Oskar Blues Fugli

Oskar-Blues-FugliWhat started as a small brewpub in the late 90’s, has become the craft beer behemoth Oskar Blues Brewery. Now with two breweries, one in Longmont, Colorado and a satellite brewery in Brevard, North Carolina, they have plans for a 3rd in location in Austin, Texas. Offering eight year round selections and a handful seasonal and limited brews, they continue to add new beers to their lineup.

This IPA is brewed with Ugli and Yuzu.

Ugli is a hybrid of grapefruit, oranges and tangerines. Yuzu is similar to a mandarin orange, but tarter. These two fruits give this IPA a strong citrus background.

ABV: 5.8% IBU’s: 60

Pour: a clear amber color, with minimal carbonation.

Head: A thin off hear forms quickly and vanishes even faster.

Nose: Lots of pine. like a west coast style IPA, with a good amount of citrus on the tail.

Palate: Medium bodied with a sticky characteristic. Big hop presence gives a good amount of pine notes. The fruit show up on the end and mellows the pine, while giving some citrus flavors. Finish is clean with mellow acidity.

Overall: Really good stuff. I was expecting more of a tropical style IPA, but this has a big west coast vibe. The fruit was more of a way to tame the hops while leaving some citrus hints behind. This would pair with mango habanero wings, mussels or carrot cake.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Out Of 5 Pints

Dogfish Head Festina Peche

dogfish-festina-pecheFounded in 1995, Dogfish Head could be one the most recognizable craft beer brands in the United States. Located in Milton Delaware and founded by Sam Calagione, they brew around 175,000 barrels of beer a year (that’s over 5 million gallons!). Known for their “off centered ales,” this wide ranging portfolio is geared towards unique and non-traditional recipes. Dogfish often collaborates with other brewers and has been featured on several documentaries and TV shows.

Festina Peche is a delicately hopped Berliner Weisse, brewed with peaches. The hopping helps soften the tartness, with peaches adding a delicate fruit flavor to the taste and aroma.

ABV: 4.5 IBU: 8

Pour: A hazy golden color, cloudy with mild carbonation.

Head: Very thin off white head forms, vanishing quicker then it appeared leaving no lacing behind.

Nose: Not much going on here, some hints of wheat and maybe a touch of peach.

Palate: Clean, crisp and very easy to drink. Has a tartness to it but isn’t not lip puckering sour. I would have liked to see a little more peach but still an easy drinking Berliner Weisse.

Overall: An easy drinking Berliner Weisse, just in time for the warm weather. This was light and wasn’t as tart as some would expect from this style. I’m a big fan of brewers using peaches, since they add nice sweetness but would have preferred a little more. Pairs nicely with bang bang shrimp, grilled chicken and goat cheese.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.0 Out Of 5 Pints

Magnify Vine Shine IPA

Over the last year or so,MAGNIFY VINESHINE2 the growing “eat local” craze has infiltrated the highly competitive craft beer market. Familiar names have been replaced on beer lists with local craft brews, and the coveted shelf space in retail outlets has been grabbed up by these, until recently, unknown breweries.

One of the big players in the market is Magnify Brewing Company, based out of Fairfield, NJ. I haven’t had the pleasure of stopping by the brewery yet, but a tasting event at our Wayne location last week allowed me to finally sample a few of their beers. We had a couple of limited releases, as well as Vine Shine IPA, one of their more widely distributed releases.

This beer was inspired by both East and West coast IPAs. Drawing its dank piney hop character from the West, and its smooth light bitterness, along with its dry “crushabilty” from the East.

6.5% ABV

Pour: Slightly hazy, straw yellow/gold.

Head: Fairly thin, foamy white.

Nose: Faint hop aromas with hints of citrus.

Palate: Smooth, low bitterness, very modest notes citrus/tropical fruit flavors. Finish is very fresh and clean.

Overall: The brewery describes this one as “crushable.” I would say that is a fair statement. This local brew really hit the spot on a warm spring day. Great intro to the IPA style as it is not over the top with hoppy bitterness.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints

Lagunitas Born Again Yesterday Ale

Lagunitas Born Again YesterdayLagunitas is one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the United States. Founded in 1993 by Tony Magee, the brewery is known for iconoclastic interpretations of traditional beer styles, and irreverent descriptive text and stories on its packaging.

Born Again Yesterday is part of the 2017 One Hitter Series. A series of rare, experimental and one-off brews produced in small batches released through the year.

