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Bad Astronaut Cruis’n Through Helles Lager

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Bad Astronaut Cruis’n Through Helles Lager

Bad Astronaut Brewing Co.

North Downtown
Helles
ABV: 5%
IBUs: ?
Packaging: Draft, 6 pack 12 ounce cans

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Bad Astronaut Brewing Company is one of the newest entries to the list of Houston breweries, but they’re doing so in an unusual way. Counter Common did recently launch with a lager, but I mean, really… Who else does this? It’s wild.

Furthermore, I can’t say that I recall any breweries starting off with distro other than Paradigm. Please, correct me in the comments below if I’m wrong.

Chris Fall and Craig “Rocky” Keener are the owners of Bad Astronaut owners. They spent some time at Karbach way back in the early days similar to Chris Juergen Founder, Owner & Brew Master, at Paradigm, and I think these guys may have learned a little sum-sum about how to blitz the market and create some buzz.

It’s working.

The Bad Astronaut Cruis’n Through Helles is an absolute masterpiece of illustration from the talented team over at Stout Collective, the same creative minds behind Equal Parts rebranding. Their initial brand strategy documents helped inform our redesign of the Equal Parts website really well, and it’s clear how passionate and talented they are, so it’s awesome to see them getting to put their fingerprint on another Houston brewery like Bad Astronaut.

The labels explode with bright pink, maroon, and gold details of an Astronaut in a Delorean alongside a cosmic volcano. So stinking sick. The gold details shine against the rest of the warm color palette.

The appearance of the actual liquid is no less brilliant. Bad Astronaut Cruis’n Through Helles pours a crystal clear pale yellow with a perfectly frothy white head. It’s picturesque, honestly. The only thing the appearance is missing is the persistent head and delicate lacing that follows, but they stuck the landing for sure.

When I stuck my beak in my glass of Bad Astronaut Cruis’n Through Helles, I couldn’t help but note the aromatic bullseye. Subtle all the way through, but the malty-sweetness on the nose was spot on. A subtle corn note was like the aromatic version of a whisper.

It tastes exactly like it should. Simple. Super clean. Balanced and bright. The subtle grainy sweetness is the star of the show, but it doesn’t linger at all. There’s a smoothness to the finish that’s a bit herbal and it rounds out each sip like a little bow on a gift. The medium body and carbonation help check all the boxes for mouthfeel as well. It’s a real unit. Incomprehensible for the first batch of cans hitting shelves.

Honestly, Bad Astronaut Cruis’n Through Helles reminds me a bit of a less hoppy, more malt-forward version of Saint Arnold Summer Pils. Not to say that Summer Pils is super hoppy or that this is a malt bomb – these are super nuanced beers. To compare their first distro beer to a Saint Arnold classic says a lot, though.

Speaking of super nuanced, beers, I’ve been leaning into my crispy side lately with beers like New Magnolia Hella Pils and Fass Miracle City Pils. Just in time for the wild temp swings that we call stout season…

 

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Without a taproom to taste their beer, you’re going to have to find it on draft at Houston staples like D&T, Hughie’s, and Deacon Baldy’s, or grab some cans at HEB like I did.

Bad Astronaut Cruis'n Through Helles Lager
  • My Overall Rating
4.5

Bad Astronaut Cruis'n Through Helles Lager

Overall, impressive isn’t a strong enough word, but I don’t wanna bore you with the thesaurus – I got beer to drink. This is a real BA lager… I’ll let you figure out what BA stands for in your own mind. What’d you think of it overall?

Sending
User Review
5 (1 vote)

Beers to you, Houston! 🍻

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Anthony Gorrity
tony.d@beerchronicle.com

Anthony's a Houston native, a Creative Strategist at https://ledgeloungers.com/, an adjunct instructor of Visual Communication at Lone Star College, and a UH Coog that loves good beer almost as much as he does his city. Anthony lives to help others and that's found a home helping some of the coolest breweries on earth with creative and marketing projects that can be seen on our Portfolio page. Fueled by hoppy lagers, sessionable IPAs, and gangster rap, he's ticked his way through H-Town, rocking the most unusual Nikes he can find. When he's not writing for us, he's with his family or very patiently rooting for the Rockets.

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