My cooler had room for one more 4-pack. Since we were there at Trillium, why not go back in for a variety of single cans? My selections? Scaled – 93 points, Secret Stairs (review to come) and two selections from Trillium Small Bird Series: Pocket Pigeon and Tiny Chicken. While the names in the series suggest diminutive ales, it refers to the lower ABV in each offering.
(C) 2017 popsonhops
Tiny Chicken Tasting: July 23, 2017 Style: Pale Ale Beer # 1,082 ABV: 5.6%
Tiny Chicken pecks away at your palette with a sturdy and hoppy punch. Made with a combination of Galaxy and Amarillo hops and out of the gate, it pops with bright citrus and a wisp of tropical fruit. In typical Trillium fashion, Tiny Chicken is soft around the edges and pithy. This beer does not offer much in the way of a base but that’s not its purpose. It’s a lawnmower beer meant for a summer’s day and a pretty good one at that – 90 points.
Pocket Pigeon Tasting: July 26, 2017 Style: Pale Ale Beer # 1,083 ABV: 5.4%
Pocket Pidgeon is made with Mosaic, Galaxy, and Columbus hops. Pours a hazy and golden color with a fresh juicy aroma. My first impression is that of a grilled pineapple. It’s dank smokey up front with some sweet pineapple. Also has some mellow orange rind and a dash of black tea. Nicely crisp finish. Pocket Pigeon rocks, 93 points. If you call this is a sessionable ale, then this is probably the best one I’ve had.
Tasting: July 17, 2017 Style: American Pale Ale Beer #: 1,079 ABV: 6.8%
(C) 2017 popsonhops
This was an unexpected excursion on a hot summer afternoon. After dropping the boys off at Boy Scout camp my wife suggested that we check out some local hiking trails in the Dingman’s Ferry area. She knew I’d be tepid about the idea so she threw in, “Maybe we can hit a brewery in the area.” When Equilibrium popped up as a “brewery near me”, I was all in. After sweating my butt off for a few hours, we raced to the brewery in Middletown, NY in an attempt to make the growler fill deadline. As you can see, we made it and had a couple other beers just for unwinding.
If you go to Equilibrium Brewing.
The brewery seems centrally located and is across from the police station on Henry Street (be careful on your intake bruh). Ample parking on the silo side of the brewery. In the cooling down period of a summer evening, the garage door of the tasting room was wide open and the pleasant breeze washed away my sweaty afternoon. While growler fills ended at 6 p.m. on that Sunday, the tasting room remained open until 10 p.m. For hours, visit the brewery website.
They do serve food and we decided to stay for dinner. I’ll sum up our dining experience by saying the food was excellent but the service was painfully slow. So slow, they offered to comp our appetizer but in the end, they forgot the discount part (oh well). That was a minor ding on the overall experience.
Equilibrium Fractal Citra Galaxy.
Anyway, this blog is about beer not food service and onto the main event, Equilibrium Fractal Citra Galaxy. One of the definitions of a fractal is an object that displays self-similarity. Think of cutting snowflakes out of paper. In the case of this beer from Equilibrium, I believe a fractal applies to the base recipe as the similarity and the different hops as what makes it unique. There is are other hop versions of this beer and was thrilled that my timing included one of my favorites – Galaxy.
Lighter straw color white wine grapes, fleshy orange, pithy and crisp dry finish. Really nice, 94 points.
Tasting: July 17, 2017 Style: American Double IPA Beer #: 1,080 ABV: 8.5%
A hazy and beautiful looking beer. Wonderful up front with juicy orange, mango, and strawberry. Finish is a bit clunky acrid. Doesn’t detract, 92 points.
Equilibrium Photon Citrus:
Tasting: July 17, 2017 Style: American Pale Ale Beer #: 1,081 ABV: 4.8%
I was caught a little off guard with Photon Citrus. My first sips were of ripe with banana and clove that I would associate with a farmhouse style. Took a while to acclimate to some pepper, grassy and citrus rind qualities of a pale ale. Very refreshing 88 points.
If you go with non-craft beer friends, they can go to the bar next door, Players for a Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Beyond the reported style of the beer, a beer label can tell you a lot about a particular beer before you even open it up. This can of Stoneface Brewing Mozaccalypse contains some excellent information on its label so, let’s take a look at what we can decipher.
