If you say anything is the “best (fill in the blank) in Texas,” you’re bound to elicit some strong opinions.
Best BBQ? You’d be hard pressed to even find a consensus in DFW.
College football teams? We’ve seen friendlier presidential debates.
Breakfast tacos? Austin and San Antonio have unofficially declared war on one another over it.
Beer might not be as consistently contentious as those topics, but the beer community also likes to draw its lines in the sand.
So, it comes with some controversy when drinkers start throwing out the claim of the “Best IPA in Texas.” Many Texans might be faithful to light beer, but beers with big hops are still quite popular in the state. With that comes great competition for which brews hop-heads claim to love most.
Lone Pint Brewery has dropped itself into the middle of this debate over the past several years with its Yellow Rose IPA. Located in Magnolia — about halfway between Houston and College Station — the brewery has gained quite the following for this distinctive beer.
User-rating websites like Beer Advocate have it rated as the the best IPA in Texas and the third-best beer overall in the state. Plenty of other circles — online and otherwise — have declared its greatness.
Of course, when a gauntlet like this is thrown down, dissenters multiply like rabbits. Community Mosaic. (512) IPA. Austin Beerworks Fire Eagle. Saint Arnold Elissa. They all have their fans who will swear up and down that their favorite is the best.
But, like all things beer, it’s subjective. Different palates prefer different tastes, and some drinkers are fiercely loyal to the beers of their specific region.
Regardless of all the hype, Yellow Rose packs some serious hop punch that deserves its reputation. Referred to as a “SMaSH” (single malt and single hop) beer, Yellow Rose is brewed with Mosaic hops and Pilsner malt. Mosaic is in full effect with its fruity bouquet and moderate bitterness. Utilizing all Pilsner malt — albeit quite a bit of it — this beer allows the hops to shine to their fullest potential. The label says this is “extremely quaffable,” which feels like a stretch. If you don’t love hops, this beer isn’t going to be for you. However, if you do, Yellow Rose delivers as much hop goodness as any on the market.
In past years, Yellow Rose was available on draft and packaged in large-format bottles that were somewhat hard to find. Recently, Lone Pint started packaging it in four-packs in distinctive 16.9-ounce, low-shoulder bottles for a unique look that is also a more single-drinker friendly size. It’s a welcome change.
So, while someone from Dallas might be willing to go to fisticuffs with someone from Houston over the merits of Deep Ellum IPA versus Karbach Hopadillo, hopefully they can all agree that Yellow Rose from little Magnolia deserves attention and respect.
TABC crackdown: After facing intense scrutiny for alleged excessive spending on out-of-state trips, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission saw some serious results of questioning by the Legislature on how it spent taxpayer funds. After having its out-of-state travel budget slashed and undergoing several days of questioning from lawmakers, Executive Director Sherry Cook stepped down. Stay tuned for how the shake-ups might continue.
Flights and more flights: Returning for its third year, the Fort Worth Aviation Museum will host its Hops & Props event April 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20-$150 and include a variety of beer options and rides on classic aircraft. http://fortworthaviationmuseum.com/category/event/hopsandprops/