Tag Archives: India Pale Ale

Beer Review: Green Flash Green Bullet

There is a growing trend among craft brewers to move their IPAs away from the traditional 3-C hops (Cascade, Centennial, and Columbus) and on to new and exciting hop varieties that have only been developed in the past 10 – 20 years. I mentioned this last week in my review of Clown Shoes Galactica which predominantly features the galaxy hop. Green Flash has decided to feature the Green Bullet hop in the aptly named Green Bullet beer. I’ll let Green Flash’s blurb about this beer take it from here.

Named after a super-robust New Zealand hop, Green Bullet™ is a well-balanced Triple IPA being bottled today for the 1st time ever. Brewmaster, Chuck Silva initially released this Pacific Gem to celebrate the Green Flash 9th Anniversary in 2011, and it was an immediate hit! Now, this cult favorite will be available from coast-to-coast as a seasonal release from September through December 2013. Be on the lookout for this high-caliber addition to our arsenal in 4-packs, 22oz bottles and on draft, because you do not want to miss the release.

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Beer Review: Clown Shoes Galactica & Hoppy Feet

Ohio is receiving lots of distribution from new (to us) breweries at the end of 2013.  New Belgium, Deschutes, and others will be here before the end of the year but it’s getting kicked off with Clown Shoes. Clown Shoes is a contract brewing operation out of Massachusetts that’s known for somewhat insensitive beer names like Tramp Stamp, Lubrication, and Brown Angel. Controversial names haven’t stopped them from making big and interesting beers for a few years distributing them to a variety of states before finally coming here.

Clown Shoes is initially gracing Ohio with 6 different brews: Galactica and Hoppy Feet are here in 4-packs of 12 oz bottles, Chocolate Sombrero, Genghis Pecan, and Muffin Top are all in 22 oz bombers, finally Tramp Stamp is draft only, at least for now. I did a review of a bottle of Tramp Stamp that I brought back from Georgia last year, you can read that here. I also had a bottle of their Chocolate Sombrero which, in short, is a spicy chocolate imperial stout starting out with some heat that slowly builds and adds in rich chocolate as the glass warms.  I have yet to have Genghis Pecan or Muffin Top and my thoughts on Galactica and Hoppy Feet are just below!

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A story of Anchor’s Liberty Ale and the little hop that could, Cascade!

A few days ago I did a Quick Sip review of this beer over on the Queen City Drinks Facebook page. If you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet now is a great time to do it so you can keep up to date on the quick sip reviews. I enjoyed this beer so thoroughly that I felt compelled to give it a full blog post especially because of the significant history in this beer.

In the far distant past of the mid 1960s the American craft beer scene was… well non-existent. Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco had gone through a number of owners throughout the years until Fritz Maytag (of the washing machine family) bought the place up in 1965. By the mid 1970s there was a craft beer scene and there was a lot of preparation for America’s bicentennial.

Almost every brewery was working on something special for July 4th, 1976 but Fritz didn’t want to get lost in the wash (intentional pun) of competition so he opted to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s ride. To do this they created their Liberty Ale which used something new and relatively unheard of at the time, an American hop by the name of Cascade.

There were some hops grown in America but they were mostly bittering hops and the aroma hops were coming from England or Germany. That changed when a USDA researched created hop 56013. Hop 56013 would, in 1972 be first used by Coors, and eventually be called Cascade, and as of this week became the second most grown hop in America.

Fritz Maytag discovered this hop and decided it was what would make his Liberty Ale stand out as the first American craft beer to use cascades and the first american craft IPA. That decision is the proverbial butterfly wing beat that created a tidal wave of Cascade use in almost all American craft pale ales and India pale ales.

Great history and all but is this beer actually any good? Liberty Ale is a delicious 6% IPA with a superbly bountiful aroma of citrus and flowers owed entirely to the little hop that could, Cascade. If you’ve got yard work to do or a grill out to go to this summer I strongly advise picking up a six pack of this to enjoy! It should be available at any better beer store this summer, or any time of year.

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Beer Review: Founders Double Trouble & Doom

I’m coupling these two reviews into one post because Doom is just Double Trouble… after spending 4 months in bourbon barrels. Double Trouble is Founders standard double IPA that is released in mass during May and June while Doom is only available now… if you can still find it. I was lucky enough to score a bottle before everywhere in town sold out thanks to the assistance of my sister-in-law. Sadly I don’t think you’ll be able to find anymore Doom around town but you can look this up again next year and find Double Trouble wherever better brews whenever the weather is cold.

Brewery: Founders
Beer: Double Trouble
Style: Double IPA
ABV: 9.4%
IBU: 86
Calories: ~280

Absolutely beautiful rich golden color with a snow white head topping.

Pungent aromas packing citrus into every nose hair.

Woah, super bitter kick in the palate. After that initial wave of bitterness comes grapefruit hops and a slight malty body that doesn’t come close to balancing things out.

Medium body with loads of carbonation, a slight bit of alcohol, and a lingering slickness.

This definitely lives up to the name Double Trouble and the style double IPA. With all the IPAs, and various sub-categories of IPA, out there this doesn’t come close to being one of my favorites. But it is an enjoyable brew, just not one I’d be in any kind of rush to have again. If you go crazy for citrus hop bitterness then you’ll go crazy for this. Love the label on this brew but it kinda blows that there’s no back story to it on the bottle. It just has the name, style, IBU, and ABV, oh and of course the gov’t warning.

Brewery: Founders
Beer: Doom
Style: Barrel Aged Double IPA
ABV: 10%
Calories: ~400

Comes out a slightly deeper golden hue then Double Trouble did with a LOT more of that same fizzy pure-white head.

