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Tree House Brewing

A recap of my visit to Tree House Brewing in Monson, Mass. Be Sociable, Share! Tweet More »

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Hill Farmstead Brewery

Everything you wanted to know about one of the World’s best breweries. Be Sociable, Share! Tweet More »

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846. Tree House Brewing Haze

Tree House HazeAs you can tell I went on a bit of a Tree House kick a while back as I had a couple people that went and traded me a bunch of Tree House cans. I should make the trip to Monson more often than I do but it is a long boring drive from Western Maine and I don’t have many customers in that area, yet. Hopefully that will change soon and I can visit the guys and gals at Tree House more often. In the meantime if you make the trip and end up with extras let me know as I am sure we can work out a trade.

Haze looks very similar to the other Tree House beers with the murky orange and substantial off white head. Aroma is less citrusy than most with more tropical and peach than the others from Tree House but still very pungent and enjoyable. Flavor follows but adds a significant resiny pine character that is not in the nose. Finish has more bitterness than Juice Machine or some of the others but still relatively low compared to many IPA/DIPAs. Carbonation is typical Tree House low on the scale but enough to help keep the head and aroma coming.

Another superb beer from Tree House, if you enjoy hops you must try their beer as they are certainly in the top 5 breweries when it comes to hop forward beers. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.2% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating:
Brewery Website: Tree House Brewing
Brewery Social Media: FB20 twitter20 insta
Brewer’s Description: We constructed this beer around hops we currently have plenty of access to, allowing us to re-brew it on a (relatively) consistent basis. We smell a ton of orange on the nose, with complimentary notes of peach and passionfruit. The flavor is similar with a blast of citrus fruit & orange quickly followed by spicy grapefruit, and earthy dankness. A lingering but pleasant hop oil finish awaits.

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845. Tree House Brewing Juice Machine

Tree House Juice MachineMy brother in law happened to be coming back through Mass from a trip to Pennsylvania just as this beer was being released. His timing was perfect and he was in and out in minutes with his six can maximum. I ended up with two cans before he had a chance to drink them all and glad I did. I had one for this review and brought the second to a share in January.

Juice Machine looks much like the previous beers I reviewed from Tree House, cloudy deep orange with a bright white head. Aroma is huge with loads of pineapple, orange, mango – doesn’t smell like beer. Taste follows as it has tons of citrus, grapefruit, pineapple with absolutely no bitterness. Carbonation was light but intentionally so.

This beer was superb and one that I could enjoy again and again. It is not your typical double IPA though so don’t expect it to taste like all the other DIPAs you have tried. 
Pros:
Juicy!
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.2% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating:
Brewery Website: Tree House Brewing
Brewery Social Media: FB20 twitter20 insta
Brewer’s Description: 

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844. Tree House Brewing Green

Tree House GreenA few more Tree House beers to review including Green which is one of their more common IPAs. This one comes in at 7.6% ABV which is right on the border between a single and double IPA but they classify it as a single. Love the story of how this one got its name, see brewery description below.

As with most Tree House beers this one is an unfiltered deep orange with a thick white head. Aroma is full of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple and just a hint of sweet malts. The first sip is full of fruit flavors but finishes with a nice sweet finish. Very little bitterness which seems to be a trademark of Tree House IPAs. No alcohol present, just a superb all around beer.

Between this beer and Julius you could drink them with your breakfast and feel like you got daily allotment of vitamin C from your orange juice all while enjoying a beer. I am not advocating beer for breakfast but there are worse ways to start the day. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.6% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating:
Brewery Website: Tree House Brewing
Brewery Social Media: FB20 twitter20 insta
Brewer’s Description: Our cross-continental IPA. Made with Australian and American hops, this citrus heavy IPA opens up in the glass with notes of pineapple, tangerine, and orange rind. It’s sharply bitter and nearly 8% ABV. . . The name comes from the initial batch in which, post boil, the wort looked green from so much hop particulate floating around. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

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843. Tree House Brewing King Julius

Tree House King JuliusI have been fortunate to trade for a number of Tree House beers over the past few months including this one which was right around Christmas time. Julius is one of their more frequently canned offerings but King Julius doesn’t come around very often.

