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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Stone 20th Anniversary Citracado

Citracado IPA. Stone Brewing's 20th Anniversary Ale brewed with Citra Hops and Avocado Honey

(C) 2016 popsonhops

Tasting: September 11, 2016
Style:Double IPA
Beer #: 997
ABV:9.0%

Brewed with Citra hops and Avocado flower honey. Pours darker than I expected. A hint of honey, caramelized brown sugar, oily feel. It’s bitterness is of pine. Some earthy and dank. Nicely balanced but certainly enough to compliment 88 points from me.

Here are some of my past Stone Anniversary experiences:

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial Ale
Stone 15th Anniversary – Escondidian Ale
Stone 16th Anniversary
Stone 17th Anniversary – Gotterdammerung

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