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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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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Magnify Brewing Company, Fairfield, NJ Lupulin Powder?

Magnify Brewing Release Day, Copious Amounts of Juice and Double Dry Hopped Vine Shine

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I think I should just have a Magnify Brewing page. They just keep cranking out new labels and I find myself a regular on their line nearly every other week. The line from a couple of weeks ago provided me with a mild surprise. I met a group from a western Philadelphia suburb that took the two hour ride for this release. I asked if Magnify had achieved a wider buzzworthy status? One of the guys said that he would compare the enthusiasm to Tired Hands. That’s a terrific compliment.

Two cans released on February 17th.

Tasting: February 19, 2017
Style: IPA
Beer #1,039
ABV: 6.5%

Magnify Brewing, Double Dry Hopped Vine Shine IPA

Magnify Brewing Double Dry Hopped Vine Shine

(C) 2017 popsonhops

I often talk about a beer “wearing out its welcome”. What I mean is that the flavor spirals downward once the beer “opens up”. Think of a wine. Swirl it around in your glass, release the aroma and mellow out the tannins. The more a wine is exposed to air the more it mellows out. I think of beer in the same way. Hops are fragile and once they are released and mixed with air, the experience seems to diminish. This is why Heady Topper suggests drinking from the can. I did pour this beer into a snifter and my first sip of Double Dry Hopped Vine Shine was amazing. Fresh pine and dank hop over just enough sweetness. As I worked my way through, the experience dropped. A little murky bitterness as the distinct flavor characteristics muddled. Overall, 87 points.

Next…

Tasting: February 18, 2017
Style: IPA
Beer #1,040
ABV: 6.5%

Magnify Brewing, Copious Amounts of Juice

Magnify Brewing Company Copious Amounts of Juice IPA

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Smells absolutely of fruit loops. Carries over briefly into the flavor until it gets run over by some mild dankness. Really crushable beer. Smooth and drinkable. Sixteen ounces just disappeared so quickly. Might be a bit mellow for some people but not me. I’d put Copious amounts of Juice at 92 points.

Two weeks later and I’m back on line. This time the releases are Flash Man and Citrapollo. Both are IPAs and both are first time canned.

Tasting: March 4, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #1,041
ABV: 7.6%

Magnify Brewing Citrapollo

Citrapollo Double IPA brewed by Magnify Brewing

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Brewery notes this Double IPA was hopped in both the kettle and dry hopped with Citra and Apollo. Some acrid hops. Certainly not overpowering but dank, smokey, resinous with pineapple undertones. This was the winner of the can release this week – 93 points.

Tasting: March 5, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #1,042
ABV: 8.0%

Magnify Brewing, Flash Man

Flash Man Double IPA by Magnify Brewing Company

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Lupulin powder is all the rage these days and it seems that Magnify Brewing is running full steam ahead with the new product. Lupulin is the yellow gland on the hop cone flowers where the alpha and beta acids and essential oils are found. A purified concentration of these resin compounds and aromatic oils was produced in Yakima in 2016 and has since become commercially available. Apparently, it is twice as expensive as standard hops but also twice as effective. It is also said that its use can help yields increase by several percent.

According to the brewery, Flash Man is loosely based on a draft only one-off and is brewed for their brewery dog, “The Flash Man.” Hopped with Amarillo, Simcoe, Cascade and Centennial and dry hopped with Simcoe pellets and lupulin powder, Amarillo, Cascade and CTZ (a blend of Columbus, Tomahawk and Zeus hops).

Has a candy sweet undertone. Pours fairly clear as compared to other Magnify beers. Nicely balanced. Overshadowed by Citrapollo, but certainly a nice Double IPA 89 points.

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