King Julius pours a very cloudy deep orange with a solid white head. Aroma had loads of citrus, pineapple, grapefruit and was truly excellent. Flavor was just as juicy with those same citrus and tropical fruit flavors. Almost no bitterness and a relatively dry finish make this dangerously easy to drink considering its 8.3% ABV.

It will likely be several months before this beer is available again and unless you make the trip to the brewery than you will likely have to know someone to get your hands on a can but if you can I’m confident you will enjoy it. My only disappointment with this beer was that I had only a single can.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.3% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating:
Brewery Website: Tree House Brewing
Brewery Social Media: FB20 twitter20 insta
Brewer’s Description:Big brother of our favorite IPA, “Julius” and he’s crafted to be like “Julius” only more… stately. At 8.3% ABV and loaded with, frankly, a stupid amount of hops, it’s bursting with tropical flavors and just enough dryness to leave you longing for more.

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Falling Behind

If you follow my blog you may have noticed things have been a little quiet around here. Been far too busy at work and home to keep up with all the beer reviews but hoping to get things back on track. Some of the reviews that I am finishing up now were actually beers I drank months ago. My process usually works like this; I get home from work, open a beer, take a picture and make some notes. Then I come back at some point edit the photo, add the links, expand on the notes, etc.

Probably not the most efficient process but I work long hours and while I enjoy drinking a beer almost every night actually writing a review at that time would be difficult. So I fall behind and then spend a Sunday afternoon getting caught up on all those reviews. This time it will take a few Sunday afternoons to get caught up but I have had some great beer over the past couple months so you will want to stay tuned. You can follow my Facebook Page or Twitter account to see what’s happening on a more regular basis but reviews will be coming soon.

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842. Long Trail Brewing Space Juice

Long Traill Space JuiceI had really high hopes for this one since I enjoyed Limbo so much and Vermont has a pretty good reputation for DIPAs in 16 oz cans. Love the can design on this one.

The beer pours a super clear copper color with a thick white head. Aroma was a mix of tropical fruits and a bit of pine. Overall the aroma was not as big as I expected from an 8.7% DIPA.  Taste was just OK with those tropical fruits and pine but also a solid malt backbone and big lingering bitterness. Much more of a traditional IPA just bigger and different than so many of the murky, juice bombs that are out there today. Alcohol was well hidden and overall a beer worth trying but not one that I will seek out again.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.7% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 82
Rating:
Brewery Website: Long Trail Brewing
Brewery Social Media: FB20 twitter20 insta
Brewer’s Description: A Double-IPA of the cosmic kind, this super-limited offering is brewed with two-row and caramel malts that lay the foundation for hops, hops and more hops.

The truth is out there, so send your taste buds to orbit with the out-of-this-world citrus and pine notes of Galaxy, Mosaic, Citra, Columbus and Ella hops

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841. Foundation Brewing Afterglow

Foundation AfterglowI love Foundation Brewing and buy as much Epiphany as I can so when they released Afterglow as a single IPA in cans I had to get some.

Afterglow pours a bright relatively clear orange with a thick white head. Aroma is more herbal and floral than Epiphany but  still hop forward. Taste switches it up with a lot more citrus and tropical than I expected from the nose. A nice sweet base and relatively bitter finish make this an easy to drink single IPA.

Everything I have tried from Foundation has been top notch, Epiphany takes the top billing from Foundation but all of their beers are worth trying. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 61
Rating: 
Brewery Website: Foundation Brewing
Brewery Social Media: FB20 twitter20 insta
Brewer’s Description: Afterglow is an American IPA, rich in West Coast and South Pacific hop flavors and aroma.  The juicy malt base enhances the notes of tangerine, pine, and berries from the hops.  It finishes with a pleasingly dank and firm bitterness.

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840. Hoof Hearted Brewing Dragnsaddle

Hoof Hearted DragonsaddleThere are a couple of interesting stories relating to this brewery and their beer. First is the name which I assume came from a race horse from the mid-2000s named Hoof Hearted, see video at the bottom of this post for a chuckle. Second Hoof Hearted beer is highly sought after in Ohio with long lines at the brewery when they release cans. Here is a link to a story about the release of Dragonsaddle. For some unknown reason the brewery signed on with a distributor in Maine and we are now getting occasional shipments of cans from Ohio. Seems odd that a brewery that has long lines to buy their beer at the brewery would choose to set aside some of those cans to send them 800+ miles to Maine. This is the first beer from Hoof Hearted that I picked up at Bier Cellar in Portland.

