Torch & Crown Intersect
3/8/19—We’ve been anticipating the release of beer from Torch and Crown for some time now and we weren’t disappointed with the first one we tried. It was a Session IPA called Intersect and was brewed with Citra and Calypso hops, though that will rotate in the future. It poured a pale yellow and had a white head that was about an inch thick. There were impressive aromas for a beer that is clocking in at just around 5% ABV. We detected guava, lemongrass, and passionfruit up front.
The flavor was also impressively robust. It was a little sweet on the nose with some nice bitterness to balance it out on the backend. There was still some juicy passionfruit as well hints of pear and apple, followed by grapefruit and citrus rind.
It had a light body and mouthfeel and made you want more than one— something you could definitely do. An exceptional example of what an easy drinking beer should be!
4.5/5 At the intersection of tasty and delightful.
Interboro- Dead Pres
2/9/19— Interboro’s collaboration Lager, Dead Pres, was intriguing to us for a variety of reasons—foremost among them being that Interboro is known for their (hip) hop-forward IPAs. The beer was beautiful, and inviting, once we poured it into a tall Pilsner glass. It had the textbook amber color of a Vienna lager with a huge, fluffy head that lasted for minutes even after we’d started to sip. The aroma was mild and featured notes of caramel malt and bread, but there was a slightly metallic note as well. The taste followed the aroma with the sweet flavors of caramel and toasted bread, and very light, spicy hop finish. It had a crisp, medium body that kept us coming back for another sip time after time. Overall, this was a solid Vienna lager that we would drink again, but wouldn’t necessarily seek out.
3.5/5 Dead Pres has some life.
Finback- Rolling In Clouds
1/14/2019— We love Finback beers and we don’t drink them enough, so I was eager to try Finback’s Rolling In Clouds. Billed as an IPA in the manner of “the new wave” it did not disappoint. Like the name would imply, it had a pillowy-white head that took some time to dissipate. It had an aroma that was sweet and welcoming with notes of pineapple, berries and some ripe melon as well as an herbaceous, spicy scent.
It was deep golden tinting toward orange in color and the taste was as pleasant as the smell. There were flavors of melon, tangerine, and candied citrus rinds that gave way to some fresh grass bitterness. It seemed to us to be a nice balance of juicy and bitter. It had a medium body that wasn’t overly oily, and made for easy sipping. With so many “hazy” IPAs these days being as sweet and sticky as juice, I felt like you could drink two of these happily, and not have a toothache.
4/5 Picture me rolling
Industrial ARts- Wrench
1/12/2019— Industrial Arts Wrench was a peachy, citrus- juice bomb that will keep your mouth watering well after your last sip. It had a super smooth and light mouthfeel all the way through making this a dangerously drinkable IPA. The only thing it was missing was a little more heft in the beer. This is a classic, hazy NEIPA that appeals to both veterans and virgins of the craft world due to its pineapple and peach flavors and welcoming alcohol content.
4.5/5 Use a Wrench.
Interboro- Mad Fat Fluid
11/1/2018— Mad Fat Fluid poured a vibrant yellow color with a minimal white head that disappeared fast. To us, this beer had something for traditional west coast IPA lovers and those who favor the newer east coast style IPA as well. It was an east-west collaboration in the best way possible. It didn’t have an overpowering aroma but it was bright and fruity, hinting at the flavors to come. We got notes of mango, of pineapple and of other sweet, citrus fruits. There was also some of that assertive bitterness and fresh grass taste, which was a pleasant balancing act. We loved the subtlety of the balance, and how each side complemented each other without being overpowering. As it warmed up, we even caught some berry notes, or some other shadow of sweetness. It boasted a light, crisp body for a beer that was 7% ABV. So when they ask what you want to drink, tell them to make it mad fat.
4/5 Mad Fat Fluid is mad good.
Hudson Valley- Silhouette
10/1/18— Silhouette is a brunch style IPA and this version was brewed with tangerines. This beer had a fluffy white head and would certainly appeal to those who are part of the haze craze. Silhouette was orange and opaque and bore a striking resemblance to orange juice, just a shade more toward gold and less orange. The head disappeared pretty quickly and the smell was excellent. We definitely noticed the tangerine, and additional citrus notes as well as some subtle sweetness coming through. It was similar to opening a tin of tangerine Altoids.
When we tasted the beer the first thing we noticed was the tangerine and blood orange bitterness. It was sharp and tart on some sips, and on others we were struck by the sweetness from the additional sugars. At it’s best moments this beer was a sweet, tart and fruity explosion- like a more sour mimosa. As it warmed there was a more present alcohol profile coming through, which was surprising for a beer that is 5% ABV.
The body was creamy enough for the brunch IPA title but not too heavy and it was carbonated nicely which kept it from becoming a chore. This beer was complex and most of the flavors were executed adeptly. We’re looking forward to trying some other stuff from Hudson Valley.
4/5 If you’re looking for a brunch beer, start with a silhouette.
