Make up your mind… and crack open a fine Texas beer from a fine Texas… rock band? This week for Boffo, we try Toadies Backslider. The gold and black can with the dinosaur skeleton design caught my attention due to the Toadies reference. Did the Metroplex grunge band have a job moonlighting as brewers?
Turns out they do, and like their ’95 hit “Possum Kingdom”, it’s quite good… but not quite a household name.
Backslider is one of three beers Martin House Brewery in Fort Worth put out in conjunction with The Toadies. “Music and beer made in Texas by Texans” as they put it. The brewery, complete with a taproom was established in 2012 and although it seems small in nature, it is prolific. They have put out a wide range of beers, including Friday IPA, a raspberry ale, Daybreak “Four Grain Breakfast Beer” and perhaps most distinctively, Best Maid Sour Pickle Ale, which they say is an ale… that tastes like pickles. Their website seemed just a wee bit glitchy and short on details, but they describe Toadies Backslider as “the official beer of Fort Worth’s own Toadies…easy-drinking, copper-colored, lightly hoppy and perfect for on stage, backstage or where-ever.” The Dallas Morning News suggested that this replaced a previous drink the band had worked up with Martin House. “The guys wanted something a little less hoppy and more easy-drinking”, according to the brewery’s David Wedemeier. Seemed like they succeeded.
Cracking open the 12-ounce can and pouring it, I found a dark, nearly black brew – typical of most bocks. In good light, I could see it was a deep red color, and it foamed up to a decent but under-stated beige foamy head. There seemed to be little carbonation.
Giving it a taste, I was quite surprised. While it was moderately strong and hoppy tasting, it wasn’t nearly as bitter as many bocks. In fact it had a hint of a caramelly sweetness to it, which was unexpected. The band got their easy-drinking dark beer. All things considered, it seemed very smooth, if thick. I had it with a ham, turkey and Swiss cheese on a bun for lunch and it coupled very nicely with the savory flavors, not overpowering the sandwich but holding its own well. There was only a little aftertaste, and not a bad one at all. It seemed like a beer that might be a wee bit heavy for everyday pool party or summer picnic drinking but a thoroughly pleasant drink for dinners or a winter night… maybe spent listening to retro-’90s rock!
All in all, I give it a 8 out of 10 for strength (it comes in at 5.6% alcohol, by the way), 7 out of 10 for flavor and
Four “possums” out of five.