Sunday, October 13, 2019

132. Terre Haute Brewing Company (Terre Haute, IN) - Powerline

“Powerline—Warning: Sparks fly when you sip THBC Powerline New England-style IPA. An electrifying mix of Citra, Mosaic, and Calypso as late addition and dry hop. Shock your senses with pineapple, mango, and piney hop character. Hazed to perfection with flaked oats, and balanced with Golden Promise malt to amp-up the flavor.”

If I’m commenting more on the writing than on the beer, then I’ve jumped the shark, haven’t I? I like when people use the Oxford comma, though. It demonstrates an attention to detail that I value. Hyperbole? Not so much. But hey…maybe they just really like their beer. There is a nice combination of tropical and piney hop notes, and a strong bitter finish that provides an odd balance to the fruity hops. And I feel like it opens up a little bit when it gets warm, but I might be wrong. It’s 8.0%, and I’m near the end of my third, so I might be the wrong guy to ask.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

131. ZwanzigZ Brewing (Columbus, IN) - Triple Z

“Our India Pale Ale is assertively hopped with Cascade, Columbus and Centennial hops, creating a perfect balance with the pale malt character of this fine American IPA.”

It’s a little bit too malty for me, and I’m not really getting the hops; but it’s not bad. Tastes a little bit like metal straight out of the bottle, but it’s just fine once it’s poured into a glass. (Which sounds like damning with faint praise because it is.)

130. Heavy Seas Beer (Baltimore, MD) - TropiCannon

“TropiCannon, the unbound wanderer with a sense of adventure. A refreshingly fruity, citrusy twist on an American IPA. Its bold citrus flavor will set you adrift in a tropical paradise.”

Not a milkshake IPA, but it has the heavy, forward fruit flavor of one. It’s almost like drinking a glass of sparkling Sunny Delight, but it has enough of a bitter finish to disabuse you of that notion pretty quickly. It also sort of tastes like one of those sweet, fruity medicines you liked having to take as a kid because they tasted good. And if all of that sounds like an odd way to describe beer, well…I guess it’s because this is an odd beer. Not bad. Just different.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

129. Deschutes (Bend, OR) - Only Slightly Exaggerated

“Wild skies. Whimsical waters. Paradise found. Impossibly aromatic with a slightly exaggerated tropical hop profile, this enchanting IPA is, like Oregon itself, truly extraordinary.”

Strong stone fruit flavor up front, with a crisp, dry finish. I’m not sure the hyperbole in the description is warranted, but it is a fine beer. Maybe the best thing I’ve tried from Deschutes so far.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

128. 18th Street (Hammond, IN) - Cone Crusher

“Bursting with an overwhelming amounts of citrusy Amarillo hops, Cone Crusher showcases tropical fruit overtones of orange and mango, while being backed by a pleasing earthiness to make for a crushable beer.”

Well…okay. I’ll give the bad writing a pass, because this a very romantic beer. Those fruit flavors are soft and sweet up front, and I get maybe a little bit of grass, too. Or else I’m just grasping for the “earthiness” they describe. I don’t know what “crushable” means, but a quick Google search tells me that, as it pertains to beer, “crushable” means “easygoing, super-drinkable beer” that is “well-balanced…with low-to-medium alcohol…but tons of flavor that make you want to go back for more again and again.” At 8.6%, this is way too big for me to want to back again and again, but the first one is very fine. Still pretty sweet on the back end, and the alcohol lingers. Drink a couple of these with someone you love…

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

127. Upland (Bloomington, IN) - Juicy Harvest

“Each year, we pick local hops fresh off the bine to brew in small batches within 24 hours of harvest. This season, to celebrate our love of local farmers, we’ve partnered with our friends at Growing Places Indy to support their efforts to grow community wellness through urban agriculture. So, kick back, sip, & join us in celebrating the fruits of nature with this juicy wet-hopped IPA made with Indiana-grown hops boasting fragrant notes of citrus & pine.”

Whew. That’s a mouthful. But now I’m starting to rethink what it means for a beer to be “juicy.” I usually associate that word with sweet-ish beers, moderate alcohol, and lactose—none of which are present here. Instead, we have a beer that is crisp and dry up front, and then expands with wave after wave of fruit flavor on the back end. I get lemon, peach, and melon, and that’s just on the first beer in a cold mug. The second one didn’t open up all that much, but I got a hint of pineapple. This one isn’t on their website yet, but I’m loving this Side Trail Series.

