Sunday, April 21, 2019

83. Revolution (Chicago, IL) - Brut-Hero

“A new hero is soaring in from a completely new direction—the effervescent Brut-Hero, sparkling with white grape, passionfruit, and lemon notes and capped with an extra-dry champagne-like finish.”

Possibly the first time I have encountered “white grape” in a beer’s description. Unfortunately, the Brut-ing of the beer has robbed it of most of its flavor—not bad, just not specific, and a finish that feels more bitter to me than dry.

82. Collective Arts (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) - IPA No. 9

“Our newest in our IPA seris is a Double Dry-Hoppped Brut IPA. Crisp, bubbly and utterly bursting full of fresh Azacca and Citra hops. The aroma and flavour of bright citrus and mango come from the large 16g/hL dry hopping.”

I’m not sure what to make of the Brut style. They’re very crisp, and very dry, and I think that the push toward de-sugaring (there’s probably a real word for that, but I don’t know it) and champagne mouthfeel sometimes comes at the expense of flavor. Here, however, the Citra hops practically stand up and shout at you. I’m not familiar with Azacca yet, but the profile sounds interesting (and very similar to Citra, which I love). This is another one I got from the gettin’ place, so I couldn’t have a second if I wanted one—but the 7.1% alcohol might have put the kibosh on that idea anyway. Does that tell you what I thought of it? I haven’t the foggiest. But since I’m not sure what I thought of it either, why don’t we call it a draw?

Sunday, April 07, 2019

81. BrewDog (Columbus, OH) - Hazy Jane

“East Coasts collide and crank it up for this new New England IPA retuned in Scotland. Brewed with oats and wheat and left unfiltered for a hazy appearance and super smooth delivery. Dry-hopped for a full-tilt fruit hit with pineapple, mango and a hint of zesty lime. Low on bitterness, high on haze, heavy on hops.”

This one is bright and refreshing, but not excessively complicated, and dry without being bitter. Hope the rumors I hear about these guys opening a taproom in Indianapolis wind up coming true.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

80. Ballast Point (San Diego, CA) - Aloha Sculpin

“With Aloha Sculpin, we used Brux Trois yeast to turn our award-winning IPA into a tropical oasis, with bright and refreshing notes of mango, pineapple, and guava. This yeast also adds a slight haze to the beer, creating a smooth mouthfeel to round out its juicy character. Simply put, this is paradise in the palm of your hands.”

Nice balance of tropical notes and straight hop flavor, with a lingering, very bitter finish. Maybe even a little lemon in there, too. I’ve tried two so far, and I’m not sure I like it—but I am sure it’s one of the more interesting beers I’ve tried recently.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

79. Indiana City (Indianapolis, IN) - Fruit Brüt

"Bone-dry, effervescent beer brewed with strawberry purée and orange peel."

Crisp and subtle and drinkable, but not quite as special as their original brut IPA. (And truth be told, that original was so good that I probably had my expectations raised to an unrealistic degree for this one.) Really looking forward to our visit to the Indiana City taproom next month.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

78. Revolution (Chicago, IL) - Anti-Hero

“Our flagship IPA is supremely aromatic, crisp, and drinkable. This iconic ale features a blend of Citra, Crystal, Centennial, and Chinook to create a crisp clean bitterness and imparts massive floral and citrus aromas. An American hop assault for all the ambivalent warriors who get the girl in the end. ‘Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, Princess.’”

Bragging about the bitterness once again, but this one’s not so bad. They’re all kissing cousins, really. This one is possibly slightly more tropical than the other ones. Maybe. It’s definitely more balanced. In order, then…

1. Crystal-Hero
2. Anti-Hero
3. El Dorado-Hero
4. Cashmere-Hero

77. Revolution (Chicago, IL) - Cashmere-Hero

“A mountain of flavors rise above this silky, Cashmere-hopped IPA—lemon, lime, and ripe cantaloupe with a touch of grapefruit.”

Still. Haven’t. Rinsed. Out. The. Mug. Also still sitting upright. Rated the least bitter of the three I have tried, this one actually feels at least as bitter as the one that bragged about its bitterness. The flavors are a little less pronounced in this one—or possibly my taste buds have gone numb—and when I read lemon and lime in the same sentence, I think of Sprite. That sort of kills it for me.

76. Revolution (Chicago, IL) - El Dorado-Hero

“The continuing expedition for perfect hops has uncovered a new wonder-the-gold-veined El Dorado hop and its pear, watermelon, stone fruit and citrus flavor bounty.”

Anarchist, eh, White? Well, how about this? The mug was no longer frosty, but I didn’t rinse it out after I drank the Crystal-Hero. This one is less forthcoming than the Crystal-Hero, but the stone fruit sneaks up on you the same way. This Hero series in general seems to work better once they warm up a little. I got these in a 12-pack, and saved the last four to blog about all at once. I’ll rank them after the fourth, but they’re all moderately drinky, so I suppose that presumes that I am still able to sit upright after the fourth. Onward!

75. Revolution (Chicago, IL) - Crystal-Hero

“A crisp and refreshing IPA exploding with fresh floral hop character, named for a somewhat forgotten yet amazing hop variety named Crystal. A unique hopping program gives this beer a massive, clean bitterness and fresh hop aroma bursting with hints of citrus and fresh fruit.”

That bitterness is a little bit aggressive at first, but it makes way nicely for the bright lines of lemons and stone fruit. Maybe even a little tropical fruit action in there, after it warms up a little.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Deep Thoughts #178d

Also, if you think Black Panther and BlackKklansman would have been better Best Pictures, you should say why, and not just drop their names.

Deep Thoughts #178c

I know it’s so important to be as woke as possible, but what you meant to say is that more producers should be women and/or people of color.

Deep Thoughts #178b

Of course, with two decades of reporting experience, you know this; but it’s just easier to shit on Green Book by pretending that you don’t.

Deep Thoughts #178a

Brian Truitt’s self-righteous woke-ness would sound less foolish if someone had explained to him that producers get the Best Picture Oscars.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

74. Elysian (Seattle, WA) - Dayglow

“A touch of wheat hazes the malt bill, softening this bright and crisp IPA. Dayglow is packed with juicy hops featuring pineapple and tropical fruit flavors and aromas.”

Definitely more balanced than some of the IPAs I have tried recently. Crisp and dry and drinky (7.4%), but still approachable. Sort of a refreshing change of pace.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

73. 450 North (Columbus, IN) - 450 Nugs

“450 Nugs is brewed with a 50/50 blend of Citra and Mosaic.”

The hazy New England IPA is quickly becoming one of my favorite styles, and this is a good one. Sweet and fruity with a nice tropical finish.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

72. Black Acre (Indianapolis, IN) - Emodynamics

“Citra and Mosaic hops lend tropical aromas and flavors to this juicy India pale ale.”

Another semi-drinky (6.5%) pale with big fruit and tropical notes, but sweeter and less carbonated than Evil Czech’s Nefarious Harbor.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

71. Black Acre (Indianapolis, IN) - TV Wolf

“A generous medley of citrus hops makes for a crisp, clean, and balanced everyday IPA with a smooth, decisive finish.”

Somewhere between everyday and special occasion, tropical and fruity up front, and pleasantly bitter on the back end. Maybe even a bit of lingering pine.