Craft Beer Catch Up including Grunion

Craft Beer Catch Up

© 2015 popsonhops

Grunion by Ballast Point
Style: Pale Ale
Beer #: 837
ABV: 5.5%

What a pleasant surprise. Grunion was entirely drinkable with bright citrus and melon notes and some really nice sweetness that brings it all together. I think that Grunion would be a good beer to share with craft beer newbies as it is smooth and doesn’t have a biting bitterness. I also think it’ll play well with the biggest craft beer snobs – I’m proof. Have to remember this one for next summer as it Grunion gets an easy 92 points.

Hop Pun by Carton
Style: Pale Ale
Beer #: 838
ABV:5.2%

Admittedly, I’ve popped open a few of these cans before sitting down to write this review. I should have known something was up when a friend gave me twelve cans when I asked him for four. Clunky muddled bitterness. Not a fan 84 points.

Holy Crap by Mispillion
Style: Imperial Red Ale
Beer #: 839
ABV:9.0%

This Delaware-based brewery is new to the Garden State and this big ABV imperial red ale was a great introduction. Has the signature caramel, toffee and dank hop flavors one would expect in a red ale. Alcohol does intrude a little bit but overall I like it – 88 points.

Junior IPA by Radiant Pig
Style: Pale Ale
Beer #: 840
ABV: 5.0%

Interesting beer that I got as a bonus beer in a recent trade. Not sure of the hop used but it reminds of Mosaic. Black tea, herbal, pepper, caramel with lemon undertone. As it warms it strikes me as somewhat dank and a lot of tropical complexity in the background. Junior IPA has a bit too much carbonation for my liking but is a crisp drink. Solid beer 87 points.

Overpass by Coney Island
Style: IPA
Beer #: 841
ABV: 6.5%

Not much to say about this IPA – muddled flavors, nothing bright, dank, crisp or distinctive. Maybe some caramel sweetness. very mundane – 84 points.

Pumpkin Down by Ballast Point
Style: Pumpkin Scottish Ale
Beer #: 842
ABV: 5.8%

I’m not a fan of pumpkin beer and I’m not a fan of Pumpkin Down. Typical pumpkin spices – cinnamon, glove and ginger. Was a gift so, I don’t feel bad dumping this one down the drain. 75 points.

Sweet Baby Jesus by DuClaw
Style: Porter
Beer #: 843
ABV: 6.5%

For obvious reasons, this beer was the buzz last Christmas with the non-beer geek community. My wife got this bottle as part of her grab bag gift. I’ve had other peanut butter beers, most notably,
Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Stout – 88 Points. Terribly thin but definitely nutty. More hazelnut than peanut. Too much carbonation. Meh… 82 points.

Floridian by Funky Buddha
Style: Hefeweizen
Beer #: 844
ABV: 5.6%

Came as a bonus beer in a trade that centered around me receiving a Last Snow from Funky Buddha. Delivers the typical banana, clove and some lemon zest. Not much to rave about. Very ordinary to sub-par. 83 points.

Wake Up Dead Nitro by Left Hand
Style: Milk Stout
Beer #: 845
ABV: 10.2%

The nitro makes it smooth and creamy. They don’t use a widget in the bottle (ala Guinness nitro cans). I assume it’s infused with nitrogen as it’s being bottled. Nice roasted flavors and aroma. Compliments milk chocolate and dark chocolate with coffee undertone. Really very nice – 91 points.

Cubano-Style Espresso by Cigar City
Style: Brown Ale
Beer #: 846
ABV: 5.5%

Mellow coffee and chocolate in a thin body. A tad fizzy. Entirely drinkable, not entirely interesting – 86 points.

Stowaway IPA by Baxter Brewing
Style: IPA
Beer #: 847
ABV: 6.9%

Baxter’s offerings are new to New Jersey’s shelves. This was a gift from a friend – Cheers J. Really exceeded my expectations. Nice caramel and syrupy sweetness offset by some earthy hops of pepper, black tea. I don’t get the citrus they describe but all in all, I enjoyed Stowaway – 88 points.

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