Tagged: hoppy beer

Review: Bissell Brothers Brewing Co. | Lux Rye Pale Ale

photo credit: Bissell Bros, twitter

photo credit: Bissell Bros, twitter

i’ve never committed adultery

the closest i’ve ever come

is flirting across town with two cats

in animal crossing.


i’ve never dabbled in that purple music.


that violin-laden chorus

punctuated with muted, arrogant trumpets and

spoiled with perverted

ivory keys


or perhaps,

maybe I’ve slid a finger or two

into the opening of a can

but not before


its contents into an unfortunate willi becher


reminiscing to the days of

listening to “me and mrs. jones,”

on repeat,

in a market basket,


eating english muffins in the bread aisle

and drinking johnnie walker double black from

the flask

your mother got you

for christmas.

the cute grocery clerk asks you if you’re alright

passed out on the polyurethane covered tiles.


she doesn’t notice the crumbs

you don’t notice

she’s still in high school.


winters are magical.


the aperture captures

more than what is simply put

directly in its line of fire.


the work of art conveys

the true spirit of the artist

despite his silence.


onion beer.

stanky stanky

got that danky lanky

pepper spray

take your pants off and pray

citrus pledge wipes


yet crisp

like the junction of lips on a cold night,

before copious apologies.



as I imagined that


awkward kiss

with billy mays


to be oxy cleaned

by my oxy queen

peel the paint right off the wall.



oh shit


the beer is good.


*9.8 out of 10*


Review: Jack’s Abby Brewing | Kiwi Rising Double IPL

photo credit: beerstreetjournal.com

photo credit: beerstreetjournal.com

It was an early Thanksgiving. The weather was an unseasonably warm 49 degrees—teeming with that kind of “how are you enjoying this heat wave” bullshit that you’d elicit from a passerby when you couldn’t care less about the fucking weather.

“Oh, I know, right?” You ask, not answering the question. You smile, somewhat through your teeth, forcing your arm down at your side in a somewhat Strangelovian manner, restraining the throbbing urge to flip this guy the fuck off. Feet squirming as you plodge upon the frosty ground, teeth grinding. You ask yourself—like you do, year after year—“why the fuck do I live here? What am I doing with my life? This place is practically showing me the door. It doesn’t want me here.”

Leaning to my side, practically collapsing upon the dining room table, the second (or was it third) helping of mashed potatoes was settling upon the bottommost recesses of my stomach, hammering against my pyloric sphincter in the most Gothic manner. The fucking Fall of Rome was reenacting itself in my gut as I sat there dazed, listening to my grandmother drone on about whom else she knew who died recently.
“Her husband was a firefighter, years ago…

He lives alone now…
Very lonely
Losing his mind
And his brother, did you hear?”
Right, he died too.

Uh huh
Uh huh
Uh huh
“Who else is dead, grandma?”

Now is the winter of my uncontent.

Public radio blared through the speakers as I sped my way back home. Folksy stories about decline, quiet, quaint mediocrity and resignation in a frozen Minnesotan shithole lulled me into semi-conscious stupor.

At this point, I’m about to go straight Royal Tenenbaums on this shit and calmly fling this fucking sedan into Lake Arrowhead. Just straight up cock the wheel to the left and launch myself into oblivion.

Yeah, I know that didn’t happen in the movie.
Who’s telling the story here?

It’s called creative license.

So, anyway, after I ran all those people off the highway and caused a 54-car-pileup in middle of the main road, the whole town caught on fire and pretty much everybody died except for that one guy who people thought was crazy, holed up in a bunker, snickering to himself, eating his toenail clippings.
Yeah, it was pretty weird.

Winter is a hard season to adjust to though, aside from the mass destruction of whole villages, there’s also the snow, the cold, and the shorter days.

Needless to say, it’s fucking depressing.

That’s why I have to give credit to Jack’s Abby Brewing, who went out of their way to Kiwi Rising, a Double India Pale Lager with such a sunny disposition.

I mean think about it; Framingham must suck right now too.
Talk about escapism!
No, don’t change the subject; I’m talking about beer here
So, like it’s summer in New Zealand, right?
Pretty perfect timing, Jack’s Abby.
Did you plan that?
You think you’re sooooo fucking cool.


Seriously though, it’s sunshine in a bottle.
Except without the deadly radiation. (Ok, whatever, I’m running out of material)

So, what’s the significance of this bottle of beer? Well for one, it’s stupid hoppy.
Like four pounds of hops a barrel.
I mean this beer is being ridiculous right now.
We’re talking “four kettle hop additions, whole leaf hops in the hop back, and multiple dry hop additions.”

Unadulterated porn.

