2

Victory Vital IPA: That PA Supergiant is Checking the Vital Signs of the Hopgame

Oh Victory, what a tremulant history we have shared.  They are that entry level brewery that engages your interest, then you outgrow, but then you embrace again when you are done moralizing and giving a fuck.  Victory Brewing is kinda like that uncle who did sleight of hand magic and always invited you over to his studio apartment, but then later you found out it was because your uncle was on house arrest for petty theft.  Eventually you come full circle and realize your uncle is pretty kick ass, despite his larcenous trappings.

So Victory is hazarding a branding reboot of sorts, embracing their first canned offering, and bridging the gap to a more accessible consumer base from what I can gather.  I mean look at this shit:

Embedded adjectives like a TGI Fridays menu and shit.

Embedded adjectives like a TGI Fridays menu and shit.

I think we can agree that the marketing is dumber than a Rice Krispee Treat dildo.  But remember, this is appealing to the type of dude who says “WHEN WE GONNA GET YOU OUT ON THE BOAT” non-ironically. The official press statement boldly asks “WHAT IF WE LIVED IN A WORLD WITH ONLY ONE IPA CHOICE” so I am guessing this is some Fallout 4 dystopian future simulator IPA.

One thing you cant deny is a pretty fucking legit IPA 6 pack for $9.99.  That was the reason I loved DIRT WOLF but price alone cannot be Victory’s savior because Hop Ranch was a bag of pulverized chive and garlic nutsacks. So where does this one stack up between those two polar opposites? Eh, somewhere in between, falling closer to the Dirtwolf awesomeness.

The press release is fucking hilarious and makes me wish I wrote copy for this No Fear t-shirt designer turned beer mogul: “WHETHER YOU ARE LOOKING TO RELIEVE A STRESSFUL DAY, TOAST TO ONE OF LIFE’S MANY VICTORIES…REACH FOR THAT WHICH IS VITAL TO ALL FIVE SENSES IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD.” Go ice your boner down and continue reading.

So how does this taste? It appears to have subacriomial bursitis and a rotator cuff tear from patting itself on the back at release.  The look is admittedly awesome, that radiant hue with a touch of hay and light orange like when a Filipino dude decides that he would look good with bleached hair.

The nose follows suit and doesn’t go strict IBU overload and instead offers a pretty fulfilling with a sort of shallot and carmelized onion meets mango puree.  The waft is thin and has a touch of lemon hand soap to it that is forgivable because it ultimately comes across as refreshing rather than substantial in scope.

The taste is better than the nose and offers up a safe interplay between coniferous cones, yard trimmings, and grapefruit pith.  It has a clean fast finish that anomalously would work well in hot weather, and not as a late-Fall release but, I guess that’s fine? It doesn’t have any of the usual malty sweetness problems attendant to, let’s call it, PA’s bordering states. There is a lightly danky oiliness to the swallow that peaces out faster than when the professor says “attendance will not affect your grade.”

These labels. FFS. CLASS : ALE, +2 DPS TO ELEMENTALS, HOP ALIGNMENT: CITRUS DAMAGE

These labels. FFS.
CLASS : ALE, +2 DPS TO ELEMENTALS, HOP ALIGNMENT: CITRUS DAMAGE

So overall, this is welcome offering in a bar that probably is serving like SHIFT or some other shit, but I don’t see you reaching for this over your [insert smaller local superstar brewery.] It will raise the nationwide Grocery Store caliber of beers and act as a cool counterpoint to the likes of Lagunitas and Green Flash in that segment, but people who are drinking Societe or Columbus or Trillium will not be bothered by the spread of this ambitious upstart.

Buy a six pack, crush it, start accusing your children of things that they couldn’t possibly have been responsible for.

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0

Pizza Boy Mango Sourer, Trub a Dub Dub, Buncha Fruits in a Tub

It is a shame that Side Project never made a Mange Du Fermier, because when I saw pizza boy was dropping a mango sour I knew exactly what I was in for. The prior Funker releases were muddy trubtastic yeast cake bombs priced at $30 each. People lost their EBT-tier minds and these poverty tier PA consumers took to social media to complain from dusty old Compaq crt desktops. Complaining to breweries on social media always yields high dividends.

The whole affair was an awesome spectacle and I am sure Three Floyds was in Indiana polishing its monocle laughing at selling Bully Guppy for $30 without a titter.

No filters or any modification was done to this photo. That is srs how the beer looks.