The Alchemist- Alena
9/13/18— Last weekend James got to go to Stowe to see two great friends of his get married. In addition to all the wedding fun he also got to stop by the fabled Alchemist Brewery and pick up a case of delicious beer. One of those beers was Alena, which neither of us had tried before. Boy are we glad we scooped up a four-pack. When we poured it into a glass there was a huge, pillowy head that remained for a good stretch of time. The beer was light gold and was surprisingly clear- this is not one for the hazy crazies but it is a damn fine beer. When we had it from the can at the brewery we were blown away and drinking it at home from a glass was no different. It smelled dank and sticky, with notes of sweet fruit and earthy pine. When you popped it open and poured it into the glass people knew you were drinking an IPA. The balance of Alena, in this juicy world we live in, was a beautiful thing. Up front we got tastes of peach, mango, and dank, resinous syrup that was followed by a noticeable bitterness that left us smacking our lips. The honey malt heft kept us going back just when the bitterness was bringing us to the edge. Alena was sweet, she was bitter, she was beautiful. Like many other beers we’ve had, just better. Buy this beer.
5/5 Alena, to us, you are perfect.
Troegs- Nimble Giant
7/21/18-- The Giant was a beautiful, light amber color with a foamy, white head that sat placidly above it's piney sea. It smelled like pine and sweet sap and citrus, as if it intended to trod the fresh paths of the Pacific Northwest southward toward where citrus fruits grow. When you take the first sip of this beer it is as if you've arrived at your southern destination. It had flavors of pineapple, and honey and massive amounts of grapefruit. Its gentle sweetness gave way to a bracing bitterness. It was the opposite of the way one imagines giants are in fables and children's stories. We noticed a medium mouthfeel that supported the heft of the body without rendering it taxing to drink. This Giant was strong, subtle, bitter, sweet and alluring. We wish it came around more often.
4.5/5 We wish this Giant came around more often.
Trillium- Fort Point
6/11/18-- James came back from his honeymoon, in the Azores Islands, and went straight from Logan Airport to Trillium to pick up some famous beer. This was the first one we tried and it's easy to see why everyone loves this brewery. Fort Point with el dorado poured a deep golden/ burnt orange color with a half-inch white head that vanished quickly. It was inviting but it wasn't overly hazy. In our opinion, that's a good thing.
This beer was delicious and refreshing in it's straightforward goodness. It greeted us gently with wafts of orange and a little honey sweetness. Those notes blended in with pineapple and ripe melon as you inhaled. The taste followed with orange juice notes that hit home without being overly sweet. We got notes of honeydew and pineapple as well. We almost tasted fruit rollups about halfway through. It transitioned to be a little more bitter on the back end with flavors of grapefruit and some assertion from the el dorado for a clean finish. It had a solid malt backbone to balance it all out.
It was light to medium bodied so you can have more than one, but at a subtle 6.6% be careful not to drink too fast.
5/5 This beer was on point.
Perennial- Saison de Lis
5/11/18-- We don't drink a ton of Saison but we love Perennial and this was one of the prettiest labels we had ever seen. We poured the beer into a tulip glass to match the floral theme of the label, and noticed it's beautiful golden color and white head. It smelled slightly sweet and a little spicy with some earthiness that reminded us of fresh cut hay and pepper.
The beer tasted mellow and was not overpowering. There were sweet notes of honey and vanilla, and maybe some chamomile? We don't drink much chamomile so it was hard for us to say. The spice presents itself subtly on the back end so that no one flavor is overpowering.
It was medium carbonated and pleasant to sip on at 5% abv. This was an easy drinking beer that we believe would be a great introduction the style for new drinkers.
3.75/5 Put Saison de Lis on your list.
Threes Courage My Love
3/29/18-- We're back on the horse, if the horse was made of beer that we should have been reviewing. Courage My Love is a hoppy pale lager from Threes Brewing with some proceeds from the beer being donated to the ACLU. Being big fans of the cause, we may ave been predisposed to liking this beer, but we liked it anyway! It was a breath of fresh air in the world of imperial IPAs, pastry stouts and eye-watering sours.
It poured a light gold color and had flavors of lime zest, herbs and a touch of sweetness. It tasted like spring except the real spring, when it's not 25 degrees and snowing in late March. The body of the beer was thinner, and had a lively amount of carbonation that helped carry the flavor well.
This beer was subtle, tasty and classic- it tasted like beer. These days, making a delicious straight forward beer takes some courage.
4/5 Pick up a good beer for a good cause.
2/4/18-- Beer review Super Bowl Sunday edition! Today's review is of Decadent Ale's "Multiflora" IPA. We acknowledge that many of the beers we review receive high ratings but we're not going to review something more harshly for a false sense of parity and this beer is no different. Maybe we're homers, because Decadent is in James' hometown of Mamaroneck, but gosh darn it this beer was delicious. When poured Multiflora had a light, caramel color and it smelled like sweet honey, passionfruit and sap. It had big flavors of pine sap, peach, mango and had a nice earthy bitterness at the finish. A few friends drinking with us found it slightly too sweet but we found the balance worked out beautifully.
