One might say that 8th Wonder Brewery has branded itself as the people's brewery. Its taproom is filled with memorabilia from the Astrodome, there's a big ol' backyard with iconic local art, and the brewery regularly references local landmarks and symbols in its beer names. So it makes perfect sense for 8th Wonder to embrace the city's hip-hop history and, further, the very rapper who calls himself "the people's champ."
Paul Wall broke into the mainstream around 2005. After appearing on Mike Jones' "Still Tippin'" with Slim Thug, he released his debut album The People's Champ, which included minor hit "Sittin' Sidewayz" and top-10 rap hit "Girl." Then he really made his presence felt after rapping on Nelly's No. 1 hit "Grillz." That he was a post-Eminem white rapper who could actually rap helped, as did his very unique blinged-out teeth and drawl. Saying "powl-wowl" was kind of a thing back then.
While Wall hasn't had much mainstream success since those halcyon days showing off his grill for MTV kids, he stays rhyming, and he remains a soft spot for Houstonians because, well, he reps H-Town.
The problem, though, is that People's Champ the beer is a beverage whose short-lasting flavor is more befitting the career of a one-hit wonder white rapper like Snow. It kind of tastes like snow, too.
People's Champ is a kristalweizen, a German style of wheat beer that's basically a hefewiezen (banana, cloves) but cleaner and crisper (kind of like a pilsner). People's Champ has a nice transparent, amber color, and is light bodied, plus it has the banana and clove characteristics, but mostly on the nose, and while it's "clean," it's actually devoid of flavor. It's more watery than anything.
People's Champ is drinkable, but if we're going to honor Wall, the beer has to have more flash and substance. Isn't that what the people would want?
Explanation of ratings: 9.5-10: as good as the best beer in America; 9-9.4: the best beer in Houston; 8-8.9: among the better beers in Houston; 7-7.9: really good beer; 6-6.9: try this beer at least once; 5-5.9: if you’re stuck, this won’t hurt; 3-4.9: among the lowest-quality beers in Houston; 0-2.9: as bad as the worst beer in America.