Let’s Review 11 Danky wax dab IPAs 420 g13 purple kush this shatter piece fire fam LOL 69

OH SHIT shout out to all the 8th graders who read DDB, u must b supr excited 4 2day!! (420 SUH DUUUEEEEE)  So in totally predictable fashion, let’s review 11 IPAs and get blunted on those volcano R00R gravity B hits, Skyler’s mom is out of town LOL what a bitch!


Ah more random Texas ticks from Jase Hicks.  This was shockingly easy to crush and easily my favorite DIPA to enjoy in an elevator. The hop profile was like pulled weeds, smashed dandelion, and it was like they used 5x Saaz or some weird copious amount of low alpha acid hops in it.  It was easy to drink and had an almost european simplicity to the body akin to Kernel brewing.  Shit was deece.


Luponic Distortion was world’s better than I was expecting.  The usual Firestone verve embraces this overly malty, old AF double jack bottles, questionably expensive, UK meets Warrior hops fetish that is not my jam.  I saw a glimmer of hope with Easy Jack, but I can even more easily Jack it to this.  This is so so dialed in that it reminds me more of a Julian Shrago Beachwood special with that freshly waxed pubis cleanliness, finishes without any oily drag or pine cone residuals.  The nose and taste are gemini warriors presenting lightly aserose evergreen, but switching to a mango pith meets grapefruit.  I am sure the hops are all like EXP-114302948, in their pre-codename phase,  so that’s like knowing a band before anyone else, a beer for HOPSTERS amirite.


This beer from Russian isn’t an IPA but holy fuck was it horrible.  This may be the grossest misuse of the word “premium” in the history of the English language, or the slavic cultures take wide liberties with what a “premium” designation entails.  This is essentially Keystone Ice, with a full tablespoon of table sugar added.  So it has all the horrible corn and asparagus water you expect, with an underattenuated DME/Wort closer to ensure you will not be able to drink that much of it.  If you asked me to finish a bottle of this or watch Ride Alone 2 in its entirety, it would be a hard contemplated dilemma.


Melvin brewing.  Fucking finally.  I wanted to try these guys a half decade ago when they were some undercover operation called Thai Me Up, and the wait did not disappoint.  In a great irony, waiting for their offerings almost made it all the sweeter because they are still operating in late 2000s type of execution while the hop battlefield rages on in other segments.  This is one of those TIPAs that are alllllmost as good as Pliny the Younger in both drinkability and nuance.  It is a beast to wrangle with a huge luponic blast of cut lumber, crushed yard trimmings, yucca plant, and a flowery finish akin to jasmine.  This is no fruit bomb, this is straight up sawed plywood with a lightly fusel ethanol closer.  The carb is frothy and works well with this borderline too excessive TIPA.  You absolutely should check this beer out if you love things that operate in the massive hopped realm.


CRUSHIN CANS ON THE VENICE CANALS ELLLL AYYYYY LIFE BRUHHH. Nah but in all seriousness, I used to give Highland Park shit for their IPAs at the outset because they were toooooo fucking clean and attenuated, there was nothing left for those Ellis Island Oil Refugees to cling to.  This has markedly improved over the past year and their first canned offering shines amiably.  You get the incredibly thin body and corkboard drillability of their other offerings with the classic mosaic and citra one two rope a dope.  That hop combo almost seems like a cliche at this point, like industry buzzwords smashed together “NETWORKING SYNERGY” and shit.  But the beer itself is a gentle melon and cantaloupe with a ficus grass finish.  You don’t get the typical onion/chive thing that can occur with mosaic and you dont get the grapefruit pith from citra either, the whole thing feels refined and tasteful.  An incredible offering to have locally to be sure.


Holy fucking marketing gimmicks ahoy.  El Segundo has been clipping along and ekeing out their mastery of SoCal hops for years now and despite this being what appears to be a clear cashgrab (Steve Austin opened these during the WWE Massive Tumble stepstool match or something) it is actually a very solid beer.  This is as predictable as it gets: citra, chinook, cascade, which reads something like “My fourth homebrew attempt, THIS ONE WILL BLOW UR MIND!”  Thankfully it has a restrained maltiness and allows those old staples to interact in a way that is one part shallot and baby kale, and another part tangerine slices dipped in vape oil.  This beer is fine, but El Segundo clearly brewed this with the intent to displace some Natty Ice for “fancy AA degree beers” in the HOP 3:16 marketing demographic.  Can’t wait for the Goldberg Spear Dortmunder.


Of all the beers I am reviewing today: this beer is the fucking best.  Waldo’s Special Ale was a 4/20 exclusive, the Lagunitas answer to Pliny the Younger of sorts.  It boasts a massive abv, a gargantuan hop profile, and somehow reconciles those two into an incredible dynamic of lupulin, light heat, sticky danky resin like knife hits off the stove, and a looooonnnngggg tangelo finish.  It has that sort of Hopslam viscosity to it, which would be a drawback if it weren’t compeltely necessary to offset the seriously insane amount of hops going on here, you partially expect the substrate to separate out with how oily this is.  If they sell this in 6 packs, you should have to have a Cannabis card to purchase it because you will get fucking rekt quickly. This has a slightly offputting solvent sort of finish that is tempered by the sweetness, but looming over everything is this hoppy overseer with a pine/nuggy/redhair scimitar that closes like overripe grapefruit pith.  If you deny that TIPAs can be complex, I urge you to try this beast that is treading dangerously into the American Barleywine realm.  Try to find Waldo, then go back and look for his shoe and his cane and his books or Wizard Greybeard’s hops or whatever.


