Beer Review: Trillium Vicinity DIPA

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Next up in my Trillium reviews of beers I was able to grab visiting some friends in MA when I stopped by the brewery is their Double IPA Vicinity. I was super happy this was available when I was there as this is one of the beers from them I have been most excited to try. Vicinity comes in at 8%ABV.

Appearance: Light orange super hazy, milky color with a very small head and some okay lacing. Cans are so simple but so aesthetically pleasing. Their art direction is great.

Nose: Fresh squeezed orange juice, straight up. Citrus everything, super dank juice. Peach, pineapple, huge citrus rinds, lemon, lime, orange, honey and floral. Almost hard to believe this is beer at first.

Taste/Mouth: Orange, citrus, onion, some pine resin flavors and peach. Little heat from the alcohol, not a ton of bitterness but it is present. Pretty light for a double IPA but medium mouth feel and medium carbonation. Super juicy and easy to drink.

Price/Availability: I got a mixed 4 pack of cans when visiting the brewery, I believe a 4 pack of this is ~$14.

Overall: Trillium nails this one, stylistically and in general it is hard to find anything wrong with this beer. This is a top tier DIPA that every hop head needs to get their hands on. One of the staple NE style DIPAs and one of the best “Juice Bomb” style beers I have had to date. Vicinity hits the perfect grade.

Grade: A+

Beer Review: 18th Street Lake Street Express APA

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18th Street has finally started distributing to Chicago early this Summer and man did it feel like a long time coming for the Indiana brewery. I recently took a trip down to their Hammond location Brewpub, which on top of serving their great beer also has some pretty damn good eats. Lake Street Express comes in at 3.5% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy, cloudy straw yellow with a nice frothy head and nice lacing with decent head retention. I like the can art, 18th Street in general has great art.

Nose: Lemon, grapefruit, pineapple. A very delicate nose but very pleasant. Floral, citrus and a light malt presence.

Taste/Mouth: Some nice tropical flavors, mango, grapefruit, no real bitterness at all but decent flavors. Super light feel with a good bite of carbonation and a nice biscuit malt backbone. Finishes light and crisp. Definitely a nice light crushable summer session.

Price/Availability: Rotating beer from 18th and around $10/6 pack.

Overall: This feels like an awesome hot weather beer. Easy as hell to drink, not incredibly complex but I don’t think it needs to be. Its enjoyable and highly crushable (3.5%) while maintaining enough depth to keep you interested while drinking. I will say it would be nice if the price point moved down a little bit. I would have this again, definitely a spring/summer patio drinker.

Grade: B-

Beer Review: Pipeworks Sure Bet Imperial IPA

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A little different than my usual Pipeworks Ninja reviews, here is a Pipeworks Unicorn beer. Sure Bet is their Imperial IPA brewed with honey and mango puree. They switched up the label instead of the unicorn puking its now raining the unicorn puke, I think? Sure Bet comes in at 9.5% ABV.

Appearance: Super hazy, nice bright orange color with a 1 finger head that dissipates quickly to a thin film. Fantastic lacing.

Nose: Huge nose, super juicy and dank. Super mango, no surprise as there is mango puree in this one, pineapple, tropical fruit, melon and orange. It smells like a fruit roll up. Some sweetness from the honey but mostly just super juicy fruit.

Taste/Mouth: Huge tropical fruit bomb. Mango, pineapple, peach, orange and some honey and malt sweetness to back it up. Medium carbonation, it feels a lot like an IPA and not a double, also drinks like one which is awesome considering the ABV. A little heat at the end and feels a little syrupy at times.

Price/Availability: 22oz bomber for $10 and its a rotating option. This is one of their most popular beers and definitely moves quickly.

Overall: Another exceptionally done IIPA from Pipeworks. I could smell this beer all day, it is so dank and juicy. I tend to avoid beers with fruit additions as I find it gimmicky and just usually adds a fake syrupy taste and feel to the beer. I will say I am glad I went against my judgement and grabbed one of these though, the mango puree does what it should, it complements the already great fruit notes from the hops and doesn’t compromise the feel of the beer. I would definitely grab this one again when it pops back up in the store and it is definitely worth seeking out.

Grade: A

Beer Review: Lagunitas 12th of Never Ale

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It seems Lagunitas has finally reluctantly jumped on the canning trend in craft beer. Tony Magee, the founder of Lagunitas, went on some pretty epic rants on his twitter about canning and how horrible it is and how Lagunitas would never do it a while back. Well its 2016 now and here is the 12th of Never, Lagunitas’s new APA which is definitely in a can. 12th of Never comes in at 5.5% ABV.

Appearance: Pretty clear golden color with a 1 finger head and decent retention, great lacing. The “12 oz mini keg” or a can for most people also features a bottle cap, perhaps an ode to their firm stance on bottles being the better vessel.

Nose: Lots of grapefruit along with pineapple, mango, passionfruit and some toasted malt notes up front. It is a Lagunitas beer, you get a nice dose of their house yeast for sure and you can tell this is a Lag beer.

Taste/Mouth: Taste follows suit with the aroma but is pretty mild. You get the pineapple and grapefruit for sure with lots of toasted  and cereal malt flavors. Super balanced and very accessible. Slightly bitter, crisp, refreshing and very easy to drink. A great session beer, feels very much like a session IPA instead of an APA, although I know that line is sometimes very blurry.

