beer craft co

The Project - El Dorado (Platform)

Brewery : Platform
Beer : The Project : Dry Hopped Pale Ale Series - El Dorado
Style : American Pale Ale / Pale Ale / APA
Variance : None

9 / 10

Ok, so this is my first beer from Platform and I must say… HOLY SHIT! This is a fucking amazing beer and if the others are even close to this I am in for a treat just like I was in for a treat when I wandered in to the women’s locker room at the local gym. Wait, that wasn’t a treat, it was a felony. My mistake. Anyways, Platform has officially earned a place in my heart with this one starting with a super smooth almost melon like flavor before some mild oniony hops and floral bitterness mix in with some citrusy notes before wrapping up with a light sweetness and a light and clean aftertaste. I was originally a little worried that the beer wouldn’t be able to live up to the awesome of the simple can it came in but it turns out that there was nothing to fucking worry about because this beer is amazing. If you are looking for an APA that sports some bold flavors but is still sessionable enough to polish of a 6 pack with ease, pick this project up because it kicks more ass than a soccer player on a donkey farm. That was dumb. Regardless, this is the perfect beer to bust your hop-hymen with and also a perfect beer for you craft-a-holics so make sure you snag a can ASAP.

Written by: Steve B.

Glutenous Maximus by Zilker Brewing Co.

Glutenous Maximus is a rye IPA by Zilker, a downtown Austin brewery named after our most famous public park. This beer poured darker than I would have expected but then again, it uses a buttload of malts, something like 11 different ones. This beer also manages to be balanced between maltiness and hoppiness. I wasn’t sure if that’d be the case. Jumping off from a dense, bready malt backbone is the spice from the rye and a good bitterness from the hops. 

Stone Ruination 2.0 (8.5% abv)

Stone’s original Ruination was, rather fittingly, my first experience with a bottle of imported American double IPA, and ‘twas lurve at first slurp of its relentlessly dankalicious insides. So can this big budget sequel recapture the magic of the sublime original hop bomb. Y'bet y'r prized dangly bits it can! 

Punchy tropical fruits and various green stuff flavours batter my taste buds, with pineapple, mango, gwaaarva, tangerine, grapefruit, spruce, and lush windswept grass the most aggressive, sweet caramel malts get a look in towards the middle, with mildly spiced pine and grapefruit returning for the big bitter finish. The seductively soft and smooth mouthfeel is a delight, the booze unnoticeable. 

For my particularly peculiar set of taste buds this bottle of wonder juice absolutely lived up to expectations, a dank, resinous, hop attack of the most beguiling kind, and a fine way to see off a Friday. Cheers m'dears!

High Brow Barista (Platform)

Brewery : Platform
Beer : High Brow Barista
Style : American Pale Ale / Pale Ale / APA
Variance : Brewed with Dry Bean Coffee

8.5 / 10

Ugh, the high brow fancy pantsy barista. These are the people who spend more time making lotus flowers and other stupid fucking designs in my coffee while pouring half a gallon of milk into it instead of serving it at a reasonable pace. I don’t need to see a god damn art exhibit to start my morning when all I really want is an overly sweet cup of caffeine to get my ass in gear. Now that I got that off my chest, let’s get to this delicious beer instead. This is my first beer from Platform so I decided to start with something a little out of the norm and even though these coffee IPAs and APAs are becoming a bigger thing, few breweries do it as well as these guys have done. A fresh coffee flavor starts things off with a great roasty-ness and bitterness before some floral hops join in with the rye adding both a spice and bitter burst to the strong coffee flavor before ending with more of that mouth watering fresh brewed coffee flavor to close. The addition of rye in this is definitely what sets this beer apart from others because it adds a depth of flavor that I haven’t really had in this style before today. When it comes to starting my mornings, I would love to start it with this everyday but as I’ve said before, that is highly frowned upon and due to the fact that I already walk a thin tightrope between addiction and hobby, I don’t want to push my luck any further. If you want to taste a super interesting brew that pushes the limit of what APAs are capable of, pick this up and enjoy because as long as you like coffee this beer will appeal to all levels of drinkers regardless of your experience.

