Author: erikkang

Beer Review: Other Half Green Diamonds

One of Other Half Brewing’s earliest double IPA offerings back in 2014 was their Green Diamonds. Towards the end of 2014, Other Half teased the beer community with a photo of their prototype Green Diamond cans. It wouldn’t be until a few months later, in February 2015, that the Green Diamond cans were released to the public. Now on their third canning of this beer, I have finally got a chance to write a review for it.

One of the most striking aspect of this beer is the design on the can. Other Half got local NYC designers Small Stuff to create the design. They are also responsible for the amazing design on the Other Half Hop Showers can.

This 9.2% ABV Double IPA is brewed with Australian Galaxy hops which can impart flavors of passion fruit, citrus, melon, and black currant. Other Half doubles down on the fruity hop flavor by adding Amarillo hops. This is all balanced out with Golden Promise malt.

Appearance: Golden Orange

Aroma: Fruity, Citrus, Piney

Taste: The lovely tropical taste of Galaxy hops mixed with Amarillo. Smooth bitterness on the back end with slight astringency.

Mouthfeel: Medium Body. Typical DIPA.

Overall. One of OH’s best beers.

4.5/5

So here’s to drinking more Green Diamonds in the future!

Cheers!

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Other Half Equinox and Green Diamonds Cans this Saturday (6/6)

Jury Duty has kept me away from writing up some new beer articles, those will be coming soon. In the meanwhile here’s a quick post about Other Half Brewing‘s newest can release. This Saturday June 6 they are releasing their newest can which is a single hopped IPA called Equinox. And good news for anyone who missed the first two rounds of Green Diamonds Imperial IPA cans, they will also be re-released.

From Other Half’s Facebook:

6/6/15!!! This Saturday. Doors at 10am at the brewery. Green Diamonds: $16 4pack/$90 case. Equinox: $16 4pack/$90 case. One case max of each per person. That means each person can buy a case of each beer. First come, first serve. We would love to do a lower limit but we do not have space to store the beer so it all must sell on Saturday. Over 200 cases of each style will be available. See you soon!

Judging by all the other can releases, get there early if you want some!

Cheers!

Other Half All Green Everything and Hop Showers Cans This Thursday! (5/21)

If you happened to miss out on Other Half’s All Green Everything can release, well you’re in luck because you have another chance this Thursday May 21st to score some cans! In addition to the All Green Everything, Other Half will be canning their delicious Hop Showers IPA.

Great design!

From Other Half’s Facebook account:

“This Thursday!!! 5pm at the brewery! Hop Showers IPA and All Green Everything can release! 2, Four pack max on All Green Everything. 4, four pack limit on Hop Showers. AGE is $20/4 pack. Hop Showers is $16/4 pack. If supplies last, we will continue the sale on Friday at 5pm. We will update inventory as the day progresses so everyone knows how much beer is left. We are unable to sell cans this weekend do to production conflicts and events so that is the reason for the Thursday/Friday release. Cheers!”

I’m looking forward to the Hop Showers! See you all at the release!

Beer Review: Other Half All Green Everything and Mosaic IPA

I just realized it has already been a month since my past post! This year is flying by and with this year comes the addition of canned beers at one of my favorite breweries, Other Half Brewing. This past February they rolled out their first offering in cans with the help of Iron Heart Canning, a mobile canning operation, which was their Superfun! session IPA. Only a few weeks later, Other Half released one of their flagship Imperial IPAs, their delicious Green Diamonds. Following up in April, they released two single hopped IPAs, Citra and Nelson. The Citra is one of my favorite Other Half beers and the Nelson is a tasty new one they first brewed up earlier this year. But the one beer everyone was really excited about being canned is their All Green Everything. An extremely smooth drinking triple IPA. In addition to this release, Other Half surprised everyone by canning a brand new beer, their single hopped Mosaic IPA. Both of which I will review today.

