This can was a gift from a friend. Overall, I’d call it interestingly unique. Tree Bucket has a strong Belgian influence of clove and spice but fairly complimentary pairing to the grassy and lemon hops. I like it mostly for its change of pace. Interesting and well-done execution of a hybrid style, 88 points.
Tasting: May 28, 2017 Style: American Double / Imperial IPA Beer #: 1,088 ABV:8.2%
Brewmaster Jack Hoppiness is a Warm Pun
I’m a sucker for suggestions from beer clerks and this single can came as a suggestion while buying some SingleCut in Warwick, NY. Up front, I get some potent lime with some minor tangerine and biscuit, cereal grains. Some sugary syrup and a little boozy astringency. Not bad, but wouldn’t seek out again 87 points.
Tasting: July 30, 2017 Style: American Double / Imperial IPA Beer #: 1,089 ABV: 8.0%
Exhibit A Hair Raiser
Pours very clear rich amber color. Has herbal, clove and black pepper up front. Takes some time to acclimate. Does balance with some melon sweetness. Mouthfeel is somewhat syrupy. Hops offer some mild citrus. All-in-all, well-balanced beer. 90 points.
Tasting: August 27, 2017 Style: Bourbon-barrel aged Imperial Brown Ale Beer #:1,090 ABV: 10.5%
Dark City DCBC 1
Usually, bourbon-barrel aging will lend complimentary flavors of vanilla, oak, earthy woodsiness. This influence in this can of DCBC 1 is far from complimentary as these may be the only flavors. Oh, maybe some booziness to boot. Almost like they left a little too much bourbon at the bottom of the barrel (wink-wink). Luckily, I like bourbon influence enough to give DCBC 1 a score of 88 points.
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.
A week after my 2016 visit to Tree House Brewing in Monson, MA, the brewery announced that they were breaking ground on a new facility about ten miles from the current facility. The initial prediction was that the new facility in Charlton would be operational sometime in June of this year. It was pure fantasy, but a part of me wished that they would make a stealth announcement about the new facility opening (like The Alchemist) while we were in transit. But no such luck. We had to (settle) on visiting Tree House in Monson.
If you go…parking
I know this will be outdated advice once the Charlton facility opens but if you go…here’s how visiting Tree Hose works now.
They have three lots. One is on-site and may hold about 50 cars. The next lot is across the street and my guess would be about 75 cars. Further down the street is the third lot in a field and that holds more than 100 cars. Parking isn’t an issue and there are attendants that will direct you. My advice…the first two lots are fine. If you find that you’re being directed to lot three, remember people in the first two lots will come off the line first.
If you go…the wait
We’ve been lucky so far. The lines move very fast. Don’t be discouraged if you are in the third line switchback on the field. It’ll only be a 20 to 25-minute wait. They’re great with the line. It has been my experience that full allotments will last a few hours after opening.
If you go…the allotment
On Wednesday, the brewery offers strictly cans. Usually two offerings, six cans of each. They say that the brewery opens for business at noon but depending on the parking, they may open earlier.
On Thursday, the brewery offers two additional offering and usually, they will distribute a total of 8 – 12 cans in total. They also offer growlers but of late they’ve been limiting to two vessels. I’ll note that they standard classics are usually available Wednesday and Thursday. The same guidance on parking and early opening apply here as well.
I haven’t been to the brewery on either a Friday or a Saturday but following their releases on Twitter, I notice they offer less frequent releases on these days. Cans and growlers. It might be a gem like a Curiousity release or an annual release like Ma, Bear or Tornado. They also have a limited pour license and I’ve seen those on Saturday.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to contribute some information about the new facility soon. Cheers.
Tastes like a tropical paradise. Aroma and flavor of smooth citrus oranges and tangerines, and some pineapple. The waves of flavor roll in and out on every sip and don’t linger on the finish. Very drinkable and very enjoyable, 94 points for Tree House Bright Citra.
Another beer, another song lyric. Did you guess? The dog may be from the Dire Straits video, Money for Nothing but the specific lyric is from Dire Straits, Sultans of Swing. Not sure why but every time I hear that song it reminds me of Freshman Baseball practice. I think I just bought the 8-Track (yes, I’m old enough to have bought those). I played the bejeebers out of that song.
As far as the beer, really nicely polished with a lot of complexity. Peach, mango and definitely some citrus rind. A boozy astringency cuts through a syrupy sweet base. Very drinkable, 91 points.