Monthly Archives: January 2014

580. Newburyport Brewing Green Head IPA

Newburyport Green HeadTook my first trip to Newburyport Brewing last month, grabbed a growler and a mix 6-pack of their cans. They were in the process of putting these together while I was there and like many small breweries this is a manual process. Take apart 6-packs of their three individual beers and put them back together as mixed 6-packs with two each of their beers. Remember this next time you pick up a mix 6 or 12 pack at your local beer store, a lot of manual labor probably went into creating that for you.

Appearance is a bit darker than many IPAs and has a nice fluffy off white head. This leaves a significant amount of lacing on the glass making this a very appealing beer. Aroma had a nice mix of pine and floral hops with a nice sweet malt base. Taste was similar with a very nice balance of the various hops.  Letting it warm slightly really brought out more flavor. Overall I really enjoyed this beer but still think their Pale Ale is the best offering. 
Pros:
Well balanced and flavorful
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Newburyport Brewing
Brewers Description: An assertive and hoppy west coast-style India Pale Ale. Bright hop aromas and flavors fade to a brief, smooth malt undertone and a clean, crisp, slightly bitter finish. This beer is brewed to bite you back!

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579. Sixpoint Global Warmer

Sixpoint Global WarmerWhen I first read about Global Warmer  I figured it would be a Winter Warmer style beer. I had this on draft at Thirsty Moose in Portsmouth a few weeks back and was pleasantly surprised to get a hoppy amber ale. After trying it at Thirsty Moose I picked up a can at Bier Cellar so I could take a proper photo do this review.

This is a nice looking amber ale with a deep red color and single finger off white head. Aroma is fairly subtle but mostly pine and spicy hops. Overall an enticing beer, especially for an amber. Taste follows with a big hit of hops at first but that quickly gives way to some nice sweet malts. This gives the beer a very nice balance.

I like that some breweries are making hoppy holiday or winter seasonal offerings instead of everyone doing the big bad stouts or spiced beers. Between this and Celebration from Sierra Nevada you have a couple of good winter seasonals for the hop lovers out there. 
Pros:
Hoppy
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 70
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Sixpoint
Brewers Description: Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. A Winter Warmer to warm your Globe, or a Global Warmer to warm your Winter? There’s no denying the Beer Climate is changing.

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578. Blue Lobster Excess Galaxy

Blue Lobster Excess GalaxyDave at Blue Lobster makes some great beer and I really enjoy going down to Hampton and hanging out at the tasting room. Last time I was down I only had a few minutes and grabbed two 750s of the Excess Galaxy. At first I was not sure if this was a different beer than my previously reviewed Excess is Not Rebellion (Galaxy Edition) but after tasting it I was convinced it was a different beer. Just to confirm I contacted Dave and he did say it is a different beer, both double IPAs and both hopped entirely with Galaxy hops.

This beer pours a cloudy orange color with a big fluffy white head. Aroma had lots of citrus and pineapple and a bit of pine. Taste follows with a very tropical feel and very little bitterness which is surprising for a double IPA. If you like your DIPAs with lots of juicy fruits like I do you need to make your way to Hampton, NH and check out what Blue Lobster is brewing. 
Pros:
Lots of citrus/tropical fruits
Cons:

Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness):
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Blue Lobster FB Page
Brewers Description:

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577. SoMe Brewing Sweet Solstice

SoMe Brewing Sweet SolsticeMy first beer review from SoMe Brewing Company. I met Dave (the younger) there just prior to him opening and sampled all four of his offerings. Brought home a growler of this and a howler of his double IPA. Sweet Solstice is Dave’s take on a holiday beer, good for the season and low in alcohol so you can bring to a party and still be able to drive home.

This was an interesting beer with a nice light orange color. Minimal to no head and carbonation was light. Plenty of sweet spiciness in the aroma. Taste follows with the same clove spice that you get in the aroma. This beer is also quite sweet and not bitter at all. Not really my style of beer but I bought this to bring to a family Christmas party and it was well received. It will be interesting to try this beer again next year after Dave has had time to get used to his system and dial things in a bit.

Certainly a nice start for a small brewery and a beer worth trying. Check out SoMe’s Facebook page for their hours and take a trip to York.
Pros: Unique, low ABV and flavorful
Cons:
Carbonation seemed a bit off but could have just been the growler
Alcohol Content: 4.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 20
Rating: 
Brewers Website: SoMe Brewing
Brewers Description: A light, sweet, spiced holiday ale.

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576. Gneiss Brewing Obsius

Gneiss ObsiusThis is the fourth and final beer I brought home from Gneiss Brewing. You may have noticed a theme in the name of the brewery and their beers, geology. The brewer’s description below and their website have a lot more detail on the name of the brewery and the beers. I opened this one during the ice storm we had just prior to Christmas in Maine, seemed like a good time to drink stout.