Deep Thoughts #182

If you don’t get why McConnell is bad, then you’re not going to get why a classical guitar version of “Echoes” is fucking awesome. You lose.

Monday, September 30, 2019

126. Central State (Indianapolis, IN) - Nice Pair of Slacks

“This sharp looking beer is brewed to be as dry and hop-forward as possible. From the effervescent carbonation to the low residual sugar, this beer is designed to showcase the copious amounts of Hallertauer Blanc & Mosaic hops used to produce it.”

Bright and crisp up front, with very light melon and stone fruit flavors. Unusually big (8.0%) for something so smooth and refreshing. I don’t get the pleasant funky taste I usually get from Central State, but I can’t tell whether that’s on purpose or not. They’re using a different yeast here, which might not contain the Brettanomyces yeast they usually employ. Either way, it’s a great beer.

Friday, September 27, 2019

125. Bier (Indianapolis, IN) - Lil’ Wiz

“This batch, Lil’ Wiz, is a triple dry hopped American Pale Ale. Simcoe, Citra, and Eureka hops are just a few of the hop varieties that make up the layers of flavor that provide a unique depth to this bier. A clean, clear, and traditional style American Pale Ale.”

I was expecting something a little more intense from a brew billed as “triple dry hopped.” Nice Citra up front, and dry, piney goodness on the back end. Not bad, just nothing to write home about. I have yet to find the offering from Bier that makes me sit up and take notice.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Deep Thoughts #181

It’s almost hard to believe this blathering monkey is the same guy who projected the calm voice of reason after “some people did something.”

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

124. Indiana City (Indianapolis, IN) - Gojira Siren Clash

“The next installment in our Craft Brew Doodle Crew series, Gojira Siren Clash is a Double Dry-Hopped IPA clocking in at 7.5% ABV. This beautifully hazy beer was brewed with Idaho Gem, Dr. Rudi, Mosaic and Eureka hops.”

Like many of the beers in this series, Gojira Siren Clash starts off with a creamy, low-carbonated mouthfeel that screams milkshake. Then it moves into a sort of turf war between fruit and pine, with a slightly bitter finish that benefits from the balance imbued by the lactose.

123. Toppling Goliath (Decorah, IA) - Pompeii

“This IPA is created with the same attention to detail as the beautiful mosaics that graced the walls of prominent buildings in the city of Pompeii. It features mango and pineapple hop flavors with a medium-body feel to tantalize the senses.”

Mango and pineapple are subtler than citrus and stone fruit, at least to me. They are, however, tropical; and tropical was the first word that came to mind when I tasted this beer. So, nice tropical notes up front, leading quickly to a sharp—but not bitter—hop finish. Surprisingly refreshing for a relatively big (6.2%), flavorful beer. For some reason, I only wrote one sentence about Pseudo Sue, the other Toppling Goliath brew I’ve tried; but I remember liking it. And I really like Pompeii.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

122. Avery (Boulder, CO)* - Avery IPA

“A Colorado IPA with crisp, juicy, and resinous hops and a rich, malty finish.”

Very bright citrus up front, and a very bitter finish. Might be a little too crisp to be juicy, and I don’t know about you, but resinous makes me think of pine; and I don’t get any pine here at all. However, I want to do my due diligence, so I’ll have another one, and see if the flavors change at all after the mug has warmed up. Nope…still no pine. Very drinkable, though.

(Note: I just read a book about Goose Island selling out to AB InBev, and most of me wants to avoid the craft- and micro-breweries that sell themselves to Big Beer; but I also get that it’s a complex issue, and the market is too (ahem) fluid to be 100% up-to-date at all times. I’m sure as hell not going to do any research while I’m standing in the beer aisle, or in front of an open cooler. So I may, from time to time, wind up drinking and blogging about a beer that is no longer, technically, “craft beer,” since I was not aware of its assimilation at the time of purchase. But I will look into it while drinking the first one, and if they have been absorbed by Big Beer, I will avoid them in future.)

*Avery sold a 70% stake in their company to Mahou-San Miguel Group in 2017.