Ah the classic MPA style.  I took an online course and got my MPA from Everest College, now look at me, I am a hop systems analyst. Hubert “M”PA by Melvin brewing is…fine. This is a largely forgettable, malty, sweet and king fir romp in the mid 2000s realm of “pale” ales.  It has this sort of crystal saccharine profile coupled with a not exceptionally drinkable hop character that may resonate with dudes who enjoy Nugget Nectar, but it was not my jam.


These secret New Mexico gems began peeking in the old BA top 100 four years ago and they remain that paleolithic “missing link” between the west coast IPA and the current hopcake phenomenon that we are enduring.  In sum, this beer is nothing short of fucking amazing.  I rarely see these ISO’ed and I suspect anyone who gets distro from these guys just crushes these mercilessly. This reminds me so so much of the pre-acquisition Nelson with a light haze, that onion and garlic meets blast of orange and pineapple.  It is endlessly crushable and a complete treat every time that I have it.  I love the apricot coffeemate finish that lingers like gelato after the swallow.  This commands your attention and your life is incomplete until you try it, your Untappd hole remains Un…tapd.


Oh shit throw a Glad bag full of used tampons into hype furnace: Toppling Goliath’s famed TIPA, King Sue.  To be honest, this is one of the least impressive beers within their already staggering catalog.  With even “boring” offerings like Golden Nugget and Pseudo Sue being so well done, this feels a touch imbalanced.  Waldo was a touch boozy, but this is lightly fusel without the charm of a Tool roadie in a headshop: there’s not enough dro nugs. This is lightly creamy but moreover finishes long and dry like sex on MDMA. You get the apricot and it is rolled in Glade plug in “forest rain” scent.  It is a big big hoppy beer, and it never is too sweet or cloying, but it just isn’t that FUN I suppose. How do you measure this odd variable? I could finish the bomber but I wouldn’t swipe right again on a second glass exactly.  Lightspeed is better and Sosus sweeps the leg and leaves this lumbering giant on its back by contrast.


Let’s finish this massive review up with the shittiest of the Treehouse cans: Sap.  That is kinda like saying the Boxster is the shittiest in the Porsche lineup: people are still gonna be dripping from the waist down.  This boasts a solid blast of chinook and just came across as far less fruity, less substantial, less juice banging, and more of a gentle duraflame log from across the pond.  As a result this is exceptionally drinkable but it fails to really command your attention the way some of the other noteworthy Treehouse cans do.  This feels like the artistic cousin to La Crosse star, Julius.  I am all for diversity, and this is far from a bad beer, but for the cost of entry you can find local analogues without twisting your hop cones raw.

So in sum, there are diminishing returns in hoppy beers as local ultra fresh analogues have the capacity to stomp other IPAs.  On that note, the very few hoppy beasts that are coveted are that way for a reason and ultimately, those rise above the oily progeny and command those Fedex BUXXXX. Alright, grab a buddy and help me light this 6 foot ROOR, we are celebrating ARBITRARY HOLIDAYS CENTERED AROUND WEEEEEEED DDDUUUUUEEEE.


Trillium Brewing Just Got 5 Hop Cones in the Source: Hot in those MA Streets

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.

beers taste better bokehed

beers taste better bokehed

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.

trub a dub dub

trub a dub dub

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.

the meringue whip

the meringue whip

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.

poppin shots at them MA haters

poppin shots at them MA haters

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.

just look ffs

just look ffs

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.

honorable mention

honorable mention

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.


Guize Let’s Review Four Beers from Saint Archer before the Storage Wars Marathon Starts.

Like baseball, the beer world is a sphere with a tight orbit. Revolutions come and go, epochs arrive within the space of a year, and sunsets cascade endlessly like so many sliders strewn across the horizon. As a result, beer consumers are assholes with elephantine memories. If a beer was infected during the Bush administration, you’ll be damn sure someone who wasn’t even into craft beer at that time will be spouting petty epithets. LOL BC FLAT ABEY and Hellshire II amirite? You can even give full refunds for beers a and there will be some dumbass fresh out of undergrad who wants to still mention BURERY IS QC PROBLEM.

Montage Pale Kids

Montage Pale Kids

This is the culture we live in, petty mouthbreathers who don’t often forgive and even more rarely forget.

In the spirit, today I want to review some beers from a brewery that had a PR face plant earlier this year, to give them a fair shake and see if the product warrants overlooking some baseball comments. Full disclosure, I don’t even sports so I could give a shit less what stadiums peddle what beers at which huge arenas funded by public money then named after shitty corporations. I care about sugar water, not vicariously living through people in better shape than I am playing professional versions of elementary school recess diversions.. Just so we are on the same page.

Let’s review some shelfies today, for a change of pace:

that Bt1 glass, a ghost from the past.

that Bt1 glass, a ghost from the past.

St. Archer pale ale:

Ok get ready for your nutsack to detonate with a de novo beer of complete first impression. No way, a California ale strain with two row, cascade, simcoe and citra. I guess I can’t really fault a simple design since that is the archetype for a million pale ale iterations in closet carboys as we speak. The beer is admittedly pretty if not a touch dark in hue to my sensibilities, but maybe this is one of those beers that craves a can format. The nose is more aserose, chive, a bit of melon, and a waft of ride on lawn mower. Pretty standard affair with nothing discernibly bad or noteworthy either.

