Double Dry Hopped Is This the Real Life? also, KCBC/Finback: Yeah Buddy, Collective Arts: Radio the Mothership, Tired Hands: Am I Okay?

Double Dry Hopped Is This the Real Life? and more.

l to r Finback Yeah Buddy, Collective Arts Radio the Mothership, Single Cut Double Dry Hopped Is this the Real Life? Tired Hands Am I okay?

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Finback & KCBC Kings County Brewers Collective, Yeah Buddy!
Tasting: November 17, 2017
Style: Double IPA
ABV: 8.6%
Beer #: 1,112

Took me a while to figure out the the Kings County Brewers Collective was a brewery, not just a trade association. Quick first impression, Froot Loops! Well not over the top but really well-balanced. Dangerously drinkable at the 8.6%. Was a little understated but I still liked it enough for 92 points.

Visit Kings County Brewers Collective website

Collective Arts Radio the Mothership!
Tasting: November 18, 2017
Style:
ABV: 8.5%
Beer #: 1,113

Lots of lime and tangerine. A bit too boozy and sharply bitter on the finish. I probably would have like this more about 5 years ago before New England IPA. Still 89 points.

Visit the brewery’s website

Singlecut Beersmiths Double Dry Hopped Is This the Real Life?
Tasting: November 12, 2017
Style: Double Dry-Hopped American-style IPA
ABV: 7.2%
Beer #: 1,114

Juicy orange flesh and slightly bitter zest. Some pineapple and black tea. Double Dry Hopped Is This the Real Life? is the real deal. 94 points.
Read my thoughts on Is This the Real Life? as well as my story on rat hair in candy bars.

Tired Hands Am I Okay?
Tasting: November 11, 2017
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.6%
Beer #: 1,114

Label on this 16 ounce can says, “Single Oated, Single Lactosed, Single Fruited, Single Dry-Hopped.” The oats and lactose should help deliver a nice mouthfeel. They do. Very mellow flavor of citrus, lemon in particular and some stone fruit. Nice mouthfeel. I can see this as an excellent summer beer. Really enjoyed 93 points.

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Hill Farmstead Abner Imperial IPA Cross another off my bucket list

Hill Farmstead Abner is an American Double / Imperial IPA brewed by Hill Farmstead, Greensboro Bend, Vermont

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Hill Farmstead Abner

Tasting: October 12, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,111
ABV: 8.2%

When I first started this website in 2011, the craft beer world was a whole lot smaller. There were fewer than 2,000 breweries in operation compared to the nearly 6,000 reported in 2017. There was no Trillium, no Tree House and no Other Half. My aim was to find the beer widely considered the best beer in America. Of course, that task seems impossible today as the landscape keeps shifting.

Before I started this website, I quickly realized how naive I was about the availablity of what was considered the best in America. You may recall my story of when I asked about buying a Dark Lord at my neighborhood beer store. I realized that getting to try these limited release beer would need some travel, trades and some patience. Early on, I created a bucket list of sorts and I’m happy to say that I crossed off a number of beers off one of my early lists.

My early beer bucket list:

Three Floyds Dark Lord 97 points
The Bruery Black Tuesday 97 points
Surly Darkness 96 points
Three Floyds Zombie Dust 90 points
Fifty Fifty Eclipse 2009 Elijah Craig 97 points
Lawson’s – Double Sunshine (Still Hunting)
Hill Farmstead – Abner (YESS!)
Goose Island – King Henry (Not sure this is still being made)
Cigar City Hunaphu 2014, 98 points
Alpine – Exponential Hoppiness (not really interested anymore)
Peg GOOD RareR DOS (Might replace this with some of the cycle releases)
Surly Abrasive 94 points
Kern River Citra 94 points
Three Floyds Dreadnaught 94 points

Hillfarmstead Abner:

I was able to cross this off my list as part of a whirlwind trip to the brewery on October 11th. I’ll give you more details on my trip in a later post. As far as Hill Farmstead Abner, I get massive fleshy orange and orange rind that weaves itself around some mild but noticeable boozy ethers. As you’d expect, there is that wonderful Hill Farmstead balance and polish. A true work of art, 97 points.

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Hill Farmstead Society & Solitude #4 I had three chairs in my house; One for solitude, Two for friendship, Three for society.

Two Adirondack chairs made from used barrels, Hill Farmstead Brewing, Greensboro Bend, Vermont, Abner IPA, Society & Solitude and Difference & Repetition

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Hill Farmstead has two main themes for their beer. Their “Ancestral” line is a foundational series of standard offerings that follow a loose rotation of release. Each name comes from Shaun Hill’s family tree. There is the familiar Edward, named for Hill’s grandfather who lived in the house that still stands on the brewery property. All told Edward had 13 siblings and you’ll recognize them through Hill’s series of tribute.

The other series of beer is known as the “Philosophical” line. Not surprising as Hill was a philosophy major in college. Where else would Friedrich Nietzche’s birthday (October 15th) be celebrated with cellared rarities like Beyond Good and Evil (named for a book by Nietzche)? More on that stout later.

