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.


Cisco Brewing, Island Reserve: Saison Farmhouse Ale – MA has some fertile farms


Cisco recently killed it at GABF and Lady of the Woods has been received as a crowd pleaser by all accounts. I have enjoyed quite a few of their sours but remain relatively uninitiated with their other beers. Since this is a saison marathon, I could not rob you of this unappreciated (underknown?) gem. With their strong pedigree of sours, I expected this to go off the rails into a whole new realm. This did not disappoint and actually presented itself as one of the best american saisons that I have had in recent memory, straight up lemon lime on the funky tip. Highly recommended.

Having an island saison kinda makes me wonder about the farmhouse cred, maybe granary cred but do islands usually have a farmhouse on them? WHO KNOWS.

Cisco Brewers Inc.
Massachusetts, United States
Saison / Farmhouse Ale | 6.00% ABV

Label jazz:
Saison Farmhouse was fun to brew and is fun to drink. Buckwheat, oats, and rye fermented with Brettanomyces and a Saison yeast in a 50 hectoliter french oak cask. Herbs and spices grown here at the brewery replaced most of the hops. On it’s way into package it was treated to a host of microflora to create additional character over time.

A: This was a touch darker than I expected but by no means is offputting, it presents an amber and almost verges on the realm of the bronze in execution. Much like all the other saisons we have been seeing, the carbonation is intense and you have to go play a round of Borderlands and wait for it to subside. There is a nice webbing of lacing and spotty cling on the glass. I enjoy that whipped up lemon merengue, reminds me of when my alcoholic babysitter would let me mix soaps from under the sink together and breathe in the fumes.

I would hit this on the reg.

S: This smells amazing and goes a completely acidic lemon lime path very similar to last year’s old label Fantome Printemps, if you don’t know what I am talking about, I mean this:

Last year’s batch, Fantome Printemps

not to be confused with this year’s new label batch:

2012 Printemps THE RETURN

Anyway, you get a deep sprite and sierra mist with some carpet sample book that has been left in the rain. There’s a fresh grassiness to the finish and the whole things just reminds me of a fresh rain bodywash or something. Sure there’s some light breadiness on the backend up the whole beer is executed magnificiently, relative to my 11 year old palate.

T: This has an incredibly crisp apple skin at the outset with some white grape and bisquik biscuit in the middle providing some chewiness. There is a light clove aspect but largely the juicy aspects make this toe almost toward the wild ale realm ala Ithaca Brute. The cask and brett in this give it a fantastic finish that reminds me of an IMPROVED VERSION of Sanctification. I said it. Cisco killed it on this one, someone send me more plz.

It took hours of extensive saison research to reach these findings.

M: This is incredibly crisp and has a sort of chardonnay aspect to it with a brackish oakiness on the backend that makes you drill this like a negligent dentist. The fruit character and wine cooler aspect also make this approachable for all of your underaged sorority friends that you are trying to so desperately to impress. Get John Locke on them and disaow epistemological actions that you cannot confirm you performed. Feided.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable despite being drier than people’s eyes after watching Battleship. I enjoyed it thoroughly and it came across like kind of a hybrid between Printemps and Hill Farmstead E. in execution and drinkability, enough pumping up the unstoppable hubris that is Cisco Brewing, they did a hell of a job.

This beer is so good it is almost inappropriate.

Narrative: Skylar Jergens had hit his writers block. Well to be proper, it was a creativity block. Being the lead creative director at Mountain Dew entailed a mountain of responsibilities that he was heretofore able to manage. A quick glance around his spacious Pepsi Co office could evidence his series of achievements with high fructose corn syrup and water. There was his platinum bottle award for the inimitable Mt. Dew Code Red, the Pop Award of Distinction from the Midwest Conference for his Baja Blast, and who could forget his integral part in Halo Mountain Dew, brewed exclusively for gamers complicated dietary needs. Skylar tapped his pen on the legal pad and looked out the window onto the Missoula city skyline and wondered what combination of water and artificial sugars would be his next masterpiece. He idly rolled a tangelo in front of him and it suddenly hit him “HAY, WATER, INFECTED LIMES, AND ORANGE JUICE.” He clicked his Pentec pen and furiously began writing out the recipe for his new Mountain Dew magnum opus: Farmhouse Burst.