The taste is watery, a bit of sap and pine, some shallot and a chard finish. Nothing that will give you pause one way or another. At a certain point what the fuck do you really want? Should every pale be zombie dust and edward? Can’t we just stop arguing over finances and agree that your mother in law cannot stay with us? This beer is fine, you could do worse, or you could pay less and buy Lagunitas and be in materially unchanged position. Who gives a shit.

I drank this poolside to test the marketing on "normal" people and it was received with much fanfare. I am a jaded old hermit with long balls.

I drank this poolside to test the marketing on “normal” people and it was received with much fanfare. I am a jaded old hermit with long balls.

Regular Ass IPA

WELP, if you loved the pale ale, you will really love the slightly larger version with more rear passenger legroom. This is better than the pale because of the finish having a touch more malt to balance out the vegetal pale ale aspects and the mouthfeel isn’t a water park affair replete with splish, splash attendant thereto. In the most crowded craft beer segment, this offers up an offering safer than a Latter Day Saint using two condoms.

AN excellent beer for BOOM CUP, if you know what that is. U betr axe sumbuddy

AN excellent beer for BOOM CUP, if you know what that is. U betr axe sumbuddy

In a blind IPA tasting this will hit the dead median by courting palates with accessibility over originality. It is world’s better than Sam Adams ipas or New Belgium’s Ranger, but from a smaller craft segment it has a tough time actively competing against Pizza Port or Three Floyds’ comparable offerings. Again, nothing to avoid and a solid grocery store pick. Price point is there, product is there, what more do you want from DDb? We live in a world awash with choices, so why are you making out with your second cousin? SHE IS CLEARLY ON MOLLY.

Now things are heating up.

Now things are heating up.

Double ipa:

One thing that you begin to notice while working through the St Archer lineup in reverse ethanol content, lowest to highest, is that you see that they maintain that Three Floyd’s sort of existence where they shine the most in the upper registry. Their marketing and branding seems wholly focused on some fresh fun San Diegan experience but I don’t buy it. Like those gems Arctic Panzer Wolf, Deadnaught, and Space Station Middle Finger, their Dipas are where the tires meet the asphalt. The St. Archer double ipa takes the muted aspects from the regular ipa and ramps them up beautifully. The malts are still restrained and provide just enough volume for that hoppy internal combustion to occur. It is sappy, pithy, a nice sweetness to the middle body that underscores the pine and baby kale. The tropical fruits sit idly in the backseat asking how much longer, kicking the alpha acid seat making you wish you opted for those coney flip down monitors in your India pale Aledyssey. It almost seems massively out of place relative to the rest of their gentle catalog and its a shame you don’t see it being pushed nearly as hard as the sessionable offerings.  Typical.  Hide the best shit, pump the forgettable offerings aka that Fremont Brewing strategy.

shit gets real when that TB2.0 globe hits the scene.

shit gets real when that TB2.0 globe hits the scene.

Mosaic Ipa
Alright now to the logical conclusion of this “saint bigger is saint better” archetype. The mosaic ipa is a massive 9% Abv arsenal of cut grass, wheatgrass, lemon zest, cantaloupe, and cut firewood cords. This one is not just phenomenal within the subset of the St Archer catalog, it is great in the global sense relative to all other Dipas, mosaic or otherwise. I know you will do a spit take but hear me out. This is seriously awesome.

Part of me feels like they dropped the marketing ball once again in a major way. At first glance this looks like a mild riff on the existing ipa, but no, this is an altogether different beast. The mouthfeel coats substantially and burns off under the press of its own oily disposition. They really should have done a better job establishing that this is damn near on the rails to bring a triple ipa, not just some standard ipa. It feels weird lambasting a brewery for not doing a better job explaining why their shit is amazing, since most self aggrandizing marketing is laughably bad. But seriously, the average consumer has no idea what they are passing over, and how could they?  This is a hulking giant of alpha acid firepower that craves your oral embrace.

I know most Vermont dipshits think DIPAs need to look like Donald Duck orange juice to be good. settle down.

I know most Vermont dipshits think DIPAs need to look like Donald Duck orange juice to be good. settle down.

In sum, St Archer is silently creating some awesome beers and their marketing team needs to direct consumer attention to these very relevant developments. No one gives a shirtless uncle fuck about the blonde, or the innumerable predictable riffs on a california ale strain. If they are gonna make massive delicious beers like this mosaic (d)ipa, then sign me up for that and leave baseball and the low abv bullshit off my radar.

Tl;dr the mosaic is awesome so buy it, baseball isnt srs bznss.


Guize, Let’s Review Five Different Other Half Beers to See How the Other Half be Livin.

Let’s talk about these fellas at Other Half Brewing. The New York beer scene is interesting in itself and mirrors Los Angeles bber culture in many ways. It is ever a hub of incredible beer bars and a simmering cauldron of activity in the craft beer world. However, the action of simmering is an exothermic reaction to external forces, and the two metropolitan areas function as weathervanes from external change. SD bubbles LA’s britches. Sure New York has their share of Captain Lawrence’s, Ithacas, and Southamptons smattered around the landscape, but the driving pulse lies largely in the icy north.

So today we have an upstart that is carving their own legacy in reviews and trade ISOs: Other Half Brewing. Lets find out if these stand on their own or merely mirror facets of the frozen Vermont population living north of the wall.

