|  | 

Beers

Adiós, Don Jalapeño

I can still vividly remember the first time I tried a No Label beer: the very polarizing Don Jalapeño. After work on a rather warm Wednesday evening in May, I sought shelter inside the Stag’s Head just off Richmond. Before even taking my first sip, the aroma hit my sinuses, the sweet but fiery pepper tickling the back of my nose, with just a hint of a citrusy “beachy” finish. The taste was everything I expected from the smell, that first sip lingering on the back of my throat for quite some time, as the heat had coated the roof and back of my mouth. This was, I immediately thought, a jalapeño masterpiece. I couldn’t wait to have more.

Don Jalapeno Original

The original Don Jalapeno label. | Photo: No Label Brewing Co.

Sadly, the Stag’s Head is no longer, and soon the same will be said about Don Jalapeño. No Label has announced that this batch will be their last of the beer I so enjoyed, as they make room for new brews such as a “Mojito Lime,” “Citrus Ginger,” and new DIPA. Disheartened to see one of my favorite Houston beers disappear forever, I caught up with No Label co-founder Jennifer Royo, who assured me that the move was a good one. “We are making room for new, exciting seasonals … rest assured, Don Jalapeño will be replaced by some amazing new beers.”

No Label, the Katy stalwart, unfortunately is not “No Limit” and is constrained in production, so ultimately some brands have to be retired. Jennifer explained, “we are limited by our size, tap handles available to us at bars, and the shelf space available to us in retail, so we need to keep our lineups new, fresh, and exciting.” This means more room for new beers, as well as new entrants in some of the brewery’s experimental series, such as the Hop Solo line of beers.

Still, one can’t help but lament the loss. The beer was one of the first seasonals No Label produced, with Jennifer’s uncle providing the peppers from his own garden. While it’s true that pepper beers can be divisive, as many can’t handle the heat, I always felt that Don Jalapeño served as a nice Houston symbol: down here, food is hot and flavorful. And as for the various other spicy beers that No Label has made? Well, it seems like that era of heat might be ending: Don Gusano, the one-off Mezcal Barrel-Aged Don Jalapeño produced for the Wild West Brew Fest in 2015, remains only a one-off, with no plans to ever return. One iota of hope remains, as Jennifer explains, “What the Hatch may come back, as we know Hatch season is big!”

Here’s hoping that’s true, and more to the point, here’s hoping even one day Don Jalapeño returns from the dead. In the mean time, I’ll miss that heat, and look back only on fond memories of the fiery beverage that once somehow cooled me off on such a hot day.

adios-don-jalapeno

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I'm currently funding research to develop a pathogen to eradicate coconut trees.

Related Articles

  • 8th Wonder Weisstheimer – a German Hefeweizen Great for Summer

    8th Wonder Weisstheimer – a German Hefeweizen Great for Summer

    To me, hefeweizen is a quintessential summer beer. One of my favorite beer memories is sitting outside on a warm June afternoon at the vast Paulaner biergarten just outside Munich, my hand wrapped around a chilly tall glass of their signature hefeweizen with a slice of fresh lemon on the rim. This memory  has become

  • Houston Embraces the Haze Craze

    Houston Embraces the Haze Craze

    With the six-month anniversary of my challenge to local breweries to start brewing the hottest beer style in the country — the New England-Style IPA (NEIPA) — rapidly approaching, now seemed like as apt a time as any to check in and see where things stand, especially in light of the unexpectedly impressive amount of style-related

  • 7 Canned Beers to Drink This Summer

    7 Canned Beers to Drink This Summer

    There’s a variation on Stockholm Syndrome that Houstonians know all too well: when summer is in full swing, dashing any hope of escape from the sweltering heat. It’s time for outdoor barbecues (huddle around the shade of that one tree, it might help), weekends by the pool, trips to Galveston, and of course, the greatest

  • Saint Arnold Goes Camping With Sierra Nevada

    Saint Arnold Goes Camping With Sierra Nevada

    Every year, Sierra Nevada Brewing invites multiple breweries to brainstorm and develop new recipes for a series of (typically) one-off brews for their Beer Camp series. The series seeks to showcase new collaborations with different breweries, and is essentially a meeting of minds; where great craft breweries come together to either develop new and exciting

  • Saint Arnold Releases Bishop’s Barrel #18 (BB18)

    Saint Arnold Releases Bishop’s Barrel #18 (BB18)

    Today marks the release of the 18th beer in Saint Arnold’s Bishop’s Barrel series. For this entry, Brewer/Wood Cellar Manager Aaron Inkrott drew inspiration from his mother’s oatmeal cookies. BB18 is an “Oat Wine” aged in WhistlePig Rye Whiskey barrels for nine months. The base beer is similar to an English style barleywine, with oats

1 Comment

POST YOUR COMMENTS

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *

Email *

Website

Houston Beer Guide

Please excuse our enthusiasm. We're not professional journalists, we're just passionate beer lovers. Our goal is to give Houston's beer community a voice. We hope you'll listen.

Writers

  • alice-roach
  • chris-white
  • cody-lee
  • evan-mathis
  • greg-manuel
  • jackaround
  • kenneth-krampota
  • mel-vega
  • tim-spies

Editors

  • fountain5
  • jose-cubria
  • katie-frink
close

Enjoy our site? Follow us to see more.