Tag Archives: Massachusetts

830. Tree House Brewing Ma

Tree House MaMy brother in law often attends events with me and gets a lot of great beer from my frequent trips to breweries. Occasionally he repays me with beer including this one from Tree House. Ma is a hoppy red ale and like many beers from Tree House now comes in 16 ounce cans with a label stuck to it. Love that they are canning their beer now and still need to find a reason to make more regular trips to Monson.

Ma pours a deep red almost brown with a thick off white head, really nice looking beer. Aroma is an interesting mix of piney hops, slightly fruity and sweet almost bubble gum. Taste starts with the sweet malts you would expect from a red but the hops really shine in the end with plenty pine and citrus. Slightly bitter finish with nice amount of carbonation.

Really well done beer and as much as I don’t like the black IPA I am really enjoying these hoppy red ales. Ma is right there with Nugget Nectar and Stoneface’s Red Rye IPA as a few of my favorite hoppy red ales. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.3% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Tree House Brewing
Brewers Description: 

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829. Night Shift Brewing Whirlpool

Night Shift WhirlpoolNow that I am making regular trips to Mass you will see more reviews of Night Shift beer. Love their tap room and it’s a pretty easy stop on my way back from Trillium. If you have recommendations on beer I should try from Night Shift or beer you would like to see reviewed comment here and I will do my best. Whirlpool is regularly available in cans that can be purchased at the brewery and occasionally at select retail locations.

This beer pours a deep hazy yellow with solid white head that left plenty of lacing. Aroma is full of fruit with some peach, mango and pineapple coming through. Flavor leans heavily towards ripe peach with an extra bit of citrus. Finish is clean with almost no bitterness. Really flavorful for a 4.5% ABV beer and one that I could drink all day long.

Everyone that I have shared this beer loved it including many non-craft beer drinkers. Overall just an excellent brew that seems to fly under the radar but that is OK with me as I expect I will be drinking a lot of it in 2016.
Pros: Flavorful, low ABV
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 4.5% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Night Shift Brewing
Brewers Description: Soft pale ale bursting with notes of ripe peach and citrus.

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825. Trillium Brewing Double Dry Hopped Sleeper Street

Trillium DDH Sleeper StreetI drink a lot of hoppy beers, partly because I enjoy IPAs and DIPAs but a lot has to do with the amount of beer I buy. Having a job that “forces” me to visit brewery after brewery I am constantly buying beer and since hops fade quickly I always try to drink my IPAs first. Because of this I have reviewed more hoppy beers than anything else; the first truly exceptional DIPA I reviewed was Dreadnaught from Three Floyds way back in February 2012. Since then I have tried almost all of the “best” hoppy offerings. Occasionally I come across a brewery that just knows how to use hops and Trillium is the most recent example of this.

Congress Street is one of the best single IPAs out there, Fort Point is an amazing hoppy pale ale and their DIPA offerings including Heavy Mettle and Vicinity are right up there with the best from Hill Farmstead and The Alchemist. Now add to these their dry hopped and double dry hopped offerings and you have all the hops any one person can handle. DDH Sleeper Street pours a hazy pale orange with a bright white head. Aroma is ripe orange, melons and tropical fruit. Taste follows with loads of fresh citrus and a little dank. Finish is slightly bitter but not as harsh as one might expect from a beer with this amount of hops.

Another exceptional beer from Trillium, can’t wait for their Canton location to open so it will be easier to get their beer. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.2% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Trillium Brewing
Brewers Description: Same base grist as Sleeper Street IPA, but with a double dose of El Dorado in the dry hop. These El Dorado hops impart a powerful aroma of distinctive lime zest, along with notes of grapefruit juice, and a subtle woodsy earthiness.  The taste is bright, floral, and citrusy hop upfront and finishes with candied lime. As with all Trillium “Street” IPA’s, Double Dry Hopped Sleeper Street is dry with medium-light body and a crisp finish.

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823. Enlightenment Ales Illumination

Enlightenment Ales IlluminationThe Belgian IPA or Hoppy Saison is not a style I drink a lot. I like IPAs and drink a lot of them and I like saisons but rarely do the styles mix and create something worthwhile. Hugh Malone from Allagash may be the only memorable beer within the style and this year’s Hugh Malone was even better than the one reviewed above. I got this bottle from a friend and decided to give it a shot.

Illumination pours a very bright and clean copper color with a very thick soapy white head. Aroma was an interesting mix of floral hops, saison yeast and a bit funky. The hops are there in the aroma but they really shine in the flavor with a big blast of citrus and floral hops to start. When I say big I mean big relative to the style, there is enough there to satisfy an IPA drinker but you won’t be overwhelmed by hops. Finish turns more towards that traditional saison with some spice and yeast coming through and a very mild bitterness.

Overall a very interesting and complex beer from Enlightenment Ales and one of the best of the style that I have tried.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.8% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Enlightenment Ales
Brewers Description: Illumination is a beer inspired by two of my favorite brewing traditions: the rustic farmhouse ales of Belgium and the generously hopped IPA’s of America’s West Coast. Born from a grist of barley, wheat and rye, and fermented with a blend of infamously expressive farmhouse ale yeasts, Illumination begins its life as a classic Saison, only to be transformed into something unique through robust additions of American dry hops. The result is a beer with an intensely tropical aroma, a juicy, citrus flavor, and a dry, crisp bitterness. While this beer may not provide immediate illumination to the mysteries of life, it’s sure to at least brighten the corners.

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817. Newburyport Brewing Melt Away

Newburyport Brewing Melt Away Session IPAIt seems like most breweries added a session IPA or session pale to their line up during 2015. Some were excellent and some just seemed like watered down versions of other beers. Some of my favorites include Rising Tide’s Maine Island Trail, Baby Genius & Diavoletto from Bissell Brothers.

