|  | 

Beers

Seeing (and drinking) Cougar Red!

On Monday, August 15th, No Label, Calhoun’s Rooftop Bar & Grill and Brewheart apparel will soft-launch ‘Brew of H’, a (Cougar) Red IPA that’s been two years in the making. I had a chance to talk about the beer and the collaborative story behind it with Shannon Parker, Owner and Designer at Brewheart apparel, as well as Gus Vincenti, Sales Manager at No Label Brewing Company.

Sometimes good beer starts with nothing more than a good idea, and Brew of H fits into that category. When Calhoun’s opened on the south end of the University of Houston main campus in August of 2014, their friends at Brewheart collaborated with them on a design for T-shirt that clearly communicates that University of Houston Cougars need good beer too — with a hand holding a longneck while simultaneously making the Cougar Paw hand sign.

Brew of H T-shirt

The design that started it all!

At the time, the only UH-themed beer available was red-dyed Bud Light available on draft at Cougar football home games. However, late in 2015 the Coogs at No Label Brewing approached Calhoun’s/Brewheart to use the name for a red-dyed version of First Street Ale to be sold in the run-up to the Cougars’ victorious trip to the 2016 Peach Bowl. That beer was such a hit — it sold out in a couple hours at Calhoun’s — that the idea for a true collaboration craft beer was cemented.

Over a few recipe formulation sessions and some test batches at No Label’s brewery in Katy the beer was finalized into a (very) Red IPA, hopped gratuitously in the boil with Cascade, Columbus and Nugget and dry hopped with the same combination. Shannon told Houston Beer Guide that she loves Cascade and that type of west-coast IPA, so this beer is a hop forward tribute to the style of beer, and it doesn’t use a drop of red food coloring — getting all its Shasta-pleasing scarlet luster from specialty barley malt. Gus said that the beer was more on the dank and earthy side than other No Label hoppy beers, but at 6% still aims at being balanced and in line with No Label’s approachable style. He said that Jennifer and Brian Royo, the owners of No Label and proud UH alums, wanted to brew something that would be not be a ‘gimmicky’ beer. They want to be true to the flavor, and took great pride in crafting this beer in the spirit of alma mater.

BrewofH_Promo_HBG

That’s one red IPA!

The soft launch at Calhoun’s on the 15th of August will be a ticketed ‘friends and family’ event, and What’s On Tap Radio will be there to document the festivities. A broader launch including distribution to multiple bars and restaurants in greater Houston will follow in the weeks to come.

The beer is currently planned as draft-only, and as No Label (through their distribution partner, Favorite Brands) does not have access to taps at TDECU Stadium it won’t be available for Cougar home games this season, so fill those growlers for your tailgate coolers! A packaged version could be available soon, and Gus said this beer could join No Label’s year round lineup, with draft distributed to accounts popular with UH alumni across No Label’s existing statewide Texas footprint.

But for now, it’s no surprise that it took a collaborative effort between some good beer people and some proud Houston Cougars to (finally) make a UH-themed brew. This season Cougar fans can add a new refrain to the traditional fight song – DrinkItUp, DrinkItUp, Go, Coogs, Go!!

seeing-and-drinking-cougar-red

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A Dad and husband, a craft beer fan and advocate for Texas craft beer culture, a native Houstonian and UH Cougar, and some other stuff too.

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

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.