Dragonsaddle is described as a triple IPA and comes in at a whopping 11.5% ABV. Very few IPAs I have reviewed even come close to this in terms of ABV with Ephraim from Hill Farmstead and Can’t Dog from Marshall Wharf being the only two that come to mind. Appearance is a slightly hazy orange with a decent white head that had good retention and left a lot of lacing. Aroma is dank, tropical and citrus. Taste follows with lots of citrus and tropical fruits; mango, pineapple, tangerine. Somehow there is no alcohol burn or taste at all in this beer which is amazing at 11.5% ABV.

This beer drinks like a 7% IPA but hits much harder. Dangerously smooth and drinkable. Very impressed with the first offering from Hoof Hearted and glad they decided to send some of their dank offerings to Maine. 
Pros:
Drinkable even at 11.5%
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 11.5% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 128
Rating: 
Brewery Website: Hoof Hearted Brewing
Brewery Social Media: FB20 twitter20 insta
Brewer’s Description: The strong “herbal” aroma sends you back to freshman year catching a ride to school in your weird burnout neighbor’s ……. (insert your fav. El Camino, IROC, Firebird) whilst being bombarded by the sounds of Van Halen (DLR era, none of that Sammy Hagar synthy love song bullshit). DANKSOME!

The flavor profile is full-on drippingly ripe tropical fruits: Mango, guava, papaya, and citrus. Juicy, refreshing, and deceptive. We would highly recommend wearing a helmet & supportive cup when mounting the Dragonsaddle.

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839. Hill Farmstead Madness & Solitude

Hill Farmstead Madness & SolitudeHill Farmstead made this beer as part of their 5th anniversary celebration. They took Ephraim, one of my all time favorite beers, and aged it in second and third use bourbon barrels. Those of you that follow me know I am not big on bourbon barrel aged beers but I had to try this one.

Madness & Solitude pours a burnt orange with a wispy white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma was quite a bit different than Ephraim with a lot of oak and vanilla coming through with muted hops and a fair amount of booze. Upon the first sip, and I do mean sip as this is a BIG beer, you get big oak flavors, vanilla and some of those citrus hops that I love so much. The finish is boozy and seemed to be full of bourbon but that may just be my over sensitive palate since I don’t drink bourbon and rarely drink bourbon barrel aged beers. The same thing often happens when I drink a coffee beer, all I can taste is coffee.

I enjoyed this beer and drank two 750s over a weekend, not in the same night, but I would have preferred straight up Ephraim without the bourbon barrel aging. Interesting and I’m glad I got to try it as we may not see it again.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 10.5% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewery Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewery Social Media: FB20 twitter20 insta
Brewer’s Description: In March of 2015 (our Fifth Anniversary), we brewed our Imperial IPA (Ephraim) and then aged it in second and third use bourbon barrels with the intent of an experimental anniversary release.  In the spirit of the holidays, we offer you this double dry hopped, oak aged Imperial IPA. 10.5% abv.

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838. Hill Farmstead Motueka Pale Ale

Hill Farmstead Motueka Pale AleThis is the ninth beer from the single hop pale ale series from Hill Farmstead that I have reviewed. The first were; Amarillo, Cascade, Citra, Galaxy, Mosaic, Nelson Sauvin, Riwaka, Simcoe. I think the only one I missed is Columbus.

Motueka pours a pale orange with the signature Hill Farmstead haze. Bright white head and soft carbonation. Aroma is a little more subtle than a lot of Hill’s beers but still has a nice amount of citrus and some grass. Taste is also a little lighter than their other single hop beers with a slightly sweet start followed by some citrus and floral hops. Finish is clean with virtually no bitterness.

Always surprised by the mix of aroma and flavor a talented brewer can get from a single hop variety. This beer is super easy to drink like most of their pale ales and I really enjoyed it. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.2% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewery Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewery Social Media: FB20 twitter20 insta
Brewer’s Description: An American Pale Ale bittered, flavored, and dry hopped exclusively with Motueka hops, a New Zealand varietal.

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