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Whole Foods Brewing James and the Giant Peach

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Whole Foods Brewing James and the Giant Peach

Whole Foods Market Brewing Company

Galleria/Post Oak
Peach NEIPA with Madagascar Vanilla
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: ?
Packaging: Draft, 32 oz Crowler, Growler

Beer-Chronicle-Houston-whole-foods-brewing-james-and-the-giant-peach-crowlerWhole Foods Market Brewing has got to be one of the most underrated breweries in town. Under new leadership for the last year and change, head brewer James Carlyle is continuing to push boundaries creatively like Dave Ohmer did, but he’s doing it his own way, and he’s making bangers one after another.

Set ‘em up. Knock ‘em down. Repeat.

And he’s doubling down on spreading the word about WFMB’s good beer. That’s the part we admire most.

Since taking the reigns, and having to interview for his own job to do so, Whole Foods Brewing James has been on an absolute tangent, and this peach IPA is a terrific example.

James explained to us when we interviewed him that he has full creative domain over whatever he brews despite the impression that he’s under the Whole Foods or Amazon thumb. That full creative domain includes every aisle of the store, so he and the produce guy are becoming good friends.

Enter the peaches. It’s a real wonder that it’s taken him this long to come up with Whole Foods James and the Giant Peach. The base beer is their Hop Explorer, a rotating hop IPA that’s been notoriously hazy. Add peaches and a ubiquitous name, and it’s no wonder this wasn’t like batch #3 for James.

The crowler of Whole Foods James and the Giant Peach looks like all the others, with their red, white, and navy blue artwork, and Brochino scribbled name along the side. I used to carefully peel the labels off and cut them in order to make stickers since they didn’t have any, but next time you stop in, ask for one! They have some now!

Anyhow, the appearance of the beer really begins shining the moment I pour it. The color of peach nectar glows from the glass, and it’s crowned by a giant-peach sized crown that’s foamy and chalk-white. With each sip, the lace clings like window tint. It’s nuts. And I know my glass isn’t “beer clean,” so that’s a real testament to the beer.

As soon as my crowler conks open with that deep clunking sound, there’s a burst of creamsicle scent. Citrus, peaches, and decadent vanilla rose up into my nose like a dream. I was reminiscing of the orange creamsicles of my childhood, and I was ready to dig in.

But wait a minute, isn’t this Whole Foods James and the Giant PEACH? Why all the oranges? It had to be the hops, of course. As I took my beak out of the glass and began sipping, each gulp revealed more peaches than the nose.

Tart! Pow! Peach! Pow! Citrus! Pow! Soft bitterness! Soft-pow! And then a serenade of subtly sweet vanilla and graham crackers finished out all that action. I swear I’m drinking a superhero or a peach cobbler.

This Whole Foods James and the Giant Peach reminds me quite a bit of an orange creamsicle IPA I had from Aslin. I was sharing beers with 713TXbrewer at SpindleTap, and that one made my day. Add some peach to the mix, and I’m in there like swimwear. (Picture a post-cannon-ball wedgie if you don’t get that simile. Yeah. In there.)

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A lot of the time, you can get the beers we write about delivered to your door from Hop Drop, and you can save 10% with code “BEERCHRONICLE”, but not this time. You gotta go straight to the source for this one! And don’t sleep because it’ll be gone soon. James makes small batches, and they’re in big demand.

  • My Overall Rating
4.3

Whole Foods Brewing James and the Giant Peach

Overall, I loved Whole Foods James and the Giant Peach. The sweetness is drying, and I love that it’s not overdone. The Madagascar vanilla beans were the perfect touch to add to the peachy sweetness, and I’m glad this one didn’t have any lactose. It would’ve been too much. The tartness from the peaches and the mild citrusy bitterness made for a terrific balance that I wish I had more of.

What’d you think of it overall? Let us know with a single click of the stars below, or drop us a comment to share your opinion. We’d love to hear it. Beers to you, Houston!

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User Review
3 (2 votes)
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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 is days pushing pixels for us, breweries, churches, and one of Houston's fastest-growing companies. Fueled by sessionable IPAs and gangster rap, he's ticked his way through H-Town, rocking nothing but the dopest on-sale 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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