No filters or any modification was done to this photo. That is srs how the beer looks.

So then this mango beer drops…priced at $25 [EDITED: post previously erroneously noted that the price was $30]. Right when I took it out of the box I looked through the brown glass and saw those lava lamp contents spurting around in graceful chunks. I knew shit was about to be Odwalla as FUQQQ.

The entirety of this review could probably be summed up with two photos. Seriously look at this beer and take it in, visually consume its majesty. I poured this for my buddy who owns a crossfit gym and is ultra paleo and the discussion went like this
“You said we were having beer”
“We are”
“That looks like a Robeks blender”
“It has a lot of fruit in it”
“If the beer is so good why does it need so much fruit. It looks literally like Naked juice you buy at the grocery store”
“I don’t know, it’s a mango sour, just drink it”
“So as a brewery you can basically just sell puréed fruit”
“Just stfu already”

All visual jokes aside, the nose on it is admittedly incredible though. It is pithy whipped mango, merengue, tangerine, intense fruit tannins, so much clementine flesh, and endless citrus. It smells literally like a Jamba Juice smoothie.

The Ark of the Covenant, don't look directly at the mangos

The Produce Ark of the Covenant, don’t look directly at the mangos

The taste carries this though entirely, it is basically fruity to the shandy threshold and the base beer could be literally anything. The mouthfeel is thick and pulpy, the taste is acidic and there is zero alcohol presence. It reminds me of a Bellini or hangover brunch mimosa you give to an absentee mother.

I dont know how to evaluate this within the threshold of beers and fermentation culture because the whole affair is masked by dripping tropical harvest. It is delicious in the way that apricot juice is delicious. The brewer doesn’t really have a meaningful interplay since nature’s bounty makes the cup runneth over.

So….good job? I guess?

1

MA/NY TIP MUSHING – Two Svelte Bangers: Sixpoint 4Beans and Nightshift Whirlpool

Sixpoint has enjoyed that happy medium of creating local buzz that satiates locals but never creates a fever pitch loud enough to ruin things for locals. It is that sweet Beachwood Brewing and Selin’s Grove spot. Once a husky manchild grabs the conch and starts offering up crazy trades, the chum is in the waters and locals might as well write that brewery off. Resin was a solid offering and the buzz was not insubstantial for this adjunct extravaganza.

always flickin them beans, stayin on that grind

always flickin them beans, stayin on that grind

Sixpoint Brewing, New York

10% Baltic Porter, skinny stout
“With the addition of Madagascar vanilla beans, 4BEANS takes Sixpoint Imperial Porter to the next level. Romano beans used by bygone brewers provide body, as the flavors of dark malt, cocoa and coffee are rounded out by smooth vanilla. The result is a quadrality of roasted, savory, and complex flavors. Modern formulation meets Baltic tradition and BKLYN partnership…it’s Mad Science.”

At the outset I rolled my eyes at reading the list of ingredients like when you see the trailer for a Kevin James movie, making stark predictions. This is like if the Kevin James movie was directed by Lars Von Trier and somehow depth and character were massaged from the assumptions. The look is the thinnest stout/baltic porter this side of Sexual Chocolate/Kern River Class V stout. It appears more pleasantly watery as a result. In a field of tanks, the agile healer is a welcome respite.

The nose is also excellent and presents waves of coffee with whoppers, malt balls, kit Kat bars and a lingering baker’s chocolate. If you were expecting some tactless car crash, there’s plenty of other lackluster failures to choose from, this beer is far too nimble and poised to fall into mediocrity.

The taste drinks more akin to a robust coffee Porter and shockingly conceals the Abv and substantial malt profile well. It is incredible that it can keep all the adjunct balls in the air and never seem unfocused. This is a clear example of a beer that doesn’t call out for barrel aging simply because the base beer stands so confidently on its own.

Everybody loves Romano

Everybody loves Romano

BUT SRS WHAT DAFUQ IS DEM ROMANO BEANS

This is certainly worth seeking out and you would be remiss to overlook this svelte barista’s embrace.

INTERMISSION: Julius is still banging out of the can.  People justifiably ISO this hard, as they well should.

INTERMISSION: Julius is still banging out of the can. People justifiably ISO this hard, as they well should.