Other Half All Green Everything

First up is Other Half’s All Green Everything triple IPA. Along with Green Diamonds, the All Green Everything is another one of Other Half’s flagship beers and one of my top 5 beers that they brew. It is so popular that the entire stock of cans sold out in less than 2 hours! Also it does not hurt that All Green Everything was in almost everyone’s top 5 beers from the Extreme Beer Festival held in Boston earlier this year. This beer is one of the best balanced triple IPAs being brewed today. It doesn’t suffer from the sweetness of other triple IPAs. Also the astringency one finds with high ABV beers is so well hidden with this beer. This does make it a little bit dangerous since it drinks so smooth and clean. I find myself finished with one before I know it.

It’s all green

This 10.5% ABV Triple IPA is loaded with Motueka, Amarillo, Citra and Mosaic hops.

Appearance: Golden orange.

Aroma: Lots of fruit and citrus. Pine and resin as well.

Taste: Fruity, Dank, Pine, with a nice balance from the malt. The hops hide the alcohol very well.

Mouthfeel: So smooth. Medium body.

Overall: One of Other Half’s best beers.

Rating: 4.5/5

If you can manage to grab cans, then definitely pick up a 4 pack. I know in a few weeks they plan on canning some more. It is also available on draft in their taproom.

Cheers!

Up next is Other Half’s surprise can release, the Mosaic IPA. This is their first beer that has been canned before it was offered on draft in the tasting room.

Other Half Mosaic IPA

Being that Mosaic is one of my favorite hops, I was very excited to taste this one. Needless to say, it did not disappoint and I now consider it one of my top 5 Other Half beers. This single hopped IPA weighs in 7% ABV.

Mmmosaic

Appearance: Gold with light orange

Aroma: The fruity and floral aroma of Mosaic hops.

Taste: A mosaic hop lovers dream. Tropical, fruity, a little piney,

Mouthfeel: Medium Light, though lingers in the mouth a little bit.

Overall: One of the best Mosaic hoped beers I have ever had.

I hope they can this one again, but thankfully they do offer it on draft at their taproom.

So the Other Half canning train is on a roll. All of these releases have been extremely limited, so if you really want some you’ll definitely have to wait in line on release day and hope they don’t sell out!

I’m looking forward to what’s next! Cheers!

Beer Review: Indeed Brewing Co. Mexican Honey Imperial Lager

Indeed Brewing Co. Mexican Honey Imperial Lager

Back again with another quick beer review and this time it’s a beer from the state of Minnesota, Indeed Brewing Company’s Mexican Honey Imperial Lager. Brewing out of Minneapolis, Indeed Brewing Company was founded in 2011 by Thomas Whisenand, Rachel Anderson, and Nathan Berndt. These three recruited brewer Josh Bischoff, formerly of Town Hall Brewery also located in Minneapolis, and officially started selling their beer in 2012. Known for their wide range of pale ales, they also brew up stouts, pilsners, and lagers. Unfortunately, like many great beers, they do not distribute to New York. Lucky for me, I have a friend who visits Minnesota regularly and gave me this pint can of Mexican Lager for my birthday.

Nice can.

This 8% ABV Imperial lager is brewed with Mexican orange blossom honey. The flavor is rounded out with Amarillo hops.

Appearance: Very light orange gold

Aroma: Sweet. Fruity esters. Cider like. A little vinous.

Taste: Crisp and malty. Very slight honey sweetness which brings about a dry finish.

Mouth feel: Medium light body.

Overall:  A very nice lager, though I wish the honey flavor was much more dominant.

Rating: 4/5

This is a very nice lager that hides its higher ABV very well. I have had only one other Indeed Brewing Co. beer besides this one and I hope to get to taste more of their beers in the future.

Cheers!!

Night of the Other Half at Brooklyn Brewery

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the Night of the Other Half tasting hosted by Brooklyn Brewery. Last year Other Half hosted Brooklyn Brewery Head Brewer Garrett Oliver for a ghost bottle tasting at the Other Half tap room where a number of unreleased Brooklyn Brewery beers were poured. So this year Oliver returned the favor and hosted Other Half at the Brooklyn Brewery.

