15 Mar No Label Test Batch DDH NEIPA by Tony
No Label Test Batch NEIPA
Packaging: Draft Only
After a long and fun-filled evening at SpindleTap trying Houston Haze, I felt it was only right to stop by No Label and try their NEIPA. Also, my family was out and about for the evening so that gave me a bit more leeway than the average Tuesday night might!
I tried my best to be a casual patron: my head down with my son on my arm. The only problem with trying to be discreet? I was wearing my Beer Chronicle polo so I was spotted by 3-4 people before I even made it to the bar to order my beer!
There were a few dudes that recognized me, but I didn’t recognize them immediately. (After chatting with Nick on my way home, I realized who one of y’all were – here’s my formal public apology, Ethan: I didn’t mean to blow you off, but I was trying to stab in, drink a beer, write, and stab out. I didn’t even realize who you were until it was too late.)
Upon arrival, I was told that they were expecting me and I was prompted to go meet Mark for a quick chat so of course, I obliged. He explained a bit about his role at No Label, as well as a bit of background on the No Label Test Batch NEIPA. He told me it’s a one barrel pilot and it’s not for main production. (Yet. Maybe.)
Anyhow, once I grabbed a plastic cup full of No Label Test Batch NEIPA, it was a hazy gold with a little layer of creamy head sitting atop the surface. It was hard to see in this cup, but I was shown a photo in a glass and the color and haziness seemed spot on in that photo.
When I asked him if they planned on running it again, he replied, “It’s not for main production, but it outsold our hefe tonight, which never happens! We’re gonna see how well it sells, but we might have to make some more!”
The hops used in the No Label Test Batch NEIPA are mainly Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo, as well as Summit for bittering.
Aside from the plastic cup distorting my view, once I got a sip on my tongue, I was blown away. The mouthfeel was creamy the carbonation was perfectly on point, and the finish was juicy as can be with a super subtle hop burn.
No Label Test Batch NEIPA had a nose of bold pineapple, grapefruit, and tropical notes, but the nose set me up for a false expectation somewhat because it was pretty bold, but the flavor notes were a bit more subtle.
It starts off crisp and citrusy, sweet on the palette with a semi-strong bitter finish, and a little sweetness along for the ride. The pineapple, grapefruit, and tropical notes of No Label Test Batch NEIPA were more mild than I’d hoped on the palette. The bitter finish was a bit stronger than I’d hoped too, but it was welcomed and delicious.
It’s crazy that the last two weeks have seen four different beers to compare to one another along these style guidelines and all four of them have been vastly different, but for those of you watching beer go by on your news-feeds instead of drinking it for yourself, this No Label Test Batch NEIPA compares well to B-52’s Wheez the Juice, Baa Baa’s The Cow Jumped Over the Moon, and the most recent SpindleTap Houston Haze.
After having a few of these different NEIPAs that are peppering Houston’s landscape, and coming off of Houston Haze, my expectations were set pretty high. Maybe that’s a compliment to No Label, and maybe that’s to their detriment, but the No Label Test Batch NEIPA was good. It just wasn’t quite as good as I expected it to be. Something tells me if they brew it on a bigger scale, they’ll be dialing it in – the sky’s the limit because they’ve got a great starting point.
No Label Test Batch NEIPA won’t be on shelves any time soon, much less in bars or even the No Label taproom, so there’s not much we can offer in the way of finding it. You just have to make a trip out to historic Katy for yourself.
Did anybody else try out No Label Test Batch NEIPA this week? Let us know if the test batch passed the test or not! Beers to you, Houston!