BACK TO THE PA/NY TIP MUSHING:

Night shift has presented a checkered past. There are few breweries with more inconsistent valleys in quality between their releases. For every exceptional weiss release, another viva habanero nightmare is sure to follow. Then most recently they absolutely crushed it out of the park with the apple brandy el elechedor. They are like a smoking hot, albeit abusive ex girlfriend whom you never quite know when to write off completely.

inb4 grout work jokes

inb4 grout work jokes

Nightshift Whirlpool
Session IPA? Pale Ale? ZFG

4.5% APA
Fear not, this offering pulls Nightsift firmly into the ranks of facebook official. Whirlpool pours an unbdolutely beautifully refreshing hue of meyer lemon and silky foam. It might just be two row, but God damn it is servicing the session segment hard on aesthetics alone.

The nose delivers on the visual promises and serves up raked leaves, tangelo zest, orange rind, and a resinous watery conifer slider high and inside.

If you loved the likes of Ponto and dare I say even Edward, this does a fantastic job of bringing equal or higher quality to an ever teeming segment crowded with so many cost saving stripped down pale ales. The mouthfeel is incredibly crisp and dry, there is less on the fruit and citrus front, but the extremely dialed in grass trimmings make this finish like something Jester King would make if they every decided to use a California ale strain FOR ONCE IN THEIR LIVES.

For a style that has to work three times as hard to impress, Nightshift killed it with this one, it’s like watching highlight tapes and saying “holy shit that is an amazing nose guard.” Imagine how fast and controlled this has to be to warrant comment.

I need to lock down that apple brandy lecherous hotness. This motherfuck drives around in an apple.  How is that even possible, Richard Scary?

I need to lock down that apple brandy lecherous hotness.
This motherfuck drives around in an apple. How is that even possible, Richard Scary?

I know reading two positive reviews is no fun to read, SHEESH. Don’t worry guys, I am sure someone will send DDB some Big Sky beers soon enough.

0

@Tiredhandsbeer So It Goes, For Those Times When You are Firebombing Dresden and Get Thirsty

Ok, you have read Slaughterhouse Five. We get it. Shit, you may have also read Breakfast of Champions, hell you probably will email me with some Bukowski references just in case. I get it, you like post-modernist literature, random DDB fan. Let’s couch that and talk about TIRED HANDSESES FIRST WILD ALE. Some haters will likely chime in with “they have made wild ales all along, they just chose to call them farmhouse ales.” A monocle-polishing dipshit like that probably does great with the ladies.

Anyway, let’s take a look at this Flandersy wild ale before we become unstuck in time. OK LAST VONNEGUT REFERENCE I SWEAR.

DOES ANYONE NOTICE THAT MY NEW CAMERA TAKES LESS SHITTY PHOTOS? God, there's no impressing you assholes unless I take things to Adam Jackson/Sean Van Taggen lightbox levels. You simply aren't worth it.

DOES ANYONE NOTICE THAT MY NEW CAMERA TAKES LESS SHITTY PHOTOS? God, there’s no impressing you assholes unless I take things to Adam Jackson/Sean Van Taggen lightbox levels.
You simply aren’t worth it.

Tired Hands Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale | 9.00% ABV

510 bottle release, 2 per person, people have gotten shanked for less. Ardmore Pennsylvania putting work in the streets, that PANDEMIC, yellowtops.

A: This looks like a straight up flanders red that got a lil tan, maybe did a 15 minute bed when the hot chick told her to only do a 11 minute bed. You don’t get that ruby red, not the Ring Pop sort of affair that you might have gotten all swole, and it almost starts toeing towards the Oud Bruin benchmarks with the old SRM. I know just mentioning OUD BRUIN makes some people’s buttholes pucker so we will move on. The carb is substantial and looks great, frothy cherry mocha whip, sitting on top of a dark burnt brick red medium. The whole affair feels more “substantial” than those bitch ass Rodenbachs you sip after your Zumba class. Sick vascularity, full range of motion.

this is bit bigger, thicker, redder, and more powerful than you expect, but the result is pretty cutty.

this is bit bigger, thicker, redder, and more powerful than you expect, but the result is pretty cutty.

S: This toes the old Flanders line and drops you somewhere in between a vintage Rodenbach (like the 2007 cellar reserve) and Caracterie Rouge. To clarify, you get a substantial acidicty and that borderline acetone/acetic that you would expect from the style, but it is lighter than the Oud Bruin side of things. There is the black cherry, marascino cherry, red chapstick, sucrets, some malty presence, and a tannic finish that reminds me of a big Napa cab. Again, this isn’t my favorite style but they are going hard in that cherry paint.

