Last summer, one of our own was invited to collaborate on a beer with Houston brewery SpindleTap, which has received acclaim in local craft beer circles for its New England-Style India Pale Ales. The NEIPA substyle — beloved for showcasing huge tropical and fruit flavors with almost no bitterness on a soft, creamy, hazy unfiltered body that often resembles a glass of orange juice and can even taste like one — is a relatively new one, and represents a paradigm shift in craft beer, as these beers, which are almost always packaged in 16-oz cans, seldom make it to stores due in part to the fact that they don’t age well. This typically results in fans lining up outside breweries to buy cans the day these beers are packaged due to both their limited shelf lives and availability.
A known local enthusiast of the style, Larry Koestler, our head of marketing, was honored to be asked to participate in the process. “The New England-Style IPA had been making waves up in the northeast, with breweries like Tree House, Trillium and Other Half delighting palates with their outrageously fruit-forward, hoppy and excessively drinkable concoctions, but the substyle took its time getting down to Texas,” he says. “Thanks in part to some prodding on my end, we finally started seeing Houston breweries try their hand at this delicious style, and SpindleTap quickly emerged as a local leader on the strength of their Houston Haze NEIPA. Following that beer’s success, I got to know the crew over at SpindleTap, and was elated to be asked to help develop what would end up being one of Houston’s first-ever New England-Style Double India Pale Ales.”
The beer Larry and SpindleTap came up with was the aptly-monikered Juiceton, an excessively juicy, hazy, hugely hoppy and fruit-forward 8.5% Double NEIPA that drinks dangerously easily despite its relatively high ABV. The beer, released in early December, was a home run — and continuing with the baseball theme, the sticker on the can pays homage to our hometown World Champion Astros as does the “Earned It” can stamp on the bottom — that fully delivered on the promise of the delicious concept. With many fans of the style regarding Juiceton as among the tastiest Double IPAs ever brewed in the state of Texas — it has also received notice in the national conversation — it’s no surprise SpindleTap sold out of the beer during its online presale in 10 minutes. So while Juiceton isn’t currently available anywhere, it will definitely be brewed again in 2018.