For a beer over 8% ABV it masked the alcohol incredibly well and was dangerously drinkable. It had a medium body with a silky smooth mouthfeel that enhanced the tropical flavors and hop profile nicely. While some may prefer a sharper or more bitter double IPA we thought this had just the right amount of decadence. Go out and try it for yourself.
4.5/5 Treat yourself to a Decadent beer.
Guadalupe Brewing- Humility
1/20/18--Guadalupe Brewing in Braunfels, TX is a preeminent brewery that serves up one of the darkest and most alcoholic rum-aged beers I’ve ever had. Their "Humility" Rum Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout sure is a mouthful. Pretty sure this is the same thick black ink that Hancock used to sign. Guadalupe deserves the praise that Goose Island gets for their Bourbon County without the large market or pretense. A simple label with a very quality beer is a combination that will forever show that Guadalupe takes care of their beer more than their name, and that’s exactly what they should do. The heavy alcohol content is covered beautifully with pecan and coffee notes and a big mouthfeel present on each sip. The beer delivers a subtly bold flavor that makes it drinkable in spite of the high ABV. A must buy if you see it on shelves…ever.
5/5 A Little Humility Goes a Long Way.
Avery- Old Jubilation
1/8/17—Avery Brewing’s Old Jubilation gave these drinkers every reason to be jubilant. When poured into a snifter glass it was the color of light-roast coffee with a caramel head that was nearly an inch high initially. On the can they called the color, “rich mahogany” and while it didn’t smell of leather bound books, it was delicious. The head only stuck around for a few minutes but it left behind a beautiful beer for the colder months.
The smell was mellow and didn’t perfume the air like many of the “hop bombs” people are drinking these days. It smelled faintly of roast coffee and semi-sweet cacao. It tasted like everything a winter beer is supposed to taste like. Avery called out hazelnuts, mocha and toffee and since they made the beer, I’d say that description is spot on.
It was brighter up front with notes of cherry, and ripe berries and on the finish came that mocha, cacao combination. As it warmed up the sweeter notes became more prevalent and some of the sherry and port flavors came through.
While the taste and smell of the beer were top notch, it was the consistency that was our favorite part of the beer. It was creamy enough to conjure a fire, and dessert in a country inn like the one featured on the can, but it wasn’t motor oil thick. It was toward the medium-full bodied end of things, and it embodied what a good winter ale is; warming, a touch sweet, nostalgic.
If you see it, grab this limited release and enjoy it while the snow falls. Horse drawn carriage sold separately.
4.5/ 5 We’re jubilant we picked up this beer.
Magnify- Hey Cutie
12/9/17-- We ventured outside of Brooklyn for our most recent interview at Magnify Brewing, and we were lucky enough to bring this beer back from the trip to New Jersey. " Hey Cutie" is a double IPA brewed with lactose, in honor of the birth of their head brewer's first child. The can art is adorable and the smell when we cracked the can open was inviting. It had the scent of fresh tropical fruit and sweet mango, but wasn't overpowering or cloying.
The taste was similar to the nose and featured notes of mango, tangerine, and grapefruit fizz. In the best way possible it reminded me of a citrus sucking candy- sweet on the front end, with a little of the sharpness on the back end. It was nice and creamy as one would expect with the lactose, but it didn't relegate the hops to the background at all.
We did notice a slight alcohol burn on the finish, owing to the heft of the 8% ABV. It was a nice beer to look at, hazy and golden in color with a creamy body that was thicker and softer than a traditional IPA, almost like the difference between whole milk and skim milk.
Overall, "Hey Cutie" was an excellent beer to for our first experience at Magnify, and an even better way to welcome a new member to their family.
4/5 Hey Cutie, can I have another beer?
11/12/17-- Sixpoint is one of the largest and most successful Brooklyn breweries going, and they recently started allowing customers to visit when they order a specialty six-pack through the Sixpoint app. Smoothie, a New England style IPA was one of the offerings on a recent weekend, and we were excited to give it a try. For the uninitiated, New England IPAs are often referred to with words such as, "haze" or "juice" and are sweeter and less bitter than traditional West Coast IPAs.
Smoothie poured a deep copper/ amber color and was definitely opaque but I wouldn't call it hazy really. It had an aroma of berry, and bready malt with a touch of tropical fruit and citrus. The aroma certainly seemed to match the name this beer was given.
When we tasted the beer we were slightly confused. The beer didn't quite seem to know what it wanted to be. It had sweeter notes like orange and berry, as well as some more bitter notes like grapefruit and a touch of pine. It wasn't as juicy as standard New England IPAs nor as bitter as West Coast stuff, as if it couldn't makeup it's mind.
The same rang true for the texture which was thicker and softer than a traditional IPA but not as creamy or pillow soft as we were expecting. It was almost like a smoothie made with almond milk instead of frozen yogurt.
