Tuesday, December 31, 2019

161. Triton Brewing Co. (Indianapolis, IN) - The Hempire Strykes Back

“Feel the fearsome power of this Hemp IPA brewed in honor of GenCon. This “juicy” IPA is crisp, clean and approachable for the hophead and non-hophead alike! Featuring Falconer’s Flight, Summit, Liberty, and Citra hops. This IPA is also infused with hemp flour from Sipp Industries!”

I still don’t know what the hell hemp is supposed to taste like, but this one opens up with a big burst of pineapple, and finishes very smoothly. I get a little bit of citrus as it warms up. Oddly refreshing for an IPA, and easily the best thing I’ve tried from Triton so far.

160. BrewDog (Columbus, OH) - Jack Hammer

“Get ready to hammer it. Press the button. Take the ride. Hop overload awaits. Kick-start with massive grapefruit aroma. Then accelerate hard into mind bending bitterness. Ride the spike of caramel craziness until the end of the line. And let the bitterest of bitter finishes nail your taste-buds to the floor. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.”

This beer gives me heartburn. It’s just as aggressive as the hyperbole indicates. Remember the caricature of Hemingway in Midnight in Paris? This is the beer equivalent of that character.

159. Bad Dad Brewing Co. (Fairmount, IN) - Tapestry of Obscenity

“Hops so smooth and citrusy, you won’t bleeping believe it.”

Oh, but I do believe it. I also believe that there is more tropical flavor going on here than citrus flavor. I could be wrong, though. It has yet to warm up much, and this is the last one I have. The world may never know. I do know that there is a good amount of sludge that comes out of the can at the end—sort of like the grounds at the bottom of a badly filtered cup of coffee. There is a bit of lemon going on there, but I still think it’s mostly tropical.

158. Quaff ON! Brewing Co. (Nashville, IN) - Peanut Butter Busted Knuckle

“Our flagship Busted Knuckle infused with peanut butter.”

Damn. Best thing I’ve had on this trip, and it ain’t close. Strong peanut butter notes up front, and a lingering chocolate bitterness. Had this at Big Woods in Bloomington (third of three, so I was a bit altered at the time), and told Amy, mostly joking, that it was like making sweet, sweet love to a Reese’s Cup. The moderate alcohol (7.2%) balances the sweetness and makes this—easily—the most complex and interesting porter I’ve ever had.

157. Dogfish Head (Milton, DE) - Flesh & Blood

“Brewed with mouth-puckering lemon flesh, sweet orange peel and blood orange juice, Flesh & Blood balances the resinous hoppy characteristics of an American IPA with the explosive zesty fruitiness and subtle drying tartness of citrus to deliver a highly quaffable ale that’s incredibly unique and lovely to down the whole year round.”

Had this one at Big Woods in Bloomington because most of the things I saw on the menu and wanted to try were sold out. I may not have been in the best of moods when I drank it, and might have disliked it disproportionately for that reason. That said, the orange flavor is very mild. If they’re really going for balance, they nailed it. If they’re going for something with the bright, strong essence of orange—not so much.

156. Quaff ON! Brewing Co. (Nashville, IN) - Hu Dang

“Hu Dang Hazy IPA is a New-England style India pale ale brewed with our house strain of yeast, offering a creamy mouthfeel & flavors of mango, nectarine, and citrus.”

Very drinkable, relatively low-alcohol NEIPA. Not the best example of the style, but not at all bad.

155. Bloomington Brewing Co. (Bloomington, IN) - Java Porter

“We’ve been brewing this beer as our cold weather seasonal for nearly the entire 20 year history of BBC. Always looking for slight improvements in flavor, this year we decided to tweak the formula a bit. We upped the amount of coffee, and where in the past we’ve added the coffee directly into the boil, this time we cold-brewed it and added the liquid during fermentation. This technique has given us beautiful coffee notes without the attendant tannic bitterness this beer sometimes had. The coffee beans were Brazilian, 20% dark and 80% medium roasted. Two big thumbs up to our coffee roasters, Nick and Audrey Schultz of Brown County Coffee.”

Big coffee notes up front, and the drinkable finish of a solid porter. Second really good dark beer I’ve had on this trip. Even Amy thought it tasted good.

154. Bloomington Brewing Co. (Bloomington, IN) - Rooftop

“Golden with a smooth mouthfeel. Dry hopped with Cascade. Malt undertones balance this hop bomb before its long, bold and bitter finale.”

Not as dramatic as the description claims, but not bad.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

153. Function Brewing (Bloomington, IN) - Oval

“Pale Ale brewed with Eukanot, Michigan Copper, and Mosaic hops.”

Also unremarkable. Neither this nor Diameter were bad, though.

152. Function Brewing (Bloomington, IN) - Tangent

No description that I can find, but it had a strong bitter finish that was a little bit off-putting at first, but became more and more interesting as it warmed up.

151. Function Brewing (Bloomington, IN) - Diameter

“NEIPA with Citra and Idaho 7 hops.”

Should be right up my alley with the New England style and the Citra, but I found it unremarkable.