I only pop you when its half ,past five.

I only pop you when it’s half, past five.

Mosaic ipa
This is seemingly the paradigm of reactionary given how many fucking breweries are leaning hard on Mosaic hops almost exclusively at this point. It is the CITRA hop of the 2011 era. This is a gentle beer across the spectrum that delivers exactly what it promises, a fistful of chive and shallot, resin and a floral finish. It is highly crushable and very well done.

that TB snifter getting mad max mileage

that TB snifter getting mad max mileage

The only reason j can fault this is due to the fact that there are x to the nth power of other breweries doing the exact same thing. It’s like being super impressed with a paper towel company. Just buy the ones that clean up child vomit and get on with your life.

Certified whiptixxx in the subbydoobaruu

Certified whiptixxx in the subbydoobaruu

Galaxy ipa
Essentially the same as the mosaic with a bit more creaminess to the mouthfeel. It comes across as drier and more refreshing albeit less drillable than the mosaic. This is an overall better beer but the hops are such a fantastic panacea that you would have to be a pretty shifty brewer to drop the ball on a galaxy brew. It’s no HF double Galaxy, but likely better than what is available at your local bottleshop.  If this is regularly on draft at Blind Tiger and the like, an incredible new crusher has joined those NYC ranks.

I mean, I do that, I make time for that.

I mean, I do that, I make time for that.

Hop Showers
I have seen so many people seeking out these iconic cans and I feel that this is the best example of infectious marketing this side of those insufferable Rogue bottles. Sadly, the beer itself is nothing to go crazy over. It feels like some two row that was fermented too high and somehow still has a residual sweetness to the body that calls back to the Founders ipas from days past.  There is a notable sense of honeydew and almost menthol herbaciousness to the swallow.

You get that link I sent you of a woman havin sex wit a bee?

You get that link I sent you of a woman havin sex wit a bee?

I guess it’s greatest sin is that it doesn’t really command your attention or demand contemplation . For some people that would be a massive merit to their IPAs, but not for this salty worn out leather donut of brackishness. The can art carries the day for what would otherwise be a forgettable entry. Not bad but nothing you need to open an incognito tab for.

The fact that this is sold in any kind of multiple can format is amazing and horrifying at the same time.

The fact that this is sold in any kind of multiple can format is amazing and horrifying at the same time.

All green everything TIPA

Ah yes the triple ipa. A style no one but novice hopheads begs for, a style breweries continue to fuck up time and time again by scaling up ineffective DIPA recipes, an often flabby mess replete with crystal malt or honey or some other stupid shit. This is the style that elevates the beta casual hop lover Into the trading and reviewing ranks. Thank god for this style, for its unending comedic effects.  The line for Pliny the Younger extending longer with soccer moms and asian foodies every year, Sunset magazine running spreads on Triple IPAs, disenfranchised cousins sending you TIPA links at work, ah yes.

last week fucked around and got a triple double

last week fucked around and got a triple double

Sadly this beer is one of those 5% of TIPas that are actually exceptional. It is really good and still svelte to an extent. It never raises to a fusel problems, never stumbles into a dank american barleywine, and fails to oil its hop cones in the bedsheets. This finishes slick and woody like shop class, I love the weight of the mouthfeel and this lacquer closer reminds me of an amazing lemon pledge cocktail: that sounds gross but this is amazing. It has power and balance like a young Bo Jackson in his prime. The first taste is oddly clean with grapefruit and Twbgerine zest. This draped over the long line finish makes for a really great beer.

There’s likely nothing like this available at retail and this comes scary close to the Boneyard Notorious levels of God tier greatness. ISO this. Srs.

If there were a farmhouse in NYC that shit would look like the house in UP

If there were a farmhouse in NYC that shit would look like the house in UP

Barrel aged Brett saison
No brewery can be the master of everything, go try Hill Farmstead’s dortmunder and you’ll know what I mean. That sentiment is what gave me pause when I poured this other half saison, it looked pretty tasty. The nose was present and accounted for, some Brett c and cardboard paper, mandarian oranges. It feels genuine and inspired from a hop focused brewery, this can’t be right. The taste brings things back into the “pretty good” realm enjoyed by the likes of Prairie. This beer reminds me of a more tame version of Jester King biere de Miel, not overly sweet, not annoyingly acidic, a fantastic Orange Julius mouthfeel but lacing a haymaker to compel your returning attention. If this is priced in the $12 range, stock the fuck up like the T-virus was just unleashed on raccoon city. If this is in that ridiculous $20 realm, then perhaps it’s time to diversify your portfolio with some Vapeur or Blaugies.

So as to be expected, some amazing offerings, some forgettable ones, but in sum, Other Half is certainly worth a once over and there appears to be great things on the horizon.


New Session IPA and a new Crowler Machine: @Hangar24brewery is Attempting to Moisten their Nomadic Desert Customer Base

Hangar 24 has been making discrete moves lately. Always a vein of bubbling tar taking shape in the form of Puga variants, sure, but there seems to be a layer of strata that has promise to yield precious materials. I will defer comment on that pending release of the q3 info. Suffice it to say, their wild ale program has been manifesting in the desert in that airplane hangar like some Inland Empire Weapon X project, turning out drunken Deadpools. BUT WILL THEY USE THEIR SPECIAL RIVERSIDE ABILITIES FOR GOOD OR EVIL?