Overall, we found Smoothie to be tasty and solid, we just wish that it had gone full bore in one direction. There is no denying that the mad scientists at Sixpoint have skill, and we will look forward to trying their next creation.
3/5 Because you're... pretty smooth.
KCBC- Safe Flight
10/9/17 -- I made it out to Bushwick this weekend and not to any warehouse parties or late night raves, but to something that blew my mind just the same. KCBC is tucked away in a gorgeous tap room with plenty of variety for all beer lovers.
I tried the Safe Flight IPA brewed in partnership with the NYC Audubon Society. Maybe it was the idea of protecting the birds. Maybe it was the "IPA" on the label. Either way this beer sent my taste buds soaring. It poured a hazy gold color with fine bubbles. It featured mango and citrus fruits in aroma and taste and had a nice crisp, clean finish with low lingering bitterness and mild sweetness.
4/5 For all you humanitarian hop heads give KCBC a call and have a Safe Flight.
Other Half- Green Power
9/18/17-- I tried Green Power from Other Half Brewing Company and I'm 99% sure it turns you into the Incredible Hulk. Maybe it was the unique aroma of sweet melon, or the fine balance between malt and hops, or maybe it was Memphis but whatever it was it sure felt right (shout out Pam Thillis). This beer was one of our favorite's from Other Half and was an absolutely outstanding IPA.
It had a foamy white head that was impressive in it's size and resilience. It was turbid and opaque and as the kids say these days it had, "haze for days." The smell was sweet and hinted at the coming ripe melon and white grape flavor to come. The flavors of honeydew and cantaloupe were prominent and there was also a gentle hop kiss accompanied by some earthy tones.
The body was creamy and had a medium level of carbonation that belied the hefty 8% ABV. It was hard to detect the alcohol in this sweet, melon creation. I'd have to say this is a "Banner" IPA.
4.5/5 Fight the power, just not this power.
Greenpoint- Low Res IPA
8/7/17-- I realize we do a lot of IPA reviews here, and we'll work to add more varied styles moving forward. That said, this week's beer was Low Res IPA by Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co. They've been bursting onto the hazy New England style scene over the past few months and people are loving their stuff. This rendition was soft and sweet, marked by the juiciness most have come to expect these days. It smelled of candy and oranges. It was a very inviting aroma.
It tasted similar to how it smelled. Orange juice, rock candy, and some bitter grapefruit notes toward the end. These beers aren't the most complex but it doesn't make them any less pleasing. Orange juice and grapefruit are delicious and people enjoy them for a reason. The mouthfeel was creamy and chewy, lingering on your tongue well after your last sip was over. I find myself often double fisting IPAs and water so my mouth isn't overly coated. Sorry, TMI on the phrasing?
Like most beer drinkers would expect, this beer was opaque and a cloudy orange color with a bountiful white head. Haze can be polarizing but this brew wasn't featuring any floating buts or unpleasing flavors. I'd resolve to have another.
4/5 My resolution is try another from these guys.
Finback/ Magnify - Must
7/31/17-- Back after a summer vacation folks! This was a MUST try for me. All jokes aside, I was curious to try this low ABV India Pale Ale, dry hopped with Blanc hops and finished with grape must, because it is not what you usually expect to find when you reach for an IPA. Often times brewers pair the bold, bitter flavors of this style with fruit like pineapple, grapefruit or even peaches, but I had never seen one made with grape must before. For those who haven't tried it, think white grape juice.
It poured a pale gold color, muted and was not the prettiest beer I've seen but that is never my determining factor in the quality of the final product. The aroma was faint but had a hint of the grape notes, a little sweetness and some drier fruit notes. It tasted similar to it's smell with a dry champagne-like quality, but with the juicy grape coming through in the middle, and a pleasant lack of bite at the end. The grape flavor was mild and pleasing and the body supporting the beer was excellent- smooth, light and drinkable.
It definitely wasn't a traditional IPA, but it was tasty and interesting and that isn't ever a bad thing.
4/5 Must is a must try.
Comrade Brewing Co- Jalapeño Honey Blonde Ale
6/26/17-- Comrade Brewing's theme? USSR. Their slogan? Welcome to the Party! The quietly tucked away brewery on East Iliff Ave. serves up quality beers and has about as many medals as the Soviets did by '91. Decorating their walls are a list of their Silvers and Golds at the Great American Beer Festival, which conveniently takes place just miles form the taproom. I popped into Comrade Brewing CO for a quick drink and was immediately struck by their Grain and Hop flag substituting the standard hammer and sickle. I tried out the Jalapeño Honey Blonde Ale since nothing says the West like peppers. It was a very nice honey blonde color with a good head and filtered body. The smell is that of... you guessed it, jalapeños. Now I love jalapeños but was concerned that the heat would overpower the flavor of the beer. I was wrong. The blonde ale is crisp and refreshing, a very clean beer. The heat doesn't hit until after you've tasted the beer itself and the raw jalapeño flavor sits right in the back of the mouth where it cooly waits for another sip. Many spices burn the tip of the tongue and render all other flavors secondary players. This beer gets brewing with peppers right on.