7.0% ABV

Pour: A cloudy golden color with lots of carbonation swirling around.

Head: Very thin and airy head forms but hangs around for a while.

Nose: Lots of pine with hints of grapefruit behind it.

Palate: Light and juicy making it very easy to drink. Loads of hops give it a nice acidity but not as much fruit as I was expecting. Finish is clean and doesn’t leave much behind.

Overall: This was an interesting take a on a Pale ale, using “wet hops” gave it a nice juicy IPA feel while still having some remains of a Pale ale. This one is a limited release so it may not be the easiest to find but if you come across some this is definitely one to splurge on.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Out Of 5 Pints

Evil Twin Tropical Itch

evil twin tropical itchEvil Twin Brewing has rapidly grown in popularity, with its one-off style and limited releases offerings since 2006. Operated as a “gypsy” brewery, meaning they set up shop temporarily in other breweries like Westbrook Brewing Company in South Carolina or Two Roads Brewing Company in Connecticut. Leasing out space is no small endeavor, as last year Evil Twin brewed more than 7,000 barrels!

Tropical is a Berliner Weisse brewed with Passionfruit.

4.5% ABV

Pour: Very light golden with lots of carbonation. Almost champagne like.

Head: A thick off-white forms and hangs around before slowly fading.

Nose: A good amount of fruit, lots citrus with a hints of passion fruit behind it.

Palate: Very light and even sour, the tartness hits you immediately. Still a lot of citrus with not as much passion fruit as I was hoping for. Pretty acidic on the finish from all the tropical fruit.

Overall: Much more sour then I was expecting, I’m a huge fan of Berliner Weiss and this is one of the mow sour ones I’ve had. Would have liked a little more fruit flavor but still another great offering from Evil Twin. It may be sour but is still super crushable. Pairs well honey ham, French fries or a raspberry cheesecake.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Out Of 5 Pints

Funk Brewing Tumbleweed Pale Ale

funk tumble weed pale aleTucked away on a side street in Emmaus, PA is a dedicated brewer Kyle Funk, who’s hard at work putting out award-winning IPAs, lagers and other assorted varieties. The Funk Brewing Company has been producing beer in this Sixth Street building since February 2014, though his title of brewer began over 12 years ago. 80 miles to the north, a second taproom has been opened by Kyle’s brother-in-law, John Norman, with a focus on locally sourced menu, wines, and ciders.

ABV: 5.5%

IBU’s: 38

Pour: A really nice hazy golden color, cloudy enough where you can’t see carbonation in the glass.

Head: A thin head quickly forms and disappears, sticking to the edge of the glass.

Nose: Hoppy. Almost what you would expect from an IPA, but with more of malty background. Lots of fruit, citrus and notes of a tropical fruits, followed by some pine.

Palate: Medium bodied, juicy at first then malts surface showing its weight. Some lighter citrus notes but not as much of tropical fruit as expected from the nose. Slightly acidic but finishes quickly without leaving much behind.

Overall: A pretty solid Pale Ale.  At first seemed more like an IPA but came around after warming a bit. Not my first choice when it’s warmer out, the fruit notes here make this a little more approachable in the summer months. Plus it’s sold exclusively in cans making it easy to take along on your next outdoor adventure. Pairs well with burgers, cheddar cheeses or a classic bread pudding.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints

Cigar City Jai Alai IPA

Jai-Alai-IPAIts official. Cigar City Brewing has made its way to NJ!

After years of waiting, the Tampa cult brewery will be available year-round starting with their Jai Alai IPA. Founded in 2009, Cigar City has won numerous awards and has grown from producing around 1,000 barrels a year, to over 65,000 last year. They also formed a partnership with Oskar Blues, which means even more markets should be seeing this IPA in the coming months.

Jai Alai IPA has won numerous awards, including the 2010 Best Florida Beer – Championship Gold Medal.

ABV: 7.5% IBU’s: 70

Pour: A nice golden color, hazy without much carbonation.

Head: A small one finger head, frothy and off-white in color. Fades quickly leaving moderate lacing.

Nose: Crisp pine notes with papaya and other tropical fruits.

Palate: Sticky at first. Medium-bodied with light fruits and hints of wheat. Finishes clean with subtle hops.

Overall: This was a great IPA and the perfect beer to get people excited for Cigar City. We’re looking forward to more releases in the coming months. Pairs well with empanadas, BBQ Ribs or spicy dishes.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Pints