Beer (2024) - our daily liquid bread

Penalty Shot by Little Willow Brewing Company (Northampton, MA) - Hazy DIPA

Quite muddy flavors throughout the sip and a bit unusual for a hazy IPA - mainly a mix of citrus and floral notes which get later also some piney and dank flavors. Dry, medium bitter finish - overall feels like a quite unbalanced and remarkable IPA

Table Lager by Mercury Brewing Company (Ipswich, MA) - Helles Lager

House lager from an unfortunately recently closed excellent beer shop and restaurant in Belmont, MA and it is a good variation on a Helles starting with some light floral flavors, followed by citrus notes before characteristic biscuity flavors come in. Good dry, bitter finish to balance every out.

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Interesting history.

Today I had a Ghost in the Machine, a double NEIPA by Parish Brewing out of Broussard, LA. Rich with lots of tropical fruit. I like it.

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Dune by Great Notion Brewing (Portland, OR) - Hazy IPA

Relatively mellow hazy IPA with a mix of peach (but relatively light in the background), citrus (more upfront) and floral/grassy flavors as the key backbone. Dry, medium bitter finish which lasts quite long and has still some floral notes mixed in the bitterness.


Great DIPA

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Juice Kiosk by Cellarmaker Brewing Company (Oakland, CA) - Hazy IPA

The mix of a number of hops creates a interesting mix of fruit forward flavors including grapefruit, grapes, orange and some peach as the dominant ones before a punch of pine helps to keep the sweetness more restrained. Dry but relatively low bitterness finish which still has some grapefruit and orange flavors lingering


Birds in Paradise by Parliament Brewing (Rohnert Park, CA) - Fruited Sour

The very warm weather called for a refreshing fruited sour, especially a POG-based one. This one didn’t only focus on the fruit component and had good sourness but the fruits were hardly recognizable and very much in the background. Only at the end of the sip some POG flavors were barely there.


No picture to share (sorry), but we recently came in to some cans of Hill Farmstead “Conduct of Life”, an American Pale Ale. We had some on tap at Simon Pearce restaurant in Quechee, VT years ago, and have been searching for it ever since. A grad student in a neighboring lab got word that they were brewing it and made the beer run, bringing us back a case.

When we first had it in VT, my SO and I agreed it was the best beer we had ever encountered. The floral nose was transporting, and the flavor balance just so. We were curious to see if it was the “amazo effect” due to the lovely setting, or if it really was that great. Pleased to report that even from a can it delivers the most incredible nose. Just a fabulous beer. Reviews on BeerAdvocate are decent but not as positive as we would have thought. I guess our tastes are not mainstream.


Side Ponytail by Grimm Artisanal Ales (Brooklyn, NY) - IPA

Strangely unremarkable IPA with mainly bready, slightly grapefruity flavors upfront which get quickly taken over by some grassy, very lightly dank notes before a dry, hardly any bitterness finish. IPAs don’t have to always approach extremes but this one is too “streamlined”

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Heavy Heavy Heavy by Brewjeria Company (Pico Rivera, CA) - Imperial Stout

Appropriate name with 14%ABV but drinks quite (too) easily. Heavy on the dark coffee, dark chocolate and whiskey notes. Vanilla gives it a hardly noticeable sweetness in the background. Low carbonation adds to a good mouthfeel for this great stout.

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Today I had a Pliny for President 2024, a triple dry hopped version of Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing out of Santa Rosa, CA. It’s hoppy. I’d vote for it.

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Does it taste significantly different from Pliny ?

I think so - drier for one and not as malty.

Were you at the Russian River taproom? If not, who’s offering it?

This was last night at Toronado in the Lower Haight, SF

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Neal the Seal “California IPA” by Gruff Brewing in Bellingham, WA. Bright color, very hoppy, slight haze, fine bubble, high-test (7.2 ABV).

Gruff plays with many styles of beer. Most leave me mildly disappointed, but this one was nice for a hops uber alles brew.

Rogue Batsquatch IPA on draft.

I’m intentionally omitting the trendy can art, which sucks.

Darwin gave it 97-98 points. It’s juicy, it’s hazy, it’s tropical, but they left the bitterness on the cutting room floor. IMO, this is how a hazy IPA should be: balanced.

I guess it is personal preference but for me hazy IPAs need a significant bitterness to counterbalance the juiciness.
It has pretty mediocre ratings on BA and UT for a hazy IPA

I had a Blind Pig last night from Russian River Brewing. It’s a very good West Coast IPA, less heavy than their Pliny the Elder.