Category Archives: United States Brewpubs

ICARUS BREWING

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LAKEWOOD, NEW JERSEY

Inside a grey warehouse just past Lakewood’s Post Office, ICARUS BREWING came to fruition November 2015. Head brewer Jason Goldstein, an Ohio State University food science major, trained under the staffs of stalwart breweries Heineken and Newcastle, setting up Rinn Duin (now Toms River Brewing) thereafter.

Icarus has crafted a myriad of wide ranging one-off elixirs and a few recurring offerings since its inception, taking great care in providing interesting flavor profiles for a legion of fans crowding this venue as soon as it opened this sunny Thursday afternoon in August ’19.

At the lacquered wood serving station are 24 tap handles, a red and black beer list and small refrigerator with to-go brews. Five barreled tables with block seats fill out the epoxy-floored interior and a Led Zeppelin poster across an Icarus insignia.

The bartender plays vinyl records as I devour ten samplers of superfine Jersey suds. For more info, check Beer Index for 20-plus more Icarus reviews.

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Reliable flagship pale ale, Go Flight, expedited juicy lupulin-powdered grapefruit, orange and pineapple tanginess plus limey gooseberry tartness for ‘heavily wheated’ dry malting.

Aussie summertime hoppy pilsner, Extinguish, brought lightly soured apple, pear and grape tannins as well as sweet cantaloupe and honeydew illusions to lightly pungent grain musk.

Oak-barreled Belgian farmhouse yeast left tart pineapple salting, mellow grapefruit tanginess and dry barnyard funk on dry saison, Wax Wings.

Conditioning Icarus’ Yacht Juice base on lime, toasted coconut and habanero peppering, dry North East IPA, It’s Getting Yacht In Here, left a bit of peppery heat upon its lightly vanilla creamed tropical fruit spicing.

Waxy lupulin-powdered Mosaic hop fruiting and heavily wheated oats consumed New England Imperial IPA, Drinking Crayons, leaving lemony tangerine, mango and apricot illusions in its wake.

Lactic triple IPA, Touching The Sun, combined sweetly sour citrus fruiting with mild oats-flaked wheat malts, spreading orange-juiced pineapple, green grape and gooseberry tartness across its lupulin-powdered surface.

Lovely fruitful dry-hopped Abomination collaboration, The Long Fall, a powdered pastry-like Milkshake Triple IPA, tossed creamy Madagascar vanilla beaning at orange-peeled grapefruit tanginess, sour gooseberry-guava licks and lactic milk-sugared barley flouring.

Perfumed coconut water and mild lime bittering serenaded laidback NEIPA, You Put The Yacht In The Coconut, bringing waxy floral citrus tones to the mix.

Clover-honeyed toasted coconut and macadamia usurped AK47, an easygoing Russian Imperial Stout conditioned on Guatemalan coffee and nearly as great as a nightcap as fabulous dessert stout, Smooshing Sweet Parts.

Brewed with marshmallow, hazelnut and chocolate, Smooshing’s rich sweet-toothed template also included spiced cherry, blackberry and raspberry fruiting to fortify its astounding nutty mocha resilience.

BONN PLACE BREWING CO.

BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA

In the midst of Bethlehem’s South Side at a former garage, corner cafe-styled BONN PLACE BREWING COMPANY came to fruition autumn 2016. Formerly residents of Weehawken, co-owners Sam and Gina Masotto moved to eastern Pennsylvania to set up shop at the beige freestanding building now housing their entrepreneurial business.

An assistant brewer at Newburgh, Chelsea and New Jersey Beer Company, Sam also tended bar for popular Manhattan watering hole, The Pony Bar. Originally learning the art of brewing from a Mr. Beer kit, he became obsessed with cask ales on a European stint and developed a few regal English bitters.

Inside the friendly red brick-walled Bonn Place confines, an L-shaped 10-seat bar with eight tap handles pours a variety of delicious suds from the left side steel tanks and oak foudre. There’s side entrance barrel seating, a windowed front table, industrial pendant lighting and a wooden wheeled chandelier as well as a few cornered tables with olden mirrors to complete the cozy interior.

On my Saturday afternoon August ’19 journey I discovered seven Bonn Place brews.