Melt Away appears to be the newest can release from Newburyport Brewing adding a session beer to an already solid line up. This beer pours a slightly hazy pale orange with a solid white head, really nice looking beer. Aroma is abundant for a session beer with plenty of citrus and tropical hops. Taste follows with plenty of hop flavor on top of a light malt base. Slightly creamy and very little bitterness making this a super crushable session IPA.

This will definitely be added to the list of beers for my golf cooler next summer. 
Pros: 

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 4.6% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Newburyport Brewing
Brewers Description: A refreshing session IPA shining with Citra and Amarillo hops uniquely balanced by malt sweetness for a crisp, easy finish. A tasty way to kick back and melt away.

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793. Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union

Jacks Abby Hoponius UnionAnother beer from Jack’s Abby Brewing; Hoponius Union seems to be their most popular beer and is widely available on draft, in bottles and growlers at the brewery. I’ve tried the beer on draft multiple times so when I went to the brewery I opted for the 64 ounce growler.

Hoponius pours a nice orange color with solid white head. Aroma has a nice sweet base like many other lagers but the hops also come through with some nice spicy, citrus and tropical notes. Taste follows with the same sweet malt base and crisp clean hops add plenty of grass, citrus and pine. Finish is super clean and only slightly bitter.

This beer would satisfy most hoppy beer fans need for hops. Hopefully Jack’s Abby will start distributing in Maine soon. 
Pros:
Super clean and refreshing
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.7% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 65
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Jack’s Abby Brewing
Brewers Description: 
Hoponius Union harmoniously combines lager yeast fermentation and West Coast IPA hops. Our India style Pale Lager is like a traditional IPA but with a twist – it’s fermented cold and aged for extended periods. A blend of classic American hops creates a huge tropical fruit and citrusy hop aroma. A dry finish accentuates the pleasant bitterness and hop profile.

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792. Jack’s Abby Sour Barrel Project #5

Jacks Abby Barrel Project #5It has been a month since my last post, craziness of life sometimes gets in the way of blogging but my daughter’s soccer team is done, birthday parties including my 40th are done for the year and you should see more posts over the next several weeks. The long Maine winters are a great time to blog.

This one from Jack’s Abby continues a string of beers from Massachusetts that will continue as I am doing more and more business down that way. Look for more reviews of Trillium, Mystic, Night Shift and hopefully more from the guys at Jacks Abby too.

Sour Barrel Project #5 is a wine barrel aged version of Leisure Time and was available at the brewery for growler fills this summer. Appearance is a nice light golden color with minimal head which is pretty typical for a sour beer. Aroma is mild but has some earthiness along with hints of wheat and spices. Taste was light on the sour and had little to no wine barrel character but it did have some spice and a light tartness that worked well.

There was nothing about this beer that really stood out but everything about it worked making it a very enjoyable beer and something that would be a great intro to wild/sour beers for craft beer drinkers that are interested in the style but don’t want anything too crazy. 
Pros:
No flaws
Cons:
Alcohol Content: ??% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Jack’s Abby Brewing
Brewers Description:
Leisure Time aged in red wine barrels with brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus for 12 months.

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791. Lord Hobo Brewing Boomsauce

Lord Hobo Brewing BoomsauceThe fourth consecutive beer from Lord Hobo Brewing in Woburn MA. Boom Sauce is interesting in part because it is a blended IPA. Many breweries blend barrel aged beers but Boom Sauce is the only IPA I know of that is blended. This beer is a mix of the previous three beers reviewed from Lord Hobo.

As I noted in the first Lord Hobo release the brewer stated that the first release of Boom Sauce is not where he wanted it to be so I may need to revisit this beer as they recently released the third batch of Boom Sauce. This beer is very nice to look at; very deep orange with a thin white head. Aroma is light and leans more towards the sweet malts than the hops which is surprising for an 8% ABV DIPA. Taste seemed confused with lots going on; sweet, bitter, syrupy with some juicy hops but certainly not what I was hoping.

Overall Boom Sauce is better than three beers that went into it but it also has a lot of room for improvement. More to come on this beer so be sure to check back for updated reviews as the brewers continue to develop the recipes and blending. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Lord Hobo Brewing
Brewers Description: Perfectly blended hoppy ale

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790. Lord Hobo Brewing Ball & Biscuit

Lord Hobo Ball & BiscuitLord Hobo Ball BiscuitInteresting that the bitterness of these beers seems to be what I remember more than the hops. It also seems to be switching back and forth from the start to the finish.

Ball & Biscuit is another nice looking beer with a deep copper color and nice white cap. Aroma had a little more hop that the first two but still relatively mild. Taste was actually a little less pleasant the first two with a very sweet start and a big bitter finish that lingered for a long time. Carbonation was a bit higher than the first two beers.

Possibly my least favorite of the four beer released.
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Lord Hobo Brewing
Brewers Description: Hoppy ale, peach & papaya w/ a clean finish

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789. Lord Hobo Brewing Steal This Can

Lord Hobo Steal this CanSecond Beer from Lord Hobo Brewing and first of three canned offerings available at their opening.

Appearance is similar to Consolation Prize with a nice deep orange and bright white head. Aroma was mostly floral and rather light. Slightly bitter start, followed by a rather sweet and mildly hoppy finish. Carbonation was light which I don’t mind but the taste lingered a bit too long.

The second beer that was OK but again things may have changed since the initial release so give it a shot if you happen to be in Mass.
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.5% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Lord Hobo Brewing
Brewers Description: Hoppy ale, a citrus nose and bitter finish

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