I used to have a H24 second anniversary glass. I have no idea where that shit went. Probably broke it, typical DDB negligence.

I used to have a H24 second anniversary glass. I have no idea where that shit went. Probably broke it, typical DDB negligence.

Hangar 24 Brewing, Redlands, CA

4.6% abv, Session IPA

Like most breweries operating in hot climates worth their salt these days, they have a massive canning line and now an attendant Crowler machine. That means I can’t really talk shit on those wild expensive stupid Bavarian growlers that they used to use. I mean I can, but it just would be even more petty at this point.

So today we are taking a look at a Crowler of their first batch of session Ipa. If you follow Ddb, you can already predict the tired tropes and threadbare parody connected to this style. You get it, I get it, just pretend I made all those jokes for the tenth time.

So how does this stack up against the staples like Founders and Ponto in this overcrowded high profit margin genre? WELP, it is two row malt and maybe a pinch of caravienna but watery is the splashy undercurrent throughout. I will leave you to contemplate how thin the body has to be for old ddb to complain about a lack of Crystal or Pilsner to beef it up. WERS TEH BEEF.

The nose is an IED roadside fragmentary explosive of mosaic and shards of Citra shrapnel. It is radiant and pumps sunlight and lemon pith through your pores. If you have had one of the innumerable mosaic forward beers recently you know the grassy meets orange peel and chive sort of character this presents. Shallots? Sure why the fuck not.

The taste is a dry blast of cut grass and summer chores. It just feels like manual labor. If I didn’t drink this they would pay an illegal Immigrant cents on the dollar to do a better job than I would ever do reviewing this beer. That’s not a racist joke, that’s economic commentary. It finishes with an Anjou pear skin dryness that leaves less behind than you even began with, thinner than books written by comedians. Basically go open up a bottle of yellow rose and add 20% more water. Tadaa, session ipa, such high yields. Much sessions, very crush.

File this one under "things you must own"

File this one under “things you must own”

It is refreshing as hell and in the top tier of this segment, however, without meaningful distribution and the body dialed in, this review will continue to present a glaring asterisk. Look for this when it finally hits market, if people aren’t already hella into ARTISANAL craft mineral water at that point.

Ddb jokes usually become reality around a year later.


Julian, Please: South Carolina Triple Scissor Session from a State Where Scissoring is Probably Illegal

There are plenty of new upstarts in the South Carolina scene these days and JulianB was ever so obliging in sending me these releases from places I didn’t even know I should desire. Today’s reviews are a triple scissor session, three reviews that fully comply with the stringent BeerAdvocate standards of being at least 150 characters.  It was daunting reviewing a beer and writing more than even a single tweet, but somehow, I DID IT.

Pull down old glory and nestle into your Skoal dip cup for today’s South Carolina reviews:

Oh shit the C&D from Planters is forthcoming

Oh shit the C&D from Planters is forthcoming

This Porter pours clean and has a great slickness to it, shiny black like wet vinyl on a dominatrix right before you pass out from asphyxiation. The carb is generous but never grabs your crab legs or disturbs you. So far so good: this is an archetypical Porter aesthetic.

The Nose reminds me of Edmund Fitzgerald in the way it imparts roast and watery dark chocolate in parity, cascading and twisting into a double Helix of Porter genetic information. There’s a bit of a mineral waft to it hard like alkaline but it might just be stone cold Appalachian water from them Carolinas. The nose has a bit of latent racism in it, undeniably terroir from the hamlet this Porter originates.

The taste is almost identical to Firestone’s walker reserve Porter and is just classic toe to tip. The problem with this, if you perceive it to be so, is that it become unremarkable in the clinical sense: I don’t have a shitload to remark about this. There are a million analogs of this in every market and it demonstrates Seminar’s ability to operate within the BJCP style guidelines beautifully. Beyond that I would be reaching to differentiate this touchstone Porter.  Through all of this you might be like “THEY PUT FUCKING PEANUT BUTTER IN IT” but that’s my point, it doesn’t make a meaningful difference besides some oiliness in the mouthfeel.  It’s a standard porter, open up a Motherless tab if you want some deviant peanut butter content.

The IPA, however, is much shittier. I have plenty to say about that one.

such radiant IPA tones, lightning in a bottle

such radiant IPA tones, lightning in a bottle

First and foremost: this ipa looks like total shit. “Thanks for the pour of this American barleywine” you quip, but oh no my friend THAT IS A SINGLE IPA. It is clear and isn’t murky or turbid but for fucks sake look at that SRM. It is darker than most amber ales and doesn’t seem to give a shit about appearing refreshing or helpful. This is the Targrt customer service desk of IPAs.

The nose is smashed leaves, pine cones, Rosemary, a hint of lemon and a long honey sticky sweetness as though this beer was made with 100% Crystal. It feels like a session american barleywine, were such a thing to exist.

The taste doesn’t move far from the expectations set forth in the nose, a forest frolic where you get poison ivy on your tongue. All that sticky resin and tree bark drives it decidedly far away from those Citra juicy juice dreams you may have been anticipating.

the lack of quality in this photo was the medium replicating the subject

the lack of quality in this photo was the medium replicating the subject

It is anomalous to see a brewery with offerings this bipolar in execution. Two pillars of standard execution, one completely classic and crushable, the other, some huge armed Umbrella corp Tyrant hop monster. I was almost a Jill sandwich.

