19 Jun No Label Sittin’ Sidehaze
Nick, Tam and I were able to make it out to No Label for their big release of Sittin’ Sidehaze. It was nice to sit and talk with Logan and Mark, meet Jennifer for a few, and the best part was meeting the guys over at HopCast Houston and talking at length with head-brewer Taylor about the future of No Label.
A lot’s changing around the silos in Old Katy, starting with No Label’s recent addition of a handful of new beers. Spring marked the release of three Off Label beers, a Wee Heavy a Gose, and a fruity Double IPA. That was accompanied by an NEIPA on the same night that Houston Haze was originally released. There’s a bit more than that on the horizon, but we all know why you’re really here. Let’s get to the beer.
*June 27th beat drops and H-Tine (yeah H TINE, read it like Slim Thug would say it) freestyling commences*
The Houston haze craze has seen many-an-IPA. Meanwhile, No Label’s been tweaking their recipe of that NEIPA, and truth be told, it’s not just any IPA. Bars, son. Ok. I’ll stop.
As I mentioned in my freestyle, No Label’s been putting some love into this Sittin’ Sidehaze recipe. Between now and when they first released it without a name (simply test batch DDH NEIPA), there have been almost a dozen other hazy IPAs pop up from other breweries. Baa Baa’s released 4 already with a 5th coming soon.
For now, No Label Sittin’ Sidehaze is only going to be on tap at the brewery, but they’re already talking about possibly bottling and putting it on the shelves, so you might want to keep your eyes peeled for the artwork. It features a car reminiscent of an old Impala doing 3-wheel motion (looks like a 63 to me, but who’s counting). The illustration is black and white and sits atop a red circle-badge that holds the text Sittin’ Sidehaze, HTX, and NEIPA. In their email, that was flanked by red paisley that reminded me of a bandana.
I have a little beef with all the art and branding surrounding No Label Sittin’ Sidehaze:
- It’s an old school Impala, West Coast by nature, and it should probably be a SLAB with some swangers
- All the red/bandana stuff are again reminiscent of the West Coast hip hop culture
- 1 and 2 become even more of an issue because it’s a North East style IPA branded as an HTX beer
- Finally, the name’s most likely inspired by Paul Wall’s 2004 hit Sittin’ Sidewayz, a track that ushered Houston’s country-rap-tunes onto a national stage and made way for the biggest year in Houston’s hip hop history, 2005. But nothing about it says HOUSTON other than the aforementioned HTX
I’m being petty af, and I know that. But it’s because I love hip-hop, and I’m an artist that pays real close attention to how things are named, designed, etc. It just feels ill-advised to me, but one of Nick’s friends said “BEST NAME FOR A BEER EVER,” so to each his own.
Nonetheless, the beer is terrific, and it overshadows any art-related beef I had going in. I wanted to ask about it while we were there, but I never got the opportunity. When we interview them one day, I’ll definitely be asking though!
All the art stuff aside, No Label Sittin’ Sidehaze poured a bright, hazy, golden-orange with no head and the tiniest of lace. So far, it’s the most deceptive looking of all the Houston NEIPAs, as it looks exactly like a glass of OJ. I wouldn’t recommend starting your day off with it though at nearly 7% ABV!
The nose is super bright with orange and pineapple taking center stage. It’s a great indicator of what’s to come.
The first sip of No Label Sittin’ Sidehaze reveals exactly what you came for: tropical, fruity hop-flavors of oranges and pineapples. That initial burst of fruitiness is followed by a mellow bitterness that’s gone as fast as it came. The finish is filled with oranges and grapefruit in a smooth and mild way.
The mouthfeel is perfectly creamy, and the carbonation is filled with tiny little champagne-like bubbles, adding to the refreshing nature.
I’d say this one’s probably the closest to Houston Haze, as far as checking all the boxes goes. Sittin’ Sidehaze is a bit more citrusy where Haze is a bit more tropical, though. If you want even more tropical, give their Mango Milkshake a look.
Either way, it’s great, and that’s why I gave it 4.5 stars. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this is easily one of my favorite styles of beer to drink, so I I’m giving out all these high ratings left and right to all these hazy beers. (The brewers are also doing a great job getting the style right, so there’s also that.) If you don’t like all the positive ratings, go ahead and leave a nasty comment on IG from a private account, so I can roast your ass, lol. 🖕
Sittin’ Sidehaze can only be found at the brewery for now, but if enough of y’all go in there and float their kegs, we might be able to see it on the shelves soon!!
No Label Sittin’ Sidehaze was better than I expected, and their tweaking of the recipe really showed. It was already great to start with, but the love shows. Sooo, when are you heading out to Katy to try it? Let us know in the comments below! Beers to you, Houston.