Beers in Review: From the Big Boys of Craft Beer

Today's BiR offerings will come from two of the most widely available craft breweries: New Belgium Brewing Company and Boston Beer Company (aka Samuel Adams).

We lead off with New Belgium's Citradelic Tangerine IPA, which comes in at 6% ABV and 50 IBU. The name says it all, as Citradelic brings the fruit through the use of Citra, Mandarina Bavaria, Galaxy, and Azacca (along with a half-dozen other varietals) hops and tangerine peel to infuse orange, orange candy, and grapefruit notes into this IPA. I personally also got a significant amount of grassy hop notes, along with just a hint of pine. The IPA pours a crystal clear orange-gold color, and I also found a mildly juicy mouthfeel and a medium-heavy body within this beer. This is quite the nice citrusy, fruity IPA. If that is up your alley, find this Citradelic IPA.

Next up is Sam Adams' Hopscape, which was, unfortunately, the substitute for the kicked keg of Bell's Hopslam. But such is the curse of supply and demand. Officially deemed a wheat ale, Hopscape pours a moderately hazy yellow-gold color, and comes it 5.5% ABV and 30 IBU. It's the Sam Adams winter seasonal, but to me it plays more like a spring beer. I got a whole bunch of prominent grassy and wild/dandelion green notes. I got less of pine, citrus, and a little bit of funk. It was a decent beer, and fairly good for Sam Adams. I could have used more of the lesser notes to make a little more complex ale.



Beers in Review: Been awhile

It's been awhile since I've done one of these. Admittedly, the start of football season has skewed my bar-visiting habits quite a bit, so I'm going to the beer bars less frequently right now. Regardless, I have a bunch of beers to write about now, so let's get to it!

Starting off our group of beers is one of the few Octoberfests I'll actually be writing about; rest assured, you will be able to check out plenty of Octoberfest beer reviews on the YouTube channel in the coming weeks!

Samuel Adams' Octoberfest had a nice copper color and brought a pretty strong malt backbone to play with other assorted relatively sweet notes. Most obvious were some mild fall spice notes--mostly cinnamon and I think nutmeg (they all kind of blend together for me)--and some very nice darker fruit notes. I picked up plum and hints of raisin and cherry as well. A slight caramel note also came out of the malt backbone. Overall, despite the potential for a sugar bomb, I found this beer to be fairly balanced. The sweetness was moderate and thankfully not overpowering.

Next up is a collaboration between New Belgium Brewing Company and Avery Brewing Company. Officially under the "Fat Tire and Friends" banner, Fat Wild is an American Wild Ale, and it shows, as the drinking experience leads off with a funky tropical fruit introduction. While other flavors came and went throughout the drinking experience, the funkiness was a constant companion that intensified as I reached the end of my glass of the ale. Other notes included a mild, caramel-sweet maltiness, as well some mild berry notes. I also noted the relatively unique mouthfeel of the Fat Wild as I drank it. I found it to be highly carbonated, and almost frothy, almost as if it were a cream ale or under nitrogen. It was an unexpected, though not unwelcome, feeling.

Our final beer of the day is a local White IPA from Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company. It pours a pale yellow color, similar to a light white wine, and the beer plays very much like a wheat beer to open, and an IPA to close. Some cloves and other spices, along with perhaps some mild graininess, before giving way to a mild piney hit and a decent amount of bitterness that carries through the back end of the drinking experience and lingers well after drinking. I felt this was a decent attempt at a somewhat difficult style.

Beers in Review: Two more for summer

It's been kind of a slow week, beer-wise. I bailed on a Six-Pack of News because there hasn't been too much going on, unless I want to write about ANOTHER beer coming to cans or the latest of A-B InBev trying to take over the world (which, admittedly, is a little bit soul-sucking). I may find one or two news items to write about this weekend, but no promises. The Six-Pack will return, as soon as there are interesting things about which to write.

I also only have a couple of beers to review. This issue, I guarantee, will be resolved this weekend. Both of these beers somewhat unintentionally fall into the week's Beers of Summer theme from Monday's video, so this all really lined up nicely. Enough chit-chat. Let's get to the beers!

Our first offering is a collaboration between Oskar Blues Brewery and the World of Beer bar chain, and is called American Summer Hoppy Wit. As expected, it pours a nice golden color and is pretty clear/see-through. Citrus notes dominate this beer, but in a way in which the bright witbier and yeast citrus notes blend well with citrus coming from the hops. There were also some mild spice notes, most notably some clove, as well as a very mild hop bitterness coming around at the end of the sip.

Second, and last, is the Nitro White Ale from Boston Beer Company, aka Sam Adams, and their fairly new nitro can project. The beer's color falls somewhere between lemon and orange, and is quite hazy. As mentioned, this can has a widget that releases nitrogen into the beer when opened, a la Guinness. This results in a frothy, creamy head of microbubbles, and a creamy mouthfeel. Mild citrus notes were the first thing that came to me as I took the first sip. I also get a bit of a unique flavor that comes from the nitrogen. It's hard to explain--it's not really a flavor, but every beer that's infused with nitrogen has a unique background taste that until recently I had just associated with mild English ales. Moving on, there are some mild spice notes, again with cloves but also maybe something like nutmeg or all spice/five spice. The mouthfeel IS creamy, as expected, and it has a pretty clean finish with little aftertaste, which is surprising for a beer under nitrogen.

Coming tomorrow: the Beers of Summer series, which totally always included this beer review, concludes with a video review of Holy City's Washout Wheat. See ya then!