Very slight bitter aroma mixes with bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and some citrus hops.

Surprisingly hoppy taste, I expected the citrus and bitterness to be much more subdued after 4 months in a barrel. All that mixes delicately with sweet caramel and vanilla backed by a solid amount of bourbon. Resulting in a very balanced flavor.

Medium body and mild carbonation come together for a mediocre mouth feel experience.

I have a feeling that many people will find this to be a great beer I, however, do not. It’s a good beer, and an interesting beer, but we don’t need to bourbon barrel age EVERYTHING just as we don’t need to hop the crap out of everything. Also $15 for a 750 ml is $5 more then I’m really interesting in paying for something less then spectacular. Call me cheap if you want but the value is rarely there at that price. All that said I’d still encourage folks to try this once, just get a bottle to split with 2 or 3 friends next year or this year if you get lucky!

Edit: Turns out I misunderstood the rarity of Doom. As part of Founder’s Backstage Series we may never see this beer again. Sorry if I got people excited. I know O’Bryan’s in Loveland had some as of Saturday (4/27) and folks are trading them online, so if you’re really interested don’t give up hope!

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Beer Review: MadTree PsycHOPathy

MadTree Brewing has been around town for a few months now but only this week did they start canning their beer. As of the time this post is going up they only have PsycHOPathy canned but Gnarly Brown and Happy Amber will be filling the aluminium sometime in the next week or two. Shortly after that, around mid April, you’ll start seeing the cans pop-up around town! If you’re like me and impatient though then head on down to the brewery for a pint on draft and a 6-pack ($10) to take home!

If you follow other Cinci beer blogs you’ve no doubt already heard lots this week about MadTree. They’ve been on a bit of a beer blog spree which is great news for them and for our fellow beer bloggers! That said I’m not gonna focus too much on the brewery, if you want that info please check out our friend Brew Prof’s post MadTree cans roll off the line and make history. He did a fantastic job on that and there is only 1 thing he’s missing, a beer review!

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Beer Review: Victory HopDevil

Long ago I feel in love with Victory’s Golden Monkey (my review of it) and I’ve tried most of their brews though never given any others full reviews. I intend to change that starting now with their IPA HopDevil. The artwork is awesome though the name is a bit much. This is a very hoppy beer, but not quite “devil”worthy. Here is what they have to say about it:

The mythical HopDevil® resides in the lore of farmers. Our HopDevil is the real deal. Bold, spicy and menacingly delicious. He’s the product of distinctive American hops and meticulous craftsmanship. Arising from the heady wilds of our hopback and gently tamed with time, this Devil makes a great companion.

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Beer/glass review: Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA + Dogfish Head’s new “IPA Glass”

The folks at Dogfish Head are frequent collaborators with Sierra Nevada on beer, this time Spiegelau joined the party and they all created “a glass that would serve as the new global standard for the American IPA style of beer.” I’ve already got a few Spiegelau glasses and can tell you they are my favorite thing to drink out of. That said I’m really excited to try out this new IPA glass. A new batch of Dogfish Head’s 75 minute IPA recently arrived around town so what better to fill my new Dogfish Head glass. I’m going to use this beer to compare this new IPA glass with a standard American shaker pint glass like you find at most bars and restaurants.

75 minute IPA is, like it sounds, a combination of 60 minute IPA and 90 minute IPA. Now there are 2 kinds of 75 minute IPA running around the world. The older of the two is a simple combining of 1/2 60 minute IPA + 1/2 90 minute IPA, either from the bottle or the tap. I plan on reviewing this “beer” as well as the 60 & 90 in the next few weeks. The version on hand today is very similar except it’s specially brewed with DFH’s 75-minute continual hopping. Then they add maple syrup to sweeten things up and create some natural carbonation.

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Beer Review: Bell’s Hopslam

The Midwest is not historically known for it’s IPAs but that is changing quickly. The west coast has been knocking out bitter IPAs for more than a decade, recently Heady Topper has started to put the (north) east coast on the map. As for the midwest we’ve got a few serious contenders leading the way in Fat Head’s Head Hunter and Bell’s Hopslam among others. I prefer the Hopslam because it’s much more flavorful to Fat Head’s bitterness. Hopslam is a seasonal release with a somewhat small foot print, luckily Ohio and northern Kentucky are well within that footprint!

Here’s what Bell’s has to say about it

Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell’s Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell’s repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.

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Beer Review: Blank Slate/Triple Digit Determination

When I first heard about this beer I was very excited to try it. Long time readers know I love any Belgian or Belgian-style. Second to that is high gravity double/imperials. I’m not as huge a fan of IPAs as the average beer drinker these days appears to be, but I still enjoy the style. So a 9% Double Belgian IPA (not a Belgian Double IPA, see videos below) is right up my alley. Sadly life has gotten in the way and it’s taken me longer than I would’ve liked to acquire a bottle and review it for you all. this was released in September after all. The background on this is that Blank Slate Brewing Company (more info on BSBC from my interview with Scott LaFollette, the head brewer, here) teamed up with Triple Digit Brewing to create a new local collaboration brew.
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Beer Review: Mt. Carmel IPA

With some family in town I picked up a Mt. Carmel Porch Pack.  The Porch Pack is Mt. Carmel’s 12-pack style sampler containing the IPA, Nut Brown Ale, Blonde Ale, and Amber Ale. By the by I think Porch Pack is a great name for a 12-pack as opposed to ya-know a 12-pack. Mt. Carmel also has a whole “porch” thing like porch sitting at the brewery and other porch related events. Having a brewery at a farm house had certain advantages, like porches.

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