If you are like me, you are sick to your perineum of hearing about hoppy beers from the Northeast. Every other week it’s some new whipped egg yolk looking DIPA pitched with London Ale III strain or something unclarified with tons of messy ropes like cum in a hot tub. I get it, everyone wants their own Huddy Trooper riff. Usually the coat tails are gripped so defiantly that it is hard to separate the cone from the chaff and the prospect of taking a fedex flyer on hoppy beers from across the continental U.S. is not an inviting prospect.
These Trillium beers though, God damn.
Without qualification I can say that these are absolutely worth your time and I would be shocked if your unknown local brewery crafting beers out of a revamped Red Robin on some shitty third owner brewpub system are making anything like this.
At the outset the innumerable list of hoppy beers from Trillium appear samey in execution, but each shines in a distinct fashion. Melcher street is the more herbal and grassy companion on this Massachusetts stroll through dandelion fields. This is a stern east coast response to the likes of Societe’s Pupil. This pushes for angiosperms, conifers, and apricot on the closer.
No matter where you stand on the haze vs. isinglass debate, Melcher street tastes phenomenal and finishes creamy with a long sappy resin like a freshly stained deck. I can’t wait until someone with better distribution bites this style and does it marginally worse because I need this to be sitting on shelves, no courier intermediary needed.
Sleeper street is aptly named for much of the Trillium canon at this point. Sure you see ISOs for these, but I usually wait for the galvanized steel of hoppy beers to cool before I go treading upon unproven paths. This beer is not as good as Melcher but it still shows a capacity for variety within even the style that doesn’t usually get praise for nuance or depth. This has a kind of menthol and minty Sazerac 18 kind of woodiness going to it. There is a leafy oiliness to the mid palate and it feels earthy but still wholly refreshing like a woodruff shot or a fernet branca spritzer.
So in sum, this is a throwback of sorts to the Hoptimum era of massively resinous IPAs but ensconced in the framework of the frothy turbidity of the modern era. It’s like when Brendan Fraser emerges from the past in any one of his movies where he is a guy who is emerging from the past to adapt to new circumstances. Pick one.
But is that DIPA game strong tho? A resounding affirming head nod shatters my c1 in this regard. Upper Case is hands down my favorite offering from them and it heismans others squarely in the collarbone by taking the messy DIPA framework that HF Double Galaxy presented and presses it to an oddly refreshing realm. Usually these are hardly what you would reach for when you seek satiation.
“We hear you guys are digging our hop forward beers…so we busted out another double IPA to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. UPPER CASE has a delicate, dry pilsner malt character with a smooth, soft, doughy mouthfeel from the raw wheat, oily hop resin which all serves as a canvas for this twice dry hopped 9% double IPA. Overipe mango, pineapple and passion fruit aromas leap out as the beer is poured. The impression of tropical fruit also takes the lead in the flavor which is layered further by white wine, pine resin and grapefruit zest. Hopped primarily with Mosaic with supporting roles played by Galaxy, Citra and Columbus. We figured there will be considerable interest, so brewed 3 batches!”
I mean, god damn it. Sure this is not as balanced as the “perfect” DIPAs like Kern River Citra or HF Ephraim, but it is a novel entry into a sort of almost farmhouse meets ultra hopped 2 row realm.
I know your local realm has fresher, awesome DIPAs. No one is contesting that, but it likely doesn’t have this guava and pine explosion, it doesn’t have this grapefruit puree pressed through autumnal foliage, the ride on mower sits absently longing for the grow season, and this beer is the reductio ad absurdum of those devices. Absolutely top notch.
Not to appear one note: brewmaster Jack has been turning out some tasty beers as well. I was not as huge a fan of this as the adamantium hard lineup from Trillium, but it is still very tasty. You get grapefruit pith, mandarin oranges, pressed pineapple juice and a nice mineral clean finish without excessive oils. If you have a MA guy, have him also toss some of this Brewmaster Jack action your way as the whole region seems to be in a hoppy arms race where only the consumer is the victor.
Get that deep cone pump, throbbing oils, zygotes straight tumescent at full bud.