T: This takes the traditional flanders and jazzes it up with some hammer-on/pulloffs, bends, and slurs within the cherry/malt scales. Things feel more boisterous, the malt profile is ramped up and presents a sort of baked bread interplay with the cherry profile, the huge acidity mixes with the cherry cordial, the 1’s and 2’s are constantly cutting from dark cherries and bruised fruits and jumping back to balaton merlot beat drops. Tired Hands remixed the fuck out of your Duchess and you can’t even handle it. The closing taste is a bit too tart at cold temps and if you want those fruits to balance shit out, you need to let this open up. But once you let this warm up the abv starts peeking its head, so there’s a cost benefit analysis. You get some raspberry and pumpernickle bread, all laced with ornate acidity that never overstays its welcome, but chaperons throughout.

Them cherries will put you on that SubbyDoo swerve, other blogs start tucking they chains in

Them cherries will put you on that SubbyDoo swerve, other blogs start tucking they chains in

M: For the substantial malt profile you would expect this red wine monster to close with balance, but it remains pretty dry and thin due to the noteworthy acidity. I don’t want you to think this is some Upland Cherry sort of affair, but it isn’t exactly Cuvee de Tomme either, its a tart and puckering Flanders that underwent the Weapon X project in Canada but instead of adamantium in its bones, it was infused with powerful cherry acidity. WILL IT USE THESE POWERS FOR GOOD OR EVIL?

D: Given the dry profile, acidity, and lack of overwhelming fruit profile to reel things back in, I would say a 500ml is about right. I never tired of the beer, but I think a 750ml would be a touch ambitious for most people. If you like Griffin Bruxellois or some of the ultra tart Jackie O’s offerings in this same vein (Evelyn, things of that nature) then you will love this. If you approach this expecting a Tess D’Urbervilles walk through the garden with a flower tucked in your lapel, you will probably end up getting pounded like she did.

That face when you pop a legit wild ale and know hater tickers are gonna tell you about their Costco Duchess

That face when you pop a legit wild ale and know hater tickers are gonna tell you about their Costco Duchess

Narrative: Detective Walter Janicsykowski had been working this beat for 13 years and had never seen anything like this. “Sir, it’s the same as the others, victim laid in a prostrate position, cherry juice on the hands and mouth, grenadine in and around the vaginal area,” forensic scientist Mark Walmsly noted, pointing to the woman’s wrists and ankles with an LED light, “you can expect to see more of these.” The Squeez-It killer had been ravaging the Ardmore populace during what was an unseasonably warm May. The cherries were ripening at an alarming pace and Walter took a deep pull of his Wild Cherry Slurpee while surveying the glossy black and white photos. He noted pits and stems arranged with care near each victim’s body, each cherry homicide executed with more intent than the less. It was a paradox in itself. A pitted sweet fruit, the subject of multiple serial murders. Somewhere in the streets, the killer was pouring himself a Shirley Temple and planning his next mark.

2

2005 East End Gratitude, The Crow That Started It All, I Put a Bird On It

Can a crow be a whale and a bird concurrently? Today’s inquiry delves deep into the nature of identity and anomalous monism. Psyche, we draining blubber, obvi. This is third in line to the lineage of most sought out barleywine after M and Wooden Hell. If you don’t believe me, go ask resident B dub expert Chadquest and he will show you on a ruler how hard this malty rarity gets him attenuated. So this one is the first Gratitude, the OG of the bird crew, 600 bottles from back in the day. I wanted this one to lay another White Whale to rest in a legit manner. Every other pic I had seen to date (1) had been some Juggalo 1oz pours and shit. You deserve better than that. I knew shit was real when I got 3 messages asking for the fucking empty bottle.

Anyway, let’s put a bird on this bitch and ruffle some feathers. One crow short of a murder.

I used to say "no crow no care" well, now it's time to fucking care.

I used to say “no crow no care” well, now it’s time to fucking care.

Brewed by East End Brewing Company
Style: Barley Wine
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
11.5% abv

A: This is that same deep mahogany brown with a slight muddiness after over 8 years of captivity. The sheeting is notable and it has some nice legs that zambonies what minimal carb still exists. The edges have a sort of khaki dirtiness to it, but its like the hot ratchet chick at Coachella all covered in mud that you still wanna get up in them ugly waist high shorts so she has a story to tell her dorm mates when she gets back to Arizona. That kinda shit.

