tasty AF PB and Chocolate Milk Stout. I see some similarities, and the comparison is not misguided. Pit Pat provides the PB flavor without overwhelming your senses. While not as complex as to Saloon Door Tasty AF Stout I mentioned, Pit Pat is sure to satisfy your peanut butter cravings. Do not let heat and humidity turn you away from a darker beer…GIB’s Pit Pat delivers flavor and satisfaction.
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