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!
For those that read our Beers of the Month post each month, you may notice that my favorite Houston beer has come from Copperhead Brewery three months in a row. Well, their reign has come to an end, for now. I had a lot to choose from this month.
Ingenious (Humble, TX) – Fruit with Friends (Collab w/Turning Point Beer in Bedford, TX)
Two months in a row, my favorite H-Town beer has Boysenberries.
Fruit with Friends is a Tart Berliner made with Blueberries, Raspberries, and Boysenberries. When Ingenious and Turning Point say “Tart”, you should believe them. Fruit with Friends is more tart than expected and has great fruit notes.
If you missed this beer, it’s likely gone. Don’t be a slacker next time! 8.75/10
Turning Point Beer (Bedford, TX) – Face Down In The Muck (Collab w/Oak Cliff Brewing in Dallas, TX)
A few weeks ago, I made a trip out to Turning Point to catch some of the beers that were left over from their First Anniversary party. While I missed out on cans, I did get to try the three collaboration stouts. To be honest, this was not the beer I went there looking forward to the most, but it was the one I liked the best. One of the Brewers over at Oak Cliff is a pretty well-known brewer who made some of the sought after stouts in Texas and Oklahoma, so I should have known it would be delicious.
Face Down In The Muck is a massive Imperial Milk Stout (with Vietnamese coffee), clocking in at 12.6% ABV. Vietnamese coffee is known for being stronger and more bitter than most other coffee beans. The flavor of the coffee also lingers, something that I think helps preserve the freshness of the coffee flavor in beer.
The beer pours, as you would expect, thick and about as dark as a stout can get. The sweetness of the beer and the bitterness of the coffee married perfectly.
I would love to find out that they made extra of this beer and put it in barrels, but I am not going to hold my breath.
Ingenious (Humble, TX) – Imperial Brews
Ingenious recently celebrated their first anniversary and they made sure to include quite a few of their Imperial-sized beers on the menu for the event. I was able to sample the majority of these brews over a few visits and, while I enjoyed all of the ones I tried, these picks are the few that really stood out. My absolute favorite was Apple Brandy Jacks, one I was initially hesitant to order based on its description as an Imperial Stout aged in apple brandy barrels and finished with apple and cinnamon. For some reason it didn’t sound very appetizing to me, but I’m glad I choose to try it as all of the elements really came together to create a beer that was unlike anything I’ve ever had; and, yes, the flavor did remind me a bit of Apple Jacks cereal I used to eat as a kid, but way more intense, complex, and rich.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Madness, a Russian Imperial Stout with five types of vanilla, won me over with its huge flavor. This is another one where all the elements get to shine and Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Madness is also so very smooth. The vanilla is quite nice too, not overdone, but layered well into the overall profile of the beer.
My final Ingenious pick is Barrel Aged Imperial Peanut Butter Vs. Jelly, an Imperial Porter aged in Makers Mark Bourbon barrels and then finished with peanut butter, grapes, blueberries, and strawberries. The intense aroma of peanut butter, chocolate and a bit of berry let me know I was off to a great start. The flavor follows the aroma; it is rich, with chocolate notes leading. The peanut butter works really well here and a light touch of barrel caps it off. There’s a nice level of complexity, I wouldn’t say I taste all of the individual berries, but there’s a nice fruity quality that provides a bit of “jelly”.
These three are just a small sample of the many creative imperial-sized brews Ingenious has released over their first year. At the time of this writing, only Apple Brandy Jacks is available, but Ingenious’ selection rotates often and there are always at least a couple malt bombs on-tap. Their line-up is a lot of fun. Look for a deep selection of variants of their Stouts, Berliner Weiss, and NEIPAs during any visit to Ingenious.
(512) Brewing Company (Austin, TX) – Brandy Barrel Dubbel Ale
(512) Brewing Company has always produced solid beers and they have a few in their line-up that I consider to be “Texas classics”, so I always like to try anything new I see from them. Brandy Barrel Dubbel Ale is one of the best brews I’ve ever had from (512). It’s listed at 8.0%, but the level of the brandy flavor tastes like that of a higher octane brew. Yes, it’s boozy, but in a good way with the brandy, barrel, and the dark fruity malt coming together for a rich, complex experience. It appears this is a limited, draft-only release, but I’ve seen at least a couple of places in Houston that have in on draft.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to hit us up with any questions or comments.