I will have plenty of reviews from the very hyped up Chicago brewery Pipeworks Brewing Company coming your way now! First up I have from their Ninja series, Simcoe! Simcoe is part of their series of Imperial IPAs that showcase all different hops, this one in particular is obviously showcasing Simcoe. Simcoe is easily one of my favorite hops so I was very excited to get my hands on this one. In the past I have had their Amarillo and Cascade Ninjas and frankly have been a bit underwhelmed by them especially considering all the hype behind these beers. I won’t let that cloud my judgement here though. Simcoe comes in at 9.5% ABV and does not list IBUs.
Appearance: Hazy deep copper almost amber color. On the real dark end of the spectrum of Doubles I would say. Thick 1 finger head with really great sticky lacing.
Nose: Pine, resin, tropical and citrus fruit in the nose up front. Especially getting a lot of mango. Lot of sweet and bready malt in the nose as well. Malt almost dominates the hoppy aspect of the nose and you can definitely tell this is a big ABV beer.
Taste/Mouth: Sweet and malty up front some bitterness to follow and then a lot of heat from the alcohol, way more than I would like to be getting. Finishes semi dry and sticky. Some tropical fruits and pine carrying over from the nose into the taste. The mouthfeel is very thick and almost syrupy. The syrupy mouth and heat are problematic here I think, as well as the overwhelming maltiness with a lack of real hop presence especially “showcasing” such a great hop.
Availability/Price: $10 for a bomber and the Ninja series seems to rotate as different hops become available.
Overall: Continue to be a bit underwhelmed by this series especially considering all the hype it gets. I do like Pipeworks a lot and what they do and will continue to buy their beers and continue to buy this series. I think they use the same malt bill and hop additions for all the Ninjas maybe and it doesn’t necessarily work with every hop variety? Either way not sure if I will revisit this particular one unless I hear the recipe changed. Definitely give this one a try for yourself though, I would recommend going in with a friend for sure!
As I mentioned before I am doing a bit of catch up on reviews and this is obviously one that I drank and took notes on before I moved to Chicago. Sixpoint’s German Pilsener The Crisp is up next! I was buying a good amount of Sixpoint before moving as they have recently changed from 4 packs of 16oz cans to 6 packs of 12oz cans, which in my opinion was definitely the right move as the majority of their beers are far more accessible in this format of distribution. This was a Sixpoint I had tried a long time ago when I was first getting into drinking craft beers and really had no recollection of it so I was excited to give it another go especially considering how much I enjoy some other Sixpoint offerings, especially that Bengali IPA! The Crisp comes in at 5.4% ABV and 44 IBUs.
Appearance: Beer is a nice golden yellow with just a slight haze to it. Pour gives you a nice 1 finger head and the beer has pretty good lacing as you drink it down. Always enjoy Sixpoints clean can designs.
Nose: Lots of pilsner malt, earthy hops, fruity clean yeast aromas as well. You get grapes and white wine in the nose as well. Very pleasant aroma on this beer and very nicely fits German Pilsener style.
Taste/Mouth: Super refreshing beer. Fruit carries over from the nose and some white wine and grape flavors as well. Nice bite from the hops and some earthy hop flavors coming through as well. Really clean, nice, refreshing beer. Little dry finish but fits perfectly and makes you itch for another sip. Beer has a great feel in your mouth, carbonation is perfect and is a real easy drinker.
Availability/Price: Tri-State area availability is great on Sixpoint and now in 6 packs makes the price feel a little better. around 9-10$ for a sixer.
Overall: This beer surprised me a lot, I wasn’t expecting all that much going into it. I would gladly buy a sixer of this again or grab it on draft without hesitation. Great spring/summer beer, really refreshing and crushable on a hot day. Sixpoint seems to have everything all figured out.
Hi! Apologies for the ridiculous lack of posts. Been very busy with the move, searching for a new job and drinking lots of good beer! I have notes on around 12 beers that I need to turn into reviews ASAP! The first review I have for you is of Half Acre’s American Pale Ale, Daisy Cutter. Currently sitting at #31 on the top APA list on Beer Advocate this is certainly one of the Midwest’s, and Chicago in particular, most infamous American Pale Ales (Three Floyd’s obviously being the most). Nonetheless when I first visited Chicago a few years ago this was one of the first beers I sought out because I knew it would be readily available and I have been very much in love ever since. Daisy Cutter comes in at 5.2% ABV and 60 IBUs.
Appearance: Really hazy orange color with 1 finger head. Really great lacing on the glass. Love the haziness and color of this beer. Huge fan of the can art as well and the tall boy cans!
Nose: Huge citrus fruit aromas with some pine and floral hop notes as well. Orange is very prevalent on the nose matching the color of the beer and sticky resin smell as well. Massive nose for an APA and in a blind taste one could very well mistake the nose for that of an IPA.
Taste/Mouth: Citrus comes over just as big from the nose in the taste with grassy and cereal malt notes to balance out the huge hop presence. This beer is the perfect bitterness and it is super drinkable, one of the most sessionable APAs in my mind. Full mouthfeel and finishes slightly dry but still feels refreshing and nice. Same as nose, this could be perceived as an IPA pretty easily but the balance and lower ABV make it a perfect example of a new age APA.
Price/Availability: Great aavailabilityin Chicago, often grab a six pack at Marianos while grocery shopping. It is on draft at a great deal of bars and restaurants in Chicago. If its not on draft at a bar they will most likely have cans. $10 a 4 pack but well worth it for what your getting and usually around 5-6 on draft at bars.
Overall: One of the best APAs available in the US for sure. Obviously has tough competition here in the Midwest with Three Floyds being a short drive away. Nonetheless this is somewhere in my list of top APAs near the top. If you see it don’t hesitate, drink it. Drink a lot of it.