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Beer, BBQ & best friends | Blood Bros., No Label team up on new brew

James Beard Award-nominated pitmaster Quy Hoang lends his smoky skills to the flavor of Don Jalapeño ale.

BELLAIRE, Texas — It's about 10:50 a.m. Wednesday. The doors at Blood Bros. BBQ in Bellaire aren’t open, but that isn’t stopping a crowd from gathering outside.

Inside, the crew is getting ready for the day ahead by preparing sides, such as creamed corn, brisket fried rice and mac and cheese, and pulling meats out of the smoker.

"We cook food we want to eat using flavors we love," pitmaster Quy Hoang says.

He opened Blood Bros. with his longtime friends in 2018.

"I’ve known Terry and Robin (Wong) probably since middle school or high school," Hoang says.

Their model from the beginning was to bring a backyard BBQ vibe to the masses.

"What does a backyard barbeque consist of? Good friends, good beer and good food," says Hoang.

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They had good friends and good food. For the beer, they turned to No Label Brewing Co. in Katy.

"I really loved the Don Jalapeño beer way back when and they had done away with it," Hoang said.

"We were looking for a collab to do between Blood Bros. and No Label," says Tom Paynter, the brewery's co-owner marketing director. "It was Quy himself who was like, ‘That’s the beer I want. Let’s do that.’"

The new incarnation of Don Jalapeño uses peppers smoked by Hoang. The logos on the cans are a visual representation of the partnership forged by the two companies.

"The dynamic between Blood Bros. and No Label is we both understand lifelong friendships and that the thing that matters most in this life are relationships," Paynter says.

Hoang says thanks to the friendship they'd built over the years, working together was just "a natural thing."

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"To see it all come together in one product that’s going out all over Houston, it’s a cool feeling," he says.

Hoang has had his share of those lately, most recently when he was named a James Beard Award finalist.

"That was pretty crazy," he laughs.

Maybe to Hoang, but publications like the New York Times, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit and Texas Monthly have been dishing out accolades for Blood Bros. for a couple of years now.

"It’s awesome," Hoang says. "It’s been a great journey."

It’s a testament to that initial recipe: best friends, BBQ and beer.

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