But what about some crazy diabetus kraken from the depths of the deep south?

oh shit you guys notice the foreboding shadow connoting impending doom, low angle implying dominance oh shit u guize

oh shit you guys notice the foreboding shadow connoting impending doom, low angle implying dominance oh shit u guize

Finally let’s review some megastout that Julian figured I needed to try: THE FINISHER from CONQUEST BREWING in INSUBORDINATION, South Carolina. At a certain point we are going to run out of metal and Cardinal names for stouts and they will be like “Walter the almost vanquished accountant: imperial stout aged in xml spreadsheets”

Anyway, this is a 17.5% abv stout brewed with honey. I like to imagine a bunch of husky dudes In black patent malt stained work shirts like:

“Alright brew bros, it clocked in at 17% abv and 1.041 FG, what now”
” we’ll add honey, oh and uh BROWN SUGAR. fucking obviously.”

The pour looks more nimble than I expected and is actually pretty legit. It sheets with clear legs but never goes full DME mess. It has a sweeeeet nose of nestle quik, fudge, mallow foam, honeycomb and cream of wheat.  Go ahead and dip your graham cracker into this one, it is a tasty campfire treat. 800 calories right before bed to give you those stress dreams you so badly crave; YOUR TEETH FALLING OUR PHYSICALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY.

This was actually pretty delicious and shockingly never ventured into the intensely sweet and soy sauce realm that is Derk Lerd.  Despite not being barrel aged it had many components that would lead some to think this was a cognac or rum treatment, largely the brown sugar and tobacco roastiness I would assume.  Essentially this is a beer half complete as is practically begs for barrel aging.

Make it happen, Conquest.  Stop signing out of AIM while we are mid-cyber, leaving me with these BAL’s unreleased.


BREAKING NEWS: Pliny the Younger Declared Incredibly Rare, VINNIE CILURZO stands in OWN LINE FOR HOURS FOR A MERE TASTE

As if today hadn’t seen enough hard-hitting, solar plexus shattering news, DDB HAS AN EXCLUSIVE BREAKING STORY BROUGHT TO YOU BY CBS SAN FRANCISCO:


According to the video and article, co-owner and brewery founder Vinnie Cilurzo is ecstatic to try his own beer; so much so that he stood in line outside his own establishment, despite having keys, for over 8 hours just to taste Pliny the Younger.

If you thought Zwanze was rare, imagine not even being able to taste your OWN BEER AS THE BREWER: that is how limited this precious potation truly is.

The article even interviews an early 20’s Vinnie Cilurzo in the video, showing his enthusiasm for a beer that he has brewed for years, seemingly since before he could legally drink based upon the footage provided.

The article goes on to add:

“It’s supposed to be some of the best,” said Vinnie Cilurzo, who was first in line at 6:45 a.m. Friday. “We’ve been standing here since about 11 p.m. the night prior.”

I don’t see Patrick Rue standing in line to try Wineification, to try this TRIPLE IPA YOU GOTTA GO BALLS TO THE WALL IN RARITY. This is a clear example of a growing inability for brewers to be able to taste their own beer, making them resort to standing in lines or trading with customers, often switching places at the cash register to organize traders with the customers themselves. A truly epic day indeed.

The article closes with very sage words from the traditionally modest Cilurzo:

“Get it while you can, definitely,” said Cilurzo.”

UPDATE: CBS San Francisco has just been awarded a fact checking journalism award for their exemplary work on this piece. A magnificent day for beer and telecommunications at large.


@columbusbrewing Bodhi DIPA, Touch that Bodhi, Get All Up in the Bodhi, Put my Bodhi inside You

Alright, we can all agree that Christopher Columbus was a complete shitbag, right? I mean ok, he rediscovered a trade route, committed genocide of thousands/millions of natives, sold Carribeans into slavery, we all know about that; but he also probably never brewed a DIPA. If you do all that horrible shit and then never offset it with at least a quality beer, then, that’s just babystomp levels of wrong. Columbus Brewing would be the inverted analog to the imperialist mariner: solid land locked people with no boats, no imperialistic aspirations, and they brew a fucking amazing DIPA. I saw this lil elusive minx pop up on the old school top 100, back when the mics used to mean something, 95 was meant you were the shit, now a 99 is like the least you get. Mad props to BlacknYellow for sending me this sticky banger. Anyway, this is fucking amazing and the best hoppy offering to come out of the midwest in a long time. Sorry Head Hunter. This is vastly superior. This one is for you Sendsilk, stop complaining and let’s get up in that Bodhi.

Classic DDB form: skulled the entire fucking 2L solo while playing GTAV. Typical Tuesday.

Classic DDB form: skulled the entire fucking 2L solo while playing GTAV. Typical Tuesday.

Columbus Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States
American Double / Imperial IPA | 8.00% ABV

A: This is just beautiful. It isn’t that orange julius turbid mish mosh that HF presents, but it isn’t that deep gold SRM from west coast offerings, nor the ugly brassy east coast maltbombs: it is it’s own aesthetic. Looking at it, you wouldn’t think 8% abv DIPA, it looks like a tamer sort of Zombie Dusty affair. The carb held up well and there is light cling and little retention, but you didn’t put this hop porn in for the foamy storyline. You just want those hop oil money shots all in your mouth. Triple ropers.

