Tag Archives: Double IPA

Beer’d Hobbit Juice and Dogs & Boats

We are well into December and I promise that I will get into some dark and malty beer reviews soon, but I still have a bit of a back-log to clean out from the fall. My friends Tim and Amanda spent a good chunk of their free time this fall seeking out new-to-them breweries (these are the type of things you can do when you don’t have kids). When I saw Tim on our November guys weekend he passed along a selection of beers that they found in their travels and thought I would like to try. A few of these beers were from Beer’d Brewing in Stonington, CT. I actually lived in Southeastern Connecticut while I completed my post-doc (5-6 years ago), and it was a craft beer dead-zone at the time, very little quality local beer available. Now, like many parts of the country, it has a booming beer scene led by Beer’d, a brewery that is starting to build some buzz regionally. Two of the beers that my friends brought were DIPAs, Hobbit Juice which is brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops and Dogs and Boats which is hopped with Citra and Mosaic. Both beers are available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz cans.

Beerd Hobbit JuiceBeer’d Hobbit Juice pours slightly hazy light yellow with a solid white head. The scent is a mixture of floral and juicy hops. The flavor is also very hop forward, notes of white grape, pear, apple and grass along with a little bitter bite. The hop flavor is balanced by a bit of malt, touches of cereal and honey. Hobbit Juice is medium bodied and drinks incredibly easy for a beer with 9.2% ABV, there is no boozy flavor or burn. The finish is crisp and clean with some lingering hop flavor. This is a really solid DIPA, Nelson Sauvin beers can be a little hit or miss for me, but I enjoyed this one. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.

Beerd Dogs and BoatsBeer’d Dogs and Boats pours somewhat hazy light orange with a large white head. There is a solid hit of fruity hops on the nose. These hops lead the flavor too, notes of grapefruit, mango, peach and papaya along with noticeable bitterness. This beer has plenty of fruity flavors and aromas but isn’t a straight juice-bomb. The malt flavor adds some balance along with hints of crackers and bread crust. Dogs and Boats is medium bodied and dangerously drinkable for 9.1% ABV. Beer’d is clearly proficient at brewing big DIPAs that drink like much lighter beers. The finish is crisp and full flavored with plenty of lingering hops. This is another very good DIPA, worth seeking out for all of the local hop-heads. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.

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Idles Hands 34 and Six Seam

A couple weeks ago I received a big gift (from myself), official Hoppy Boston glassware. As soon as I decided to give the site a facelift and get a real logo I knew that I needed some logo-glassware and I found a online site that helped me make this dream a reality. I had avoided posting about the glasses on social media  or the blog because I had my yearly guys outing with my college buddies this weekend and I was bringing them all a glass as a gift. I had an Instagram/Twitter post ready with the first beer I drank from the new glasses, Four Seam IPA from Idle Hands, but in my excitement to share this I accidentally used a picture I took with Six Seam DIPA, which I was planning on reviewing today. Thank you for everyone that pointed out the mistake. Anyways, I’ve had a chance to sample a number of the newer additions to the Idle Hands lineup recently. After years making Belgian and then German styles Idle Hands has added a number of popular American beer styles to the lineup. Most of these new beers follow a baseball theme. Included in these newer additions is 34, a porter honoring Red Sox great David Ortiz, and Six Seam, a New England style DIPA. Both beers are available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz. tallboy cans.

Idle Hands 34Idle Hands 34 pours almost pitch black with a mild tan head. The scent is full of rich roasted malt, just what you want in a porter. The flavor is also very malt forward, touches of cocoa, cappuccino, licorice and caramel and just a little sweetness. There are some earthy and floral hops that add balance and just a touch of bitterness. 34 is full bodied but drinks easy and is moderately boozy at 6.7% ABV. The finish features full malt flavor and a balance of lingering sweetness and crisp bitterness. 34 is a very nice porter, worthy of honoring a Boston sports legend who delivered so many great moments for the city! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.

