Another Friday filled with THAT! First off, we have the next ice cream counter IPA ready for lift-off. Blueberry Shake THAT! is ready to make your summer slip from so-so to super. Can a beer do THAT!? Yes. The answer is yes. The second installment of the Shake series is a totally hazy and turbid NE-style IPA with blueberry, vanilla, and lactose sugar sitting right at 7% ABV. And the color? Somewhere resting comfortably but unexpectedly between purple and blue. Cranky Old Guy Voice: “Huh? Blue beer? With blueberries in it? And some wacko-lacto-somethin’-or-another? Boy, back in my day, all beer looked like pee and tasted like it too. And we never put no gosh darn fruit in it to make it taste better. Pish-posh!” Well grandpa, the future is now. Actually, as of this writing, it’s about 13 hours away. 12 pm on Friday, June 16th, you can taste the future. No DeLorean required.
17 hours from now will also bring the first drops of Mosaic Citra THAT! from tap to glass to your taste buds and into your belly. Tim has been researching and working diligently, along with Jason McLaughlin, to hone in, refine, and get closer to our definition of perfection with the NE-style IPA. “Perfect” doesn’t exist, but this is a step closer. With each batch, the bitterness level is subdued a little more as it is here. But never fear, flavor craver- there’s still enough going on to make your taste buds arise from their slumber and awake from their sleep. There’s a fine line between refined bitterness and benign flavor. Personally, I prefer to err on the side of caution and keep some bitterness where it rightfully belongs in an IPA. But then maybe I’m just that cranky old guy. Takes one to know one.
See you whippersnappers Friday at high-noon.
Friday we came out with a trio of hoppy, hazy beers. Here’s the lowdown:
Strawberry Shake THAT! is a single version of THAT! (Totally Hazy and Turbid) with strawberry and lactose sugar added. The strawberry does what strawberries do. This is barefoot in the garden strawberry. This is not syrupy, synthetic Laffy Taffy fruit fallacy. The lactose sugar adds additional creaminess and the sweetness needed to make the shake SHAKE. Get this Zesto zinger while it’s around, which won’t be for long. 7% ABV.
Cashmere THAT! Pale Ale is a hazy pale hopped with Cashmere hops. I guess the answer is in the question with this one. Cashmere is a relatively new American hop. Low bitterness with a slightly thinner mouthfeel than THAT!’s bigger brothers. Summertime for sure. Only a couple of kegs of this one as well. You snooze, you lose. Another seven percenter.
Nitro Mosaic Citra THAT! is just tha…THAT! Doubled down on the hop combo for this hazer. Nitro beers in general, but especially IPA’s can be a bit polarizing. Some embrace, some yell BLASPHEMY from the mountain tops. Not that anyone cares what I think, but I’m going to tell you anyway. I dig nitro IPA’s when done to my definition of ‘properly.’ Conventionally carbonated beer accentuates, amplifies, and magnifies the hop aroma and flavor. For the hop character to stand on its own with nitro beers, the hops gotta be more self-dependent to make their statement. They gotta be DIY. They gotta be punk rock. They have to book their own show because no one is going to do it for them. Nitro IPA’s- the punk rock of craft beer. Either way, I wouldn’t trade nitro beers for traditionally carbed beers or vice versa. It’s good to have options. And if you want to explore this option, it’s even more limited than the first two beers. We only have one keg of the stuff – and no Crowlers. Nitro beers don’t like Crowlers. Remember, they’re punk. 7% ABV.
Earlier in the week we tapped Freaky Tiki. Freaky Tiki is a coconut and pineapple gose. Thus far, Freaky Tiki is one of those beers that gets flavor impressions all over the board. “I totally get the coconut.” “I don’t get a lot of coconut, but I totally get the pineapple.” And on and on. Me? Weird, odd nose that is probably more salt than anything. The flavor is the sum of its parts resulting in its own thing. Refreshing and delicious. If you put the beer in front of me with no description or power of suggestion, I don’t know that I would be able to pick out the flavors- which is beautiful. It’s mysterious. It’s Dave Brubek in its smile inducing accessibility while being different enough to make you want to dig past the surface to figure out what the heck is going on. Freaky Tiki isn’t tabu, we promise. Get Freaky. 5.6% ABV.