Softly creamed nitrogenated flagship, Nemo Dark & Mild, gathered mossy brown tea earthiness for subtle dried fruiting and chalky chocolate malts.

In homage to Boddington’s Pub Ale, smoothly eclair-creamed Mooey Ordinary Bitter brought dewy moss sweetness and subtle citrus spritzing to its buttered biscuit base in easygoing fashion. Utilizing the same dewy malt base, lemon soda-like summertime softie, Mooey The Radler, left an herbal-spiced remnant.

Orange-juiced yellow grapefruit brightness fronted Moteuka-hopped pale ale, Don’t Look At Me, a candy-glazed moderation with sugary pale malts.

Dry-bodied hoppy wheat ale, Pretty Cool Dad, connected lemon-dried tartness to tea-like dewy earthiness and raw mineral grain resin.

Wood-smoked dark coffee roast contrasted milder pale-malted yellow fruiting for Some Pig Upon Monocracy, a well-designed mocha-induced pale ale.

Sweet milk chocolate-y Imperial Stout, Stickman Breakfast For Dummies, retained toffee-sugared cinnamon and curry spicing to entice its milk-sugared brown chocolate frontage.

www.bonnbrewing.com

 

LOST TAVERN BREWING

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HELLERTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA

Not far from the Lost River Caverns in Lehigh Valley’s Saucon Valley, LOST TAVERN BREWING opened this first location in the borough of Hellertown July 1, 2016 (with a taproom outpost launched in Bethlehem 2019). Inside a red-bricked gray stucco corner building with Lost Tavern insignia above black aproned canvasses on the main thoroughfare, this metal-wood furnished pub serves a stylistic variety of beer, specializing in expressively individualistic India Pale Ales.

The Industrial brick-walled interior features a 15-seat half-octagon bar with eight taps and seating across the way and at the elongated rear dining hall. A food truck services local patrons with great pizza.

An outside front deck with slate top community seating as well as six four-seat tables and several stooled tables gets packed on my early Saturday afternoon sojourn, August 2019.

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Crisply assertive, yet easygoing softie, Main 2 Main Pilsner, placed doughy wheat next to hay-like oats to underscore its herbal lemon spritz.

Dry pale wheat ale, Grace, brought zesty orange-peeled lemon meringue tartness to mild pretzel-like doughy breading and herbal-spiced whims.

Lemon zest, bruised orange and sweet banana surged for honey-dripped Belgian Ale, Odd Fellow, leaving peppery spicing on the baked bread back end.

Easygoing sour ale, Double The Jams: Strawberry Cherry Rhubarb, retained oaken cherry bitterness, strawberry puree tartness and lactic vanilla yogurt milking.

Then came the six stylistically intriguing, wholly assured IPA’s to really brighten the sunny day.

Sessionable IPA, Drizzle, coalesced Mosaic-Citra-Amarillo hops to prompt lemon-juiced grapefruit-orange-peach-tangerine tanginess and mild wood tones.

Tropical fruited New England IPA, Party On Main, brought cherry, berry, mango and pineapple juiciness to mild oats-sugared malts.

Another NEIPA, Music In The Park, blended orange-juiced Mandarina Bavaria hops with estery grape-soured Hallertau Blanc hops and gooseberry-limed Cashmere hops atop its floral-spiced grassy bed.

Crisply ‘citrus-forward’ Imperial IPA, The Steel, utilized Mosaic-Centennial hops to fashion its lemony grapefruit-orange tang, mild piney bittering and light herbal tinge.

Brut champagne yeast guided dry-hopped Brut By The Foot: Peach, a mildly creamed peach puree-sweetened sparkling wine alternative with lightly embittered yellow grapefruit zesting and wispy green grape esters.

Vigorous milkshake IPA, Lost In The Mix: Kiwi Strawberry Daiquiri, let rummy vanilla sugaring douse its lemon-juiced strawberry and kiwi tartness as well as its tangy mango-pineapple-grapefruit tropicalia, picking up lactic yogurt souring at the finish.