Idle Hands Six SeamIdle Hands Six Seam pours murky light orange with a small white head. The aroma is a huge burst of fruity hops, makes you want to dive right in. This is a hop-bomb juicy NEIPA, the hops add notes of grapefruit, pineapple, mango and orange but minimal bitterness. This is complemented by a mild malt backbone, hints of crackers and whole grain bread. Six Seam is medium bodied with a solid mouthfeel and drinks incredibly easy for a beer with 8.2% ABV. The finish is crisp with plenty of lingering hop flavor that keeps you coming back for more. This is a stellar New England style DIPA, I understand why the initial feedback on the beer has been overwhelmingly positive. Definitely worth seeking out the next time it’s released. Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.

Previous Idle Hands Reviews:

Idle Hands Brocktoberfest, Idle Hands Proeme, Idle Hands Thing 1, Idle Hands HeideIdle Hands Riding ShotgunIdle Hands Adelais, Idle Hands D’aisonIdle Hands Triplication

Lone Pine Brightside IPA and Oh-J DIPA

The beer scene in Portland, Maine is insane, both in the sheer quantity of breweries for a small city and for the  high quality of the beer being brewed. Portland has a wide range from stalwarts like Allagash to buzzy upstarts like Bissell Brothers and Foundation. The popularity of these breweries has made Portland into a destination beer city for beer fans from around the world, and this had led to even more new breweries opening up shop. One newer addition that has started to build significant buzz is Lone Pine Brewing Company. Lone Pine makes a variety of beers with a focus on IPAs that showcase new world hop varieties. I was able to stop at Lone Pine  on a recent trip north and I grabbed a selection of cans to go. The brewery features a small tasting room with indoor and outdoor seating, and it’s an easy stop off of I-295 if you are driving through the city on your way north or south. Among the beers I grabbed was their flagship IPA Brightside and one of their double IPAs named Oh-J, which uses citrus forward hops to give the beer it’s distinctive juicy flavor and aroma. Both beers are available on a regular basis on draft and in 16 oz. tallboy cans.

Lone Pine Brightside IPALone Pine Brightside IPA pours slightly hazy light orange with a solid white head. The scent is a big burst of fruity hops that makes you want to dive right in. The flavor is also very hop forward, notes of tangerine, guava and melon along with a little bitter bite. This is complemented by a mild malt backbone, hints of crackers and bread crust. Brightside is light bodied and has the smooth drinkability you look for in a NEIPA, but it packs a little punch at 7.1% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor that keeps you coming back for more. This is a stellar IPA, well crafted with huge hop flavor. It has a little more bitterness than some NEIPAs, but I would still put it into that sub-style. Brightside guarantees that Lone Pine will become a regular stop on trips to Maine, it is on par with any Maine IPA I’ve sampled. Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.

Lone Pine Oh-JLone Pine Oh-J pours slightly hazy light yellow with a large white head. The scent gives you a huge whiff of citrus and tropical fruit from the hops. These fruity hops lead the flavor too, notes of orange candy, lemon and peach but minimal bitterness. There is also solid malt flavor, touches of bread dough, honey and a little residual sweetness, although I’m not sure if it’s from the malt, the booze or the fruity hops (probably some combination of the three). Oh-J is medium bodied and drinks very easy for a DIPA, especially for a beer with 8.1% ABV. The finish is somewhat crisp with some lingering hops. I’ve heard lots of buzz for this beer and I understand why people like it, although that sweet flavor was a slight minus for me (personal preference). Still worth a shot for fans of New England style DIPAs. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.

