Industrial Arts State of the Art & Metric Welcome to New Jersey

Industrial Arts Brewing State of the Art & Metric

(C) 2017 popsonhops

The beer introduction

Industrial Arts Brewing was thrust onto my radar screen last summer. While perusing the growler board at the Growler & Gill, Nanuet, NY, one of the beer clerks asked me if I had heard of them as she poured me a Tools of the Trade IPA. She noted that the owner had a pretty solid brewing petigree as he was brewmaster at Peekskill Brewing and had originally come from Ithica Brewing. I recall the beer being nice and took note that I should try a few more from this brewery.

Fast forward a year and I’m seeing cans from Industrial Arts brewing showing up on shelves here in New Jersey. Kudos Sarene Craft Beer Distributors. A relatively new beer distributor in New York and New Jersey that has brought us SingleCut, Pipeworks and Night Shift.

Industrial Arts Brewing

Opened in the fall of 2016 in the Garnerville Arts and Industrial Center in Rockland. The owner/brewmaster Jeff O’Neil, leased and meticulously renovated 30,000 square feet in a pre-civil war era building (late 18th century) into a high-end, world class brewing facility. The complex is also home to other artisans and industrial trade businesses. 

An article noted that Industrial Arts beer will be filtered through a specialty four-vessel system and O’Neil noted that he’s pretty sure doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.

The old world facility certainly facinates me and I hope to pay a visit to the tasting room at some point.

Industrial Arts State of the Art (Batch # 115)
Tasting: June 29, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,073
ABV: 7.7%

Industrial Arts State of the Art is probably the clearest beer I’ve ever had or at least in the last couple of months. I guess this is the quadruple vessel system at work. First few sips explode with major sweetness like ripe melon and honey. It gets run over by a stiff shot of lime and citrus rind. Has a some underlying earthiness and caramel. It also has a tad bit of a boozy burn. Mouthfeel is syrupy but smooth. I know my tastes have evolved and I’ve been bitten by the hazy, juicy bug but this reminds me of what IPA was just couple of years ago. Industrial Arts State of the Art is a very nice 89 points.

Industrial Arts Metric
Tasting: June 29, 2017
Style: Sessionable Pilsner
Beer #: 1,074
ABV: 4.1%

Crisp drinking pilsner. Has that characteristic sweet malt of melon with skunky hops. Finish spirals a bit with lemon and leaves an off bitter aftertaste. Still a nice example of a pilsner and one to enjoy crisp and cold on a hot summer day. 86 points.

Visit the brewery’s website

Read about an offering from Ithica Brewing

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General George Patton Pilsner by Evil Czech Brewing

General Patton Pilsner by Evil Czech Brewing, Culver, Indiana

© 2014 popsonhops

General George Patton Pilsner
Tasting: October 28, 2014
Style: Pilsner
Beer #: 638
5.4% ABV
48 IBU

A few weeks ago, I completed a beer trade with a guy that works at Evil Czech brewing in Culver, Indiana. As an extra, he included this bottle (sans label) of a pilsner called General George Patton from Evil Czech. I love the Patton connection, as the legendary General conquered his way into the Czech city of Pilsen in 1945 – the birthplace of the pilsner style of beer. Has a yeasty, banana/clove flavor up front which is a little surprising. Not much in the way of crystal malt sweetness. Hops are a little funky. Not the crispness I was expecting. I’m not impressed and the General probably would not be impressed either 75 points.

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Oktoberfest beer, Pauline, Hacker-Pschorr, Spaten and Hofbrau

Since Oktoberfest beer season is upon us, here is an entry from 2011 about Oktoberfest beer.

Here it is the middle of August and we are seeing the signs of fall on our beer shelves. I have seen a number of Oktoberfest and pumpkin ales appearing already. If you did not know, Oktoberfest is a German festival that dates back to 1810. It is held in Munich and lasts sixteen days — ending with the conclusion of the first weekend in October. So really, most of Oktoberfest actually takes place in September – this year (2011) it begins on September 17th and ends on German Unity Day on October 3rd.

The festival begins with the traditional tapping of the first keg by the Munich mayor. Amazingly, about 1.8 million gallons of beer are consumed during the festival. Only beer brewed within the city of Munich is served at the festival and they include six names that are familiar to US beer shelves: Hacker-Pschorr; Paulaner; Hofbrau; Lowenbrau; Augustiner and Spaten. So, if you are looking for authentic Oktoberfest beer — look for offerings from these brewers.

Like a lot of Oktoberfest beers, the traditional lager is called “Marzen” (translates to March). Since summer’s heat wasn’t conducive to producing (or storing) beer, this traditionally malty ale was brewed in Spring and consumed all summer long. The inventory spent the summer stored in caves and cool places. The alcohol level was also elevated to 5 – 6% to prevent spoilage. The remaining beer was consumed when the brewing season resumed in fall. So — essentially Oktoberfest is basically the equivalent of a big fridge purge.