Finally, ‘hearty chocolate stout,’ Silent Partner, caressed its dark mocha mass with spicy dark fruiting, dry burgundy and black licorice above its earthen bottom.

www.losttavernbrewing.com

 

FUNK BREWING

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EMMAUS, PENNSYLVANIA

Inside a bright red brick garage-doored warehouse, the seemingly inconspicuous railroad-bound taproom for FUNK BREWING packs up bright ‘n early this Sunday at noon, August ’19. Having discovered three of Funk’s liquid gems in the recent past (piney tropical fruited Silent Disco; limey fruit-juiced Tumbleweed Pale Ale; autumnal saison Falliage), I was already intrigued by their well-designed, wide-ranging fare.

The rustic brick-walled, cement-floored pub features a simple aluminum serving station with twelve stools, theatre lighting, blackboard beer list and small TV. A hidden right-walled glistening Funk sign, a few metal-stooled tables and exposed pipes at the tan ceiling fill out the small room. Large silver tanks to the left and rear carry today’s four previously untried beers (plus a half-dozen more).

Several patrons grab seats at the rear covered deck, a spacious retreat on this sunny day. A train blows its loud whistle as I down the sassy suds.

Up first, Bikes Lemon Radler loads lemonade upon salted white wheat breading and herbal citrus hop dryness, bettering similarly profiled shandy’s.

Offbeat golden treat, Slurp Rice Lager, let sweet-spiced toasted rice and soba buckwheat contrast its straw-dried leathering above mellow chestnut roast.

Circuitous West Coast IPA, Citrus, brought slightly hazed East Coast IPA spirit to the mix as sour white grape, gooseberry and guava fruiting serenaded orange-peeled grapefruit tanginess and piney hop splurge.

Dark-roast coffee beaning settled way above the dried-out lemon musk of Crumpets Coffee Blonde, leaving a crisp tobacco roast at the back end.

Nearby Elizabethtown houses the purplish Funk Brewing, a second location, in its downtown section.

 

HOP HILL BREWING COMPANY

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BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA

A tan aluminum garage-doored warehouse hosts HOP HILL BREWING COMPANY,  a worthy red brick-walled, cement-floored nanobrewery within Bethlehem’s rural southern Lehigh University radius opened February 2017.

The unassumingly spare red brick-walled pub features an aluminum-sided L-shaped 16-seat serving station with 12 aluminum tap handles, stringed light bulbs and a stucco left wall. A makeshift front patio with benches fills up during my early afternoon August ’19 stopover as I consume eight well-designed offerings.

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Hop Hill’s lightest brew, dry-bodied cream ale, Drinking Games, linked sugar-salted lemon spritz to grassy hop astringency and musty pale malting.

Sweetly tart key lime-pied Belgian Saison contrasted lemon-candied banana sweetness and coriander-clove spicing against salty barnyard acridity.

Straightforward flagship moderation, House IPA, stayed simple as lemony orange tanginess and piney hop resin settled gently above caramel malt sugaring.

Perfumed citrus hops enlightened Hop Sloth IPA, revealing navel orange, yellow grapefruit and peach juicing above herb-speckled pale malts.

Juicy-fruited Brut IPA, Hop Siren, let its sweet champagne spritz and green grape tannins absorb dry pale malting.

Milk-sugared coffee awakened Protocol Porter, a delightful toffee-spiced java-bound brunch treat with dry black licorice snips.

 

Harmonious coffee-roasted breakfast calling card, Morning Blonde, draped roasted mocha malt goodness all over its mild lemon rind bittering.

Lovely bourbon barrel-aged Morning Wood caressed its roasted coffee bean splendor with sweet butterscotch-candied bourbon wining, leaving cream-sugared marshmallow, coconut and pecan illusions in its clean vodka wake.

 

http://www.hophillbeer.com/

LIQUID STATE BREWING COMPANY

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ITHACA, NEW YORK

Inside a white brick warehouse in Ithaca’s West End District just a half mile down the street from Lucky Hare, LIQUID STATE BREWING COMPANY came to fruition October 2017. Taking the space of an old laundry facility, Liquid State’s entrepreneurial brewsters, Ben Brotman and James Tielens (former Cornell Lab biologists) craft comforting New England-styled IPA’s and Euro-styled pilsner-lagers as well as sundry stylistic one-offs at their windowed backroom brewing station.

A family friendly pub with Skee-ball plus video and board games, Liquid State’s ten bench tables recall a high school cafeteria. Its pristine 15-seat wood lacquer-topped bar features 20 draught handles and many growlers.