Marshall Wharf Little Mayhem and Can’t Dog

I’ve amassed a pretty solid collection of beer glassware. I try to grab a glass from any brewery that I visit on a somewhat regular basis, or any place that makes beers that are a part of my rotation. An entire shelf in our china cabinet is full of beer glasses, and so far my wife hasn’t complained. Most of my glassware has been purchased as I visit breweries, and unfortunately a few pieces have met with mishaps on the way home. One example was a pint glass I purchased last year on a visit to Marshall Wharf Brewing Company in Belfast, Maine. Marshall Wharf is close to my parents house, so I tend to swing by when I am visiting, but the glass I bought broke on the return trip to Mass, and unfortunately they only had tasting glasses in stock during my stop this summer. Fortunately I was able to grab some beers, including their sessionable stout Little Mayhem and they huge DIPA Can’t Dog. Both beers are available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz tallboy cans.

Marshall Wharf Little MayhemMarshall Wharf Little Mayhem pours deep brown with a massive off-white head. The aroma is mild featuring some roasted malt. The flavor is malt forward, notes of roasted barley, black coffee, and dark chocolate. There is some late hop flavor for balance, grassy with a little bitterness. Little Mayhem is medium bodied and sips easy, sessionable at 4.1% ABV. The finish is dry with some lingering malt flavor. Low ABV dark and malty beers are underrepresented on the market, it’s nice to see a flavorful and easy to drink stout that won’t put you under the table. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.

Marshall Wharf Can't DogMarshall Wharf Can’t Dog pours deep red with a small white head. The aroma features some hops, floral and grassy. The flavor is balanced for an IPA. The hops add notes of pine, tangerine and earth along with a solid bitter bite. This is complemented by a full malt body, hints of caramel, honey and a little boozy burn. Can’t Dog is a full bodied sipper, a very big beer at 9.7% ABV. This is an interesting beer, part way between a classic DIPA and a newer style hopped up barleywine or strong ale. Hoppy Boston score; 4.0/5.

Previous Marshall Wharf Reviews:

Marshall Wharf Bitter Truth

Backlash Citra Salute

Backlash Brewing Company is in the middle of a very eventful stretch. First they ditched the large format bottles in favor of canning the majority of their beers, aligning with the industry trend (and the preference of the majority of consumers). Then they announced that they are building their own brewery and taproom, slated to open by the end of the year in Roxbury. In the last week they revealed a re-working of the brand, including a new logo (check it out on their website HERE). I always liked the brass knuckles, but have to admit that the new logo looks great too, I can’t wait to pick up some logo glassware. While work on the taproom continues to move forward Backlash is releasing a number of new beers, many of which sell out incredibly quickly. I was sad to miss Allston, a tribute to the neighborhood where I lived for 5 years, but I was happy to find some of their DIPA Citra Salute. Backlash Citra Salute is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz. cans.

Backlash Citra SaluteBacklash Citra Salute pours hazy orange with a solid white head. The aroma is a solid burst of hops, heavy on the citrus fruit. The flavor is also very hop forward, notes of grapefruit, orange and lemon rind along with a solid bitter bite. There is also some noticeable malt, touches of whole grain bread, honey and just a hint of booze. You know this is a double IPA from the first sip, between the malt/alcohol and the full body, and the 8% ABV backs that up. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor. I really enjoyed Citra Salute, and it will be really nice to see Backlash beers start to make a more regular appearance on shelves! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.

Previous Backlash Reviews:

Backlash Ricochet, Backlash MuerteBacklash OathBacklash ConvergenceBacklash Chaos, Backlash Redux