Like, Brazzers level.
As in, you’re gonna need a shower after this level of hop fornication.
It’s 105 IBU of

…and we’re not just talking hops here. We’re talking kiwi hops, which just sounds dope as hell. Turns out, they taste nothing like kiwis. First, that pissed me off, Jack’s Abby. I was furious, but then I realized that I was pretty much just drinking Heady Topper lager, which I guess is ok.
white head
The color: honey gold to sunflower, not much lacing– Very little carbonation visible—it looks like mead… but it isn’t.
…and it smells like vacation too. There are big citrus notes on the nose, along with some other tropical fruits. There’s a residual sweetness as well (because obviously you can smell sweetness—just work with me here)—like an orange marmalade. Finally, there’s some slight pine.
It made me want to parade my fat
Around the beach
Looking for a cool crowd, with which to play



…and when I scare everyone off, I’d go bungee jumping instead.
And did I dive into this beer. Again, there is citrus first on the tongue. Following are strong, biscuit and bread notes—light, crisp malts, like a nice rustic, country loaf, very dry. Pine and botanical flavors linger after swallowing. It’s slightly spicy—very similar to that of a fine gin. By that, I suppose I mean somewhat akin to juniper… and then there’s mango at the end. The feeling in the mouth is rather sticky, with a dry finish. I feel it could be slightly more effervescent, but it is certainly not a detractor.

It’s a damn fine beer.

This is a beer for those who seek to escape from the cold. It’s a beer for those who dream of golden shores, sprawling hills, and mountains that lunge towards the sky. Think of the breathtaking views from the Lord of the Rings movies. That’s this beer—splendid, somewhat sordidly beautiful. You feel guilty partaking of something like this.

Happy thanksdrinking.

*9.3 out of 10*

The Portland Project part 1: Review: Bissell Brothers Brewing Co. | Bucolia Amber Ale

Photo cred: mainetoday.com

Photo cred: mainetoday.com


In Portland, it’s not unusual to order eggs for breakfast and get a bucket of hot sauce on the side. It’s not entirely strange to walk through a café on one end of a building and galumph up on into an art gallery on the other end. You can get a beer and a haircut at the same time, and no one will ask any questions, as this is not a particularly questionable combination, anyway. While we’re at it, why not throw in blowing coke in a tattoo parlor with a game of darts thrown in there, for good measure? HUH? WHY NOT? WHY NOT?
The wise folks of the Port City of Maine had thought ahead to put most of the breweries in the city in one far-flung part of the town to keep out the riff-raff. A fantastic idea this is: one big strip of road, lined with bars, with ample parking. When everyone is done drinking half their weight in beer, there’s no concern to be had with their raucous behavior, disturbing people in the streets as they stumble back to their respective destinations. No; luckily they can just drive home.
Our first stop was at the surprisingly tiny Bissell Brothers Brewing Company, right on the corner of Industrial Way. It was surprising, mostly, because of how big the operation seemed in theory. Already, the brothers have a sophisticated canning operation in place, with which they can about 20 barrels every 3 weeks or so. Not even mentioning that this brewery has been open less than a year, this is impressive when you compare to an equally pimps system, that of the Alchemist’s out of Waterbury, VT, which is a 15 barrel system that cans 180 barrels a week.
Let’s just say, when I found that out, my brains LITERALLY blew out of my ears and all over the taproom. Gray effluence everywhere, the line began to move pretty quickly. I stumbled mindlessly to the front of the line and got myself a couple of four packs. Now, bleeding profusely, fading, I stumbled to the tables outside. The weather was beautiful—such a nice October day. Collapsing upon the table, face first, my buddy Kevin helped pour me some Bucolia, the brothers’ amber ale. Now, actually dead at this point, someone had the sense to call an ambulance.

I’m only kidding. This didn’t happen.
But what did happen next really blew my mind.
Like, completely eviscerated.
Like, rent asunder.
Like, Solomon cutting a baby in half.
Like, straight cash, homie.

Picking myself and my pieces up from the ground, I peered up at the glass. I saw a slightly hazy, rust-colored beer. It had an off-white head, not a lot of carbonation, and some slight lacing. It was a sexy little piece of cake.

But it wasn’t a cake.
It was a beer.

Pine and peach, pineapple, nectarine, it smelled like a little champion. A little champion with big ol’ muscles that stood 6 inches tall and speaks Dutch plows the field with its tiny little plow for its figurine cows that graze on the microscopic grass.

Speaking of graaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssssss

It tasted of orange and a little bit of mango. There was a slight spice to the hops. There was some good toasted malt in there—like toasted sourdough bread crust.

Uh, what? Like bread crust, bruh?