I’m going to try and give a quick opinion on as many of the “big 6” Oktoberfest beers listed above.

Hofbrau Oktoberfest
Tasting: August 20, 2011

A lot of beer from mainland europe have that same distinctive skunky aroma and taste — and that’s what I get right off the bat. Once again, a light green bottle might be the culprit here as light is beer’s enemy. Very carbonated with large bubbled white head. The skunky flavor is a flash and it subsides to reveal a sweet lightish malt that is quite pleasant and right behind comes a crisp and bitter finish. This is more of a traditional German pilsner and not one you would think to pick out as a brew made for such a momentous festival. I could see enjoying this out in the hot sun in Munich — I’ll give it 85 points.

Spaten Oktoberfest
Tasting: September 7, 2011

Although it’s a Marzen/Oktoberfest – it’s also described on the label as a malt liquor. As mentioned in another post a malt liquor is just a beer with a high ABV — and years ago 5.9% was considered quite high. This one pours a light ruby brown with grayish white head that goes still quickly. It’s clear and you don’t see any carbonation — but it’s quite evident with my first sip — fizzy. It’s light in body and light in flavor. Slightly sweet and somewhat herbal. I don’t think I should have to concentrate on finding flavor – it should be self-evident. I’m not that impressed, 72 points.

Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest
Tasting: October 2, 2011

So, the Oktoberfest festival ends tomorrow with German Unity day. Like other European breweries Hacker-Pschorr can trace its history to the middle ages — 1417 to be exact to the Hacker brewery. Joseph Pschorr bought the brewery from his father-in-law in the late 19th century and established a separate Pschorr brewery under his name. It wasn’t until 1972 that the familiar name was born. You’ll even note that the logo on the bottle carries the symbols of both breweries. Admittedly, this is an annual purchase for me. One other quick label note – 5.8% ABV (right where you’d expect it to be). This Marzen pours a clear brown with a off-white head. The whole beer goes still pretty fast. Nice sweet nose — definitely get the pilsner malts coming through. That same maltiness follows through on the first sip. I describe German pilsner as a sweet skunky flavor. Really its a caramel over a subtly bitter hop (Alpha Acidity — or bitter hops are mild in Germany). Really nice mouthfeel, finishes very crisp. A lot of similarities with Hof Brau’s version — except Hof Brau was a notch sweeter – and this one looks like a fall beer should look – brown. I’ll put this one at 88 points.

Paulaner Oktoberfest
Tasting: October 5, 2011

As mentioned there is “the big six” among Munich Oktoberfest beers — This is my fourth from that group. I suspect that Lowenbrau and Augustiner will be hard to find but, I’ll keep looking. This one is also 5.8% ABV. It is also one of my contributions to the “pop-swap” this month. Our theme is Black and Brown. Craig argued that this shouldn’t qualify as brown — but after I pour this one — it’s definitely brown. Looks remarkably the same as the Hacker-Pschorr pour. It’s clear brown and quite still. A little fizzy on my first sip. The sweetness of the pilsner malt is subtle — almost too subtle. I’m picking up some biscuity bread flavors before a very awkward buttering hop closes this one out. I’ll have to put it well behind Hof Brau and Hacker Pschorr — at 80 points.

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Torch Czech Pilsner by Foothills Brewing

Tasting: July 3, 2012
Style: Pilsner
ABV: 5.3%

Torch Czech Pilsner

Foothills Torch Pilsner

This beer is advertised as a Czech Pilsner. Although it is sometimes considered its own style of beer – a pilsner is really a type of lager or bottom-fermenting beer brewed at cooler temperatures. Pilsner originated in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia in the mid-nineteenth century long after the Viking raids were quieted. So, I can’t say that I can connect the image of the flame-bearded Viking from the label to the home region of this beer. Regardless, it’s a pretty cool label. What makes a Czech Pilsner unique when compared to other pilsners? Czech Pilsners use Saaz hops and malted barley while pilsners of Germany utilized roasted grains and stonger bittering hops.

This particular offering was a gift from my fellow pop, Craig. He picked it up on a recent family vacation in North Carolina. He texted me to ask about beer requests and the first brewery that came to mind was North Carolina’s own – Foothills Brewing. They most notably brew a stout called “Sexual Chocolate” (remember Arsenio Hall in Coming to America?). I knew he wouldn’t find any Sexual Chocolate and asked him if he could pick me up any example from this brewery and here we are. Thanks Craig.

Torch Czech Pilsner pours a bit darker than I expected, gold instead of yellow. Grain on the nose. First sip isn’t as sweet as I would expect but not bad. An IBU of 35 is deceptive as it’s a little more bitter than that rating implies. Cracker-ish flavor backed up with grassy hop flavor. Nicely balanced and the finish starts out crisp but ends in an aftertaste that’s a bit clunky and herby. Overall a decent example of the style – and I could see enjoying this on a steamy hot day. I’ll put it at 85 points.

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