So much Craft Beer, So little time Playing dead beer fridge catch up

My 15-year-old beer fridge went kaput the other day. I bought it for $199 so, I’ll consider it an honorable discharge. However, it leaves me in a quandry and I was forced to do an emergency evacuation of my craft beer to a couple coolers. I’ve had a few friends volunteer some fridge space but none made any promises of returning my full inventory. While I try and find a new fridge, I’ll do my part in trying to purge some beer that’s been building in my inventory. I’ll give some rapid fire thoughts on each…

A Beer Has No Name by Liquid Riot Bottling Company

Tasting: September 1, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,103
ABV: 8.2%

A Beer Has No Name by Liquid Riot Bottling Company, Portland, Maine

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Thanks to my friend, Mark for the goodies from Maine. I’m sorry to hear that his vacation was cut short. Dank hoppy and smokey underneath some bright pineapple sweetness. Hops include: Idaho 7, Mosaic, Citra, and Chinook Hops

Not sure why there isn’t love for this beer on Beer Advocate 85 points I like it a lot, 92 points from me.


Flume by Battery Steele Brewing

Tasting: October 19, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,104
ABV: 8.0%

Flume American Double / Imperial IPA by Battery Steele Brewing, Portland, Maine

(C) popsonhops.com

Another goody from my friend Mark. Lots going on with this beer. Herbal like black tea and lemongrass. Some underlying sweetness of honey and caramel. Bitterness is a little over the top but all in all enjoyable. 91 points.


Devastation by Brewery Vivant

Tasting: October 19, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,105
ABV: 11.6%

Brewery Vivant Devastation Double IPA aged in Bourbon Barrels

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Admittedly, this has been in the back of my fridge for a month. What’s left is yeasty, odd-flavored, sweet with some oak, vanilla and moss barrel influence. Really an odd beer. 75 points.


Big Timber IPA by Big Timber Brewing

Tasting: October 18, 2017
Style: American IPA
Beer #: 1,106
ABV: 6.5%

Big Timber IPA is an American-style IPA brewed by Big Timber Brewing Company, Elkins, West Virginia

(C) 2017 popsonhops

My first craft beer brewed in West Virginia crosses off state number 37 in my casual pursuit of beer from all 50. A gift from a friend that went to West Virginia. Maybe the first person I’ve known that has been to West Virginia. Very traditional IPA, lots of earthy pine and overpowering grapefruit and lime bittnerness. Has some balance as well with some distinct cracker-like malt. Surprisingly good. Big Timber IPA gets a respectable 87 points from me.


Burlington Beer Company, Chasing Rabbits (wheat IPA) and Orbital Elevator (American Double / Imperial IPA)

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Chasing Rabbits by Burlington Beer Company

Tasting: October 25, 2017
Style: American Pale Wheat Ale
Beer #: 1,107
ABV: 5.8%

Delivers black tea, herbal, and some white wine grapes. Mouthfeel is nice. Like it quite a bit, 91 points.

Orbital Elevator by Burlington Beer Company

Tasting: October 25, 2017
Style: American Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,108
ABV: 8.3%

Brewed with Oat Malt and Flaked Oats and it does deliver a nice mouthfeel. Dank undertone, bold citrus. Froot loops quality flavor. I liked Chasing Rabbits more but another nice beer, 90 points.

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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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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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Magnify Brewing Company, Fairfield, NJ Lupulin Powder?

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

(C) 2017 popsonhops

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

(C) 2017 popsonhops

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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