Review – A Trio from Mumford Brewing

With their 7th Anniversary recently passed, it seemed a good time to review three Mumford Brewing beers including their 10.76% TIPA…

Return Visit WC DIPA – collaboration with Cerebral Brewing. I like the repeated Return Visit in red on the yellow label. Bright and clear orange color in the glass. Getting candied orange peel to start that settles into a WC dankness. The DIPA strength shows.

Rolling Blackout Coffee Stout – milk chocolate is the aroma order of the day, Coffee is low here. Getting more vanilla than anything as it warms. A bit if metallic note intrudes here as well.

7th Anniversary TIPA – ticks the hazy boxes than toggles up the ABV. Soft hazy mouthfeel with tropical fruit and grassiness. If I had to describe using just one word, that word would be thick. This is a texturally heavy beer.

Review – Unity 22 IPA from Highland Park Brewery

Time to give the verdict on the 2022 Unity beer, an IPA from Highland Park Brewery.

The label has a Muppet feel to it which is cool with the logos on the left but not so much with the reaching hands from the word Unity.

The beer pours a dark orange and right off the bat loads of Concord grape here. A lemon note backs that up. Medium to low bitterness level to me. This review is from first day of release so it was at freshness peak. It is light and refreshing and as it warms up more tropical flavors appear.

Review – Humans Vs. Wizards

Time to choose a side. Wizards and Hazies or Humans and West Coasties?

This challenge comes to us from Smog City and Three Weavers and their two IPA’s…

We start with…

More Wizard Than Human Hazy IPA – fruit plus Sweet Tart on the aroma. Soft on the palate. The bitterness is there but more lurking than upfront. The spell of hops is from Strata, Cashmere and El Dorado. I get some tea like notes from the Strata plus a little twisted malt note.

More Human Than Wizard West Coast IPA – according to the label art, much bigger hops used. Though really it is the same big three just expressed differently. Tilted more British in styling with a bready note. More earthy and woody and no fruit.

Verdict – I like the fruity notes in the hazy over the earthy in the West Coast. I also like the wizard over the Thor like dude with the big H mash paddle.

Review – Two IPA’s from Lucky Luke Brewing

Time to dive into some IPA’s from sorta local Lucky Luke Brewing Company.

In a world where a LOT of IPAs taste very similar, these two do not.

Hooray for Me – this is quite uniquely fruity. Maybe guava or papaya here. It has the clarity if not the bracing bitterness. That 7.2% is super well masked. Could easily be a DIPA in name.

Free High 5 – certainly a hazy DIPA. Getting huge amounts of banana and earthiness here. Squarely in the hazy category. This is a cheek warmer. Soft texture but in no way weak.

Featured Review – Sting from Nectar Creek Mead

I have mini-dabbled in mead in the past year so when I got the opportunity to taste a Ginger Mead from Nectar Creek Meadery, I jumped at the chance.

Sting is from their core line-up and is described as, “Fresh ginger and pure Oregon honey combine for a sting of warmth and a tease of sweetness in this refreshing session mead.”

The big flavor here is vanilla. Like pastry shop baking vanilla. Ginger is kinda there. But this slightly bubbly yellow hued mead is big time vanilla. To me less sting and more pillowy. The honey has won this battle royale with the ginger convincingly.

Take away the ginger root on the label. Take away the name. And this is delicious. The pastry heads in attendance would love this. I quite enjoyed drinking it myself and would not hesitate to buy another mead from Nectar Creek. That is saying something because I look at media samples much harsher.

Review – RnD #4 from Russian River

Time to check in with Research & Development at Russian River Brewing

#4 pours a really light yellow but has a huge floral and grape aroma that fills the glass. Along with the Concord grape aroma, I also get a touch of cattiness as well. There is a sharp biting hop hit at first that leads to the woody and fruity mashup. It tastes stronger than the color and 7% ABV would leas you to think.

Review – Two from Enegren Brewing

Let’s double up on Germanic beer with two from sorta/kinda local, Enegren Brewing.

American Reinheitsgebot 2022 Dark Lager – Brewed in collaboration with the much loved Moonlight Brewing Co. (which recently got a new part owner in Patrick Rue of Erosion Wines) this lager is rich and luxurious with a tiny touch of chocolate. Leaves pretty espresso rings of lacing on the glass. There is a slight bitterness here underneath but overall this is a simple dark lager, no fussiness at all.

Maibock – need to get this review in before June starts. This spring lager pours a lovely clear orange color. Sweet malt aroma on the nose. Honey is the dominant note here, Silky smooth texture. The ABV strength is there. Strangely, this reminds me of Bell’s Double Two Hearted a bit minus the hop kick.

Review – (2) from Shades Brewing

I got three beers from a Salt Lake City brewery that I had never heard of from a dear friend who traveled their recently. So I randomly picked two Shades Brewing beers in their colorful cans to review.

Plum Berliner Weisse – pours a multi-hued purple, red and peach color. Very pretty, as is the shades of purple label. The plum taste trumpets in well. Not one of these where’s the fruit? beers. Nice tartness level. And nice spritzy carbonation as well.

Passion Fruit Sour – another sour bursting with actual fruit. This has the hallmark funky meets tropical aroma and flavor of a passion fruit. Sour level is low but it just tastes fantastic. Liquid fruit from a Farmer’s Market.

Both sours were just great. I cannot stress enough how much of the fruit came through. Real fruit not the fakey candy kind. If you find yourself in Salt Lake grab these beers.

Featured Reviews – Two from Abnormal Beer Co.

It was great to see that my local Trader Joe’s had a pair of beers from Abnormal Beer Co. amongst their “orphan” singles shelf so I quickly grabbed them because, I do not think that I have had anything from them before.

Hazy Dreams – pours not hazy but pretty two-toned orange color, all the same. Definitely getting a tropical and citrus nose from this dream. Flavor wise, there is a burst of wheat at the end of this that I like as a secondary flavor behind the hops. A bit of alcohol burn peers through which lowers the score in my book.

Boss Pour – IPA labeled as a San Diego IPA. Trying to cast my mind back to the early SD days as I drink this. Has a dark yellow merging into orange color. Not super spiky in bitterness. Getting candied orange peel. A bit of pine pokes through as well. Hits the old school notes.

A criteria for me when tasting a brewery for me is, would I visit to taste on draft. Have I been intrigued enough. Boss Pour is a yes and Hazy Dreams a maybe.

Double Barrel Reviews – Gold Rider and Daisy’s Favorite from Firestone Walker

Firestone Walker has been reading my mind again as they have done more gin barrel-aged beers and have dabbled in using bitters barrels too.

Let’s start with the bigger ABV of the two, which surprised me, the Daisy…

Imperial Blonde is sort of like imperial pilsner to me, I appreciate the level up game but it also defeats the purpose of a blonde ale. Daisy’s Favorite pours a dark orange color and their is a mingling of spices on the nose. A soft but sturdy botanical flavor leads to a bit of alcohol burn at the end. The spices pop as it warms and the ABV doesn’t show up as strong. I would have maybe liked a little more juniper beer or coriander to add an extra dimension.

Gold Rider has been the beer talked about a bit more. Mentioning Cognac will do that. This has a big barrel aroma. Very French mixture of whiskey and grape. Lighter mouthfeel to this one, the aroma leads you to expect one thing and then you sip and it is different. I am missing the lemon aspect to this though, unless that is what is contributing to the lightness.

To choose a winner: I would pick the Daisy. It had a simpler mission and hit the mark, the orange bitters in the Rider emerged well but it needed more Cognac and lemon.