In the ever-evolving IPA scene, the current name of the game is “juicy”. Be they beers brewed with freshly squeezed juice, uniquely fruity hops or a combination of the two, IPAs are steadily becoming less about bitterness and more about fruity aromatics. Sierra Nevada’s latest is a testament to the uniqueness of modern hop varietals.
The Beer Buzz recently took a trip to sunny San Diego, so naturally we needed to check out Ballast Point’s new facility in Miramar. Stepping foot into this 107,000 square foot brewery, it is incredible to think how far Ballast Point has come since their humble beginnings in the back of Homebrew Mart twenty years ago. Ballast Point was founded with DIY determination and that passion for craftsmanship can be seen in the gleam of this beautiful 150 barrel brew system salvaged from a brewery in Germany.
Deschutes Armory XPA
XPA? In this case, it stands for Experimental Pale Ale. Fruity and yeasty with a good malt backbone, Armory drinks like a well-crafted English Pale Ale with an American twist. Classic American standbys like Centennial and Cascade mix with Citra hops to provide a bright citrusy finish with a touch of tropical fruit.
Surly Xtra Citra Pale Ale
Surly certainly crafts some masterfully hopped beers, and have now brewed an aptly named ale that showcases this pungent, fruity hop. The Xtra explodes with Citra’s tropical aroma we know and love, but at 4.5% abv makes for especially easy drinking. Balanced by a creamy body and at only $7.99 for a 4pk of tallboys, this may be the best deal in craft beer we have.
In a few weeks Binny’s will introduce several new offerings from Fuller’s Brewery of London, England including Honeydew & the return of 1845. But the one that caught our eye is Bengal Lancer, an India Pale Ale. Bengal Lancer stood out because it isn’t just any old IPA – it is one of the first IPA’s ever made.
By now most people know the history of the IPA, how the beers were heavily hopped as a preservative measure to survive the journey from Britan to the Indian subcontinent. During the long & arduous journey the beer went around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa before landing in the hands of thirsty British soldiers.
For the first time, Deschutes has bottled Fresh Squeezed IPA—a pub favorite at the Bend, Oregon Brewery that has garnered the popularity to be brewed for the masses. This beer is loaded with Citra, Mosaic, and Nugget hops, and the 6% ABV brew is best described as a citrus bomb. Fresh Squeezed should be available at all Binny’s locations in 22oz bottles for $5.99 starting tomorrow. Like Hop Henge, Fresh Squeezed will have limited availability—be sure to stop into your local Binny’s later this week if you want to get your hands on some.
Stone’s 10th Anniversary Ruination IPA was so popular when it debuted last summer that it sold out in a matter of days. The brewery listened to the thirsty hopheads everywhere and is bringing it back as an annual release. Stone RuinTEN IPA launches nationally on June 17th. Get it first at all Chicagoland Binny’s locations when the doors open on Monday morning! Also look for it at our downstate locations in the following weeks.
We are proud to introduce one of our beer managers, Scott Lasky, who is doing more then working hard in our stores! Read below to see how Scott spends his time giving back to the canine community!
Which brew are you recommending this week?
Founders All Day IPA
Fantastic! When did you get it in? Last week.
What made you recommend this particular brew?
After drinking many stouts, porters, barleywines, and Belgian strong ales during the winter, I look forward to lighter beers with lots of flavor during the warmer months. Founders All Day IPA is an excellent spring seasonal beer that is low in alcohol but has a bright, fresh hop aroma and flavor.
How does it taste?
All Day is a light-bodied beer with just enough malt to carry the noticeable hop aroma, flavor and bitterness. The beer’s taste is dominated by grassy/piney hops with citrus and floral notes. It is a well-balanced, easy drinking and flavorful beer that you can enjoy throughout the upcoming season without overwhelming your taste-buds or senses.
The freshest IPA to ever hit our shelves is returning, thanks to Chicagoans swiftly gobbling up everything that came our way during the last release. The beer who shares its name with its expiration date, and whose expiration date is only around a month from being bottled, is set to return next week. You would be hard pressed to find another beer that is both bottled and shipped on the same day. Stone’s new brew has a mind boggling array of hops:
Stats: 9.4% abv, 88 IBUs
Hops bill: Calypso during the mash; Super Galena hop extract for bittering; Simcoe, Delta, Target, and Amarillo for flavor; Motueka, Citra, and Cascade for aroma; Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy for dry hopping.
Be sure to check your local Binny’s next week so you can get this brew in time for Thanksgiving dinner!
Are you ready to try possibly the freshest beer to ever hit our shelves? On August 17th, Stone Brewing Co. will be bottling and shipping (yes on the same day) “Enjoy By 09.21.12 IPA,” a beer that shares its name with its expiration date. The beer should be on Binny’s shelves by August 21st, mere days after being bottled.
Chicago is one of the few lucky markets where this brew will be available. One way or another, come September 21st, this beer will be gone. So if you wish to try what Stone Brewing Co. is dubbing the most “fresh ipa ever..,” be sure to stop by your local Binny’s the week of August 21st.
For more information on this “devastatingly fresh double IPA,” check out the website Stone Brewing Co. created for it.
New Belgium Brewing has answered questions from their Rangers (New Belgium staff in the field) and from fans as to why their portfolio didnt include a hoppy beer. Ranger IPA, by far the hoppiest offering ever from the New Belgium Brewery, hit Binnys earlier this week. Unlike the majority of New Belgiums beers, Ranger is not a Belgian styled beer. Rather, it fits the profile of an American IPA.
From the first whiff, we knew that this was going to be a dandy of an IPA. The nose was filled with piney and citrusy hops of the simcoe, chinook, and cascade variety. The hoppy bitterness that invaded our palates after the initial sip was an unexpected yet delicious shocker. Citrus, pine, and earthy flavors followed suit. Ranger also had a hint of that bready and biscuity taste that Fat Tire and many other New Belgium beers have. We lamented on how light bodied and drinkable this brew was for an IPA. A clean and bitter finish capped off Ranger.
Ranger is a testament that New Belgium can truly brew any style, and any critics of New Belgium in regards to hoppy beer will be no more once they get their hands on some Ranger. Many of us agreed that Ranger is already our favorite offering from New Belgium, even after only tasting it once. Do you have a preferred brew from New Belgium?