Once this growler was opened I couldn't keep my mouth up off it

Once this growler was opened I couldn’t keep my mouth up off it

S: This has a fantastic floral meets citrus boquet that doesn’t dominate on either profile. At first it is a bit aserose and you have sad feels, but then that grapefruit comes through like pith on the backend lightening up the bitter Coen Brothers hop profile with a bit of Raising Hopizona. Jamean.

T: Again, the pine needles are swept gently into a corner with some smashed lemon and yard trimmings in a beautiful medley that is distinctively grassy, resinous, but bright enough to maintain that complexity. It is the halfway house between shitty east coast malt bombs and simplistic refreshing west coast citrus profiles. The ABV is masked impeccably, you wouldn’t even know there were bricks stuffed up in the spare moving mad weight up in this whip. Pine cones soaked in grapefruit puree, bottled with unfiltered sunlight. Straight ratchet and worth the hype.

People who dont trade will be all rustled and talk about how their local IPA is the best, lol, rite.

People who dont trade will be all rustled and talk about how their local IPA is the best, lol, rite.

M: This is exceedingly thin and all the better as a result. In racing they say “if you want to make your car do everything better, reduce the weight” and that is essentially what is going on here. This is a stripped down malty 240z with a fucking 350 of hops dropped into the chassis. I am not sure if this amount of resin to citrus ratio is street legal, but it def gives southeast asian kids erections. It washes away clean with an almost dry finish due to the oily bitterness that leave you with little recourse besides getting face down in it for another taste.

D: I killed this entire growler on a weeknight and wondered just what the fuck happened the next morning. My Roomba looked on in cold disapproval and swept up all the smashed goldfish from the entryway. This will get you on that Mossberg swerve to the point where, who knows, maybe you might get banned from a local establishment and/or beer website. Anything is possible with this minx. Highly recommended Boneyard/Alpine level shit. Seek this one out, srs.

It is like they took a classic formula and amped it up with speed, cornering and mid 90's extreme intensity

It is like they took a classic formula and amped it up with speed, cornering and mid 90’s extreme intensity

Narrative: Dwayne Clark knew that his grill was illfitting and he didn’t care to address the issue. The lack of balance was his calling and the street youth loved him for it. In urban circles this was an issue of ultimate reproach and he instead chose to clench his bicuspids defiantly. “What type of cheesy gordita crunch would you like?” “mhm.” He just felt the pang of knowing that his vestigial dental accessory was somehow subpar to the most luxurious on the block, but ornate and amazing in execution. “I shed, jush a regular scheesy gordita, crunsh.” He gritted his jaw knowing they were mocking his ostentatious purchase, the precious stones obfuscating his speech. It was sheer excess, to be sure. WHAT WAS HE SUPPOSED TO DO? TAKE IT OUT? That is simply not an option when you come so close to regal greatness. No sir, he resolved to show this grill in all of its majesty, despite the “minor” problems that he may encounter on a day to day basis. Dwayne would tend the danky vines in his grandmother’s basement and wait for the day that Interscope saw the true genius behind his radiant flows.


Fat Head’s Head Hunter IPA, Man There is a Pun Here…Somewhere….

Another single IPA has crept up into the Top 100, so in my most judicious whack a mole procedure, I automatically have to review this and that annoying ass Bodhi IPA from Columbus. One beer at a time. I posted an ISO for this and 3 people straight up offered to send this to me to review, other people offered to send me no joke like 12 bottles for completely reasonable trades. Nice people, those Ohioans. Ohio has much more than just vapid girls that they send to LA to become FIDM students, THEY HAVE AMAZING BEER. Edmund Fitzgerald, Jackie O’s, all kinds of treats. Anyway, let’s see how the midwest fares when it tries its hand at refreshing IPAs. (spoiler: this is a refreshing IPA, jimmies remain unrustled.)

Oh damn, classing up those IPAs on the reg with some stemware. It is like a Trans Am with a navigation system.

Fat Heads Brewery & Saloon
Ohio, United States
American IPA | 7.50% ABV

A: This is dead on for style and presents a dull yellow meets brassy orange glow with foamy carbonation with nice pasteurized bubbles to ensure consistency and that predictable old refreshing character. The lacing is present until the watery sheeting washes it clean. This just looks refresing, like when you fall face down into the marble tub after drinking hard in Vegas, you might be abusing it but it still feels so good.

With so many IPAs out there, it is easy to pick out the irritating ones. This is not one of those.

S: This is not exactly a hop bomb when you open it, but it isn’t exactly tame either. If we are using Alpine Nelson as a single IPA that goes HAM and let’s call Bell’s Two Hearted as a more subtle and deliciously refreshing take on the genre, this is somewhere in between the two. It gives you a light citrus with one fist and then delivers hard with a nice resinous pinch from the other hand. This is truly a nice transamerican representation of the single IPA in execution. Some people drink Bell’s Oracle and think that is the pinnale of hops, others swear by Bad Boy and cut deep and hard into their arms to prove it. This is like a very genuine mediator, crossing party lines (OH SHIT TOPICAL HOP HUMOR).

T: This is a careful bellhop that gently escorts you and carries all of your hop baggage for you. You get a light sweetness at the outset and then a nice blast of orange zest and light aserose is there to support the splishy splashy malts. It is like a Jdate encounter where you aren’t sure if you are going to get violated, but the coffee is good. The finish is consistent and washes away briskly imparting a light honey and sweet lemon note. I hate reviewing beers like this because they are exceptionally well done for what they are seeking, namely refreshment and moderation in execution. It makes my job a shitload harder when I can’t just rage on Mikkeller for 1000 words and call it a day.