I’m not one for really deep philosophical thought. In my mind, it always leads back to depressing thoughts of our own insignificance. However, I was taken by the name of this beer and its connection to Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau once said that he had three chairs in his house, one for solitude, two for friendship and three for society. Is it that Society & Solitude leaves out friendship or that friendship is found between Society & Solitude? Hmmm.

Society & Solitude #4

Tasting: October 11, 2017
Style: American Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.0%
Beer #: 1,109

I read a description of Society & Solitude #4 and it said to think Double Citra and Double Galaxy 97 points Uh, yes please!

Can I just say wow? Amazingly complex with guava, pineapple, orange flesh and some robust citrus rind. A bit more assertive than I was expecting and that’s just fine by me. 97 points.

Beyond Good and Evil (Maple Bourbon-Barrel Aged)

Tasting: October 11, 2017
Style: Stout with Maple Syrup aged in used bourbon-barrels used to age maple syrup
ABV: Unknown
Beer #: 1,110

Beyond Good and Evil deserves more than just a mention at the end of another beer’s entry but I didn’t get any photos. While having lunch at the brewery, my friend was sipping on a stout. He said that it could be the best stout he’s ever had in his life. I respect his opinion and dashed off for my own pour before we hit the road for home. The tap room line was about 15 people deep. I couldn’t stand the wait.

Incredible balance, cherries, mellow chocolate, earthy moss, syrup influence is entirely complimentary as is the polished roasted bitterness. Beyond Good and Evil has muscled its way into the upper end of my list, solid 98 points. I think my friend was right on the mark. This could be the best stout I’ve ever had.

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So much Craft Beer, So little time Playing dead beer fridge catch up

My 15-year-old beer fridge went kaput the other day. I bought it for $199 so, I’ll consider it an honorable discharge. However, it leaves me in a quandry and I was forced to do an emergency evacuation of my craft beer to a couple coolers. I’ve had a few friends volunteer some fridge space but none made any promises of returning my full inventory. While I try and find a new fridge, I’ll do my part in trying to purge some beer that’s been building in my inventory. I’ll give some rapid fire thoughts on each…

A Beer Has No Name by Liquid Riot Bottling Company

Tasting: September 1, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,103
ABV: 8.2%

A Beer Has No Name by Liquid Riot Bottling Company, Portland, Maine

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Thanks to my friend, Mark for the goodies from Maine. I’m sorry to hear that his vacation was cut short. Dank hoppy and smokey underneath some bright pineapple sweetness. Hops include: Idaho 7, Mosaic, Citra, and Chinook Hops

Not sure why there isn’t love for this beer on Beer Advocate 85 points I like it a lot, 92 points from me.


Flume by Battery Steele Brewing

Tasting: October 19, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,104
ABV: 8.0%

Flume American Double / Imperial IPA by Battery Steele Brewing, Portland, Maine

(C) popsonhops.com

Another goody from my friend Mark. Lots going on with this beer. Herbal like black tea and lemongrass. Some underlying sweetness of honey and caramel. Bitterness is a little over the top but all in all enjoyable. 91 points.


Devastation by Brewery Vivant

Tasting: October 19, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,105
ABV: 11.6%

Brewery Vivant Devastation Double IPA aged in Bourbon Barrels

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Admittedly, this has been in the back of my fridge for a month. What’s left is yeasty, odd-flavored, sweet with some oak, vanilla and moss barrel influence. Really an odd beer. 75 points.


Big Timber IPA by Big Timber Brewing

Tasting: October 18, 2017
Style: American IPA
Beer #: 1,106
ABV: 6.5%

Big Timber IPA is an American-style IPA brewed by Big Timber Brewing Company, Elkins, West Virginia

(C) 2017 popsonhops

My first craft beer brewed in West Virginia crosses off state number 37 in my casual pursuit of beer from all 50. A gift from a friend that went to West Virginia. Maybe the first person I’ve known that has been to West Virginia. Very traditional IPA, lots of earthy pine and overpowering grapefruit and lime bittnerness. Has some balance as well with some distinct cracker-like malt. Surprisingly good. Big Timber IPA gets a respectable 87 points from me.


Burlington Beer Company, Chasing Rabbits (wheat IPA) and Orbital Elevator (American Double / Imperial IPA)

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Chasing Rabbits by Burlington Beer Company

Tasting: October 25, 2017
Style: American Pale Wheat Ale
Beer #: 1,107
ABV: 5.8%

Delivers black tea, herbal, and some white wine grapes. Mouthfeel is nice. Like it quite a bit, 91 points.

Orbital Elevator by Burlington Beer Company

Tasting: October 25, 2017
Style: American Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,108
ABV: 8.3%

Brewed with Oat Malt and Flaked Oats and it does deliver a nice mouthfeel. Dank undertone, bold citrus. Froot loops quality flavor. I liked Chasing Rabbits more but another nice beer, 90 points.

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