Damn tootin

Light, crisp, vaguely floral and vegetal in nature, it had a straight-up refreshing taste, like lemon and cucumber.


Just ever so slightly. It probably has more to do with the fact that it’s so dry.

Dry, bitter finish

Too drinkable

Like air
Like air….
Like air……….

The Figurine Cows is kind of an OK band name.
If only they’d stop crapping in my goddamned kicks.
*9.4 out of 10*

Review: Stone/Beachwood/Heretic Brewing | Unapologetic IPA

You know a Michael Bay preview when you see one.

You know one, five, maybe ten seconds into a trailer. You know the low, gravelly bass tone that thunders like a gargantuan, mammoth fart through the surround sound. My mouth agape, I could taste it.

Yes, again.

A dumbfounded Megan Fox, trying so hard to feign perspicuity, mimics my expression.










Never mind, I’m not watching a preview for a Michael Bay movie.
I’m not watching the unfolding of a major motion picture flop.
I’m not watching the crumbling of Western Civilization.
I’m not watching the cinematized bastardization of masculinity.

I’m drinking a beer
At home
In my jean shorts.

Sigh…. Another Stone collab…

Mitch Steele is trying so hard with this one… so effortlessly.

Unapologetic IPA is a collaboration beer between Stone Brewing, Beachwood BBQ and Brewing, and Heretic Brewing, all out of California.

Unapologetic IPA is a Double IPA, coming in at 8.8% ABV, exploding with coy, light malts, and wild, schizophrenic, fancy, new, experimental hops.

Unapologetic IPA is the self-indulgent writer’s strike of 2008. It’s the Dr. Horrible of beer, it’s got the understated wit of Joss Whedon, yet the masturbatory pomp of the aforementioned king of shitty summer movies.

It’s a menacing clusterfuck of aromas and flavors.

Feel me

So, this one is a bit complicated.

It’s sexy looking. I’ll give it that. It’s a bright amber color. By that, I mean it has that classic prehistoric fossilized amber quality you see bugs and crap encapsulated in. It’s every 2nd grade boy’s dream to find in the woods. It’s beautiful. It’s romantic. It’s a fucking candle on a cupcake. It has decent, yet subtle lacing. With a soapy, white head, it wraps around the glass gently. Vigorous carbonation streams towards the top of the glass.

Its aroma is misleading. It is lighter than anticipated. There’s actually some caramel upfront; then come the hops. Candied orange, nectarine, lemon, a little boozy heat come up from the glass. Yowza, good golly, is that strawberry? I think so, but I know there’s some tropical fruit on the end, boy howdy.

I take a long, hard gulp.

Again, it’s hoppy, balanced, but not as in your face as I would have anticipated. There’s a bunch of over the top, experimental hops varietals in this beer. It’s horrifically zany—like a Stephen King novel—how much these folks (Mitch Steele of Stone, Jamil Zainasheff of Heretic, and Julian Shrago of Beachwood) obsessively dedicated themselves to paltry decadence in crafting this beer.

Here’s what’s going on here with the wacko experimental hops:
• The Azacca is going crazy with some citrus
• The Belma adds some herbal notes along with the bittersweet character of Meyer lemon
• The HBC lends a little pine, but it’s very slight
• The Steiner adds some balance with some middle of the road pine and citrus character.

Back to the beer itself—
Given the simple malt bill, it lets the hops shine, despite the muddled complexity. It’s like the “cool parents” who go off to vacation in Pennsylvania for the weekend, leaving the house to their 16-old-kid, inviting him to “just have a few friends over” and saying, “just don’t rifle through the liquor cabinet in the cabinet just to the right of the fridge… no, the next right… yeah, that cabinet.”

It’s bitter, unashamed hedonism.





To an extent, it is very sweet. I’d find it hard to drink more than one glass (but I’m desperately trying to). Tropical fruits dominate the palate—guava is heavy, but then comes citrus—particularly lemon, Meyer lemon, maybe—then mostly orange, finally comes a nectarine finish. It’s nice, but it pounds the palate. I’m probably crazy, but I also get a hint of coconut.

If I’m wrong about the taste, there is at least some coconut on the mouthfeel. It coats the mouth oily. It then tingles, and trickles down the gullet, leaving a stickiness akin to higher ABV beers.

Yeah, nasty.

Fuck wit it tho. It’ll pump your johnnies.


Alright, alright. It’s fine, it’s grand, it’s a good beer. It’s just got so much going on. I personally don’t mind it but in order to enjoy it, you just have to think of it as an IPA. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s a big, weird, IPA, and that’s it.

Wait, something witty to wrap this up?

Something about Firefly and Joss Whedon?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

I don’t fucking know.

*8.0 out of 10*