5/5 Join the Party!
Interboro- Louder Than A Bomb
6/19/17-- Interboro's Louder Than a Bomb was an explosion of flavor, and probably the best beer I've had from them. I poured it in a my specialty IPA glass and immediately noticed the hazy, deep-orange color. Haze is a huge buzzword these days but when the description is apt I don't mind using it. This beer had a quarter-inch white head that lasted for the first five minutes of sipping.
You're going to want to stick your nose in this thing. It has sweet notes of guava, pineapple, mango and passion fruit. All the sweet, sticky, tropical stuff people love as well as a faint aroma of alcohol. The taste matches with those sweet fruits showing up on the front and some piney, earthiness and big hop bitterness on the end. The bitterness is reminiscent of grapefruit and leaves you smacking your lips for more. The alcohol is certainly noticeable but not overwhelming especially for a beer that is 8% ABV.
Bomb had a zippy amount of carbonation and a medium body. Overall this was an extremely well-balanced IPA that I hope to see more like from Interboro.
4/5 This beer is the bomb.
6/12/2017-- If you've ever had Grimm Artisinal Ales you know just how quality these beers are. Tesseract, an American Double/Imperial IPA doesn't disappoint. The beer gently caresses your nose with floral notes, hints of citrus and pine as soon as you crack the can. Creamy orange color with a nice head. This NE style IPA definitely has a lighter nose than many other from the region, and the 8% ABV along with a remarkably smooth finish make this drink more like an IPA than a Double. The 8% could surely sneak up on you. Overall this beer is like the girl next door; not complicated and still quite a catch. Worth picking up if you see any around.
4.5/5 Tesseract will take you into the 4th dimension
Gun Hill- Mosaic Soft Serve
6/5/2017-- It's been hotter than Hades these past few days. The kind of heat where your knees sweat and a gust of wind from the passing subway train feels like a Caribbean breeze. It's the perfect time for some soft serve, no? Gun Hill's Mosaic Soft Serve is the perfect beer for this heat wave. It packs loads of flavor into a beer that is just 3% alcohol. It has huge aromas of juicy citrus, grapefruit, pineapple and orange.
The taste matches with the notes of sweet pineapple and bitter grapefruit. For such a low ABV beer the waves of flavor are impressive. It also features a crisp body perfecting for day-long sipping. If you hear the ice cream man, just hope he has some of these on hand.
4/5 Get an ice cream truck, we're having soft serve all summer long!
Other Half- DDH Dream in Green
5/29/17-- Other Half Day Dream In Green (DDH) is an IPA that is brewed with oats and clocks in around 6.2% ABV. We poured it into glasses after a long day of frisbee and inhaled contentedly. It smelled like sweet, sticky fruit with a kiss of citrus. I noticed candied tangerines and pineapple upfront with just a whiff of alcohol on the end.
The taste was significantly less sweet than the smell. I got some of the tangerine along with pineapple, lemon, grapefruit and a pleasingly bitter hop finish. I was surprised at how sharp the finish was considering the smell but it was a nice change of pace.
I also loved the addition of the oats which created that beautiful, pillowy mouthfeel that did add a dreamlike quality. The beer had a little chew to it as well which finished it off nicely. Color-wise this beer was super light yellow perhaps from the addition of the oats. A nice IPA, which can be enjoyed more liberally than some of their imperial options.
4/5 Don't wake us up from this dream
Kelso- CarrollGaarden Wit
5/22/17- Kelso CarrollGaarden Wit was a refreshing, easy-drinker that could have used something to spice it up. We poured it into mason jars and inhaled deeply. It had an aroma of coriander, clove and some soft floral notes. W were optimistic after smelling the beer that it would be perfect for a picnic or day-trip to the beach.
The flavor had a swift kick of peppery spices and some coriander that gave way to soft, citrus sweetness featuring orange peel, chamomile and bready malts. It finished with a mild hop pucker but the sweetness of this beer overshadowed the peppery spices and the hop bite, making it more one-dimensional than we were hoping.
The body was smooth with light carbonation that could have been more pronounced. Overall, it was a solid, wheat-beer that was too sweet.
3/5 This Wit could stand to be spiced up.
KCBC- Tiger Thunder
5/15/17-- KCBC Tiger Thunder, which would make a great stage name, is a double IPA that hits some of the right notes but is missing a deeper complexity. It poured a deep gold color and had a smallish, off-white head. On the nose there was a sweet, tropical, fruity presence that promised island refreshment to follow.
Once I started sipping I found the beer to be pleasant, and pretty sweet. There were notes of pineapples, tangerines and some caramel malts. While the tropical sweetness was nice, it needed to be balanced out by a dose of hop bitterness that never surfaced. The body was appropriately sturdy, but not overly creamy and there was a proper amount of carbonation.
