02 Aug 11 Below Lame Duck by Tam
Houston, TX (Bourgeois Rd.)
American Pale Ale
Packaging: Draft, 6 pack 12 ounce cans, Growler
Texas summers are hot, but Houston summers are unique.
We tend to forget that our beloved city was once an inhabitable land of marshes, swamps, and (of course) bayou’s but it is also one of the most diversified cities in our great nation; as well as a growing craft beer city. I felt it was my civic duty to support one of these reputable establishments and ventured to those “Oso” familiar creators of 11 Below.
I arrived that Friday afternoon to the hustle and bustle of blue collar workers and corporate suits slowly making their way from the Tex-Mex style burger truck, parked outside their warehouse doors, to the solid oak picnic tables that resided within 11 Belows taproom/production floor. Jeff (Co-Owner and Brewer) was working behind the bar tirelessly re-filling cups and mugs of an ever growing line of craft enthusiasts.
It was one of those days that a slow game of darts could only truly remedy the winding down work week and what better to set that mood was an ice cold crisp Lame Duck; the beer not the oriental dish. Lame Duck is an AMERICAN Pale Ale that is moderate in ABV and uses Australian and New Zealand style hops to create a fruity grapefruit taste. The pour is a clear golden liquid with a decent half inch of foam that does not interfere with your drinking process but enhances the hoppy aromas. This brew gives a decent bite of hop but smooth finish which was perfect for that humid summer day. Its crisp refreshing taste won me over as my beer for that evenings festivities.
When the crowd was finally mellowed and entranced by the live musician, who was covering 80’s/90’s ballads, Jeff was able to join me as well as a fellow author and a few brewers from No Label Brewing in a game of darts. It was during my back to back bullseye throws that I learned the story behind Lame Duck.
The beer had originally been called “Thirsty Bird” which was 11 Below’s way of paying respect to those hard workers in the oil and gas field by acknowledging the Pump Jack; a vital piece of equipment that helps produce oil out of a well. Unfortunately, that name was already taken and patented by Oil Horse Brewing Co. out of Longview, TX. Determined to keep the bird theme, the 11 Below team decided to keep the bird mentality and switch it to a little yellow rubber duck. Thus Lame Duck was born and printed on those ever familiar cans we all so love to drink. (This in itself caused confusion because many people believed, and still do, that this was a crack at the current political administration.)
I found Lame Duck a perfect start to my weekend, and I didn’t seem to be the only one who felt the same way. So did you find this 11 Below concoction to be a Friday pick me up or are your taste buds calling it a “Lame” pale ale? Let us know in the comments below, and as always “Beers to you, Houston!” 🍻