December 27th, 2010

The First Sip: Tappin’ the First No Label Keg

Last Wednesday was a pretty important day for local craft beer.  If you hadn’t heard, No Label Brewing Company – based in Katy, TX – tapped their very first commercial keg of beer!

The grand event kicked off at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd.  I should have been working, but then again, with only three days until Christmas, who’s really “working” anyways?  There was an ample crowd at The Public House.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with that mindset.  I arrived and had a seat with some friends from my local homebrew club (the Cane Island Alers).

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The event commenced with a short speech by the bar owner who introduced founder/head brewer Brian Royo (an ex-Loop Scooper, as some of you will remember) and presented him with the celebratory tapping gift of a acoustic guitar autographed by Cory Morrow.

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After the pleasantries, it was the moment we had all waited for… the tapping!  No Label made its debut with their Ridgeback Ale.  Ridgeback is an American amber ale that boasts some nice malty characteristics of caramel sweetness and subtle roast notes rounded out with an ample, but not overpowering, charge of hop bitterness.  It’s on the darker side of the spectrum and appears a dark ruby color.  Brian has been considerate enough to bring this beer out a few times to our homebrew club meetings, so I was familiar with the beer, and consider it my favorite No Label offering.

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The first pint was ceremoniously poured for one of the bar regulars with some pageantry signifying the first cash transaction for No Label.

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After the show was over, the masses were granted access to the taps!  Nary a pint glass in the pub was dry as all the patrons filled up on nothing other than No Label Ridgeback!  No really… even if you wanted something else, the Public House granted No Label exclusive pouring rights and removed all other taps…

Brian and Jennifer (his lovely wife and No Label’s marketing department) enjoyed the rest of the event, mingling and schmoozing with the crowd all while accepting acclaim and congratulations.  And these accolades were well deserved as the beer seemed to be well received!

Sadly, for you inner-loop Loopsters, it may be a while before you see No Label at your favorite Houston watering hole.  In talking with Brian, his short term plans include getting his beers on tap on the west side of Houston at The Public House, the Pub Hub and Alamo Drafthouse – Mason.  So if you find yourself on the west side of Houston, stop by one of those fine establishments and ask for a pint.

Also, in the meantime, the brewery hosts FREE tastings on Saturday afternoons.  Check their Facebook fan page for a schedule of tasting dates and times.  It’s definitely worth a day trip out to Katy!

Support your local brewers and cheers,

— The Loop Scoop

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