There’s a difference between being a Texas brewery, and then really brewing something Texan. I know that might sound ironic considering we’re going to be talking about a German-style beer that does use German hops, but stay with me here.
Last year, Robert Earl Keen, the Houston, Texas born and raised country singer, got with Pedernales Brewing Co. of Fredericksburg, Texas, to collaborate on a beer that would feature Texas Hill Country well water but more importantly uses Llano, Texas-based honey producer Fain’s Honey Co.
I know, a lot of commas and a lot of small Texan towns you’ve probably never heard of.1
Now that we’ve firmly established the beer’s Texan roots, it’s time to actually get into the beer itself. The first thing that strikes me is the bright, clear orange color the beer has. There is a nice quarter-inch head that slowly disappears into a thin film. Bringing the glass up to my nose, I immediately get a sweet floral and light honey aroma, with very light malts on the finish. Interestingly lacking is not really any hop aroma anywhere in the mix.
Taking my first sip I’m greeted by a very delicate, light taste. There is plenty of honey up front, with some floral notes that are followed closely by some very light caramel malts. It’s fairly sweet, but a touch of bitterness balances it back out. Really, the flavors are quite light and not overly complex, and as such it’s nicely refreshing. The mouthfeel is very light as well, just stopping short of what I’d call watery, with a light to medium carbonation. Past that, slightly bitter honey notes linger on the finish, which might sound like an odd combination, but it works.