And speaking of getting freaky- get ready for Final Friday! What’s Final Friday? It’s a craft beer 80’s dance party done up Boiler style! Friday, June 30th from 9 pm – 1 am. Get ready to get down! DJ Matty Fresh will be playing 80’s greaties. You know you’ve always wanted a reason to spray two and a half cans of hairspray on your head in an attempt to look like Flock of Seagulls. Now’s your chance! And all in the name of craft beer, fun, fun, and fun. Final Friday will be held in Boiler Grand Hall which is on the third floor of the Grand Manse- the building in which we reside. You don’t have to dress the part to attend, but you’ll dance better if you do. $5. 21+
Over and out.
Watermelonlimebasil Double THAT! What the heck is that? I mean THAT!? It’s the next installment of our double THAT! series complimented with a trio of adjunct flavors. Our buddy Josh Fiedler got the idea to add watermelon, lime, and basil to the citrus haze flavor maze. Tim, and his cellarman Dean, were both on the fence with the idea almost up to the beer’s completion. Who could blame them? A hazy IIPA with watermelon, lime, and basil? Not only a whacky proposition but a tricky one to boot; “balancing act” is an understatement. But never one to back down from a challenge, Tim went about the task of making the flavors play nice, getting each of their respective flavors to shine. Plus, in spite of our doubts, we trust Josh and his culinary talent. He knows good beer.
The beer is a doozy! To me, the spice from the basil accentuates the hop characteristics of the beer providing the flavor foundation. The watermelon and lime dance across the top providing further citrus summertime. The result? A flavor profile I can honestly say I’ve never tasted before.
Beer with dimension tells a flavor story. And any story benefits from a soundtrack. A few weeks back, we tapped Double Peanut Butter Coffee Stout. While bringing said tapping to the world’s attention via social media, I quoted a song lyric from 90’s seminal Chicago post-hardcore band Cap’n Jazz from their song “Little League.” Hey coffee eyes. You got me coughing up a cookie heart. For whatever reason, perhaps laziness, I keep coming back to this song. It seems to accentuate the beer, at least for me, rather nicely. It’s zingy, fun, dynamic, energetic, fun, clever, familiar, but with a twist that seems obvious, but only after the fun fact. Gentle in some regard but only because it’s ready to burst. I can’t promise you’ll like the song just like I can’t promise you’ll like the beer. Well, I’m pretty sure you’ll like the beer. Give the song a chance.
Listen to “Little League.”
On Friday, we tapped the next chapter in the book of THAT! (Totally Hazy And Turbid) IPA’s. This version is an IIPA hopped with Galaxy. We did this beer with local home brewer, cyclist, and super nice guy James Ehrman. James’ nickname is “Ehrman Hammer” so naturally we called the beer Double Galaxy Hammer THAT! Naturally.
It’s a hazy, citrus, hop-hop hooray! Only by the name and ABV (8.5%) would you believe it’s a double. The bitterness and booze notes are low, low, low. Like a jazz musician, let THAT! warm up a bit and its true colors come out.
To me, the nuances of the beer are lively and fun. Us beer folk get pretty caught up shoving our noses in glasses half-filled with beer, squinting our eyes, looking for the meaning of life woven through the layers of beer sensory evaluation as we take that first sip deconstructing every bit of everything pertaining to that moment and beer. I do it too. But I have to admit, there are times I’m in a room full of like-minded individuals doing like-minded sniffing and sipping, and at some point during the process I feel like I could very well be in a Saturday Night Live skit. I then get paranoid and start looking for hidden cameras. Just kidding- about the camera part, not the SNL part.
Double Galaxy Hammer THAT! is a fun beer. Sure, you can evaluate, deconstruct, pick apart and put back together the beer. Admittedly, the devil is in the details and there are details here for sure. But you don’t have to take it to that level to “get it.” I would argue you probably should never have to do that to enjoy any beer.
Double Galaxy Hammer THAT!: the Ferris Wheel of craft.