TUPPS’ Day Off Isn’t Worth Calling In Sick Over.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on TUPPS Brewery’s Day Off.Fast Facts on TUPPS Brewery Day Off.
Style: Kolsch.
ABV: 5.2 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 18.
Color: Pale Gold.
Availability: Cans.

Have you visited TUPPS brewery? I must admit that I still haven’t visited our friends to the north. I really don’t get to McKinney on the regular, but chances are that I’d be up there for a different reason than to drink. It’s a long drive home after all. At my local big box beer shop, I have seen an uptick in offerings from TUPPS in the past couple months. That’s a good thing, too, because TUPPS seems to be improving its beer, or at least that’s what my mental radar is telling me. I swear I’m paying attention!

Background on Kolsch.
For a primer on the kolsch style, check out our review on Lakwood Brewing’s All Call. The kolsch is a light, refreshing style with its roots in Germany. Pilsner malt is a common base for this style, so you’ll often be able to pick out that malt character if you know what you’re looking for. Another classic notable flavor is that classic kolsch yeast profile. It’s bright and clean, and the style sort of straddles the line between a lager and an ale. Most commercial brewers ferment a kolsch using typical ale yeast temperatures, and then do a quick, cold lagering to help clean up any off flavors and clear the beer. This is supposed to be a bright, clean beer, but the idea is to get the beer crashed and lagered, and then get it out the door rather quickly. Kolsch is meant to be consumed fresh.

Day Off pours medium gold into my shaker pint glass. I see a nice layer of white foam of medium-sized bubbles. The beer has a high level of clarity, and it looks like a kolsch should. In fact, it looks a tad bit darker than what I think of for the kolsch style. I’m not going to get a SRM (an acronym used when talking about beer color) chart out and split hairs here, however, it does seem a teeny tiny bit darker than the light lager type color I was expecting. On its site, TUPPS states that this beer is brewed with a small amount of cherrywood smoked malt. This likely does not contribute much to the color shift; I suspect it’s the Munich malt in play here.Aroma.
Pilsner malt dominates the nose for me. I appreciate this, because I like a kolsch brewed with a pilsner malt as the main backbone. There is a hint of bready, grainy sweetness here, too, that’s likely from the Munich malt. I don’t get a lot of smoke profile on the nose.

Where the smoke malt hides from the aroma, it jumps out in the flavor. Don’t get me wrong here, this isn’t a smoke beer, there’s just a hint of wood smoke and barbecue. In other words, this beer is probably an excellent poolside cookout drinker if you’re in the mood for a beer with a slight kiss of smoke. Behind this kiss of smoke, though, the rest of the flavors come together quite well to remind me that I’m drinking a kolsch after all. The grainy notes from the pilsner malt are here, along with a rich malt addition from the Munich malt. Hop bitterness is in play, but it’s a subtle bitterness that provides just enough balance for the malt. While most kolsch style beers are known for a more delicate flavor profile, Day Off seems to throw that trait out the window. Even without the smoked malt addition, this beer is still flavor-forward, a bit more intense than a standard kolsch.Mouthfeel.
Day Off drinks like a light beer, but with a lot more backbone. With it’s low alcohol profile, this kolsch plays right in line with what I think of when I drink a kolsch style beer. It’s crisp, refreshing, the carbonation is medium-high, and it finishes clean and clears the palate.

