Pope Crisco: Deep Ellum Brewing Co. IPA and Farmhouse Wit

The celebration of a birthday or anniversary is twofold. It both recognizes and celebrates the past and at its best prepares the honorees for the coming year.

My own birthday, which occurred in the middle of this month, was such an event. Lots of food, beer, and a cigar or two was enjoyed, and when all was consumed, the icing on the cake was a much coveted Nikon D40, a nice, middle ground digital SLR camera that I have been wanting since the first few blog posts of Intoxico, a project that is working toward its third year in the making. Finally I have a tool to replace the cell phone and point and click camera I have been working with, to offer a better aesthetic experience for my readers. My family gave me the gift of a better face to show the public, and for that I am very grateful.

This year my own birthday corresponded with the one year anniversary of Deep Ellum Brewing Company, an obviously new comer to the burgeoning Dallas-Fort Worth brewing scene. Joining the fray, this brewery has arguably brought a new pedigree of ales to North Texas. As an offering of support for this brewery on its first steps into a wide ocean of craft beer in the state, this and the next post will explore four of their most widely available selections.

Being the he most anticipated offering from this brewery to be sampled this weekend, their India Pale Ale decants into my pint glass as a very slightly cloudy, burnt orange liquid. The controlled pour shows good carbonation without worry of escaping the pint glass, and tiny CO2 bubbles climb through the pumpkin colored beverage to a somewhat thin, white head.

The ale has a nice thick mouth feel that delivers one of the most well balanced, superb examples of this style I have enjoyed in quite a while. While the hop forwardness of the beer is not in question, it attacks the palate with a warm, orange zest profile without obliterating taste buds with bitterness. This beer is tame enough on the front end to really allow the nuance of the Pacific Northwest hops to be explored. Only on the back end, carried on the back of a dry finish, does a shot of clean bitterness and malt sweetness peak.

In this IPA Deep Ellum Brewing Company has produced a wonderful beer, and probably easily rests in my top 5 contenders for the style.

The Deep Ellum Farmhouse Wit stared me down a few weeks ago and dared me to buy it as I was collecting beer for the weekend convergence on my mother’s house. My brother, the Belgian drinker of my crew, obviously would enjoy the opportunity to imbibe the saison, while I opened the window to be disappointed with a style of beer that usually fails to excite my palate. Subject to his frequent generosity, I took a bullet for the team and picked up this apparent farmhouse whit whose label indicated a bit of rye in the mix.

Despite trying to maintain a slow and controlled pour, the beer’s kinetic potential was released, and resulted in a good 5 inches of head. Even as the head would dissipate, the cloudy, creamy, orange-yellow beer is a host to a copious amount of carbonation that races to the heavenly froth atop the beverage.
Aided by the pillow like head of the beer, the beverage has an enjoyable, wet, creamy mouth feel that leaves a nice, not too sweet, and refreshingly moist coating in the drinker’s mouth. This provides an excellent vehicle to deliver a lemon profile accented by coriander, generic spice, and funky yeast flavors consistent with the style of the beer.

In addition to being both complex and well balanced by malt and hops, the brew maintains a somewhat mild presentation on the tongue, making it drinkable even to this detractor of the style.

I hope I have whetted your appetite for these beers, as well as the continuation of these reviews to come shortly.Until the next keg is tapped, and the next pint poured, happy drinking!

I brew and drink beer, smoke pipes and cigars, eat till I’ve had more than my fill, and escape in pulp rags till my eyes turn buggy. I don’t claim any expertise in any subject other than the chase of my own earthly pleasures. I write to help others find their own pleasures so that together we will decay in spirit with these lesser pursuits.