Pictured above: Beer Advocate user finds out that barleywines were made back in 2005

Pictured above: Beer Advocate user finds out that barleywines were made back in 2005

S: This still somehow smells fucking phenomenal. I was expecting some kinda oxy fest, white kids rubbing norco on their gums and listening to Macklemore and shit. No oxy fest to be found. It’s like East End aged this to perfection, abusing the 8 year old on the cellar gradually over time. If you have had this beer fresh this is a completely different experience. The hops have been acid washed out like some Jordache jeans and you are left with this Gloria Vanderbilt refined poise, the alpha acids almost come across as a wood profile, there’s a crisp oaky finish to the nose that compliments the sweet sticky fig/plum/caramelized raisin that reminds me of those Sugar Baby candies, or a Sugar Daddy I guess, if you love the D. This is still distinctively American Barleywine and if you are gonna go this hard, balls deep in the cellar, the English bitches cant stand the test of time, need them cones to snuggle up to on those cold nights, pulling the malty blanket up, peering through that cardboard wondering when its day will come, trying to silently masturbate in them yeasty sheets and not wake up the headmaster. Man that shit went off the rails pretty quickly.

T: This has a traditional sticky toffee, bitter underpinning, some port sherry and milk chocolate aspects to it, but again, the hops give this deceptive ass wood treatment to it because they have mellow to the point of interjecting some resinous complexity to the finish. If you are like me and bitch nonstop about the lack of barrel treatment (to the point of making YOUR OWN VERSION WHAT THE FUCK IS MY PROBLEM) this is the variant for you. I used to say that the 2010 is the perfect balance between hoppy profile and that sticky decadent profile but this is hands down the best vintage, or really any bottle that has this much time on it I guess. The faux american toasted oak from the hops unites the sweet malty malts and gives a platform to keep oxidation at bay.

you may never try the elusive crow, but you probably dont want to be that type of person in the first place.

you may never try the elusive crow, but you probably dont want to be that type of person in the first place.

M: As I noted before, this is a sticky muddy sweet lil minx, but it also has this residual dryness that keeps the bad bitch in check. I won’t say this has some sort of brandy or bourbon treatment to it, but it seems that the FG is far lower, the highs higher, pupils dilated running your face against the gentle crow. The abv is laughably integrated to the point of being a date rape bird, you can’t give consent after schooling this bitch. Triple double no assist, mix that crow and Malibu, call it Malibooya.

D: Exceptionally drinkable, for 11.5% this puts the pussy on the chainwax. 2013 tickers take fat loads on their face to land King Henrys and grat sits on the boards, there is no justice in this world. You can and should merk an entire bottle of Grat to yourself, and you wont feel like some fat shithead on State Disability while you do it. With this, I have tried every variant of Grat, laying birds to rest. The fresh variants are less drinkable, but this in particular goes down easier than a college sophomore with body image issues. Highly recommended, lube your butthole if you are gonna swing at the crow, feathers will be ruffled, jimmes: rustled.

The only wood that this beer was treated on is the furious tiny boners when people see what u about to make tickers eat crow.

The only wood that this beer was treated on is the furious tiny boners when people see what u about to make tickers eat crow.

Narrative: No one ever said that being a high school senior was easy, particularly not for an archmage living in the confines of Omaha’s suburbs. Bramblestitch Crowly earned a proud lineage in his own world and was unexcelled in alchemy, until a tragic accident sent him to our cruel reality. “HEY BRAMBLEBITCH, nice cloak, is there a NEEDLEDICK RAVE AFTER SCHOOL?!” the young men cajoled at his expense, his talismans clinking in metronomic pace as he walked slowly while thumbing through a calfskin tome with fragile parchment pages. “MR. CROWLY I SUPPOSE YOU FEEL THAT GEOMETRY IS GOING TO WAIT FOR YOU?” Mr. Billingsly boomed as Bramblestitch lowered his head and took his seat in a tiny desk in the back of the oppressive classroom. It was becoming clear that he may never return to his own time, a relic from the past, years beyond his time. Bramblestitch rolled a fresh quartz crystal in his palm, suffering the slings of adolescence, reflecting as to how a Nebraska school system would permit a fucking wizard to be enrolled completely without question.

Since someone asked, Kiwi Pediobear is coming along nicely, stay tuned tickbitches.

Since someone asked, Kiwi Pediobear is coming along nicely, stay tuned tickbitches.