Overall, Tiger Thunder earned some of it’s stripes but fell a few short of becoming king of the jungle.
3/5 This big cat was missing it’s hop bite.
Other Half- Green Down to the Socks
5/8/2017-- Other Half Green Down to the Socks is a tremendous example of the imperial IPA style. For appropriate, and matching glassware, I poured it into an Other Half Teku glass. It was a hazy, and cloudy golden color with an orange tint. It looked like an orange juice smoothie in the glass, and it was inviting me to dive right in, so I obliged.
The citrus nose was huge, it was the Professor Snape of tropical smells. I smelled pineapple, grapefruit, passionfruit and just a slight tingle of the alcohol toward the end. The taste followed the nose with tangerine sweetness, grapefruit tartness and slight, sap stickiness all shining through on this perfectly balanced beer. The tropical sweetness gives way to a kiss of bitterness and a whisper of alcohol burn so faint you'd think it was the outro to an Usher song. In this case, you should let it burn because this is a beauty.
4.5/5 This beer knocked my socks off.
Rushing Duck Pay to Play
5/1/2017--Rushing Duck’s “Pay to Play” IPA was a unique beer that left us wondering what gave it a surprising, subtle sweetness through the ale. We purchased this beer in a crowler from “Crowlerman” and poured it into Mason jars because we are in Brooklyn after all. It was a cloudy, orange-yellow and had a creamy, beige head the worked it’s way down the jar like a lattice.
It smelled sweet, like honey and apples and a little tropical fruit with some resin. The taste followed with a lingering, pleasant candied aspect. To us it tasted of apple juice, caramel malts, and mango with pine bitterness at the end. We found the sweetness and flavor to be more reminiscent of cantaloupe or pineapple than citrus.
It had pleasing amount of carbonation and a medium weight body that made it refreshing enough to have one or two in a sitting.
4/5 We’d pay for “Pay to Play”
Other Half Subterranean Rotation
4/17/2017--Other Half delivers again with this softer, grapefruit, and melon IPA that is smooth and tropical while still lighter on the juiciness. A light yellow, orange pour and an aroma that cushions your nose with smells of orange and a little guava and pine. Subterranean Rotation's floral notes and smoother mouthfeel make it an easily accessible and drinkable IPA. While not overly bitter like many of Other Half's danker varieties, Subterranean Rotation delivers their habitual citrus smells and tastes and creates a highly enjoyable beer.
4/5 Layers of aroma, like an Abercrombie and Fitch model....except enjoyable.
KCBC/ Interboro -Taco Wednesday
4/10/2017-- Taco Wednesday is a hoppy lager collaboration between Brooklyn Breweries, KCBC and Interboro. The can art is exciting and enticing, as it features what appears to be a Norse warrior getting ready to snack on a crispy taco. I think it speaks to the beer being refreshing enough to drink with tacos, but also spicy and powerful like a warrior. Or it just looks cool and that’s fine too.
This lager was light gold in color, with a short white head. I found it smelled different as it warmed up. It started with a little spiciness, think cloves and pilsner malt, then some melon and bread-y sweetness.
It had notes of melon, sweet biscuit and lemongrass on the palate. Some of that pilsner zippiness came through and there was a subtle hop bite toward the end of the beer. This beer was beautifully carbonated and had a gorgeous, smooth body. As weird as it may be, the texture of this beer was probably my favorite part. It was damn near perfect.
Overall, Taco Wednesday is an easy drinking lager that has more going on than meets the eye. Maybe the can should have been a tipoff.
4/5 Even if it isn’t Wednesday, this beer is a good choice.
KCBC- Robot Fish
4/3/2017-- This Robot Fish IPA, brewed with Halcyon and Citra hops is delicious, and best consumed while doing the robot. If you can’t drink and dance at the same time, welcome to the club. Sit your ass down and enjoy your suds. I poured this into my ceremonial, Spieglau IPA glass and watched it form a thick, creamy head. It was golden in color, with an orange hue a shade lighter than OJ (the juice, not the football player).
It had a beautiful nose of citrus, guava, mango and pineapple. The taste followed, who woulda thunk? It was soft and citrus forward with a very subtle hop bitterness coming through on the end. It was pillowy and creamy on the palate as well as lightly carbonated. This would go perfectly with a brunch, and I thoroughly enjoyed drinking it, even after dinner.
4/5 If Robot Fish could talk, they’d say drink this beer.
Threes- Wandering Bine
3/26/2017—Wandering Bine was a surprisingly zippy Saison. I poured it into a snifter, which was not the “proper” glassware but was what I had clean, and watched it settle. It was pale straw in color, much like a bale from a farmhouse where the style was originally brewed. This one came from a decidedly more urban environment, Threes Brewing in Gowanus, Brooklyn. It smelled like cloves and fresh-cut grass and was perkier than I was anticipating. The flavor matched with notes of Lemon and peppercorns as well as some sweet apples, sourdough bread and spicy yeast. It had moderate carbonation and crisp body. I wouldn’t wander out of my way to grab another, but since Threes is right down the road, I won’t have to.
