On hot, humid summer days, such as about half the days of the year in Houston, nothing is more necessary than beer. Yes, you can have the worthless, light Saint Arnold Brewing Co. Lawnmower beer that belongs under the lawnmower (fortunately Saint Arnold’s new Endeavour Imperial IPA could be the beer of the week too). Really, you want an enjoyable beer that is not a heavy stout to weigh you down. Something that perks you up while watching another Astros loss.
Houston’s newest brewery, Buffalo Bayou, comes to the rescue. Too new to even have a functioning website, Buffalo Bayou’s sensational rendition of an amber can be found at the Hay Merchant, the new massive craft beer bar from the folks behind Anvil, at some 80 taps strong. The 1836 Copper Ale is named for the year Houston was founded along…the banks of the Buffalo Bayou, a form of a river meandering through Downtown.
A beautiful penny colored copper hue with a stout-like head, definite notes of caramel, orange zest, and sticky toffee hit you, all without being sweet. This isn’t a malty amber at all. In fact, slight hop notes make it almost lean slightly in an IPA direction. At 5.9% ABV, it’s a border-line session beer and would pair perfectly with summer barbeque. I’m certainly thinking beef brisket sandwiches here.
This is one of the best debuts of the summer. Consider it the Bryce Harper or Mike Trout of 2012 craft breweries. Expect Buffalo Bayou to give Saint Arnold and the big names of craft brewing in Austin some Texas-sized competition over the next few months.