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Secret Beach X Whole Foods Brewing Space Cadillac

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Secret Beach X Whole Foods Brewing Space Cadillac

NEIPA
ABV: 7.4%
IBUs: ?
Packaging: Draft, 16oz Crowlers from Craft Beer Cellar Cypress, 32oz Crowlers from WFMB

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If you’ve been following along with Houston’s subculture’s subculture, then you may be hip to a handful of home brewers that are making noise with beer from their freaking garages. In honor of Tuesday, May 7 being National homebrewing day, we figured we’d make some noise for those making their own noise in their garages.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, though. A handful of these folks are churning out beer that’s good enough to be served out of a taproom or bar, and an even smaller handful are proving it.

Baa Baa Brewhouse has been collaborating with homebrewers since pretty much day 1. August of 2018, Eureka Heights linked up with Chris Anderson of Laser brewing for Pew Pew, a deliciously crushable hazy Pale Ale. And most recently, James Carlyle of Whole Foods Market Brewing had Jamey of Secret Beach Inspired Ales in the brewhouse for a little bit of fun.

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Or a lot. But who’s counting?

We reached out to Jamey and James (there’s gotta be a beer name for a future collab in there somewhere) for a little bit of back story on Secret Beach X Whole Foods Brewing Space Cadillac.

Jamey had this to say, “Space Cadillac is a result a few things. It’s a beer James and I primarily did to try hop terpenes for the first time. We both were intrigued about it, so James ordered some Galaxy terps. We wanted to use El Dorado as well because we both like it, but I sort of consider it to be my favorite hop, so that was sort of the SB contribution as far as hop profile. We then dry-hopped it pretty well with Galaxy.”

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For those of you that are wondering:
Galaxy hops = Space
El Dorado hops = Cadillac
Terpenes = Science word for concentrated liquids of aromas

The Galaxy/El Dorado bit may not need much more explanation, but terpenes on the other hand, might. They’re not unique to beer, and many folks think of weed when they hear the term, but terpenes are found in all kinds of plants from bud (pinene) to lemons (lemonene) to mangos and thyme (myrcene) and a ton of other plants in between.

The aromas are extracted and synthesized and then used in aromatherapy, perfumes, medicine, and in this case, making some exploratory beer.

James went on to add, “So being that I quickly went from homebrewer to pro brewer very rapidly, I still had (and still do) a lot of ties to the local homebrew community. I met Jamey while he kept coming into Whole Foods. We started shooting around ideas of doing a fun collab, and hop terpenes came up. So we hashed out a plan and set the date.”

Hashed out a plan… I see what he did there. That guy. Sheesh.

We were lucky enough to score a crowler of Secret Beach X Whole Foods Brewing Space Cadillac from our friends at Craft Beer Cellar Cypress, but you may not be as lucky.

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While the crowlers from CBC Cypress or even those from WFMB don’t have much in the way of can art, Jamey’s a true renaissance man, and he did a ton of artwork for the beer. The Cadillac death ship and logo made it’s way to glasses, shirts, hats, and plenty of other stuff to celebrate the tapping of this beer at Conservatory. Plenty of other Houston home brewers were in attendance to celebrate the release as well.

The initial pour is spot on as the glowing yellow-orange color beams with full-on hazy-opacity. There’s a bone white head that bubbles up in a rocky formation and then laces down the glass majestically. Looks good, how’s it smell?

Secret Beach X Whole Foods Brewing Space Cadillac smells pretty faint. Whereas some of these hazy IPAs will take over a room at the first crack of the can, this one requires a bit more investigation. After full on beer-nerd, nose-in-glass, huffing and puffing, I get tropical fruitiness, ripe peaches, and earthiness round out the mellow nose.

Once I’m done smelling my beer like a dork, each sip is like a blast through the Milky Way. Green honeydew, ripe pineapple, and nondescript stone fruit flavors gush and wane, competing to be recognized by my palate. As each thin sip fills my mouth, there’s a finish full of bitter, resinous, earthiness that only comes from two green plants, and it combines with a tropical ester that’s strange and new to me.

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Hop Drop usually has almost any beer you could want, and they deliver it to your door, but this one’s extra special. Conservatory, Craft Beer Cellar Cypress, and Whole Foods on Post Oak are the only three places that I know for sure have it.

Smart money says they won’t have it after this weekend no matter how crappy the weather is, so go try it for yourself – don’t take my word for it. If the few kegs around town blow, hit up Hop Drop and use code “BEERCHRONICLE” for 10% off your beer delivery.

  • My Overall Rating
3

Secret Beach X Whole Foods Brewing Space Cadillac

Overall, it was pretty good considering how exploratory it was. The mouthfeel was super thin for the 7.4% ABV, and the drying finish was a bit earthier than I’m used to, but those things aside, it was well worth seeking out. I look forward to batch 2, if ever there is one.

Tons of fruitiness and a wildly creative beer is something I’ll always cosign in a hazy IPA, so here I am. Cosigning. Get you some. If you already had it, let us know what you thought of it in the comments below or by clicking on the stars. Beers to you, Houston!

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User Review
2 (1 vote)

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Anthony Gorrity
tony.d@beerchronicle.com

Anthony's a Houston native, a graphic designer, and a UH Coog that loves good beer almost as much as he does his city. He's an ex-oilfield guy that spends his days doing graphic design and marketing projects for one of Houston's fastest growing companies as well as some of the coolest breweries in town. Fueled by 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 rooting for the Rockets.

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