3.5/5 A tasty saison but don't wander too far to pick one up.
3/19/2017-- Money was a well-balanced IPA that was easy drinking, but plenty flavorful. You could say it was on the money (that's a lazy a joke). It smelled sweet and tropical with some notes of pineapple. It smelled sweeter than it tasted. While it smelled more like dessert it tasted more like citrus, with some nice hop bitterness. I got a lot of lemon, grapefruit, orange and those strong hops at the end. It was bordering on too bitter for my tastes but straddled that line between not enough and too many hops well, making for a well-constructed beer. It had a medium body and zippy carbonation. It was cloudy, and pale orange in appearance with a little bit of haze. I would definitely drink it again, but I wouldn't overpay.
4/5 Barrier is on the money with this IPA.
Three's/ Evil Twin Are We There Yet?
3/12/2017—This beer has a long name and a ton of great flavor. I poured my pint can into a snifter and admired the beautiful burnt orange and copper color. It had a fluffy white head that lasted for about five minutes or so. It is always hard to tell time when you’re drinking a triple IPA. The beer was opaque and slightly cloudy. The nose and aroma on this beer were more subdued than I imagined they would be but not in a bad way. I noticed aromas of juicy, tropical fruits, and sweetness that matched the flavor to come. The taste of this beer was truly special. The tropical hops created huge flavors of mango, peaches and pineapple. I also tasted hop syrup, sweetness and some toasted malts. It had me feeling like I was part of a commercial for a Caribbean getaway, “Get swept away by the tropical breeze and relax into the waves of hop goodness in our IPA.” Like the end of said vacation, there was a hint of bitterness at the end of this beer and a small alcohol burn.
For the 11 percent ABV the alcohol was restrained. It had a smooth, somewhat creamy mouth-feel that encouraged me to drink again after each sip. Be careful though-- two or three of these and you’ll wake up on an island with no clue how it happened. So to answer the brewers’ question, “Are we there yet?” The answer is yes, if “there” is IPA nirvana.
4.5./5 We've reached IPA nirvana.
KCBC Full Contact
3/5/2017--The first thing I noticed about “Full Contact” was the smell. It was jammy, and delicious, and smelled like raspberry sorbet. While the smell was beautiful, and I would have almost been content to simply stick my nose in the glass and inhale, I couldn’t wait to get a taste. Much as you’d expect based on the nose of the beer, it was bursting with berry goodness. It was sweet and tart and I got a massive amount of raspberry flavor, but in the best way possible. Like a good raspberry, this beer is sweet but not cloying and it doesn’t leave you with a sugar-induced headache. The wine barrel was a subtle but important player in this one, it worked just enough to balance out the raspberry and smooth this beer out without imparting any aggressive flavors. It had a beautiful texture- crisp and refreshing but with a little creamy smoothness, more raspberry sherbet than sorbet, and entirely enviable. Since I couldn’t resist drinking it instantly, I did not stop to look at it before it was about halfway gone. It looked like cranberry juice only a few shades lighter, and it finished with a slight hop bitterness that reminded me of that tart beverage as well. I rarely find a sour beer I like so much. For some it might be too sweet, but for me it was just right.
4.5/ 5 Full Contact has me on a contact high.
2/26/2017 -- Yesterday I was deciding what beer to drink and I thought to myself, "IPA, Stout, Sour?" My answer ended up being, "Neither Way." "Neither Way" is a hoppy lager, collaboration between Brooklyn's Threes Brewing and Georgia's Burial Beer Co. I poured this beer into a pint glass and watched as it formed a billowing head that was nearly three inches tall. It was a pale-straw color and looked inviting in the cold sunlight that streamed through the window. It had a faint aroma of citrus and pale malts. The flavor followed the nose and had a gentle citrus taste, reminiscent of guava and mango. This is easy drinking as you'd expect from a lager, but it has a little more hop bite. The body is creamier than other lagers but still crisp and refreshing, so that you could have one or four over the course of the day. This was an excellent afternoon beer, the kind that you could drink at a barbecue or picnic for hours.
4/5 Neither Way is Way Tasty.
Grimm Color Field
Other Half Short Dark & Wired
2/19/2017--A dry hopped sour with hibiscus, rose hips, and chamomile. Grimm proves that it is pretty to be pink with their Color Field dry-hopped, sour ale. It has a lovely tart flavor that doesn’t overwhelm the beer and keeps your face pucker-free. Grimm’s sour pours a cloudy, pale pink and has a light mouthfeel. I found myself reminiscing about a dry Martinelli’s sparkling, apple-cranberry drink. Each sip made me run my tongue along the roof of my mouth savoring the tartness of the beer. While I’m not usually a big fan of sours, this one I’d definitely recommend again.