Overall Impression.
Day Off is slowly growing on me. I am a bit confused with the smoked malt addition. It’s like TUPPS wants this beer to be a heavy sipper, no, a chugger. But then the smoked malt seems to pump the brakes and my thirst remains in check. The color also seems to play a bit outside the lines for what I think of when I drink a kolsch. So while this beer isn’t exactly the archetype representation of the kolsch style, it is enjoyable. TUPPS can brew whatever it wants, style standards be damned. Just don’t expect to see this beer win an award for a classic kolsch style. Its flavor profile and hint of smoke make Day Off sip a bit like a fuller beer, and it sort of tricks my brain. This 5.2 percent ABV beer drinks like a bigger, more flavorful beer.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give TUPPS Brewery Day Off a 4.75.What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Saturday, February 25. Grand Opening at Good Neighbor Brews.
• Saturday, February 25. Mardi Gras Crawfish Boil at Oak Highlands Brewery.
• Saturday, March 11: Tater Tots and Beer Festival at Fair Park.
• Saturday, March 18. Bacon and Beer Classic at The Foundry.
• Friday, March 31-April 2: Big Texas Beer Fest at Fair Park.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
Revolver’s Sangre y Miel: 10.
Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
Community’s Legion: 10.
BrainDead’s Fill in the Blancs: 9.5.
Oak Highlands’ Freaky Deaky: 9.5.
Deep Ellum’s Barrel Aged Four Swords: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Lost Epic: 9.5.
Community’s Ascension Porter: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Temptress: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Goatman: 9.5.
Community’s Public Ale: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
• Collective Brewing Project’s SMaSHY: 9.2
• On Rotation’s Lingonberry Sahti: 9.25.
On Rotation’s Jalapeno Saison: 9.
Woodcreek’s Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
Lakewood’s Wild Manimal: 9.
Revolver’s Blood & Honey: 9.
Martin House’s Imperial Texan: 9.
Community’s Trinity Tripel: 9.
Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye: 9.
Four Corners’ Block Party Porter: 9.
Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
Small Brewpub’s Black Pepper Pils: 8.5.
Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
• Peticolas’ Prime Minister: 8.25.
Community’s Texas Helles: 8.
On Rotation’s Moar Blackberry: 8.
Lakewood’s Thread Spinner: 8.
Texas Ale Project 50 Ft. Jackrabbit: 8.
Texas Ale Project’s Payne Pils: 8.
Noble Rey’s Bridesmaid’s Tears: 8.
Collective Brewing’s Urban Funk House: 8.
Lakewood’s On Call: 8.
Oak Highlands’ Golden Mustache: 8.
903 Brewers’ Crackin’ Up: 8.
Deep Ellum’s Play Date: 8.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s 11th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Belgian Tripel: 8.
Noble Rey’s SteamPunk: 8.
903 Brewers’ Citra On Top: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Hissy Fit: 8.
BrainDead’s Gritz: 8.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
Cedar Creek’s Fisticuffs: 8.
Lakewood’s Punkel: 8.
Four Corners’ El Chingon IPA: 8.
Martin House’s Day Break: 8.
Deep Ellum’s GOURDzilla: 8.
Peticolas’ The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
Deep Ellum’s Pale Ale: 8.
Revolver’s Bock: 8.
903 Brewers’ Sasquatch: 8.
Peticolas’ Wintervention: 8.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Brunch Money: 8.
Martin House’s Salsa Verde: 8.
Cedar Creek’s Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
Lakewood’s Holiday Bonus: 8.
Lakewood’s Hop Trapp: 8.
TUPPS Full Grown Man: 7.75.
3 Nations American Wit: 7.75.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Dapper Apple: 7.75.
Legal Draft’s Accused Amber Lager: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Reserve Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse: 7.5.
Martin House’s Stars Above: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Prickly Pear Wheat Ale: 7.5.
Bitter Sisters’ Knock Out: 7.5.
Four Corners’ Notorious O.A.T.: 7.5.
Noble Rey Golden Rey With Raspberries and Ginger: 7.5.
On Rotation Saved By The Belma: 7.5.
True Vine’s Unicorn’s Revenge: 7.5.
Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker: 7.5.
Four Corners’ El Super Bee: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Hopochondria: 7.5.
Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
Martin House’s Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Antigoon’s Revenge: 7.5.
Community’s Texas Pils: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Zomer Pils: 7.5.
Cedar Creek’s Dankosaurus: 7.5.
Noble Rey Sex In A Canoe: 7.25.
Oak Highlands Brewery’s Oktoberfest.: 7.25.
Legal Draft Chief Justice Stout: 7.
Manhattan Project’s Plutonium-239: 7.
Backcountry’s Texas IPA: 7.
Backcountry’s Double IPA: 7.
Rahr’s Visionary: 7.
Shannon Brewing’s Irish Cream Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Guava Good: 7.
TUPPS Brewery’ Northbound 75: 7.
Rahr & Sons’ Iron Joe: 7.
BrainDead’s I Like Harvey IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Turtle Power: 7.
Collective’s Petite Golden Sour: 7.
Shannon’s Chocolate Stout: 7.
BrainDead’s Red Ale: 7.
Community’s Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
Bearded Eel’s Purple Unicorn: 7.
Noble Rey’s Off The Leash: 7.
Shannon Brewing Company’s Irish Red: 7.
Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady: 7.
Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
Lakewood’s Till & Toil: 7.
903 Brewers’ The Chosen One: 7.
903 Brewers’ Sugar On Top: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway XPA: 7.
Armadillo Ale Work’s Quakertown Stout: 7.
Revolver’s High Brass: 7.
Community’s Pale Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Chump Change: 7.
Martin House’s River House: 7.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s Brown Ale: 7.
Community’s Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
Audacity’s Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear): 6.75.
Three Nations Texas Xmas Hazelnut Ale: 6.5.
Martin House’s The Juice: 6.5.
Collective Brewing Project’s Mom Azacca: 6.5.
Four Corners’ La Lechuza: 6.5.
Revolver’s Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
903 Brewers’ Trot Line: 6.5.
Four Corners’ Celebración: 6.5.
Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
Wild Acre’s Tarantula Hawk: 6.
Martin House’s Kafkaesque: 6.
TUPPS’ Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Tweedleyum: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Off With Your Red: 6.
Cedar Creek’s Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Lakefire: 6
Armadillo Ale Works’ WunderMelon: 6
Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
Lakewood’s Troll Toll: 5.5.
Martin House’s Hell Below: 5.5.
Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
Woodcreek’s Lakeside Cerveza: 5.
Martin House Cuvee Pumpkin Latte: 5.
Intrinsic’s Crunktoberfest: 5.
Martin House’s Mind On My Money: 5.
903 Brewers’ The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
Audacity’s Checkered Past: 4.
Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
Franconia Wheat: 3.
Miller Lite: 1.

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