After swimming at Buttermilk State Park, my wife and I (with Roscoe the dog) head to the covered cement-floored back patio to consume five of the fifteen available draughts this hot July afternoon, 2019.

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First up, effervescent straw-paled moderation, Yard Lion Hefeweizen coalesced lemony clover-honeyed banana tartness with mild coriander-clove spicing and herbal lemongrass snips.

Sedate Daypack Saison cushioned its lightly soured lemony grapefruit-orange bittering with black-peppered coriander spicing and salted mango tartness above sugary pale malts.

Caramelized plum sweetness anchored rich La Trapeze Dubbel, a creamily mocha-malted medium body with dewy peat earthiness contrasting latent candied fig sugaring.

Juicy fruited Liquid Crush New England IPA, a milky beige yellow-hazed beauty, brought lightly vinous grape acidity and lactic gooseberry yogurt souring to tangy grapefruit, orange, tangerine and cantaloupe serenity.

As for the one dark ale (besides the untried light-bodied Stache Black Lager), robust Stray Dog Porter placed toffee-sugared brown chocolate sweetness alongside hop-charred coffee roast, leaving subsidiary cola, walnut and hazelnut illusions on the nutty tail end.

LUCKY HARE BREWING COMPANY

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ITHACA, NEW YORK

In the newly renovated Press Bay Alley micro-retail center in downtown Ithaca, LUCKY HARE BREWING COMPANY began operations at this second location (the first is in nearby Hector) during April ’19.

A humbly pristine, white-walled, 200 square-foot tasting room with only four taps and no seats, its charming elegance lies in its immaculate petite splendor. Red plastic furnishings are set up in the cement-floored alley just outside the tap house’s overhead door for sunny day relief.

Entrepreneurial head brewer Ian Conboy, a marine scientist by trade, loves exploring the full range of beer styles and this sunny Saturday in July ’19 he had on hand one juicy IPA, a coffee-smitten Blonde Ale, a champagned IPA and a milk stout.

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Juicy tropical-fruited year round West Coast IPA, Falcon Punch, a sunshiny dry-hopped moderation, brought tangy orange-peeled grapefruit, peach and mango resilience to light pine resin above caramelized pale malting.

Dryly effervescent Brut champagne-styled IPA, Golden Pony, let green grape esters relay lightly vinous tongue-tingling sparkling wine illusions to kettle-soured citrus tones.

Roasted Ethiopian coffee mellowness engaged medium-bodied blonde ale, Blonde Moment, leaving espresso tones on its distant yellow-orange fruiting and bitter hop-charred singe.

Lactic cocoa-powdered milk stout, Milk Milk, retained dry Baker’s chocolate and black coffee tones to contrast mocha molasses sweetness at the thin finish.

www.luckyharebrewing.com

HOPSHIRE FARM & BREWERY

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FREEVILLE, NEW YORK

A few miles northeast from Ithaca in an agrarian pale green vinyl-sided farmhouse, family-owned HOPSHIRE FARM & BREWERY opened in 2013. One of New York’s first farm breweries, Hopshire’s roadside hop bines lead to its front-doored central bar. Co-owners Randy Lacey and Diane Gerhart also grow their own barley and make honey on the orchard-laden land.

The L-shaped serving station features twelve draught handles and the left-side brew tanks mingle with bench seating. A green and white right-side tent offers splendid pastoral outside seating.

A new marbleized vinyl-floored right room with A-framed Cathedral-like ceiling and seven cafeteria tables gets used for special events and music specials. On this initial July ’19 visitation, we grab a seat in this stately room to try all seven draughts available while our dog, Roscoe, plays with a friendly mutt.

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Lemon-wedged banana and clove fortified mild herb-backed Love Inn Ale Hefeweizen,  a pleasurable lightweight ‘channeling the Summer Of Love’ in winsome fashion.

Tart raspberry puree regaled Brambles Raspberry Wheat Ale, leaving mild lingered hop astringency upon the soft wheat bed.

Raw-honeyed astringency mellowly pasted Beehave Honey Ale, a treacly blonde ale with bready barley base.  

Dewy springtime moderation, Shire Scottish Ale, a nutty brown ale hybrid, brought roasted tobacco crisping and mossy peat earthiness to honeyed dark chocolate malting.

