A perfect beer for a Houston Winter
Last weekend I had the fortunate time of visiting Equal Parts Brewing, located a stone’s throw from Ninfa’s on Navigation. The beer that drew me to them was a new release that they brewed in collaboration with Country Malt Group. Neo-noir is a Munich Style Dunkle brewed with a new chocolate malt from Bestmalz in Germany that uses a different kilning process, lending it more chocolate flavors without the astringent bitterness you can sometimes get from traditional chocolate malt.
The beer came out a mahogany brown with a slightly tan head with an aroma that was milk chocolate with a hint of roastiness that balanced out the sweetness. On the first sip, I was blown away by how light the beer was. The weather was just warm enough for me to be sitting outside, but this beer is light enough it could have been 90 degrees and I would still have enjoyed drinking it outside. After I got past the lightness, I was struck by a slight citrus note that quickly gave way to the chocolate and roast I had picked up on the aroma. This finally led to a slight toasty spice, reminiscent of rye toast, that rounded out the whole beer.
While I was visiting, I had to have what is one of my favorite lagers in the Houston area, Loggerbier. To make it even better, they had it on slow pour. I am typically hesitant to order a slow pour as sometimes bars and breweries don’t actually pour it slowly, just use a side pull tap but pour like a normal beer. Equal Parts does it right. The beer took about 8 minutes to pour as they layered the frothy, meringue like head with patience. When they handed it to me, the foam jiggled like a dollop of hand whipped whip cream. The beer itself was a clear hay color with a sweet white bread aroma with a hint of lemon. On my first sip, I got loads of water cracker maltiness with a hint of that lemon, finished with just a hint of minerality. The mouthfeel was super light. Every time I have a good slow pour, I am amazed at how much it changes the beer. I tend to get a little more of the hop aroma than is in the beer normally, while the bitterness is toned down. The lower carbonation in the beer doesn’t make the beer heavier though, if anything it is almost light on my palate.
With how mercurial Houston winters are, it is tough to have a beer I would recommend as a perfect beer for the season. Neo-noir is just that beer, light enough for a warm day in shorts, roasty enough for a cold night around the firepit. My only complaint is that it is taproom only, so you are going to have to head over to their brewery and grab it while you can!