4/5 Color me sold on this deliciously tart sour
2/12/2017--A snow day calls for a rich, toasty, dark beer. Fortunately, I had stashed a few “Short, Dark and Wired” stouts from Other Half in the fridge. It poured a deep, burned, chestnut brown with a half-inch tan head that sticks around for a few minutes. It’s the beer you want in your glass while the streetlights glisten off freshly fallen snow. I poured this delight into a snifter and snuck my nose right in. It had an aroma of bittersweet chocolate, rich coffee and just a little hint of sweetness from the vanilla and the alcohol.
The best way to describe the taste of this beer is, "Holy coffee, chocolate beer Batman!" Lots of cacao, coffee, and toward the end some sweetness that reminds me of stone fruit. A really pleasant cherry sweetness that is consistent but not cloying or overwhelming. The vanilla is definitely there, but it isn’t dominant. It’s more like a solid backup singer, the Marlin Jackson of the band. This beer finishes with some dry, roasted beans and a slight bitterness. A medium body with a zesty amount of carbonation. This isn’t motor oil thick like some of the imperial or barrel aged stouts, but is perfectly creamy for a 7.4% stout.
A really nice interpretation from the guys at Other Half. They are known for their hoppy stuff but this is a top-notch stout. Hopefully I’ll be able to fall asleep, and dream about more beers from them.
4/5 I would definitely go on a second date with Short, Dark and Wired.
1/29/2017--It was an all Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co. kind of Friday night. We were able to snag some cans of Turbulence and Vert Mont double IPA from Cardiff Giant and we set off to do some tasting (this job is hard work y’all). The Turbulence can is a work of art, a cosmic blue and green that looks like it was originally intended to be part of Van Gogh’s “The Scream.” If the stuff inside was anywhere as complex and interesting as the can art we were in for a treat. Unfortunately the can is still my favorite part of this beer.
We poured the beer into snifters and began to taste. Turbulence is made with a blend of Equinox, Citra and Mosaic hops and promises a, “wildly expressive IPA” on the label. It pours a mottled gold with a quarter inch head that sticks around for a little while. It isn’t a beautiful beer but it doesn’t hurt to look at either. The smell is dominated by booze and not a lot else. You can pick up some sweetness and a slight hint of citrus from the Citra if you try hard enough.
The flavor is also somewhat one-dimensional with a sustained hop bitterness that is prevalent throughout the life of the beer. I caught some notes of bubblegum, something woody and a whiff of citrus. It isn’t unpleasant by any means, and it gets better as it warms a little in the glass. Turbulence lingers on the tongue, coating it and leaving a bitter finish. It is well carbonated but not overly so and has a medium body that could use a stronger dose of malt to balance out the hop character.
By the end I found myself thinking I could drink another, not that I would go out of my way to do so. It wasn’t a bad beer but it also wasn’t “wildly expressive” as promised. If anything, it was quite ordinary.
3.5/5 If someone gives you one drink it, but don’t break your piggy bank to buy it.
1/290/17--Vert Mont double IPA is made with Citra, Mosaic, and Centennial hops in Williamsburg, Brooklyn by Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co. It says it has, “Acres of tonal tropical, fruit juicy, citrus hop aroma and flavor.” On the aroma they hit the nail on the head. It has a huge nose of juicy citrus and sweet pineapple. It smells fantastic. It pours a not as dark as you’d expect golden color, with a slight head that dissolves rapidly. Similar to Turbulence, it is an average looking beer. The Honda Civic of the Double IPA world if you would.
While the nose is on the money the taste is less compelling than the smell of this beer. You get some guava, and passion fruit on the front end and it closes with a dry, bitter hop finish. I tasted a lot more bitter hop flavor than juicy dankness. The body holds up fine for a double IPA and is well carbonated with a surprisingly dry finish. We couldn’t pinpoint anything that was bad about this beer, but we also couldn’t find anything about it that was outstanding. As Connor said, “I would get it again, maybe.”
3.5/5 A doable double, but doubtfully da best.
Other Half Space Diamonds
1/22/2017--Space Diamonds is a Double Dry Hopped Imperial Pale Ale that is, excuse me, out of this world. Tropical fruits mango, pineapple and guava tickle your nose and get your mouth watering. It smells juicy and doesn't disappoint from the first taste to the last. The taste matches the smell. A slight intentional hop bitterness finish that doesn't drown out the fruity flavors. This DIPA is the real deal and is one of many amazing ales coming out of Other Half. Space Diamonds is a true hit and both James and I couldn't get enough. For a beer that sits heavy on alcohol at 8.5% there is no overbearing quality of alcohol or bitterness. This is a real winner for us from the recently named 10th best brewery in the world by ratebeer.com. Oh, and 85% of what Other Half is doing is IPAs. If Space isn't your place, I'm sure you'll find something more your style...as long is it's hop forward.
4.5/5 This is one juicy DIPA that's worth waiting in line for.