A sharp yellow grapefruit tang provoked heady beige yellow-hazed New England IPA, Haze In The Hollow, a fizzy spritzer with sunshiny citrus spunk coming from its brisk Citra-Mosaic-Galaxy hop rasp.

Another ‘hearty brown ale,’ Abbey Normale, utilized dark Belgian candi syrup to sweeten its caramelized raisin tartness and mild licorice tones against sedate peppercorn pungency.

Milk-sugared dark roast coffee serenaded blonde coffee stout, Beautiful Buzz, a Maris Otter malt-sweetened mocha dessert beer with a slight lemon twist.

THE NORTH BREWERY

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ENDICOTT, NEW YORK

Ten miles west of Binghamton, Endicott’s THE NORTH BREWERY opened in 2013, one year after Water Street Brewing became the area’s first modern brewpub. Owner Zach Pedley’s a serious stout aficionado crafting some ‘extreme ales,’ winning Best of Tap New York’s statewide competition in 2017 with heavenly richly God Complex Cerrano Pepper Mocha Hazelnut Coffee Stout.

A makeshift caged-in black metal-furnished Washington Avenue patio leads into the small two-room pub. Edison lights adorn the concrete slate-topped bar with eight red brick-walled draught handles and the white-tiled floor contrasts the raw wood furnishings and reclaimed palate wood right wall. The bronze tiled ceiling features solid mahogany columns while a few windowed tables and sundry TV’s sprawl across the front room. A crazed lunatic and black & white octopus adorn the right side and back wall.

The current 5-barrel brew system and a canning line inundate the back room.

Zach’s got the Blues on the radio while I consume six well-designed draught beers slightly stretching the experimental spectrum during July ’19.

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Soft-toned The Mexican Smoked Wit (with Lime) brought cologne-perfumed oiling and smoked Cherrywood acridity to subtle orange-peeled coriander, picking up tart lime resilience.

Lightly acidic Nelson Sauvin-hopped Taddy Mason IPA plied green grape esters and sour gooseberry tartness to floral-daubed wood tones before brisk yellow grapefruit tanginess ascends above the fray with a latent mandarin orange twist.

Milk-sugared mango and coconut perked up Bikini Tops NEIPA, leaving mild grapefruit bittering, zesty pineapple tanginess and lemondrop tartness at the bright tropical fruited finish.

Coffee-roasted nuttiness anchored hop-charred Ink Coffee Stout, inducing espresso macchiato and milk-steamed latte tones as well as tertiary black cherry, blackberry and blackcurrant wisps. In its indelible nitro version, Ink’s softer éclair-creamed mouthfeel relinquished windswept espresso, dark chocolate and mochaccino elegance.

Creamily rich ‘pastry stout,’ Lil Klouds, draped black chocolate syrup upon milk-sugared coconut, vanilla and marshmallow adjuncts with profound intensity. Its dried cocoa finish reinforced the dramatic mocha sway. Excellent nightcap!

northbrewery.com

 

WATER STREET BREWING COMPANY

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BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK

Around the corner from Galaxy Brewing in a metal-welded Industrial building with steel-doored storefront, WATER STREET BREWING COMPANY began operations in 2011 – approximately one year before nearby Galaxy and Binghamton breweries opened. Homebrewing couple John and Michele Bleichert currently run a 7 barrel system spread between glass-encased bronze tanks and a few right side silver tanks.

An intimate bistro-like pub, Water Street’s linoleum-floored wood tables are scattered along the front and left side with Edison lights lining the long wooden bar where two tap stations with eight draught handles each disperse the sassy suds. Fine homemade pub fare goes well with the rounded beer selections.

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Receding banana-clove sweetness confronted lemon-rotted mandarin orange souring and herbal whims above sugary Graham Cracker wheat malts for generic-named moderation, Hefeweizen, a slightly more adventurous stylistic changeup.

Dry English mild ale, Lucky Corbie, brought raw-honeyed grassy hop acridity, horse-blanketed hay astringency and mild herbal perfuming to toasted caramel malting.

Stylishly bold India Pale Ale, Smash And Grab, let brisk Mosaic-hopped grapefruit, orange peel, mango and peach tanginess saturate its moderate grassy pine bittering above caramelized Vienna malts.

