Six Unrelated Midwest Pours: a study of recent cetacean activity

At the outset let’s just acknowledge that these “reviews” are limited impressions predicated upon 5oz pours.  The very model upon which I heave derision is now being leveraged for content, I get it.  Let’s just grit our teeth and suffer through these quotidian appraisals. The pics are out of focus and the reviews, more so. I get it.  I don’t like what DDB is doing either. Let’s get today’s review over with, you get what you pay for on this tirefire of a wordpress site.


Let’s start with this bluebell and jasmine fastball served right over the plate.  Juice and produce crushed into left field. Holy fuck this is good, and I daresay that I prefer this to the stonefruit iterations.  That is wildly contradictory to all prevailing impressions, and blueberries can be divisive, but this is unquestionably tasty.  The best part of this is the yogurty Naked juice type of execution that, while acidic, never goes overboard and maintains both the juice and tannins of the blueberry which can be recalcitrant in almost every iteration this side of Lil Sal. The real star here is that whipped creamy mouthfeel, just look at it, it’s a god damn produce aisle parfait of Yoplait goodness. Get ur Chobani on, dont be a bitch about the synonyms.


Goose Island BA Dark Crusader.  If Cthulu was a parabola analogue that cost way way more to acquire, then this is a shittier riff on that model.  The body of this feels less substantial than the other Clybourn bottles, and the biggest issue is the crackle of pure fusel heat that needs leathering and a rubber band to form your palate.  It is a bucking bronco of oak and rye type of spice like pumpernickle bread and watery brownie batter. It’s hard to give this a pass when regular ass/non-infected BCBS is far superior. Bash Goose Island for having a canon stocked with OTHER world class stouts. That’s life.


I wish I had more to say about these adjunct fests from Side Note.  Read the label, then imagine that it is dialed in beyond your comfort zone and try to embrace that riparian character of rivulets that feels like a Sparkletts boosted porter in lieu of a stout.  If you want to go 3+ adjuncts, you need a platform for execution other wise you will rack your nutsack trying to grind that rail on your soaps. This is by no means bad, but the likes of Funky Buddha and Abnormal are doing non-ba stuff like this so much better that it is tough to really give it a gold star. You get the cinnamon, there’s a TCHO chocolate execution that is easy to drink and never feels flabby, but the lack of criticism doesnt amount to praise, it is by definition, unremarkable.


Holy shit dat photo quality.  You already know that I love Clara, and I get nocturnal emissions over the PnW Gin barrel mastery from Upright and De Garde, but can HF replicate that Oregonian swagger? This is unquestionably an awesome beer and an improvement upon the already awesome Clara, but it feels “safe.” I use that as a pejorative in the context that Casey beers are “safe” and present control and balance, hitting that Aristotelian mean of spice, barrel, mouthfeel, acidity, and herbaceousness. Why is this a bad thing? Well to most gin averse dipshits who were already crying over the recent Gin Nocturn, they will love it because it understates the purpose of the endeavor.  In an odd and unconsistent position, I want almost MORE juniper and menthol from this.  I am not saying give me a pack of KOOLs and some street dice, this is still an awesome beer, but the frothy and body with the medicinal aspects of say Upright Special Herbs, in this instance hit the bullseye more completely. Tl;dr everyone will love this beer, I have picayune nipple chafing complaints.


This beer is still untitled so I guess I will give it a disrespectful nominalization like BLUMMATION after the illustrious Josh Blum who opened it.  This has coffee and vanilla in it, holy shit stop the presses, innovative bean flicking alert. It is basically summation with a different base that is heftier and more dessertier.  Calm your taint, it doesn’t wander into the Souther Tier realm, let’s be realistic here.  I don’t know how much I am at liberty to say about this “unreleased” (insert homebrew jokes/every beer is unreleased etc.) beer, but suffice it to say, their ability to massage that flawless Cycle body with additives that never feel belabored or ham fisted.  This beer tasted like a Punnett square of dominant genes from Kit Kats and Whoppers. 5oz was perfect, but how credible is a note that “THIS DESSERT BEER WAS NOT SESSIONABLE” what kind of fucking Wonkaland would you inhabit that this is a legitimate insulin defying gripe?


Speaking of which, Rare Scooop, holy fuck.  This is Wonkaland cunnilingus sponsored by Baskin Robbins, 31derful stouty flavors.  I wanted so badly to pull the reigns on this sticky steed and drive the carriage off of a hype cliff but I cannot.  This cannot be tamed, it is too good.  For something that seems unfocused as shit, it shines amazingly and delivers on every promise, particularly the magnificent strawberry profile. It would be easy to dismiss the decadence of a beer that tastes like neopolitan ice cream, but I legitimately could smoke an entire bomber of this, I don’t know how they did it.  On paper this seems without grace, a Red Bull BMX backflip you pull out just because you can.  Oddly, the majesty of the pistachio and chocolate waft comes across like a dollop of spumoni ice cream.  I can’t reconcile the ideation of this beer with how good it is, and that Kierkegaardian conflict leaves me only to rely upon faith.  As much as I jab at Florida and their additive stout game, who can honestly in clear conscience pull down this Ben and Jerry’s statute from the central plaza?

Oh would you look at that, 1000 words, I can clock out.  Go suck your own tits.



Hill Farmstead Barrel Aged Dorothy got me Blanche in the face

First and foremost, thank you for being a friend. Today we have a wine barrel aged treat from those Verde Mont ballers, ostensibly it is a pale ale of sorts, but on the low, the base beer is basically an aggro-hopped saison.  Lesbihonest.

