The Hop Reviews Vol. 35: April

Beer Reviews

CHICAGO, IL

The Hop Reviews v.35: An April Beer Review

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APRIL 2019

Each month, we share a handful of beers that we think you should know a little more about, through the perspective of our collective palate.

We tasted through the following 20 beers for April and rated them according to our very own interpretation of the BJCP scoring guidelineson a scale of 100, listed in alphabetical order. We considered aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel, overall impression and trueness to style.

This month coffee is king, a few stouts still linger into spring, IPAs return to non-hazy realm, and Michigan, the Northeast, and the UK get highlighted.


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ALLAGASH
Barrel & Bean

PORTLAND, ME - 10% ABV

A great example of a non-malt-forward beer with a coffee addition; it’s surprisingly palatable, with plenty of roastiness and a mellow oaky finish.

Drink with: your Easter brunch.

92

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BEAVERTOWN
Spresso

LONDON, UK - 9.5% ABV

This is a coffee stout, no doubt about it. There’s espresso roast, without too much bitterness. Plus, it closes out with a pleasant, nutty finish.

Drink if: you crave a big bodied roast.

94


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BEER TREE
Fika

PORT CRANE, NY - 7.9% ABV

Third beer in the lineup, third straight coffee ale. This one’s a bit lighter in body, with a milky, hazelnuty profile. Didn’t detect much in the way of cinnamon, but that’s alright for this one.

Drink if: you’re a café con leche fan.

90

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BLACKROCKS
Grand Rabbits

MARQUETTE, MI - 5.5% ABV

Blackrocks brought some intrigue to the standard cream ale, by dry-hopping it with Willamette. It’s a working man’s beer, with some zip. But, not too much zip. And what’s more April-y than rabbits?

Drink during: your first spring lawn-mowing session.

88


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BURNT MILL
Pintle

IPSWICH, UK - 4.3% ABV

A dry, crisp, citrusy session pale ale that fills and cleanses the palate beautifully. At just 4.3%, it still provides enough character to keep ya wanting more.

Drink when: the temperature finally hits 60.

90

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CORONADO
Leisure Lagoon

SAN DIEGO, CA - 5.5% ABV

The more we encounter the hazy, the more we’re expecting uniqueness. This beer is simply “fine.” It actually drinks quite boozier on the tongue than you’d expect at 5.5%, and finishes with a bitter fruitiness.

Drink if: you’re still riding the haze train.

84


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CRUZ BLANCA
Paz y Piña

CHICAGO, IL - 7.1% ABV

How had we not heard about this one from Cruz Blanca yet? This is a beautiful, super hay-like funky, pineapple tropical farmhouse ale. It’s a lot to take in, in the best way and ends on an oaky buttery note.

Drink with: a few friends/fans of funk.

96

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DRAFTING TABLE
Rezolute

WIXOM, MI - 7.7% ABV

A piney, resinous, old school bitter IPA. Rather harsh, but a nice change-up from the haze craze that dominates the market.

Drink if: your IPA palate needs a reminder.

85


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GRAND ARMORY
BBA Sap on Tap

GRAND HAVEN, MI - 10% ABV

An easy drinking BA stout, considering the ABV. A big maple and vanilla nose with an aftertaste that reminds us of dipping biscotti in milky coffee.

Drink with: some biscotti, what else?

93

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GRIMM
Awoogah

BROOKLYN, NY - 6.7% ABV

While we much prefer the saisons from Grimm, this IPA was a well balanced execution. It’s tropical and mellow, with a tinge of pineapple.

Drink if: you believe in the Brooklyn hype.

87


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KINGSVILLE
Czech Style Lager

KINGSVILLE, CAN - 5% ABV

Ontario’s Kingsville crafted this Czech-style lager, and it’s sweet, caramely, and bready. It’s a tad maltier than you’d hope, but the biscuity, doughiness of it add plenty of body for an easy-drinking lager.

Drink when: you need a reminder of the versatility of lagers.

86

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LAGUNITAS x MOONLIGHT
Secret Agenda

petaluma/santa rosa, CA - 7.1% ABV

The ‘pale bock’ was a style originally brewed in the winter and held onto for Easter spring celebrations. This version is indeed pale, but with that is a lack of body and heft you hope for with a bock.

Drink if: you want another reminder of an old-world lager style.

83


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LIQUID RIOT
Cuckoo for Coconuts

PORTLAND, ME - 8% ABV

Full of bubblegum and marshmallow sweetness on the nose, on the tongue this’s full of even more sweetness. There’s toasted coconut and plenty of milk chocolate. Is that a Mounds bar in there?

Drink as: a sweet-tooth alternative to Peeps

94

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LONE PINE
Chaga Stout

PORTLAND, ME – 8% ABV

A strong aroma of muddy earth exudes from this pungent mushroom stout. It’s fitting though, considering the dry finish and vanilla profile; a unique take.

Drink even if: you hate mushrooms.

89


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NORTH COAST
Brother Thelonious

FORT BRAGG, CA - 9.4% ABV

This was a surprisingly hefty alcoholic bruiser. We wanted a bit more robust, sweet malt body, but got too much unexpected papery dryness.

Drink because: it’s been a while since you had a Belgian abbey ale.

85

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OMMEGANG
Zen & Zymurgy (#002)

COOPERSTOWN, NY - 5.8% ABV

A super well-executed blended farmhouse ale from the Belgian-style kings of NY. It’s just funky enough, with a Brett bite and an oaky buttery finish. Buy this.

Drink if: you need a special occasion beer to accompany your dinner.

97


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O/O
Evergreen

GOTHENBURG, SWE - 6% ABV

Our first sample from Sweden’s O/O was this piney APA beauty. It poured out a lovely rocky head and presented us a pleasant lemony, grassy profile.

Drink if: you’re of fans of grassy IPAs.

90

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PFRIEM
Pilsner

HOOD RIVER, OR - 4.9% ABV

It’s crisp, grassy, and balanced by a honey sweetness. This is as classic and easy drinking as you could hope for is a pils.

Drink with: Korean tacos, like we did.

90


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SOUTHERN TIER
Swipe Light

LAKEWOOD, NY - 4% ABV

I was taken aback when I saw this claiming to be an IPA. It’s so incredibly light, it’d fool anyone who traditionally avoids the style. But, along with that, there was little hop bitterness to round it out into an interesting drinker. But, just 110 calories…

Drink if: you are counting calories.

84

VERDANT
Light Bulb

FALMOUTH, UK - 4.5% ABV

Verdant hits another home run with this one. From the citrusy, lemony dry profile to the somehow sort-of-creamy finish, it’s a fantastic reminder that IPAs can be fruity and flavorful without being ‘brut’ or ‘juicy.’ We like that.

Drink if: you need an intro into excellent UK takes on the American pale ale.

95


 

The Hop Review's monthly beer reviews are collected from beers gathered at the discretion of our team. They include beers collected from travels as well as shared samples.

If you’re a brewery with a beer you’d like considered in THE “Hop Reviews”, please email us: HEY@thehopreview.com.

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CHEERS!