Beer makes the best gift…

Beer makes the best gift…

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, Hop Savant Brettanomyces IPA, Denver, CO

Crooked Stave Hop Savant Brettanomyces IPA poured into a tulip beer glass.
Crooked Stave Hop Savant Brettanomyces IPA.

7% abv. Gift from my brother Tom and my sister-in-law Kristen. Pours a murky gold orange color with a massive marshmallow head.  Lots of yeast sediment. This one smells amazing with an interesting mix of cloves, banana and pepper from the wild yeast, but citrus, tropical fruit and floral notes from the hops. Thick Belgian lace all around the glass. Smooth, almost buttery mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Brettanomyces funk with first sip followed by ripe mango, mild white pepper, raisins, apricot, peach and pear skin. Peach flavor becomes more dominant as you move through it. Damn this beer is delicious and I wish it was a larger bottle. Amazingly juicy, but finishes a touch dry.  Sad that I just quaffed the last sip.

A real physical matter of which a person or thing exists…

A real physical matter of which a person or thing exists…

Bissell Brothers Brewing Company, Substance, Portland, ME

Bissell Brothers Substance draft in custom glass.
Bissell Brothers Substance draft at Empire Chinese Kitchen in Portland, ME.

6.6% abv. At Empire Chinese Kitchen in Portland, ME. I tried this just before I headed to the brewery to pick up two 4-packs of it and some Lux Rye Ale (which is amazing – review forthcoming). Pours murky goldish-orange with a huge white head. Citrusy and flowery aroma. Grapefruit, pine, and maybe a flowery hibiscus flavor. Super smooth and drinkable. This is pretty well balanced, with a light caramel malt finish.  I am surprised that the hop flavors don’t linger too long. Some orange zest, ripe mango, and apricot as well. Wonderful mouthfeel.  These guys know what they are doing. I can’t wait to get my hands on more of their beers.

I could drink this every day…

I could drink this every day…

Ruhstaller Farm & Yard, Dixon Cascade IPA, Sacramento, CA

Ruhstaller Dixon Cascade IPA poured into a nonic pint glass
Ruhstaller Dixon Cascade IPA

6% abv. 52 IBU Cascade Hops with California Metcalf and Copeland barley – A gift from my friend, the amazing designer Jamie Okuma. Pours gold with a touch of copper and a white head. I love the smell of this beer. It has a wonderful flowery cascade hops aroma with light citrus notes, but the sweet caramel and bready malt scents are right there as well to help balance it. I swear you can smell the freshness of the ingredients. The hops were grown, dried, and baled, and stored on the farm.

First sip is pine resin with distinct floral notes. Just a touch spicy, but citrusy as well. The flavors are subtle, complex, and delicious. I really love the delicate spiciness and mild citrus bite. With a relatively low abv, this beer is excessively drinkable and flavorful throughout.

This isn’t a typical west coast style IPA, but it is a delicious old school take on the style that I could drink every single day.

Cause it is Thursday…

Cause it is Thursday…

Night Shift Brewing, One Hop This Time IPA (Topaz hops, 7/5/16), Everett, MA

Night Shift Brewing, One Hop This Time (Topaz) 7/5/16 poured into a nonic pint glass
Night Shift Brewing, One Hop This Time (Topaz) 7/5/16

Canned 7/5/16, 6% abv. Brewed with only Topaz hops. This beer pours a gorgeous milky yellow color with a big white head. You can smell it as you pour. Solid Belgian lace.  First sip is slick and incredibly thirst quenching. All hops but it isn’t astringent or overly bitter. Grapefruit, lemon zest, and floral notes all combine to create a series of hop explosions in the mouth. Bursts of ripe clementines, apricot, and mango as well.  Bitterness lingers on the gums, sides of the tongue and back of the throat in the best of ways. I’ve had this on draft at the taproom and in the 7/5/16 canning and it was delicious and a joy to drink on both occasions.

I said a boom chicka boom…

I said a boom chicka boom…

Lord Hobo Brewing Company, Boom Sauce, Woburn, MA

Lord Hobo Boom Sauce IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Lord Hobo Boom Sauce IPA

8% abv. Thanks to my brother Tim who brought it over for our 2016 July 4th celebration. Pours a beautiful hazy gold color with a white head. Huge grapefruit, orange zest, and pineapple aroma.  First sip brings a nice hop tingle all over the mouth. Alcohol is masked well, but you know it is there, sneaking around the corner, waiting to knock you down. Juicy tropical fruit with pine and fresh cut grass flavors.  Some caramel and dry cracker malt flavors help balance it. Hop bitterness lingers with pine, herb, and floral notes. It has the slightest burst of lemony candy at finish as well.  This is a tasty beer that goes down too quickly.