The first couple batches of Dorothy weren’t my absolute favorite in the Hillsboro lineup.  There was a sinister pine and weed resin to them that was a touch too sappy in execution when placed against the innumerable other phenomenal offerings.  Different strokes, palates gonna palate.  However, Hill Farmstead’s barrel program is basically that machine that transmutes Urkel into Stefan. So what happens when you give the appellation shortening treatment to Dorothy’s sticky oily bones? Let’s find out:


At the outset, you will have to field quips from some dumb fuck who notes with NASA precision that LOL THE HOPS IS FAED IN THE BARREL. Yes, thanks for pointing out that blunt, completely fucking obvious epigram. However, the tradeoff is well worth it in this endeavor as I will swap the composted leaves of hops for an elegant wine barrel complexity every day of the week.  The look of this beer is exactly what you would expect, that radiant rubbed brass infused with milky microcarb that clings in rings like your rectum on exiting anal beads. The rusticity units are off the scale with that frothy microcosm of beautiful particulate suspended in the substrate like an entire economy of agrarian sea monkeys toiling under the barrel aged sun.

The nose has tempered the hoppy profile of the base beer in a fantastic way.  It ratchets back all of the pencil shavings and raked pine needles in lieu of this ebullient sun-soaked linen, white grape, tangerine zest, and grand marnier waft.  I wasn’t expecting this oddball to enter the realm of Floras and Arts, but it is unquestionably throwing hoppy grapples in the same weight class.

The taste is exceptional and the foundation is nuance and balance with every slab of oaky concrete laid. There is this refreshing dryness like pear skin, but with a sidecar containing a christmas magic, fir and spruce scissoring lovingly with the oak profile.  It is bitter but has an faintly acidic hype man laying down a sick back beat for these creamy 16s. It exceeds and accomplishes what Sue sought to do, integrate the depth of that hoppy dab but loaded into a classy bedazzled oak rig.  Fatty clouds of wine tannins fill the cafe, all the sommeliers are lit AF, dunking macaroons in Chablis.


It fails to reach the post-storyline epic loot akin to Art, Ann, or Peconic, but it stands out.  It’s like picking Dazzler in the 6 person X-men arcade.  People might talk shit, but it lays down a different kind of palate beating that is elegant and sexy.  The result is a product that surpasses the base beer so completely that it makes you question the need for the existence of the base beer at all, that Dark Lord syndrome.  That is a good problem to have, when your own products define the parabolic arc of your ballistic farmhouse aims. We all thought Gratitude was better than hard boiled quail eggs, that is until BA Grat came out and made our hoppy conditioned boners so hard that a kitten’s claws couldnt scratch them.  The barrel aging makes a massive difference and I can’t return to the likes of Noble King or the Holy Mountain riffs on hoppy saisons without this in my periphery.

Since you can pick this up for half the cost of entry as Art, it is a no brainer that you absolutely should seek this out.  I can’t think of a comparable American offering that fills the interstitial gap that BA Dorothy does.  Maybe if you french pressed BFM x225 with some montueka? However, minus points for not calling this beer
“DRO” it practically writes itself. COME ON.


Side Project Biere Du Pays, The Intersection of Max Quality and Minimum Hype

It would be a massive understatement to note that St. Louis is enjoying fertile fields of trade crops.  The rains are bountiful and regular, and even the “dismissed” releases like Fuzzy b2 compel other regions’ finest offerings.  As such, between the massive cliffs of Frambois du Fermiers and the sheer face of Tete du Cuvee lies a valley of cool babbling brooks.  These shaded offerings are the seldom tread paths and uncelebrated riparian streams laced with glinting gold waiting to be tapped.  The regular Bles, the dismissed Grisettes, even then brow furrowing Marietta: the secret StL gems.

Today’s review is the finest trap door farmhouse spider, lying in musty wait for the unwary consumer to stumble into the lemony web.


I had my suspicions about this beer.  The grisette in my estimation was better than many of the highly touted “raffle time” ticks.  These feather soft, low abv, soft spoken libations get stomped far too regularly and for all the time people spend prolapsing their buttholes to obtain Derivation_X-subscript.DLL  this beer presents a comforting alternative.

The pour is effervescent and crackles with orange pop rocks and a mild sustain of foam without lacing.  That De Garde ground bloomer of smoke and sizzle that immediately subsides, dem sucrose krausening tones on the 1s and 2s.  The nose has a clean intense alkaline minerality like lime Pelligrino, tangerine zest, construction paper and above all else, lemon lemon lemon in your eyes and nose.  We need more lemon pledge. eh no….ehh no.  Mr. King no es home.

This is no Avril nor is it a mug of chamomille on a cold day.  You will face acidity, but it will never reach the labial vestibule.  Like a tightly crafted timepiece, this flows with sun soaked radiance that almost reminds me of a baby Brute, for those of you who are old enough to even remember Ithaca Brewing.  There is a jasmine and clementine juciness that makes up for the water thin body.  Part of me wants a bit more of a substantial yogurty grist to the body, but then again, maybe I should realize this isn’t a grisette and appreciate it for what it is.  Notwithstanding, the comparisons to Clara and Lady in Gray are inevitable and this takes a more tumble dry heat in contrast to the musk and funk of the hangline drying attendant to the former.


You can crush this beer and it quenches thirst without drying or bleaching the your palate’s butthole.  If you have ever been poor enough to make a GatoradeMosa, then you will already anticipate the light carb, faint salinity, and lemon lime squeeze to this.  It’s the type of shit they serve you at a day spa while you wait for you garish mud scrub or whatever the shit that recent divorcees are spending their alimony on these days to feel actualized.

By all means, still go ahead and chase the Arts and Westlys, no one is saying dont do that.  All I am saying is this is something akin to the Mazda speed3.  Sure no one will lose their shit when they see it, but deep down you know you got something special on the cheap, even if it has a gaudy FUBU jersey mesh interior.

What are we even talking about again