Sometimes the clues are in the name
First, let’s dissect the name of this beer. If you know your hops you might be able to decipher that this beer is made with Mosaic and Azaca hops. Mosaic hops are called the hop variety that changed the beer world. Developed in 2012, they bring the fruit, most notably, a citrus and tropical combination. Think Hawaiian Punch. Azacca is also a newer breed (2014). Named for the Haitian god of agriculture, it boasts many of the same tropical fruit characteristics. Since the IPA is trending “juicy”, these tell me that I might expect a New England style IPA. If you like certain hops take note for future purchases. I have favorites including, Mosaic, Galaxy and Citra.
Alcohol by volume (ABV)
Sure alcohol content helps you gauge how many beers you can have before feeling a little tipsy, but ABV can also tell you a little about the mouthfeel of a beer. Alcohol has a higher gravity than water and the higher the alcohol content may bring a rich mouthfeel. Stoneface Brewing Mozaccalypse checks in at an average range of 8.0%.
International Bittering Units (IBU)
IBU is a scale that measures bitterness. A few years ago, crushing bitterness was all the rage and beer brewers pushed to produce the highest IBU beers. Experts say the measurable range is between 0 and 100 and anything reported to be beyond 100 is a bit sketchy. On our label of Mozaccalypse, they indicate an IBU of 50. That would indicate a beer with light/moderate bitterness.
Original gravity (OG)
Original gravity is a measurement taken before yeast is added to the cooled wort. This measurement tells a brewer how dense the wort is with undissolved solids or sugar. Yeast feeds on the sugar and creates alcohol. I’d like to say that the higher the OG, the higher the alcohol content, but that’s not always true. There are some yeast strains that cannot survive in higher alcohol content. In these cases, a lot of unfermented sugars and sweetness make it to your lips. But, I’d say OG and ABV are generally related.
There a number of readings for OG. I’ll stick with two, specific gravity and degrees plato. They do translate to each other. I usually peg an average beer at 12.5 degrees plato which (by multiplying by 4) translates to a specific gravity of 1.050. Our can of Stoneface Brewing Mozaccalypse checks in at 17 degrees plato.
Standard Reference Method is simply a gauge of a beer’s color. Some brewers use Lovibond as an indicator of color. Here’s a simple chart of SRM:
1.0 – 3.0 SRM – Pale yellow color 3.0 – 4.5 SRM – Medium yellow 4.5 – 7.5 SRM – Gold 7.5 – 9.0 SRM – Amber 9.0 – 11.0 SRM – Copper 11.0 – 14.0 SRM – Red/Brown 14.0 – 19.0 SRM – Brown 20.0 SRM – Black
So, we’ll note that our can says an SRM of 10 or medium copper in color.
To me, a packaging date is the most important thing to find on a can or bottle. Hops don’t age well and I think an IPA is severely altered once it exceeds 3 months past its original packaging date. Many beer stores don’t pull old inventory and it’s a buyer beware situation. As you can see, our can has a packaging date of June 9, 2017, and today’s July 13th. We’re in range.
What do I expect?
I expect a copper colored, juicy aromatic and flavored beer with only a light to moderate bitterness. I’ll also expect an average mouthfeel.
What did I get?
A little more amber than copper. Mellow juicy sweet aroma. Flavor jumps out with prickly pear and dank resinous smoke. Takes a few sips to get my tastebuds around this Imperial IPA as it seems more bitter than expected. It does mellow and reveals some nice mango and citrus. All in all, a nice beer 89 points.
Cutting Tiles was once known as Artaic. A quick Google search on the term “Artaic” leads mostly to a Boston-based company that specializes in custom mosaic tiles. I’m not sure if there were any legal issues that prompted the name change. My guess is that the beer started as a Mosaic single hop beer and simply that Trillium started creating alternate hop versions like Galaxy and El Dorado. If anyone finds differently, I’d appreciate your insight.
If you go…Trillium Canton
The Trillium facility in Canton is a craft beer lover’s dream. While many breweries have restrictive limitations, you are limited here by your own wallet. There are typically six to ten offerings and many have up to one case limits. The day we were there, there were ten.
If you go…parking
No real issue with parking. The lot has plenty of come and go traffic. If you travel here on the weekend, they may ask that you park in their overflow parking lot at 50 Hudson Street (just up the road 100 yards).
El Dorado Cutting Tiles
Can I just leave this review of El Dorado Cutting Tiles as, “Wow!”. Brewed with wildflower honey. Flavor bursts with juicy sweet pineapple and an undercurrent of tart pear. El Dorado Cutting Tiles may be the best IPA I’ve had to date. Easily 97 points.