My name is Jim, but most people call me…

My name is Jim, but most people call me…

Gong with a somewhat obscure movie reference for this blog post title. Guessing that you wicked smaaaht people out there can figure it out.

Long Trail Brewing Company, Green Blaze IPA, Bridgewater Corners, VT

Long Trail Green Blaze IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Long Trail Green Blaze IPA.

6.5% abv. 60 IBUs. Made with Equinox, Mosaic, Columbus and Chinook hops.  Poured from a 12oz can.  Pours copper gold with a decent white head. Good Belgian lace. Pine resin, orange zest, and sweet pineapple on the nose. Hops are clearly present on the first sip, but they are not overwhelming. Initial flavors include pine, fresh cut grass, lemon, apricot, and fresh herbs. Slight spicy tingle around the gums and sides of the tongue at finish. Caramel and dry cracker malt flavors help balance this out a bit. This is a solid IPA and something I would buy again for the great $13.99 per 12 pack price. Really good beer can also be affordable, you just have to look around a bit!

A beer that Darwin would like…

A beer that Darwin would like…

Mayflower Brewing Company, Evolupulin Double IPA, Plymouth, MA

Mayflower Evolupulin poured into a nonic imperial pint glass
Mayflower Evolupulin Double IPA.

8% abv. 51 IBUs. This is meant to be a changing series of beers with different hop profiles. This batch was born on 5/19/16 and I think it is the first recipe. A QR code on the can lets you check the hop profile for each beer. Or you could just search for it on the site since no one uses QR codes. This one was made with Columbus, Equinox, and Galaxy hops with 100% German Pilsner malt.

A pleasant and surprisingly subtle aroma with lemony citrus, fresh cut grass, and herbs with a touch of sweet, clean malt. First sip is lemon, pine, and grapefruit hops flavors with tropical fruit and dry cracker. Alcohol is masked extremely well, making this a dangerous one! Hop tingle all over the gums and tongue, gets a touch drier toward the finish. Alcohol finally reveals itself with the slightest warming in the belly with the last sip.

A tasty beer, but the price point is way too high for me to purchase it again.  I know that good beer isn’t cheap, but I paid $16 for the six pack!

A hypothetical beer that travels faster than light…

A hypothetical beer that travels faster than light…

Element Brewing Company, Tachyon Sake IPA, Millers Falls, MA

Element Brewing Company Tachyon IPA
Element Brewing Company Tachyon IPA

5.2% abv. Dated 4/2016 on the bottle. Many thanks to George Schwartz who gifted it to me. This beer is gluten free.  My first sake IPA. Pours straw gold with a thick white head that quickly dissipates. Apricot, cider, grape, and mild spice on the nose. Loads of natural carbonation. Mild sour fruit and bitter hop flavors jump all around the mouth. Carbonation brings an aggressive needle pin bite to the tongue. Finishes with a surprising dryness, but it is very refreshing. It kind of tastes like what a Sapporo IPA might taste like with a nice hop bite, but a sweet, kind of flat, rice finish. I don’t think I would seek this one out again, but it is an excellent option for someone needing a gluten free beer.

Morph calling Olson, come in Olson…

Morph calling Olson, come in Olson…

If you don’t get the title of this post then you are young, enjoy that fact. Here is my latest review:

Night Shift Brewing, Morph 5/2/16, Everett, MA

Morph IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Morph IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.

An IPA series with rotating recipes that feature a wide variety of hops. 5/2/16 Just 4 days old! This one comes in at 5.7% abv. and it is loaded with Ella and Azaaca hops. Amazing ripe tropical fruit aroma including notes of papaya, mango, and pineapple. Wonderful Belgian lace. First sip is a delicious burst of hop goodness. Packs a remarkable punch of flavor given the relatively low abv. Some buttery cracker sweetness combined with a crisp rye spiciness makes a nice combination. Super smooth and goes down ridiculously quickly. This is the beer I want to drink at every BBQ this spring and summer!

Don’t worry Be Hoppy…

Don’t worry Be Hoppy…

Wormtown Brewery, Be Hoppy IPA, Worcester, MA

Wormtown Be Hoppy IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Wormtown Be Hoppy IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.

6.5% abv. 70 IBU. 16 oz tall boy can. Super fresh…this one is only 12 days old. Pours straw gold with a thick white head. Grapefruit, lemon, and pine resin on the nose. First sip is floral hops, pine resin, and orange zest. Slightly spicy hip flavors as well. Hop tingle lingers for a while, but it is smooth with a really great mouthfeel. I don’t love the $3 per can price point, but it is an excellent beer. Brewed in Worcester, MA. My liver took a beating during my college years at Holy Cross in Worcester…it sure would have been great to have something that tasted this good back then.