Oak Highlands Brewery is yet another craft beer producer in the Dallas, Texas area; one of approximately 24 at the time of this writing. That’s a lot of local suds for the estimated 1.28 million Texans living there. This shouldn’t come as surprise though as Dallas also has more restaurants per capita than New York City and also hosts the largest farmer’s market in the United States.
OHB founders Brad Mall and Derrin Williams are supported by a staff of seven at their northeast Dallas brewery.
Their current brew lineup has more umlauts and European spellings than you can shake a hop flower at, but aside from their traditional German beer focus they also maintain the expected new age alternatives.
A nuanced blend of both worlds is Oak Highlands’ Freaky Deaky, a Belgian tripel utilizing “American” hops. With a generally higher IBU range than other competitors, the incorporation of added hops is a notable deviation for this complex style. I would assume that this wandering from the standard recipe is the inspiration for the beer’s name and imagery.
Freaky Deaky pours from the can a clear gold and copper variety, with a cream colored head that just doesn’t have the signature “Belgian lace” attributes one would expect from a tripel. Also a bit disappointing is the effervescence of this otherwise appealing brew – the carbonation level is not visually evident nor is it very present during drinking and overall finish.
It puts forward strong aromas of banana, spice, and yeast. A more subdued influence on the olfactory sense is the incorporation of fruity esters and toffee. The mouthfeel of OHB’s Freaky Deaky is medium in body that finishes sticky, which is a likely contribution from the additional hop presence. The flavors are very much representative of the listed aromas with also a pleasant alcohol warmth. The attenuation is better than other market examples, and the hops infuse a bitter finish that is nicely balanced with the softness and malt dominance of the style. Freaky Deaky doesn’t finish as dry as one would expect from a Tripel however the beer is light and very drinkable and the high ABV is in no way overbearing.