Monday, December 23, 2019

150. Quaff ON! Brewing Co. (Nashville, IN) - Common Necessity

“A silky smooth sweet stout brewed with hazelnut and coffee.”

And, in this particular case, at the original Big Woods in Nashville, carbonated with nitrogen. Very low carbonation, and very strong hazelnut and lactose presence. A little too sweet for me, possibly somewhat obscuring the hazelnut and chocolate flavors—but the creamy nitro texture more than makes up for that.

149. Quaff ON! Brewing Co. (Nashville, IN) - Blood Orange Yellow Dwarf

“Yellow Dwarf infused with blood oranges for added citrus flavor.”

Very drinkable and very refreshing. The orange flavor is strong, but not overwhelming—but I didn’t squeeze the slice of orange into the beer, so maybe I was missing out.

148. The Tap (Bloomington, IN) - Hull-n-Oats

“Medium-full bodied, deep gold and cloudy pale ale, triple dry hopped with Mosaic giving big pineapple and passionfruit notes and soft mouthfeel.”

This one was also very lightly flavored, but also not bad. A little more hop flavor going on here than with Bionic Dragon.

147. The Tap (Bloomington, IN) - Bionic Dragon

“Traditional American IPA packed with Waimea and Mosaic hops giving a tropical, citrus and floral aroma and flavor with assertive bitterness.”

I didn’t find this bitter at all, but I also didn’t find it to be terribly flavorful.

Drinking My Juice in the Hood, Yo

So we took another trip down to south central Indiana this past weekend, but it was too soggy to do much in the way of hiking. We wound up spending most of our time walking around Bloomington and having drinks at local breweries. Over the course of three days, we stopped in at the Tap in Bloomington, Big Woods in Nashville and in Bloomington, Lennie’s (Bloomington Brewing Co.), and Function Brewing in Bloomington. We ate at the Tap and the Big Woods in Nashville, but the food was just okay—except for the pulled pork sandwich Amy had at Big Woods, which was excellent. I didn’t get pictures of the two beers from the Tap, and I didn’t write down notes at the time I was drinking the beers, so the posts that follow may be a bit thin.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

146. Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, FL) - Jai Alai

“The merry game of jai alai provides inspiration for this citrus-forward India Pale Ale with notes of clementine, orange peel and caramel malt creating an IPA that’s both bold and approachable.”

Pleasantly bitter finish, but the orange flavor is very strong. This is the second time I’ve tried this beer, and I keep going back and forth on it. Sometimes I really dig that bitter finish after the big orange hit up front; and other times it’s like a boozy Creamsicle, but not in a good way. Loses some of that initial sweetness as it warms up.

Deep Thoughts #184

How is Lindsey Graham still able to perform the basic functions of speech when he spends so much time with Donald Trump’s dick in his mouth?

Deep Thoughts #183

Um, Lindsey? The American people chose Hillary. We got stuck with Donald Trump because of the Electoral College, not the will of the people.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

145. 18th Street Brewery (Hammond, IN) - Sex and Candy

“The enticing smell of Chinook and Cascade hops waft forth from this IPA, benefiting both you and your special friend. Fruity, and faintly sweet Sex and Candy is simply a dream.”

The first one I tried last night, out of the can, was more than faintly sweet. This one, out of the mug, is much better. The sweetness was caramel and malt last night, but now it’s more like a ripe peach. Chinook and Cascade both advertise grapefruit, but I’m not getting much of that. I was disappointed in the one last night, but this one is pretty good.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

144. Metazoa Brewing Co. (Indianapolis, IN) - Cat Hops

“Some might call it catty, others captivating, but one thing’s for certain—Cat Hops IPA can capture your attention. Brewed from a mesmerizing clowder of Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial, and Columbus hops, Cat Hops carries a zesty aroma that’s likely to snuggle up on the tip of your nose and fall asleep there. Its notes of grapefruit, citrus, and caramel malt round out a crisp, dry body that’ll satisfy the senses more than an ounce of catnip and a laser pointer.”

Uh…all right. But don’t let the hyperbolic purple prose distract you too much. (I sort of did for a minute there.) This is a nicely balanced IPA with a strong bitter finish. Bright citrus up front and a very slight tropical sweetness that the bitter finish immediately obliterates. Not quite as good as Black Mamba, but still pretty good.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

143. Upland Brewing Co. (Bloomington, IN) - Juiced My Style

“Our Side Trail Series was born out of curiosity & a passion for innovation. This juicy Imperial IPA is audaciously hoppy dripping with bold tropical fruit, citrus, & pine with background notes hinting at dank & floral. Virtually all of the hops were reserved for after the boil to minimize bitterness, and amplify flavor & aroma. So, kick back, sip, & explore this juicy Imperial IPA.”

Needs a little time to warm up, or else all I get is tropical fruit up front and a little bit of bitter on the back end. Not as impressive as the other two Side Trail beers I’ve tried, but certainly not bad. Damning with faint praise again, perhaps. I start to get some of the citrus as it warms up, but not the dank so much. I’m still not entirely sure I know what that means.