|  | 

Beers

Review: Baa Baa Brewhouse’s Cow Jumped Over the Moon – Houston Area’s First NEIPA

My recent essay on the greater Houston area’s relative lack of beers brewed in the hottest style in the country, the Northeast-Style or New England-Style India Pale Ale (NEIPA), ended up striking more of a chord than I’d hoped, with a handful of local (and forthcoming) breweries coming out of the woodwork revealing near- and longer-term plans to try and slake the thirst of the insatiable double dry-hopped-lusting masses.

One such brewery in particular, Brookshire newcomer Baa Baa Brewhouse, even went so far as to publicly accept the challenge via video, and released a NE-Style Pale Ale called Cow Jumped Over the Moon this past Sunday. While Conroe’s B-52 Brewing released Wheez the Juice back in December, and Eureka Heights produced Business Time last month, neither brewery had explicitly called out or categorized either beer as Northeast-Style in any of their marketing (as far as I can tell, anyway), making Baa Baa Brewhouse the first local brewery to brew a beer in the style and also refer to it as such (“NEIPA” was even the style descriptor on the brewery chalkboard). And with Baa Baa Brewhouse playfully answering the bell, conveniently being located on my side of town, and being perhaps the most kid-friendly brewery around with a fully dedicated play area for children, I knew I had to take the beer for a spin.

Hopped primarily with Galaxy (with Columbus and Magnum for bittering), the first thing you’ll notice is that the beer mostly looks the part. Color-wise it’s a deeper orange — almost bordering on brown — than many of the best-known examples of the style, and proudly turbid, closer to the Hoof Hearted Egg Drop Soup family of NEIPAs. Aromatically it was a bit dull — always a surprise when a double dry-hopped beer is lacking in aroma — but the beer was probably served too cold, because I also found the overall flavor profile slightly muted during the first few sips. The beer really revealed itself as it warmed, with the soft, juicy mouthfeel NEIPA style hallmarks taking center stage. Galaxy imparted a subtle fruitiness, but didn’t assault the palate with a tropical fruit basket explosion; I’m not sure I would’ve been able to blindly pick out the fact that it was a Galaxy single-hop. The 5.7% ABV also likely played a bit of a role in subduing the taste for me — don’t get me wrong, I adore a flavor-bursting American Pale Ale, but having been on a steady diet of double dry-hopped seven-to-eight-percenters from up north, my perception of just how flavorful a given beer might be is admittedly a bit skewed. There was also a very subtle estery note I was picking up that I wasn’t wild about, but didn’t detract from the overall experience. While NEIPAs are known for being lightly carbed (relative to other styles), this beer was also a bit undercarbed, as astutely noted by the fellow hophead I met who said he drove 40 miles from the city just to try the beer (proving my hypothesis that they will in fact come if you build it).

While the above may sound overly critical, on the whole I enjoyed Cow Jumped Over the Moon, and applaud Baa Baa Brewhouse on a solid first effort. The fact remains that virtually no one locally has even tried to produce something in this style yet, and this was by far the closest anyone has come in the Houston area that I’m aware of. If you’re going in expecting Tree House/Trillium-level insanity, don’t — very few breweries come out of the chute lighting the world on fire. The brewery themselves candidly shared that while they were proud of this effort, they’re excited to take what they’ve learned and continue to make even better beer. I’ll drink to that.

baa-baa-brewhouse-cow-jumped-over-the-moon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Larry Koestler is a native New Yorker, current resident of Houston and Northeast-Style IPA fiend. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram (@larry_koestler).

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

5 Comments

  1. Jeff Fountain

    Great write up Larry! I look forward to heading out there.

  2. Marshall

    Good stuff man! Looks like there’s no need to make the trip out there based on what I just read.
    I’m surprised it took this long for someone to publicly admit they were trying. Becoming Trillium is a pretty lofty goal for anyone.
    – M

  3. Maich

    Can’t agree w/ Business Time being called a NE IPA def off the mark by a long shot

    • Larry Koestler

      Yeah I mean I didn’t consider it to be one (and in their defense they also never used that style designation). But for thoroughness’ sake I think it merits being mentioned in this conversation because there were components they publicized in their technique — using tons of Galaxy, pitching (presumably) 007, double dry-hopping — that indicated that it wasn’t unrealistic to think it could’ve turned out that way.

  4. Matthew Maicher

    Looks like a lot of places are doing NEIPAs in the area which is exciting. March 4th release on this one, Sigma’s in a couple of weeks

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.