Springdale Desert Solitaire and Really Though

Some times it feels like Sudbury, the town I live in, is going to become the only town in Massachusetts that doesn’t have a brewery. I know that is a huge exaggeration, but so many new breweries have opened and I haven’t even heard a hint of one in my town. Silly me for prizing my children’s education over immediate access to beer. Fortunately there are a number of great options in neighboring towns, so I get to decide which brewery I’d like to make my local. In some ways this is a better situation, it would be terrible to have a brewery open up in town and make crappy beer, now I can pick a place I know I enjoy. Right now the leader in the clubhouse is Springdale Brewing in Framingham. I guess I could cheat and say Jack’s Abby and Springdale, but I consider them separate places (I love both, but I can get Jack’s Abby beers everywhere, need to hit the brewery for the Springdale stuff). Springdale makes awesome beer, has a great space, cans and bottles everything (I hate growlers), minimal lines, and I need to run specific errands in Framingham on a regular basis so I have a built in excuse to be in the area. That is basically everything I am looking for in a local brewery. On a recent trip I grabbed a number of offerings including Desert Solitaire, a wild ale brewed with wheat, rye and spelt and aged in oak, and Really Though, a double IPA brewed with Citra, Mosaic and Columbus hops.

Springdale Desert SolitaireSpringdale Desert Solitaire pours clear straw yellow with a minimal white head. The scent is all from the fermentation, some funk and acidity. The flavors imparted by the wild yeast and barrel aging lead the way too, notes of green apple, lemon, sour cherry, white grape and oak. There is a bit of tartness too, but it isn’t overpowering. The malts add a solid backbone, whole wheat bread and the distinct spicy flavor imparted by rye. Desert Solitaire is light and easy to drink, not too boozy at 6.5% ABV. The finish is dry with some lingering yeast and acid. This is a delicious wild ale, lots of flavor from the fermentation and I love the rye addition to the malt bill, it really complements the tartness. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.

Springdale Really ThoughSpringdale Really Though pours murky yellow-orange with a small white head. The scent is a solid hit of fruity hops with a floral undertone. The flavor is hop forward, notes of pineapple, mango, tangerine, resin along with a bit of bitterness. This is complemented by a solid malt backbone, hints of cereal and bread crust. Really Though is full bodied but drinks super easy for 8.5% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hops. This is a very good DIPA, I have yet to have a bad beer from Springdale, happy to adopt it as my local brewery. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.

Previous Springdale Reviews:

Springdale Solid State and Kreik MythologySpringdale Amirite?! and Good N’ You?

Aeronaut Double Hop Hop

As my frequent readers know, I hate waiting in line for beer. There are a few local breweries that make amazing beers but I never travel to because the combination of  long lines and can limits kill my excitement to make the trek. That being said, there are a large number of beer geeks who seem to have no problem standing in lines, and quickly line up for any beer release that excites them. Some breweries have heard the complaints about the lines from loyal cutomers and have decided on alternate strategies for limited release beers. Aeronaut Brewing has come up with a great way to sell their most recent batch of Double Hop Hop, their sought after DIPA. Instead of sharing a release date/time on social media and asking people to wait in line, they allowed customers to purchase a ticket online ahead of time, and then trade in the ticket for a 4 pack of cans once the beer is ready. From what I heard the release was easy, even people who stopped by on day one were in and out with their beer. Fortunately for me Aeronaut sent along a sample along with a special glass, which I was very excited to use. Aeronaut Double Hop Hop is loaded with Citra and Mosaic hops and available on a limited basis in 16 oz tallboy cans.

Aeronaut Double Hop HopAeronaut Double Hop Hop pours murky orange with a small white head. The aroma features a nice burst of hops, mostly citrus with an undercurrent of floral aromas. The hops also dominate the flavor, notes of grapefruit, papaya, tangerine and a little pine. The floral/pine notes along with a soft but persistent bitterness keep the beer from being straight juicy NEIPA, but it checks most of the boxes you look for in the style. The hops are balanced by a full malt backbone, hints of bread dough and cereal. Double Hop Hop has a full mouthfeel but drinks very easy for 8.4% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor and just a little bitterness. This beer is stellar, enough fruity flavor and aroma for the most passionate of juice-heads but the other flavors add needed complexity. I really enjoyed Double Hop Hop and would happily (not) wait in line for the next batch! Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.

Previous Aeronaut Reviews:

Aeronaut Robot Crush, Aeronaut A Year With Dr. NanduAeronaut A Session With Dr. NanduAeronaut The Eye of Sauvin