Noble Rey’s Sex In A Canoe Is Fucking Close To Water.

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 Noble Rey Brewing’s Sex In A Canoe.Fast Facts on Noble Rey Brewing Sex In A Canoe.
Style: American Light Lager.
ABV: 4.1 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 8.
Color: Pale yellow.
Availability: Kegs & Draft.

Noble Rey is dipping its toe in to the macro market with Sex In A Canoe, a standard American Light Lager. Some people focus on Noble Rey’s wackier offerings; this beer is definitely not that. And while some craft snobs don’t feel super-psyched about a craft brewery doing macro brewery-type brewing, I can say that I am a fan. The light lager style isn’t easy to pull off, after all. Unlike your more flavorful and higher-alcohol beers, the light lager style is subtle and nuanced. If the beer contains off flavors, there’s absolutely nowhere for them to hide. The goal with a light lager is to appeal to as wide of an audience as possible, so strong flavors are not what this beer is all about. I tried Sex In A Canoe early on after its release, and it wasn’t quite ready for me. Or maybe I was sipping beers off an old keg. But that was then, and now Noble Rey has this recipe majorly dialed in. And it’s good.On a side note, look at these bitchin’ new 60-barrel fermenters getting ready to be installed in the brew house. No, they aren’t supposed to be on their sides. But they’ll be righted soon enough once installed. It’s always exciting to see a brewery grow, and even more exciting sneaking a peek at an in-progress situation like this.

Background on American Light Lager.
If you get goosebumps on your arm when you hear the phrase “cold beer,” this is the beer for you. It’s the all-American drinker style. The color range is pale straw to light gold. Clarity on an American light lager should be very clear. As far as flavors go, some DMS and apple is not out of ordinary – but sort of a bummer. Oftentimes, the grist bill can contain up to 40 percent adjuncts like corn or rice. The mouthfeel is very light, and can sometimes be described as watery. My guess is that Noble Rey selected the name Sex In A Canoe because, after all, this style of  beer is fucking close to water.

Sex In A Canoe pours pale gold in to the pint glass. When first served, it has a foamy white head on it. But the head mostly disappeared by the time I cajoled my way back to the brew house for somewhat more thought-out photos.Aroma.
This beer doesn’t hit me over the head with any stand-out aromas, and that’s a good thing, because this beer is more about subtlety. What I do get is the slightest whiff of corn, and that super-subtle signature aroma that tells me that this beer is fermented with lager yeast.

The flavor carries on with what the aroma starts. It’s crisp and clean, with a low amount of malt backbone. The hops are here, but it’s just a tiny amount to help provide a slight bite of bitterness to balance the subtle sweetness that the malt provides.

Contrary to expectation, the mouthfeel with Sex In A Canoe is not watery. It’s so much fuller than what I think of when I drink a macro bro chugger and, as a craft fan, I can appreciate that. However, I wonder whether this beer has too much going on in the mouthfeel to classify it as a light lager. Carbonation is medium on this beer; I was hoping for a little bit more bite. The finish is dry and bright, and I get no residual sugar.

Overall Impression.
As I settle in with my second pint – and there may end up being a third – I keep looking for something not pleasant with this beer. And even though there’s nowhere to hide in a lighter style like this, I don’t get much going on in the off-flavor department. This is just a solid, all-American beer. I don’t feel the urge to drink this fast like I might with a shitty macro lager, but this beer is going down quickly. I get a lot more going on in the flavor department compared to, say, a Busch Light. That is not what this beer is: Sex In A Canoe has the ABV of a bro chugger, but requires you to take just a little bit more time with it. And with its 4.2 percent ABV, this is a beer that you can enjoy in multiples without ending up in the newspaper tomorrow, or on a less dour note, feeling like shit the next day.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Noble Rey Sex In A Canoe a 7.25.

What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Saturday, February 4. Girl Scout Cookie and Beer Pairing Flights at Bitter Sisters Brewery.
• Sunday, February 5. Super Bowl Watch Party at Deep Ellum Brewing Co.
• Sunday, February 5. Super Bowl Sunday Tailgate Party at Panther Island Brewing Co.
• Sunday, February 5. Chili Bowl at Noble Rey Brewing Company.
• Saturday, February 11. BBQ Class w/ Cattleack Barbecue at Four Corners Brewing Co.
• Sunday, February 12. Texas Craft Beer Chili Challenge at L.U.C.K.
• Saturday, February 18. Four-Year Anniversary at Community Beer Co.
• Saturday, March 11: Tater Tots and Beer Festival at Fair Park.
• 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.
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.
Oak Highlands Brewery’s Oktoberfest.: 7.25.
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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