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Texas Brew Review: No Label Mint IPA

Posted 8:35am on Thursday, Jul. 17, 2014

The craft brewing industry uses its fair share of zany ingredients. With the freedom to create comes the temptation to experiment, and small breweries are agile enough to make test batches and experiment with all kinds of ingredients.

Curry , coconut , cayenne , cumin . These might sound crazy to include in beer, and you might have crinkled your nose up just thinking about them in your pint glass. But, in the right amounts, and when paired correctly, even the weirdest-sounding components can produce magical brews.

Katy’s No Label Brewing is no stranger to experimenting with adding off-the-wall ingredients to otherwise normal beers. The brewery’s regular stable includes the solidly made hefeweizen El Hefe and Pale Horse pale ale. On the other side is its seasonal lineup, which features a jalapeño-infused pale ale called Don Jalapeño that puts jalapeño at the forefront — and if you don’t love jalapeño, that likely isn’t the beer for you.

However, as with cooking food, the most successful infusions of offbeat ingredients are when they’re used with restraint. Such is the case with No Label’s Mint IPA.

Mint might sound like a strange pairing with the floral and citrus characteristics of an India pale ale, but it actually softens what would otherwise be a tight, somewhat bitter beer. The floral characteristics are still there, but in a much subtler way. The mint is strong enough to be an obvious addition, but it isn’t so over-the-top that it becomes obnoxious.

Mint IPA is available through summer for about $10 a six pack. While it might not freshen your breath, it will certainly quench your thirst on a hot summer afternoon.

Quick sips

Jolly Pumpkin arrives: Michigan brewery Jolly Pumpkin hit DFW store shelves this week for the first time. Beers like Oro de Calabaza and La Roja are must-try beers, and most of the lineup focuses on Belgian, sour and oak-aged offerings. Look for the large bottles now.

Bishop Cider opens its doors: Dallas’s first cidery opens with its Grand Opening Bash this Saturday from 3-10 p.m. Located in south Dallas in the Bishop Arts District, Bishop Cider features three of its house-made ciders as well as ciders from other cideries. The $22 admission includes a flight of each of the house ciders, a slice of pizza and a 32-ounce growler (You can pay $10 extra to have it filled). bishopcider.com.

Have a question, comment or Texas brew bulletin for Scooter? Shoot him an email at texasbrew@dfw.com.

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