Finback Meridian & Cool Enough IPA Queens, New York

Finback Meridian and Cool Enough

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Finback Cool Enough
Tasting: June 24, 2017
Style: Brux IPA
Beer #: 1,070
ABV: 6.3%

This is known as a Brux ale. Brux as in short for the yeast associated with making this ale, Brettanomyces bruxellensis. One of four sub-types classified under Brettanomyces. This yeast is found growing wild all over the world and is often found on the skins of fruit. The name Brettanomyces is a combination of Briton (as in English) and myces (as in fungus). A patent for the strain was granted in 1906 to the Carlsberg Brewery.

Brett ales aren’t my go to style but this Brux IPA from Finback is smooth and entirely drinkable. My first impression is its polished mouthfeel. I don’t get the barnyard flavors associated with brett and no acerbic flavors either, just crisp with a tad bit of fizziness. Tropical flavors of melon under solid pineapple. The finish does diminish and leave off bitter after taste. Solid summer beer, certainly exceeded my expectations 91 points.

Finback Meridian
Tasting: June 24, 2017
Style: IPA
Beer #: 1,071
ABV: 7.0%

Meridian as in a longitudal line that runs from North Pole to South Pole. Interestly (at least to me), Websters reports the word as being in the top 30% of all words. Of course that got me thinking, what is the most popular word in English? Can you guess?

1 the
2 be
3 to
4 of
5 and
6 a
7 in
8 that
9 have
10 I

As far as Finback Meridian, it is probably as mundane as the use of the word the. Entirely drinkable and nearly flavorless. Totally meh and worth about 85 points only because it isn’t offensive.

Read my thoughts on some better offerings from Finback

and while you are checking out links:

Visit the Finback Website

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Grimm Artisanal Ales, Grimm Magnetic Tape a world before cars drove themselves...

Grimm Magnetic Tape

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Tasting: May 24, 2017
Style: IPA
Beer #:1,061
ABV: 6.4%

Grimm Magnetic Tape

As a child, I couldn’t fathom growing up in my parent’s generation. Life with no television? My kids probably think the same way. Life with no iPads? They’ll wonder how we survived without having instant gratification at our fingertips. Carrying the generational divide progression one step further, I think my grandchildren might someday wonder why we had to physically drive cars?

This progression doesn’t stop us from being nostalgic for what seems like simpler times. My parents longingly reminisced about their families gathered around the radio. In the same way, there are certain iconic things that serve as reminders of my own generational divide. Things that come to the top of my mind are spindle adapters. You know, those things you put in the holes of your 45 rpm records? This label makes me reminisce about music and the days when you could own your music in an individual physical form like a cassette tape. As a precursor to playlists, cassettes could be recorded and played in the car (wow, that was mind blowing 70’s moment).

A serendipitous beer blog moment, magnetic tape or the recordable medium in cassettes was invented in 1928 by German, Fritz Pfleumer.

Grimm Magnetic Tape details from the brewers:

Magnetic Tape is the cousin of the beloved Magnetic Compass. Both are oat single IPA’s pairing Mosaic with an interesting hop from New Zealand. Where Compass uses Rakau hops, Tape uses Motueka. This beer is all about big, fresh, radiant tropical fruit character from these two matchless hop varietals. There are no rough edges, just full and round aromas of melon, mango, and citrus. High drinkability quotient.

My thoughts

Grimm Magnetic tape is full and round. Remind a lot of that syrupy mouthfeel from fellow New York brewer, Other Half. I get massive orange zest bitterness at first but once my taste buds become accustomed, I pick up that melon sweetness. Really enjoyable, 93 points.

The Grimm details of Grimm Magnetic Tape

Grimm Artisanal Ales was founded in Brooklyn in 2013 by Joe and Lauren Grimm. The Grimm’s story mimics many others that have turned their passion for home brewing into the reality of commercially making beer for the masses (at least the nearby masses). Their story has a bit of a wrinkle in that they are nomadic brewers. Like notable nomadic brewer’s Evil Twin and Mikkeller, Grimm produces their beer by contracting with established facilities to bring their recipes to fruition. It’s an interesting model in that they certainly avoided the massive start-up costs and they don’t have to deal with rents, labor, and equipment. This particular beer was brewed at Beltway Brewing, Sterling Virginia

Visit Grimm Artisanal Ales website

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Peak of Ripeness Magnify Brewing Company A Slice of Someone Else's Pie?