Price/availability: $17/12 pack of 12oz cans which is very solid as Lagunitas prices always are.

Overall: Lagunitas finally, reluctantly, canned a beer! It was the right move, they needed to compete with Founders putting All Day in 12 packs of cans and other breweries making similar moves. 12th of Never is a solid APA, I mean Lagunitas never fails to put out quality product. Here in the midwest though it has stiff competition with Revolutions Fist City which I hold as the staple for canned APAs here. Nonetheless I am glad to have this as an option to grab when heading to a party.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Trillium Scaled IPA

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I recently had the pleasure of getting to Trillium’s brewery in Canton, MA and oh man did it live up to the hype. First of all the actual facility, minus the weird rules about how many samples/beers you can have, was beautiful. Trillium is THE brewery right now, everyone everywhere wants a piece of them and it seems as though right now they can do no wrong. I brought home a variety 4 pack of their beers for reviews so expect a few in the upcoming posts. Scaled comes in at 7% ABV.

Appearance: Super, super hazy golden murky color, or turbid as all the kids are saying these days. Looks like straight up juice, they should do a photo series “Beer or Juice”.

Nose: Juicy, very juicy and fruity. Tropical, citrus, some stone fruits. I can easily grab lime and grapefruit out of the aroma. I think El Dorado adds an interesting aspect to this as it isn’t a hop I would typically envision as part of the bill for these juice bombs, while Citra is.

Taste/Mouth: Citrus, tropical and juicy fruit bomb. Not much bitterness at all except the end finishes slightly bitter and dry. Fresh peach, nectarine, tangerine and pineapple. Good medium feel with medium carbonation. Really no evidence of the alcohol at all. Can easily crush a ton of these.

Price/Availability: Got a mixed 4 pack at the brewery for around $14 I believe.

Overall: After recently visiting the brewery I can finally jump on the Trillium hype train and for once I am totally down to ride this hype train. These guys are making some outstanding beers and pushing the boundaries of the IPA style. This isn’t even close to being their best offering, which is hilarious since this would probably be the crown jewel beer for so many other breweries. Trillium are the kings of the NE style juice bomb IPA right now and they don’t show any signs of slowing down.

Grade: A-

Beer Review: Lord Hobo Boom Sauce IPA

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I first heard of this beer even before it was actually released. Lord Hobo did some seriously extensive advertising in Beer Advocate leading up to the actual release of their beers. Needless to say I loved the advertising campaign and ever since have been excited to try their beers. Boom Sauce is their flagship American IPA and comes in at 8% ABV.

Appearance: Super hazy glowing orange color with a 1 finger head and some really nice retention. The beer has great lacing as well. Huge fan of the cans look and all of Lord Hobo’s marketing.

Nose: Pine, resin, grapefruit, pineapple and some sweet caramel malt. Right off the bat smells way more like a West Coast or Midwest Style than a NE style IPA. Honey, herbal, earthy and floral notes all come through as well.

Taste/Mouth: Grapefruit, orange, piney and resin hop notes. Good malt sweetness to back up the big bitterness of this beer. Big citrus notes throughout the taste and feels moderate to heavy while finishing dry and bitter. Little heat on the back but easy to drink mostly.

Price/Availability: 4 pack for around $10 in Worcester where I picked this beer up.

Overall: This and Steal This Can are Lord Hobo’s flagship IPAs and Boom Sauce is their crack at a New England Style IPA. It certainly looks the part of a NE IPA but the aroma and taste lean way more toward a west coast feeling IPA. Now don’t get me wrong I have no problem with that but even if your looking at this going in as a West Coast IPA it still feels slightly lacking. It is decent enough but this beer has some rough competition over in Massachusetts and the whole Northeast right now. It probably falls somewhere in the middle of the pack. I would drink it again but I wouldn’t doubt it if I picked something else over it.

Grade: B-

Beer Review: De Proef/Trillium Bouket Farmhouse Ale

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In another edition of the Brewmaster’s Collaboration series from De Proef they teamed up with the New England Juicemasters from Trillium to create Bouket, a farmhouse ale dry hopped with Citra and Mosaic. I reviewed another beer from this series a while back, the collab with Hair of the Dog, Flanders Fred. Bouket comes in at 6.5% ABV.

Appearance: Active carbonation, soapy 1 finger head with nice retention. Has some decent lacing as you move through it.

Nose: Really nice nose on this one. Tart, a little sour and definitely funky. Floral and citrus notes with some white grape and earthy notes coming through as well. The Citra and Mosaic definitely add a nice amount of depth to this beer.

Taste/Mouth: Fruity, slightly funky and tart up front. Peppery, earthy, floral and tropical fruit. Really nice and balanced. Finishes crisp and dry. Bite from the carbonation but easy to drink with nice full flavor. This beer really opens up and obviously has a lot of different great flavors coming through.

Price/Availability: This was a one off collaboration brew. 330ml bottle for around $10-$12.

Overall: A great collaboration beer between two great breweries on top of their game. De Proef kills it with this series and has been able to pull some really impressive breweries to collaborate with and create some interesting beers. Bouket is a super drinkable farmhouse ale that can be appreciated by a wide variety of beer drinkers. It might be too late now but if not, try and get your hands on this one.

Grade: B+