Recently, I was at a bar in Oakland, California, that listed about 50 beers from across the West Coast on a bunch of chalkboards. As you'd expect, most of the beers were either big and robust imperial stouts or extremely hazy IPAs packed with all kinds of trendy hops. I'm not saying we've reached a singularity in beer, but sometimes it can seem like it.
Luckily in Houston we're starting to explore sour and wild fermentation more. We're also still a city that loves its blonde ales, ambers, and lagers, which is great because variety is the spice of life. Plus, you can find under-appreciated European styles at Holler. You can get bocks almost everywhere. As much as the city is fully in the haze craze, it's leaving space for other styles.
So why am I about to tell you about yet another hazy beer? Because Spindletap's 5% Tint is probably the one hazy beer that works for all drinkers. It's the one that, no matter your preference, you should try, just so you can say you've traveled to the hazy district. At 5 percent ABV it's a less potent beer on the very tippy top of what's considered "sessionable," at least in America (anything 5 percent and under). That means having two or three won't ruin your day.
5% Tint—which references what you can't see through (whether car door or full beer glass)—is certainly hazy. It smells tropical, from orange to mango. And it tastes like it too, but the tropical flavors fade quickly and sharply. It's maybe a touch too sharp and too crisp. For some people that's good—maybe you don't want a beer whose hoppy taste lingers for a while—but I suppose I want just a touch more on the back end.
For its minor faults, 5% Tint is a solid representation of a very well-known style. I haven't yet had a more accessible, entry-level New England-like IPA in Houston. That means you can have it. Or your friend. Or your family. Literally anyone. Try one. And if that's the only hazy beer you have, all good. Luckily, there's a lot more in Houston to sample.
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.