Stoneface Brewing Mozaccalypse Double IPA Deciphering a beer label...

Stoneface Brewing Mozaccalypse Double IPA

Tasting: July 12, 2017
Style: Double IPA
Beer #: 1,078
ABV: 8.0%

Stoneface Brewing Mozaccalypse

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.

SRM

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.

canning/bottling dates:

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.

Stoneface Brewing Mozaccalypse Double IPA

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.

Visit the Brewery Website

Some fun infographics about beer

How about a random post on one of my favorit beers

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Solid Gold Good Times, Magnify Brewing and a few extra treats...2nd Anniversary

l to r: Up, UP & Away, DDH Rock Me Dr. 'Said, Solid Gold Good Times, Fellow Travelers

(C) popsonhops

Magnify Brewing: Up, UP & Away (8.5% ABV), DDH Rock Me Dr. ‘Saic (8.0%ABV), Solid Gold Good Times (8.5% ABV), Fellow Travelers (8.0% ABV)

First beers up are made in collaboration with Sand City Brewing from the northern coast of central Long Island. In the late 19th century, there were a number of sand mines operating in Northport, New York. One of the most notable was Steers Sand & Gravel, who gave the industrial area the nickname “Sand City.” The brewery’s website notes that the sand from Sand City was used to construct the streets, bridges, and buildings in Manhattan. “They built greatness from something so infinitesimally small”.

As a footnote, I was surprised to see Steers had a connection here as my father and grandfather both worked for Steers. My father told many stories about Steers and their part in the construction of New York and New Jersey.

Up, Up and Away by Magnify Brewing and Sand City Brewing

Tasting: May 29, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer # 1,062
ABV: 8.5%

Not as opaque as some of their other offerings from Magnify. The can notes that it is double dry-hopped with Galaxy hops (the hop variety that produces the most oils). Surprisingly, I don’t get much in the way of aromatics. Slight whiff of basil. Taste is a different story. This ale is juicy for sure with fleshy pineapple and sweet strawberry. Bitterness comes from lime, and grapefruit flavors. Up, Up and Away has a puckering dry finish. I’ll note that it does not have throat burn like some of their other beer. Easy drinker and dangerous at 8.5%. 93 points.

Magnify Brewing Fellow Travelers

Tasting: June 2, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer # 1,063
ABV: 8.0%

Fellow Traveler definition: Not a member of the party, but sympathetic to their ideals…hmmm. Or simply, one that travels with another. That one probably works better as the two breweries both opened for business in 2015. Sand City celebrates their second anniversary later this year (October). Where the aromatics were lagging in Up, Up and Away, they are certainly present here. Very straightforward brew, 89 points.

The next two offerings were made as part of Magnify Brewing’s second anniversary…

Magnify Brewing DDH Rock Me Dr. ‘Saic

Tasting: June 5, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer # 1,064
ABV: 8.0%

Loved Dr. ‘Saic 93 points, Didn’t see much in the way of any discernable difference in Rock Me Dr. ‘Saic 91 Points Actually, I nitpicked on the bready malt base but it was still a good beer. Add Double Dry Hopping to anything, and you’ll have my attention. This incarnation returns to 93 point status. Excellent.

Magnify Brewing Solid Gold Good Times

Tasting: June 9, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer # 1,065
ABV: 8.0%

Nice subtle dank flavors out of the gate. Hops are really complex of passionfruit, kiwi, and guava. Malt backbone is subtly sweet. Some minor back palette burn. Entirely drinkable, Solid Gold Good Times, 92 points.

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Contractual Obligation Magnify Brewing And some Headaches to go with that.

Contractual Obligation by Magnify Brewing and Headaches Double IPA by Magnify Brewing

ho(C) 2017 popsonhops

Tasting: May 5, 2017
Style: Double IPA
Beer #: 1,057
ABV: 8.5%

Contractual Obligation Magnify Brewing

Purchasing hops as a start-up brewery is a tricky proposition. The explosion in craft breweries has led to short supplies and the pick of the crop is committed to breweries that are (you guessed it), contractually obligated for the purchase of hops. New breweries are somewhat at the mercy of what’s available and have to work with what they can acquire. Think of owning a new restaurant that can only buy only certain ingredients or certain grade meats. While demand remains high, even a hop contract doesn’t guarantee you what you want, but it’s the best you are going to get when demand outpaces supply.

I’ll note that both of these offerings were released previously. The first release of Contractual Obligation commemorated Magnify Brewing’s own hop contract more than a year ago. The brewery’s popularity seemed to skyrocket shortly thereafter and the lines have seemingly grown with each subsequent release.

Contractual Obligation Magnify Brewing pours an opaque orange color. Really looks like orange juice. I’ll mention that this beer has grapefruit and mango added. You can really pick up some fresh grapefruit flavor. Maybe a bit too much throat burn to make it a classic but still a really nice beer, 91 points.

Tasting: May 6, 2017
Style: Double IPA
Beer #: 1,058
ABV: 8.2%

Headaches Magnify Brewing

Not as turbid as Contractual Obligation Magnify. Starts off with some minor dank smokiness but has a predominant tangy grapefruit in the mid-palate. Some minor pineapple and mango. I think Contractual Obligation wins the day by default Magnify Brewing Headaches is a very respectable and likable beer, 88 points.

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Creeker by Ithaca Beer Company

Creeker by Ithaca Brewing Company

(C)2016 popsonhops

Tasting: November 23, 2016
Style: American-style Double/Imperial IPA
Beer #:1,027
ABV: 8.5%

Creeker

The United States just surpassed 5,000 operating breweries. Neighborhood breweries seem like the neighborhood bakeries of the pre-supermarket era. It also seems like we all live within two miles of a local brewery. I hope yours makes good beer.

The first known brewery in the United States opened in lower Manhattan in 1612. By 1860, there were 1,269 breweries operating in the US and more than 1,000 of these breweries were located in Pennsylvania and New York. The number of U.S. breweries ballooned to a previous high of 4,131 in 1873. This number rapidly shrunk with the development of an expanded rail system and better equipment.

During prohibition, breweries were mothballed or converted. They produced non-alcoholic near beers and soda. There were more than 30 breweries operational within two months of the repeal of prohibition. In 1983, US breweries hit a post-prohibition low as there were only 80 breweries controlled by 51 companies. Six of these companies controlled 95% of all beer production.

This beer is from the Finger Lakes region of New York and was a gift from a traveling friend. Judging by the Finger Lakes Beer Trail there are no shortages of breweries there either.

Ithaca, New York is located in the Finger Lakes region. There are eleven long and comparatively narrow lakes. Each lake points somewhat in a north/south direction and are fairly parallel. On a map, it looks like the earth was scraped with giant claws. The giant claws being glaciers that ripped over ancient stream beds during the ice age. The lakes have steep rock walls that fall off to depths of over 400 feet.

Odd beer names usually get me thinking. Creeking is a type of canoeing or kayaking. It involves steep descents in shallow white water like those found in a rushing creeks or streams. They use specialized canoes and kayaks because these streams have lots of obstacles.

Onward, just because we’re here for the beer. Creeker delivers more mango up front. It also has some solid citrus underneath. Somewhat syrupy and smooth. Not very sweet and that’s okay. In conclusion, 92 points. Nice.

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