Six to Seek: The Best Beers of the WeekJune 22, 2018
PINTHOUSE PIZZA BAILING ROOM
7.2% | India Pale Ale
Austin’s Pinthouse Pizza took home three awards at last month’s World Beer Cup in Nashville, including bronze for Bailing Room in the American-style India Pale Ale category. It’s easy to see why this one stood out in the most heavily entered category of the event. The beer pours with the brightness and clarity of a traditional West Coast IPA, but it offers an abundance of the sweet, tropical notes found in the more trendy New England style. In this case it is mostly pineapple and peach, complemented by a distinct dankness.
FINBACK SOCIAL FABRIC
Queens, New York City
8% | Double-Dry-Hopped Double India Pale Ale
Finback Brewery’s Stellar Wind was one of our Top 25 Beers of 2017, and the brewery continues to impress–especially with its hoppier offerings. Grapefruit and orange peel stand out on the nose, but the first sip yields super juicy, expressive notes of pineapple, tangerines and mandarin oranges. More dank, earthy notes come through as the beer warms, and behind the hops you can find a glimmer of wheatiness.
MIDDLE BROW HOW IT STARTS
Middle Brow Beer Co.
5.5% | American Wild Ale
How it starts is with a whiff of huge herbal notes from the glass, namely lavender and dill. The Brettanomyces makes its presence known, creating one of the most memorable noses we’ve had on a beer in some time. Those herbal notes and a very light funkiness come through on the palate as well, and if you let the beer warm you might even find the slightest hint of cinnamon. Motueka hops contribute notes of lemon and lime, bringing this one somewhere between a pale ale and an American wild ale. Whatever you call it, this beer is as refreshing as it is challenging and complex.
SINGIN’ RIVER CITRACABRA
Singin’ River Brewing Co.
4.7% | Dry-Hopped Sour Ale
Given the beer’s name and loud label, we expected a super acidic kettle sour–the kind of profile that seems to characterize most quick sours these days. Instead, we found the exception to the rule. The beer exhibits a balance that belies the ‘80s-inspired artwork. The nose is all lemon and orange peel, a pleasant soft citrus. There’s a distinct tartness on the palate, but it’s nowhere near as brash as many of today’s kettle sours. The dry hopping contributes more Lemonhead candy and orange pulp, and the beer finishes with a nice balance between bitter and sour. Built for the heat and humidity of an Alabama summer, but refreshing no matter where you are.
Odell Brewing Co.
Fort Collins, Colorado
6.5% | American Wild Ale
The latest in Odell Brewing Co.’s Cellar Series, OnoLicious is billed as a “Tropical Fruit Sour.” And while there is indeed an assertive sourness, it passes quickly and invites another sip, where you’ll find papaya, mango, pinot grigio and a flourish of grapefruit on the finish that comes through like a dry-hop character. In OnoLicious, Odell nails the refreshing summer sour so many brewers are going for these days. While many in that segment are fruited goses or Berliner weisse, Odell here uses its substantial barrel program to create a cellar-aged beer bursting with the fresh flavors of summer.
EPIC OAK AND ORCHARD – STRAWBERRY RHUBARB
Epic Brewing Co.
Salt Lake City, Utah
6.9% | Oak-Aged Wild Ale w/ Strawberries & Rhubarb
After running through a gauntlet of berry beers, we expected this strawberry sour to pour some shade of red. Instead, this new offering in Epic Brewing’s Oak and Orchard series pours a cloudy gold, perhaps because the strawberries were added later in the process. The strawberry does come through subtly in the aroma and more noticeably on the palate, where it is joined by pineapple, white grape and green apple, and a sweetness that helps balance the beer’s mouthpuckering sourness.