Brewmaster Garrett Oliver introducing Other Half

After a quick introduction by Oliver, Other Half’s Head Brewer Sam Richardson stepped up to talk about the beers and the history of Other Half.

Other Half Head Brewer Sam Richardson

The Other Half crew brought seven of their beers with them. While they are well known for their hoppy IPAs, this night they decided to showcase their other styles. Being poured for the night:

Veldrijden Love: A farmhouse saison with rye, oats, raw wheat, spel, and aged in Chardonnay barrels.

Falsa Noctis: A black saison fermented with Brettanomyces and aged in wine barrels.

Kerstperiode: A dark farmhouse saison

In Absentia Luci: An Imperial stout aged in red wine barrels.

Rosso: A Grand Cru aged in red wine barrels with Brett.

Brett Saison: A Golden saison aged in French oak white burgundy barrels with Brett.

Flavor Particles: This was the only IPA served this night. It is brewed with Apollo, Lemon Drop and Calypso hops.

Other Half Crew pouring delicious beers

After sampling Other Half’s beers, the folks from the Brooklyn Brewery opened up a ghost bottle for the crowd. They poured what they called “Galahad”, which is their Local 2 Belgian Dark Abbey ale aged with cider lees. A very nice ale with a slight tartness from the cider.

Good crowd

Overall this was a great event, especially since it was free. It is great to see that Other Half is held in high regard by Garrett Oliver and Brooklyn Brewery. Here’s to hoping they do a collaboration beer!

Smile Anthony!

Cheers!

Extreme Beer Festival 2015 in Boston

Been a little while since my last post, but this past week-end I had the opportunity to attend the annual Beer Advocate’s Extreme Beer Festival in Boston, Mass. This festival brings together over 70 brewers from all over the country to showcase their most potent, experimental, and crazy beers. This was my first time to this event, and my first time to Boston, and I will say I had an amazing time.

Boston!

After waking up at 4:30 AM and catching the 4 hour train to Boston, the first stop straight from the train station was Trillium Brewing Company. Or should I say straight from the train station to wait in a very long line outside of Trillium:

First line of the day

Trillium Brewing opened in Boston back in March of 2013 by home brewer Jean-Claude Tetreault and has become very well known and respected in the craft beer world. Even though they refer to themselves as a American-style farmhouse brewery, Tetreault and his team brew up many styles of delicious craft beer including dry hopped pale ales, oatmeal porters, and red ryes. This past week-end they celebrated their 2nd anniversary with the release of a double dry hopped double IPA called Upper Case.

Still not the front of the line.

Trillium is known for having long waits to get inside, but the release of this anniversary beer had the line around the block. And before I could reach the front of the line, a Trillium employee came outside to let everyone know that it was sold out. I wasn’t too bothered since I was there just to try anything they had, especially their Galaxy Dry Hopped Fort Point Pale Ale which I have heard many great things about. Lucky for me, while waiting in line, another Trillium employee came out and asked who was there just to buy bottles and not growlers. I quickly raised my hand and went straight to the front of the line. Unfortunately they were out of a lot of stuff, but I managed to get a few bottles of the Galaxy Fort Point and a couple bottles of their Broken Angel Belgian strong ale.

Only took 1.5 hours in line to get! Some for me, some to share with friends!

After checking into the hotel and dropping off the bottles of Trillium, it was time to head over to another famous Boston brewery, Harpoon Brewery. Harpoon has been brewing craft beer for nearly 30 years having opened in 1986. They are currently the 12th largest craft brewer in the United States.

Another brewery, another wait outside.

Harpoon brews numerous styles of beer. They have brewed IPAs, Pilsners, Stouts, and everything in between including their UFO series which uses ingredients such as grapefruit, raspberries, pumpkins, and ginger. Untappd has 529 beers listed for them, so they have something for everyone. Being that thousands of beer enthusiasts were in town this past week-end, Harpoon was over capacity and had a line out the door. Luckily the line moved quickly and I was enjoying some fresh Harpoon in no time.

Harpoon Tap Room

The first beer of the long day of drinking was Harpoons Take 5 session Pale Ale. A very hoppy ale that only weighs in at 4.1% ABV. This is one of Harpoon’s pilot beers that are only available in the tap room.

