Here in McKinney, we are lucky enough to have two breweries. We'll discuss Franconia on the blog later this week but for now, let's focus on Tupps Brewery. Tupps is the family / dog / out-of-town-friends / in-laws friendly brewery located just off of the square in the historic Cotton Mill building. Tupps celebrated their 2 year anniversary this past Spring and you can pick up their brews at nearly any local grocery store. My friend TJ and I ventured out to the brewery recently on a warm Fall afternoon. It wasn't our first visit (or second or third but that's beside the point) but with North Texas Beer Week upon us, we decided to grab a few flights, objectively try each beer, and spend a few minutes discussing. Here's what happened...
For Ella - Imperial IPA
TJ: This one has a bite to it, you definitely taste the hops at the end. You can tell it’s stronger, you can tell it's an 8.9 (% abv). It goes down easy though, it could definitely sneak up on you. If you like IPAs, this one is better than the original Tupps IPA.
BP: I love it, it’s great...it's light and floral towards the front and not overly hoppy at the beginning but you really get the hops at the end. I could drink it all day; well I could drink it all afternoon and then take a nap!
Day Off - Kolsch
TJ: Reminds me a little bit of a European style lager.
BP: I like it, its an good easy drinking beer.
TJ: You can definitely put down a lot of these in hot weather, it's going down pretty easy but it's not my type of flavor, I get a little bit of bitterness.
BP: I like it. I think it's good for what it is, it's a craft version of a light beer. Definitely not a lot of hops, you're getting more of the grain and a bready-ness.
Texas Shade - Wheat
TJ: So to me that’s more of a summer beer, it’s pretty crisp.
TJ: You can taste citrus but it's not over-powering.
BP: I thought it was really good up against the Day Off.
TJ: That is a beer you could drink all day and be cool.
BP: I liked it, I thought it was good.
Raspberry Shade - Wheat
BP: That is a beer for people who like cocktails.
TJ: Sweetness overpowers crispness, a little too much raspberry.
BP: Beer for people who don’t like beer.
TJ: There is a little too much sweetness for me.
BP: I could see how someone would like it if you weren’t a beer drinker but the sweetness is a little overpowering for me. People who like cider would like this.
TJ: Not for me.
Black Ale - Stout
TJ: I taste the bitterness of coffee. I’m surprised as hell its 5.4 percent it seems heavier.
BP: There’s definitely a lot of flavor.
TJ: It's a dark beer and it tastes how it looks.
BP: I would want this if it was rainy, cold outside, and I made chili. This is the perfect beer for that setting.
TJ: Definitely not something I’d drink on a hot day.
BP: It has it’s place. For me, it's more of a winter, cold weather beer.
Cotton Mill Gold - American Pale Ale
TJ: Very light pale ale. It's crisp but not overly hoppy. More standard than most of the extremely hoppy beers people are making.
BP: Sometimes standard is nice, this is definitely good for a Saturday afternoon.
TJ: Intro pale ale for people who don’t love hoppy beers. There's not a whole lot of flavor outside that initial bite, it's very standard pale ale.
BP: I like it, crisp enough to keep you interested but it's not going to overpower you.
TJ: Definitely has a little sweetness with the hops.
BP: This is a straightforward IPA, it’s very solid. They don’t do anything to trick it up. It’s not going to rock your world, it's very balanced and down the middle for the style. If you like IPA’s you can’t not like this beer. It's a solid IPA.
TJ: It kind of tastes like Listerine.
TJ: The smell of cinnamon is semi-overpowering, it smells like goldschlager.
BP: I’m not a spice beer guy, it’s not for me. The thing I love about saisons is the light and floral elements but this is overpowering with the savory versus the sweet. The beer itself without the spices may have been good, I just didn’t expect this. The more you drink it, the more you get what they’re going for but I still wouldn’t choose it.
TJ: I don’t like it.
Full Grown Man - Imperial Stout
TJ: Seriously, you can smell the alcohol. As soon as it hits your mouth you can taste it but it has a very smooth finish.
BP: It's a really good beer, I really like it but not for a hot afternoon.
TJ: Seems a little too much at first but it is totally manageable and in the right weather setting this could be a really good tasty beer. Super strong and flavorful, you can tell you’re drinking a high alcohol beer.
BP: Undeniably an imperial stout, definitely 11.2 (abv) and definitely a stout.
This was our experience but the great thing about beer is that is is largely subjective. Conduct your own taste test and let us know what you think! Tupps is open Wednesdays-Sundays and you can find their address, hours, and more here.
And make sure to check out what's going on all over DFW for North Texas Beer Week