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!
Copperhead Brewery (Conroe, TX) – King of Terrors 2019
Well, looking back over the last few months, my affinity for stouts and NEIPAs has probably become pretty evident. Looking at January beers, my Houston choice came down to a stout (King of Terrors) and a NEIPA (Hirsch Road Hopheads).
This month again goes to @copperheadbrewery for King of Terrors(KoT) 2019. Everything in this beer is spot on.
KoT pours like motor oil, which is a pretty common description for big thick stouts, darker than night. It pours with a minimal dark tan head. I recommend drinking the beer slow for to reasons, the mouthfeel (which is pretty much perfect) is delightful and the ABV is very high. The beer has an almost perfect slick but smooth mouthfeel. Oh yeah, the ABV. According to the brewery, the beer is 15% ABV and it is not barrel-aged.
The notes you get on the nose are just about perfect. Lots of coffee and a good balance of vanilla. The coffee stands out, as it should. One of the things I really like in a stout, like KoT, is when the flavors advertised as part of the beer are present and balanced both on the nose and to taste. KoT accomplishes this balance extremely well. You definitely get the coffee throughout the beer with lots of vanilla on the front end and more of the chocolatey cocoa on the end. It is almost like the best vanilla latte you’ve ever had in the form of a big boozy chocolatey stout. 4.99/5.
Russian River Brewing Co (Santa Rosa, CA) – Supplication
Supplication might be my favorite beer from Russian River. Pliny gets most of the love on beer blogs and the rating sites, and I won’t say anything negative about Pliny, love that beer, but it’s not sour and it’s not in a wine barrel.
Supplication is a Brown Ale aged in Pinot Noir barrels for 12 months with sour cherries, brettanomyces (wild yeast), lactobacillus, and pediococcus. Lactobacillus and pediococcus are bacteria used to add sourness to beers.
On the nose you get everything advertised above: cherry, oak, red wine and brettanomyces (brett). When poured, it is a nice amber color with a little orange tint, depending on the lighting in the room, and almost no head retention, which is fine for the style. The taste is mostly of the cherry and red wine, but also just a touch of sweetness from the caramel malts.
I like this beer a lot, a nice change from what I had been drinking during stout season. 4.25/5
Stovetop Brewing/Craft Beer Cellar Cypress (Cypress, TX) – Batch 1
This month I got the chance to venture over to Craft Beer Cellar in Cypress. I had been not long after they opened and really enjoyed the various drafts, cans, and bottles they had. I was even more amazed to hear that they would be brewing their own beer under the Stovetop Brewing moniker. This month I got to try their aptly named “Batch 1”. Described as an east meets west IPA, this beer fits under a hazy category. Not quite what many refer to as a NEIPA, but also clearly not a west coaster.
Batch 1 offers a great glimpse at what I would expect from the staff of CBC Cypress for their first release – a brew that allows for multiple palettes to enjoy. Not overly hoppy or juicy, Batch 1 fits nicely in the Mid-Coast IPA range. It is a little light but carbonated well after they figured out how to organize their CO2 lines between the bar and the brewing operation. I was told the hops used in Batch 1, but I cannot remember and do not want to incorrectly guess.
I bought a crowler of Batch 1 to enjoy while taking in the sleepy professional football championship and it was definitely the highlight of the evening. I would highly recommend Craft Beer Cellar in Cypress to any level of beer lover as the staff and the owner, Justin, who I have now met a few times, are the types of beer experts you want to talk to! Check out their location on Barker Cypress a few blocks from Highway 290.
Ingenious Brewing Company (Houston, TX) – Triple Splat!
I love IPAs of all sorts, but usually the malt body on a Triple IPA make them taste almost indistinguishable from other styles such as American Strong Ale or American Barleywine versus feeling separate enough for a totally new style. Triple Splat does not fall under this category and drinks like what I envision when I hear “Triple IPA”. Ingenious is calling this a “Juicy New England Style Triple IPA”, which, while this one isn’t super hazy, it does have plenty of dry-hopped flavor. It’s 10.7% ABV so there’s body here, but this has the type of malt body I equate more with a Double IPA, or even lighter than that. Triple Splat is definitely smooth for such as hefty brew. I had this one amazingly fresh at the brewery and found it to blast with bright citrus hop flavor from a combo of Citra, Mosaic, El Dorado and Eukanot. Ingenious has released quite a few excellent beers over the last year, but this might be my favorite yet.
Highlights from Tyler, TX
I was in Tyler a couple of nights in January and was able to sample all of the offerings from their two local breweries, ETX Brewing Company and True Vine Brewing Company. Both breweries offer a fairly large variety of brews ranging from accessible to trendy (say hello NEIPA and Brut IPA options) to strong, hefty choices. In this case, my favorite from each brewery happened to fall into the latter category.
True Culture Coffee Porter is a year-round brew from True Vine. I’ve had it a few times and always enjoy the coffee flavor. It feels a bit on the light side for an American Porter reminding me a bit of 8th Wonder’s Rocket Fuel. During this visit I discovered True Culture True Shot, the 8.5% big brother to Coffee Porter brewed with lactose, Madagascan vanilla and cold brew espresso. The coffee aroma is amazingly inviting and the flavor follows. The creamy feel works really well with the roasty malt and coffee flavors that dominate. This is one I highly recommend for fans of coffee beer.
My favorite at ETX Brewing Company was a version of one of their year-round offerings, Texas Stout of Mind, aged in Rebecca Creek Whiskey barrels. The base beer, an Oatmeal Stout, is already a 7.2% brew and after aging it jumps to 9.3%. The combo of the chocolatey malt and barrel have a really nice balance here with the oat and coffee adding a nice complexity. This definitely falls into velvet hammer territory as it’s just too easy to drink for its size. Both these breweries have some solid options and are cool spots to hang-out, so if you ever find yourself in Tyler, I recommend visiting both.
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