Harpoon Take 5

Sadly I did not take a picture of one of Harpoon’s giant pretzels. They are freshly baked right in the tap room, come with a choice of dipping sauces, and were absolutely delicious.

After a few beers at Harpoon, it was time for some lunch and all I had on my mind was to get some New England Clam Chowder. Having heard some good reviews, I headed over to Yankee Lobster which is right on the other side of Harpoon’s parking lot.

Yankee Lobster’s Clam Chowdahhh

I went straight for an order of clam chowder and a Harpoon IPA. I will say that it was some of the best clam chowder I have ever had in my life. Super creamy and rich. Being very satisfied with a full stomach, it was time to heard over to the Seaport World Trade Center for Session #3 of the Extreme Beer Festival.

Another line.

Thankfully the snow that had been falling all morning had finally stopped and the sun was peaking through all the clouds. So waiting outside again wasn’t too bad. The line ran smoothly and I was inside in less than 20 minutes. After grabbing a festival guide and my tasting cup, it was time to dive into the crazy world of extreme beers.

Huge crowd, but never felt overcrowded.

This event was so crazy that I actually forgot to take more than a couple pictures of the event. There were nearly 325 beers to try from over 70 brewers and every choice was unique and interesting. (And in some cases dangerous!) Every kind of style from Double and Triple IPAs to Imperial Stouts to Wild Ales to Saisons and all types of Barrel Aged beers. Many included creative ingredients such chili peppers, maple syrup, cactus pear, freeze dried ice cream, truffles, peppermint, hibiscus, almonds, spruce tips, peanut butter, graham crackers, oysters, and even lobsters. And many of the beers were of high ABV, some as high as 19%!

Plenty of water.

Some of the brewers, such as Funky Buddha, Rare Barrel, and Tree House, had very long lines. But I found that those lines moved quickly and that the wait was a good excuse to slow down and digest some of the beers. I tried many excellent beers during the 3.5 hour session, so it is difficult to choose which were my favorites. From my blurry memory these following five stood out for me (in no particular order):

1) Carton Brewing Company Gilded Lily. A delicious Belgian Tripel that was brewed with white truffles and weighed in at 10.6% ABV. I have been wanting to try this beer for a while and it did not disappoint.

2) Funky Buddha French Toast. A 8.8% Double American Brown Ale made with cinnamon and maple syrup. Yep this tasted exactly like french toast in liquid form. Definitely one that you would have to share with friends, I don’t think I could drink an entire bottle of this by myself.

3) Rare Barrel Forces Unseen. An American Wild Ale that is a combination of three golden sour beers and aged in oak barrels. Very refreshing and tart. A delicious 5.3% ABV sour that exemplifies the style. I have heard good things about this Berkeley brewer, so their table was one of the first stops I made.

4) Surly Brewing Pentagram. This is a 100% brettanomyces dark sour ale that has been aged in red wine barrels. Of course the ABV of this beer comes in at an appropriate 6.66%. I also made sure to get a taste of their Abrasive ale which I previous reviewed.

5) Element Brewing Citronium. A super fruity Double IPA that uses Citra hops, kaffir lime leaves, and grapefruit oil. All that citrus flavor hides the 9.5% ABV very well. I would love to find bottles of this.

Slightly different pic than above.

Overall the Extreme Beer Festival was one of the best events I have been too. The people over at Beer Advocate know how to run an event smoothly. I got to taste all the beers I was looking forward to tasting and many others that were delicious surprises. I am already looking forward to next year’s event.

But one can’t come to Boston for the first time without soaking up some American history. Before the train ride back to New York City, my friend and I walked around downtown Boston (with an extremely heavy backpack full of beers). We headed over to the Granary Burying Ground where many famous Revolutionary War-era people are buried.

Such as Samuel Adams:

Not the beer

John Hancock:

Sign on the bottom line.

And Paul Revere:

Beastie Boys wrote a song about him

See you in 2016 Boston!

CHEERS!