Sure this beer may not be beautiful, or perfect, but it makes you feel good. Isn’t that enough?

M: This washes away with a crisp and watery finish that invites the next sip with some light drying from the hop oils but strays far from a tropical fruit or citrus assault. It also doesn’t leave you gasping with heavy handed pine usage. I am a bit surprised that the Imperial version of this is so lowly rated, but I guess if moderation is your selling point and you shave a rainbow swastica in your pubes, you just lost your fanbase.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and reminds me in a lot of ways of Blind Pig in the way that the entire affair is memorable in how subtle and forgettable it was. Maybe the selling virtue of some beers is how they simply don’t alter anything except your consciousness in a completely benign way. I don’t need to be tossing my couch into the pool when I have to take kids to school at 8 a.m. There’s a time and a place for everything.

When my bottle was empty, I realized that I only had one of these and kicked an asian child in the face. supes tipicals.

Narrative: “Ok, just breathe, they don’t know, smile, nod.” Bruce Lowenstein reassured himself with much trepidation. “Well as you can see, we have the market cornered with the tropical, well, not cornered but ::AHEM:: the sours, they contain the most, uh salt on the outside and, some have said ‘hey, Bruce, where are the new flavors’” This may be recorded as the worst Skittles board meeting to date. At the heart of it all was a single lie. Bruce filed his resume over 9 years ago with the Wrigley Corporation and now he was faced down by 12 dour-faced Japanese investors. “So, the salt, is exactly the need that markets, well specifically the Japanese market, as a uh, compliment to most raw fish dishes.” The rancor of his latent racist comments made them wonder as to his qualifications for serving as Head Chief of Marketing. However, his sweet demeanor made him hard to dislike. His Ritz yellow hair and crisp smile appealed to the Yamazaki investors. “AND THAT IS WHY ACAI AND WASABI SKITTLES WILL SELL!” Somewhere, a resume from 1999 was tucked in a drawer with “Speaking Skills” incongruously listed under “Hobbies.” That Bruce sure was a reassuring son of a bitch, he could help you keep you calm and enthused regardless of how hectic your current situation may be.


The Brew Kettle Taproom White Rajah IPA, All Hail this Indian Master

Time to swing the old geography around to show Ohio some love for something other than eating competitions and the award for most Big Dog t-shirts sold per capita. This beer pops up every once in a while on the top 100 and I figured I would give the midwest a shrift to see how their big guns stack up against California IPAs.

White Rajah is within the same lineage as Maharaja from beers that just toss around Indian terms with careless abandon.

White Rajah IPA
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA | 6.80% ABV

A: Deep orange with amber hues in the center, 1/2 finger carbonation, moderate lacing, a bit darker than most ipas, but a bit cloudier. Single IPAs are kinda like telling your friends about the hot Korean girl that you met, all adjectives make it end up seeming more pedestrian and unimpressive as a result.

IPA cant be walez, hurr derrr.

S: There is a bright aggressive hop profile, cirtusy and bitter to the nose. Not quite overbearing in the juniper/herbal notes, but still that pesky pine pokes its head in like an uncircumsized penis, all conspicuous and out of place.

T: This beer has a very balanced hop profile, not overbearing, not entirely cirtusy either, very light with a quick bitter finish, a profile that transfers from lemon to grassy and are similar to those other poorly done imperial/double IPAs, without a long standing lingering hop profile. Those god. damn. pinecones round things out and just overstay their welcome. This is pretty robust for a single IPA, but not my favorite offering when Sculpin and some other stellar IPAs are available on the reg.

When you have a nice, sessionable IPA, you get this warm hoppy feeling like snugs from a baby sloth.

M: The mouthfeel is exactly where it should be for the style, light finish with a biscuity middle to it that lingers for a bit, doesnt overcoat the mouth so that you welcome the next sip, almost to the point of drinking it too fast. I prefer this to many other jankier double IPAs because I feel like I can drink this without so much of a traumatic profile and continue to keep ruining people’s shit on Puzzle Quest.

D: I dont usually throw this around, but its an incredibly drinkable beer, it feels like a bolder pale ale simply due to its Trojan horse character that sends the abv and aggressive fast moving hops right into the Troy of your mouth. I am certainly able to drink well beyond the 12oz bottle and I think 3 would be perfect to get ready for a custody hearing. It’s an even more dangerous candidate given the relatively afforable price. Good luck finding a series of bottles to support that endeavor. I enjoy this beer but in LA its not too simple to find this beer, or even at all, so slap the Fedex guy on the ass and tell him to move bricks in the trap.

Too many IPAs will put your liver on swole, knock you down like a Goldberg spear.

Narrative: They said that after the nuclear war, there would be no vegetation, no life, just nuclear winter. How ironic, those shortsigted botanists, if they only knew. The hop plant thrives on depleted uranium. The nuclear war didn’t produce endless expanses of rubble, it created a lush verdant world covered in hop flowers. It stings my eyes to go outside with all the hop oils in the air and I leave the communal well smelling like Burning Man. I guess this is God’s sick joke, cover the earth in a beautiful, fragrant, unusable flower, what with all the malt and barley dead. Talk about peanut butter with no jam. Hopmageddon affected us all, but it affected Chardonnay drinkers worst of all.