Obsius is a weizen stout (wheat stout) which is a style not often brewed. This beer is black with a thin tan head that went away quickly. The aroma was fairly tame but had some nice roasted malt and wheat. Obsius is very tasty with plenty plenty of roasted chocolate, minimal coffee which is a plus for me and a creamy mouth feel.

Overall this is a nice change from the big imperial stouts that so many larger brewers choose to make. If you like dark beer but don’t want to be able to drink more than 12 ounces this is a good choice for you. 
Pros:
Creamy mouth feel
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 5.9% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 15
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Gneiss Brewing
Brewers Description: Obsius is a weizenstout, a wheat dominated stout brewed with our weiss yeast. Obsius is a rich and creamy beer with lots of roast and finishing with the bittering from the dark malts, not the hops.

The name of this beer is derived from ancient mythology. According to the writings of Pliny the Elder, Obsuis was a Roman explorer who happened upon the stone we now know as Obsidian during his travels in Ethiopia. Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass.  It is generally ejected from a volcanic explosion and cools so rapidly that no crystals form and the rock is smooth as glass.  It is primarily silica oxide (70-75%) with magnesium and iron oxide contributions.

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575. Fiddlehead Brewing Hodad Porter

Fiddlehead Brewing Hodad PorterThis was the second option available when I was at Fiddlehead. While there I heard several people in line talking about how they tried this beer at the Vermont Brewers Festival and really enjoyed it. I knew I was going to bring home a growler of it regardless but it was nice to hear the beer was good before I bought it.

This is a great looking porter, deep brown with a single finger tan head that disappears quickly. Aroma is mild with only a bit of chocolate and some vanilla. Not a lot happening there but the taste makes up for anything that is lacking in the nose. Lots of chocolate, vanilla and coconut in this beer but it is not sweet as you might think.

Really impressed with both beers from Fiddlehead and will certainly be stopping there again on my next visit to Western Vermont.
Pros:
Unique flavor and not too sweet
Cons:

Alcohol Content: 5.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 30
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Fiddlehead Brewing
Brewers Description: As wonderful as last winter had been, it was a long one.  At the brewery during one such blustery cold morning we began  reminiscing of warmer weather and dreaming of sandy beaches and white capped waves we came up with a recipe to merge the two seasons together.  We took a dark beer (more popular in the cold winter months) and infused it with the tropical goodness of roasted coconut flakes and cacao nibs.  Delightfully smooth and dark this is pure beer candy.  And since none of us at the brewery have ever actually surfed we figured Hodad (the surfer term for the guy who drives to the beach with a board on the car, sticks his board in the sand just to tan and pick up Betties) was the perfect name for a Vermont brewery creating a Hawaiian style ale.

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574. Fiddlehead Brewing IPA

Fiddlehead IPAMade my first visit to Fiddlehead Brewery on a trip to Vermont last month and I am glad I did. First they have really nice growlers and glasses. The pint glass pictured actually has little fiddleheads laser etched in the bottom of the glass. Second they make some excellent beer.

I came with a full growler of the IPA and a 32 ounce howler of their Hodad Porter (see my next review). The IPA is a straight up American IPA at a very reasonable 6.2% ABV and 53 IBUs. Nothing over the top about this beer but it is flavorful and easy to drink. Fiddlehead IPA pours a nice orange color with an off white head that leaves loads of lacing (see photo below).

Aroma has plenty of fresh citrus hops, again not huge but very nice. Taste follows with the citrus and a nice sweet balance with almost no bitterness. This beer was quite refreshing and certainly worth making the short trip south of Burlington to Shelburne.
Pros:
Well balanced
Cons:

Alcohol Content: 6.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 53
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Fiddlehead Brewing
Brewers Description: This medium bodied American style IPA has an alluring golden glow and beautifully blends three strains of hops.  While strong citrus notes ambush your taste buds halfway through the palate, the beer finishes very crisp and dry.

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573. Hill Farmstead Amarillo Single Hop Pale Ale

Hill Farmstead AmarilloMost of the beers I have been drinking from Hill Farmstead lately have already been reviewed; Edward, Abner, Society & Solitude #5, etc. However Shaun continues to produce single hop varieties of his pale ale and the Amarillo version was a new one for me.  I am far from a hop expert; I know I like them, lots of them but when it comes to the different characteristics I have to look them up.

Like many other Hill Farmstead beers this pours a nice hazy orange color with a clean white head that left great lacing on the glass. Aroma has plenty of tropical fruits and is slightly dank. Taste was dialed back a notch from the aroma but had the same characteristics with a dank and slightly bitter finish.

Overall I really enjoy single hop beers and will look for more single hop pales, IPAs and DIPAs in 2014.
Pros: Great aroma
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 5.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewers Description: An American Pale Ale bittered, flavored, and dry hopped exclusively with Amarillo Hops

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