|  | 


A look at Copperhead Brewery’s Feeding Frenzy IIPA

Apparently I should write about things I want to see happen more often. Since publishing “Who will be Houston’s Trillium or Tree House?” a handful of our area breweries have gone public with their intentions to attempt to brew a beer closely adhering to the style hallmarks — huge tropical fruit flavor thanks to obscene amounts of post-boil dry-hop additions during whirlpool, fermentation and/or under CO2 pressure of uber-popular citrusy hops like Citra, Galaxy, Mosaic, Nelson, Amarillo and El Dorado; super-soft, creamy and juicy body/mouthfeel as a result of the interplay of the water treatment, specialty grain bill and London Ale (1318) or English Ale (007) yeast strains; and minimal (but still present) lingering bitterness due in part to almost no kettle hop additions — of the supernova that is the Northeast-Style India Pale Ale (NEIPA), or at least their interpretation of such.

Baa Baa Brewhouse was among the first to respond, and I enjoyed their initial stab at it, which they are now tweaking in preparation for a more scaled-up release on March 4. Katy’s No Label then announced last week that they are taking a stab at a double dry-hopped New England-Style IPA; as did Spindletap (while also coining #HoustonHaze); it was mentioned in the comments of my Cow Jumped Over the Moon review that Sigma is also planning one (though I haven’t seen an official announcement anywhere yet); and there are a couple of forthcoming breweries with exciting plans whose beers I am very eager to try. In the midst of this flurry of activity, Conroe’s Copperhead Brewery also announced the release of their own double dry-hopped Double IPA, Feeding Frenzy, and were kind enough to invite me out to try it.

Brewed with copious amounts of Citra, alongside Comet, Amarillo and Apollo, Feeding Frenzy announces itself immediately with its huge tropical aroma. It’s a fairly deep orange in appearance, with Fawcett Maris Otter and flaked oats in the grain bill, and pleasantly hazy. Flavor-wise the citrus is robust and plentiful; there’s absolutely no mistaking this beer for anything but Citra-dominated. And it is deceptively, dangerously easy to down for the 8.0% ABV. In fact, it may well be the tastiest Houston-brewed DIPA I’ve had — I actually said the same thing last time I had a Copperhead DIPA almost a year ago, and it’s clear owner and brewmaster Seth Earnest knows his way around hops.

Of course, you’re probably wanting to know whether I thought it was a good representation of a NEIPA. And, my answer is that it’s actually not an NEIPA (nor did Seth say it was one). Granted, Feeding Frenzy was brewed utilizing many of the aforementioned NE-style techniques (and these days specifically calling out double dry-hopping is a signifier in the northeast in particular), but the beer was also fermented with Chico (or American Ale) yeast, which, while historically hailed for its clean character, doesn’t lend itself to the creamy/juicy/soft mouthfeel that is a critical component of the style. As such, Feeding Frenzy still finished decidedly West Coast for me, with a bit of a harsher bitterness than I’d want in an NE-style beer. Seth mentioned to me that for the next batch, which will be appropriately scaled up, he plans to pitch Conan yeast instead, which is best known as the strain that made Heady Topper the most sought-after beer in the world three years ago. I’ll be curious to see what Conan does to Feeding Frenzy, although in my experience, the yeast strain really needs to be either 1318 or 007 to nail the Northeast-style mouthfeel.

That all said, I want to reiterate: it was still a very good beer. And ultimately it doesn’t even matter what I think as the beer was an unequivocal success in their taproom this past weekend, prompting Copperhead to add a new batch to its brew schedule roughly every other month going forward. And there’s even more great news for fans of beer in cans (a.k.a. everyone): while the next batch of Feeding Frenzy will be available in 4-packs of 12-oz. bottles to-go directly from the brewery, Seth intends to start canning all of their hoppy beers in the not-too-distant future, with flagship Striker IPA first up to hit six-packs of 12-oz. cans, eventually followed by Feeding Frenzy later on down the line.



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

  • 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 Breweries Put Their Twist on Saint Arnold Classics

    5 Breweries Put Their Twist on Saint Arnold Classics

    Saint Arnold Brewing Company is the oldest craft brewery in Texas, but that title doesn’t do justice to the impact they’ve had on the landscape of beer in Houston. I think calling them “The Godfather of Houston Beer” is a more appropriate title. Over the last 23 years, brewers and staff from Saint Arnold have

  • Adiós, Don Jalapeño

    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

  • SpindleTap Nails it With Houston Haze

    SpindleTap Nails it With Houston Haze

    When I wrote “Who will be Houston’s Tree House or Trillium?”, I figured we’d see some breweries gradually approach the style and brew some reasonable attempts, but that it would take some time before we saw a true player on the hazy AF juice front. SpindleTap said “f%7* all that noise” and is on the cusp


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

Name *

Email *


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.


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


  • fountain5
  • jose-cubria
  • katie-frink

Enjoy our site? Follow us to see more.