Sour gooseberry and white grape tannins plus mild grapefruit rind bittering bumrushed Triple Trouble NEIPA, a lactic juicy fruited medium body with subtle sugar-spiced lemony orange tang.

As for the dark ales, dry hop-charred walnut bittering lightly counters sweet hazelnut-macadamia-almond triage for Hellcat Brown Ale.

Roasted chocolate and caramelized nuttiness anchored Thousand Year Porter, receiving a dewy peat mustiness at the finish.

Mildly fudged chocolate milk stout, Slugworth’s Revenge, gained vanilla, dried cocoa and brownie tones above molasses oats malting.

waterstreetbrewingco.com

BINGHAMTON BREWING CO.

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JOHNSON CITY, NEW YORK

Just across the Chenango River from Binghamton, Johnson City’s BINGHAMTON BREWING CO. opened for business during 2014. Owners Kristen Lyons and Jason Gardner, beer loving engineers inspired by esteemed Belgian-styled brewery, Ommegang, decided to open a farm brewery using locally grown ingredients and soon hired home brewing anthropologist teacher Kasey Agiser.

Due for imminent expansion, Lyons tells me the current two barrel brewing operation will be “kept as a pilot system” when they expand to 10 or 15 barrels.

A makeshift two-benched entrance patio leads to the diminutive yellow-walled pub space. A left side hearth, a few serving station seats, five small tables and a TV fill out the interior. An electronic draught board lists current homebrews available and beautiful grey-tiled draught handles release the eleven sudsy delights I’ll experience this Saturday afternoon in July ’19.

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Mild soft-tongued Hoppy Pilsner let herbal lemon-oiled black tea musk engulf lightly lingered lemony grapefruit rind bittering and mild grassy astringency above delicate oats-dried pilsner malts.

Easygoing cologne-perfumed lemongrass herbage picked up lemony mandarin orange tartness, kaffir lime oiling and spicy coriander sugaring for Far East Lemongrass Wit, leaving soapy residue on its wispy apricot-fig respite.

Tea-like American Mild (Nitro) did a twist on an English styled mild with its éclair-creamed head, dewy peat mossing, reserved nutty cocoa whims and toasted baguette snip.

Dry SS Great Britain Pale Ale brought brown tea earthiness to fennel, cocoa, waddle seed, toffee and biscuit illusions as well as lemony orange desiccation.

Tart Concord grape esters gained Himalayan sea salting for Purple Rain Gose, a Sweet-tart candied dry body with lightly vinous green grape residue and puckering gooseberry-cranberry remnant.

Well-honed flagship beer, Citra Pale Ale, walked on sunshine as its bright yellow-orange-fruited tang, grassy herbal tones and spicy tingle usurped syrupy caramelized pale malts in straightforward fashion.

Soft-toned New England-styled Spa Day Pale Ale saddled perky yellow grapefruit, navel orange and pineapple juicing with earthy herbal spicing, gaining sour melon rind and sweet nectarine illusions at the gently tanged finish.

Sweet dark Belgian candi sugaring brought casual caramelized pleasantry to recessive dried fruiting for dewy-malted Belgian Strong Ale, leaving date, fig, banana and dried cherry illusions at the sweet finish.

Pine comb-honeyed Golden Nugget Wheat Wine relegated tobacco-roasted peat mossing, bruised black cherry tartness and glazed date-fig snips above its rye-like red wheat base.

Lightly spiced brown chocolate prospered for easygoing Sweet Milk Stout, a toffee-teased mocha dessert.

My absolute fave: semi-rich Mexican chocolate cake-like Xocokhan Porter let cayenne peppering seep into cinnamon-spiced vanilla bean alacrity and cocoa-dried Bakers chocolate bittering.

bingbrew.com

www.bingbrew.com

DOGFISH HEAD WOOD-AGED MILES DAVIS BREW

Popular kiln-smoked dry stout given leathery oak-aged treatment. Raw-honeyed molasses bittering and dry bourbon-burgundy conflux determinedly influence black-malted Bakers chocolate pungency, freeze-dried coffee spunk, fungi brown tea musk and black licorice snip. Mildewed black grape esters and tarry hop char stay mellower than original ‘brew.’ A dryer version at 9% ABV.

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