Magnify Brewing Beer Cans

oo(C) 2017 popsonhops

Tasting: April 24, 2017
Style: IPA
Beer # 1,054
ABV: 6.5%

Peak of Ripeness

While waiting on a line for beer at Magnify Brewing, I had an interesting thought. Well, interesting to me anyway. One-hundred-plus people on this line were about to buy about 400 cases of beer in one afternoon. I wondered if many of them would bypass local beer stores as a result of a well-stocked fridge. From the looks of this particular crowd, probably not many. However, if the number of craft beer brewing operations continue their collective production trajectory, I have to think it will negatively impact stores at some point and more importantly, New Jersey beer distributors.

In case you haven’t noticed, the New Jersey distributors have a powerful lobbying group and some inside help from one particular assemblyman see –  Wineries Direct Sales . They didn’t get their way here but they bullied the burgeoning industry for years. In the case of craft beer, they have a skin in the game as they represent many out of state breweries on our shelves. Once sales start to dip, watch out. They will be looking for blame and a slice of someone else’s pie.

Anyway, off my soap box and onto the beer.

I believe this is the second can release for Peak of Ripeness. I recall showing up for its first release just to have the last cans sold right in front of me. There was a guy with a full case of Peak of Ripeness walking to his car and I asked if he would trade a single can for some fresh Night Shift, Santilli. I was surprised to be turned down.

Actually, I think the original release of this beer started the Magnify Brewing frenzy. I recall a Facebook post calling this a juicy New England style IPA. Well, I’ll say it has a juicy quality as it is pithy, grapefruit, white wine grapes, dank. Really solid IPA, 92 points.

Read the Magnify Brewing Story Here…

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Leo v Ursus Fortem Firestone Walker British Lion vs. California Bear

Leo v Ursus Firestone Walker, American Double / Imperial IPA

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Tasting: April 26, 2017
Style: American Double IPA
Beer # 1,053
ABV: 8.2%

Leo v Ursus Fortem Firestone Walker

Even though I have seen Firestone Walker’s familiar sparring bear and lion labels, until now, I hadn’t considered the back story behind the mascots. The brewery’s website offers up this explanation:

The lion and the bear represent brewery proprietors and brothers-in-law David Walker and Adam Firestone. The lion celebrates Walker’s British heritage, while the bear is a nod to Firestone’s California roots. With claws out and fists up, they mirror the spirited sparring that has been a driving creative force behind the brewery since day one.

Now the Lion and Bear offer up a new progressively changing series called Leo v Ursus. Each successive release should come quarterly and should involve some experimentation. The brewery even hints that they will address fans’ wishes as well. Hmmm. California dreaming of some east coast style beer? We’ll see. Progressive series aren’t a new concept at Firestone Walker. If you recall, they introduced the popular series they call Luponic Distortion – 91 points.

Fortem was mentioned in Paste Magazine’s article Best Beers of 2017, so far. Not sure how they had a chance to taste every beer in such a short time but hey, they have click requirements and lists do wonderfully.

Tasting notes from the brewery: Fortem presents an expressive mix of aromas, including mango, blueberry, raspberry, lime zest and lychee. After time in the glass, it opens up to reveal stone fruit blossoms and mandarin oranges, finishing with just enough bitterness to encourage your next sip.

If it could only taste like that. I wouldn’t call Leo v Ursus Fortem Firestone Walker one of the best beers I’ve had in 2017. It’s nice and I’d put it at 90 points. Has not-so-ripe pineapple, some papaya and sugary candy. Fortem also has an astringent bitterness and leaves an oily mouthfeel.

Check out the Firestone Walker Facebook Page

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