Cowboys & Indians editors share their current favorite sudsy pints for American Craft Beer Week.
A well-made drink is one of life’s great pleasures. That’s true about whiskey, and it’s true about beer. At C&I we’re fans of both, but this being American Craft Beer Week members of the editorial staff want to share a crop of the brews their currently partial too.
8th Wonder Brewery Haterade Gose
As one of the eight wonders in the craft beer world of Houston, 8th Wonder Brewery takes its name to heart, delivering high quality tasty beers in its dome-like warehouse in East Downtown. All of their cleverly named year-round beers, Dome Faux’m, Alternate Universe, IntellectuALE, and more, are flavorful examples of how seriously this place takes its intricate brewing process. But it’s one of their limited releases that really exposes their creative side. The Haterade Gose gives a Texas twist on traditional German sour wheat beer, producing a unique sweet and sour taste with a peach citrus twist too good to pass up. — Krissy Brown, assistant editor
Alaskan Brewing Co. Summer Ale
The Alaskan Brewing Company Summer Ale is perfectly clean with the right amount of hops and malt to balance each other out. During the hot summer months ahead, this seasonal Kölsch-style ale is dangerously drinkable lakeside, after a day at the beach, or paired with cheese and bratwurst. The best part: You don’t have to travel to Alaska to get it. — Victoria Mechler, associate editor
Deep Ellum Brewing Co. Dallas Blonde
Ice-cold Deep Ellum Brewing Company Dallas Blondes are perfect for an extended Girls Only brunches on the outdoor patios. The Blonde strikes a balance between honey, citrus, and crisp malt notes so none of us will be making those awkward bitter-beer faces and smudging our lipstick. I’d call it a perfect pour with a little bubbly drift and light enough that you’ll feel the calories in your head, not in your hips. — Song Yang, IT and digital media manager
Deschutes Brewery Armory XPA
This Bend, Oregon, outfit has established its craft cred with accessible, though decidedly Northwestern, hoppy beers. Mirror Pond Ale is the crisp, clean, all-day sipper. Fresh Squeezed IPA is a grapefruit-soaked easy-drinker better suited to fans of citrusy India pale ales. Deschutes is also known for beer nerd releases like Black Butte Porter. But right now, I can’t get enough of the Armory XPA experimental pale ale. The latest in a series of try-outs in the Bond Street Series, Armory XPA has a novel hops backbone (#07270, to be exact) with familiar cousins in Nugget, Northern Brewer, Cascade, and Centennial hops. It has all the hoppy bitterness expected of an Oregon IPA — it’s got pine resin and caramel notes to spare and a firm body — without the bite or sneaky ABV. Armory clocks in at a relatively modest 5.9 percent ABV. For me, it’s a solid spring beer ideal for the warm days that dissolve into cool nights best experienced on my porch. — José R. Ralat, food editor
Odell Brewing Co. Easy Street Wheat
Easy Street Wheat is my beer of choice, particularly in the summer months, because it is exactly what the name suggests: light and easy. It’s a simple, unfiltered wheat beer with refreshing notes of lemon that goes down smooth. Plus, it always reminds me of being in the mountains — where I tried it for the first time at the Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado, and where life on Easy Street is a state of mind. — Holly Henderson, managing editor
Peticolas Brewing Co. Velvet Hammer
If Dallas had a referendum to determine the city’s official beer, Velvet Hammer would have my vote. Peticolas Brewing Company was founded by attorney Michael Peticolas in 2010 and set up shop in the city’s Design District the following year. Rather than create an easy-drinking crowd pleaser as a flagship beer for a city that somehow balances 100-degree summers with a collective madness for patio bars, Peticolas decided which brews to push year-round based on customer feedback. And the overwhelming consensus was the appropriately named Velvet Hammer, an imperial red ale that somehow balances a rich, full-bodied nutty maltiness with a complex floral, citrus, and piney hop bouquet, a clean finish, and a sneaky 9 percent ABV. It’s friendly and tasteful, but it will knock you on your ass if you’re not careful. — Jesse Hughey, copy chief
Keep coming back to C&I for more American Craft Beer Week coverage.