Sole Artisan Ales – Turbo Nerd Review

IMG_2400All You Need to Know

Brewery: Sole Artisan Ales
Style: “Extra” IPA (Imp.)
ABV: 7.5%
My Cost: $6 (16oz)
Glassware: Snifter, Tulip
Temp: 50°F
Availability: One Off
Purchased@: The Fridge

Quick Take: Turbo Nerd could actually use a stronger kick of bitterness, but I’ll always favor layered fruit over early addition IBUs. The finish and carbing are a little limp as well, but minor issues for what is a very flavorful, tropical fruit-forward IPA well worth your time and money. Drink local!

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Nugget Nectar vs Hopslam: Epic Royale Showdown Extreme

Nugget Slam VSLet’s clear the air upfront and ask the only question that needs asking. Why pit these popular, near mainstream craft beers against each other, especially when one is an imperial IPA and the other an imperial amber? Fair enough question, and one I ask myself every January when the pissing match among PA beer nerds over which is superior gets heated (Pro Tip: If you’re uber elite, you’ll dislike both!) I suppose it’s for that reason, and the fact that I had one of each in the fridge and already did up the graphic, that I went through the arduous task of drinking not one, but TWO beers to settle the score. My dad was also on hand to help me with this Herculean task and offer his opinion of which sweet IPA reigns supreme.

(Note: I know this whole endeavor is a subjective exercise. What follows are preference and palate based conclusions and not hard science. Let’s begin!)

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3 Floyds Brewing – Dreadnaught IPA Review

3 Floyds - DreadnaughtAll You Need to Know

Brewery: 3 Floyds Brewing
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 9.5%
Cost: $13.50(24 oz)
Glassware: Tulip, Teku
Temp: 50°F
Availability: Year Round
Purchased@: West Lakeview Liquors

Quick Take: This is one of the more by-the-numbers beers I’ve had from 3 Floyds, but it also happens to be one of the most enjoyable. I’m not much of a malty IPA fan, but the big grapefruit body and soft, drinkable mouth feel make this an easy beer to recommend.

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Neshaminy Creek – The Shape of Hops to Come Review

Neshaminy Creek - Shape of HopsAll You Need to Know

Brewery: Neshaminy Creek Brewing
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.5%
Cost: $4 (16oz)
Glassware: Tulip, Snifter, Teku
Temp: 50°F
Availability: July – Dec. (July 2015)
Purchased@: Sabatini’s Pizza
Released: Late (Mid-October)
Drank: Mid-December

Quick Take: I love the toasty grain, the sweet resin pine and dry, bitter finish that Shape offers, but find the very mild but present skunky cannabis aspect a turn off. Regardless, PA/NJ drinkers have every right to be excited for what Neshimany Creek brewed, which has the toasted grain and orange juice qualities of higher profile New England style IPAs that are woefully underrepresented in the Keystone State. While this beer wasn’t a punch in the face awakening, it did take a swing at me and make me take notice of Neshaminy Creek as a brewer. A solid DIPA and one I think most bitter-is-better IPA drinkers will dig.

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Westbrook Brewing – Citrus Ninja Exchange Review

Citrus NinjaAll You Need to Know

Brewery: Westbrook Brewing
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 9.5%
Cost: ???? (12oz)
Glassware: Snifter, Tulip
Temp: 50°F
Availability: Limited
Purchased@: Beer Trade
Brew Date: Mid August
Drink Date: Mid October

Quick Take: This is one of the bigger disappointments I’ve come across after a pretty stellar run of beers. That isn’t to say it’s bad, it isn’t, but the heavy malt and lack of hops (and grapefruit actually) makes this simply a good beer. The lack of hop bite makes me a sad panda, but those that are only IPA curious may actually find a lot to like with the malt being the star of the show.

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