Written by: Steve B.

Lazarus Brewing Co.

Lazarus is one of Austin’s newest breweries. I don’t think they’ve been open a full year yet. However, they’ve proven to be pretty successful so far. They have a pretty extensive beer line-up and most are good. This was my third time there and in addition to the beer I got a tasty black bean torta. 

Amelie is a beer made entirely with French ingredients. I guess you could call it a light beer but it still has quite a lot of flavor. The crispness of it is quite refreshing on a hot day. There’s an airy bread flavor mixed with minerals and a hint of citrus. 

Jolted Phoenix is a coffee beer that’s not a porter or stout. My tastebuds kind of didn’t know what to make of this one at first. This beer tastes a lot like cold brew coffee. Yeast and hops in the finish are really the only thing that reminds you that it is in fact beer. This is an interesting brew but I think I prefer my coffee beer to be darker. 

Stone Xocoveza (8.1% abv)

I’ve been looking forward to trying this take on Chris Banker’s homebrew competition winning, Mexican hot chocolate mimicking, chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and pasilla pepper milk stout since I first read about it, all dribbly chinned and starry eyed like. Thankfully it doesn’t disappoint! A medium bodied and softly carbed brew, it’s bittersweet and moderately roasty with decent cocoa and coffee notes, a bold amount of that cinnamon and nutmeg, a splash of soft caramel, a chunk of old wood, a handful of dark stone fruits, and a fair amount of chilli flavour and warmth. Those complex flavours really are very well balanced and the end result is quite delicious, an absolute treat for my taste buds. If there’s any problem here it’s that I shoulda bought more of ‘em. Or used less adjectives. Wotevz.

2

Maine Beer Company “Mo”

94 A-


Mo is a bottle-conditioned Pale Ale. Thanks for the trade, Kirby! Aromas deserve an A+ for such delightful hop notes, which closely resemble the smell of ripe cantaloupe, guava, honeysuckle, and grapefruit peel. Malts carry frail sweetness over hints of pale grain.


The palate starts sweet with smooth wheat. Meanwhile, hops immediately taste of oranges and cream. Tropical notes weave throughout. Herbal characters rise up from the middle, just before sour grapefruit slowly rises to a crisp climax. Bolstering support from below, biscuit malts kick into high gear for some much needed balance. Despite their efforts, bitterness reigns supreme. Mouthfeel is creamy, then sharpens up as oils gently dry to a clean finish.


Overall, I think this is a balanced, flavorful Pale Ale where the sour component runs parallel to bitterness. I think there’s enough originality here to make it stand out. As is characteristic of the style, malts only exist as a platform to support the hops. The hop profile is distinct, revealing a short, complementary flavor range. Bitterness is poignant, yet never pushes beyond respected boundaries. If you’re a fan of the Pale Ale, this is probably worth seeking out. I recommend it.


Malts: American 2-Row, CaraPils, Caramel 40L, Red Wheat

Hops: Warrior, Falconer’s Flight, Simcoe


6.0%

? IBU

Freeport, Maine

Tupps IPA by Tupps Brewing Co.

One of the things I like about the H.E.B. grocery store is that they showcase Texas beer. I often find myself buying beer made by Texas breweries I had never heard of before and don’t see anywhere else in Austin. Tupps IPA is from Tupps Brewing Co. out of McKinney, Texas. This is a decent IPA if a little uninspired. It’s vaguely citrusy and vaguely bitter and oddly a little flowery. The craft beer world is crowded with IPAs so I think a brewery needs to do better than this to warrant anything beyond just trying it one time. 

Cloudwater Seville Orange Sour (3.5% abv)

This young Manchester brewery’s kettle soured ale infused with Seville Orange Zest from Ave Maria Farm’s 150 year old groves has been getting hella attention from the UK’s craft beer community of late. Thought I’d see what all the fuss was about. The aroma is quite wonderful, freshly nail scraped orange peel tantalising my nose holes. In the mouth it’s sweet and mildly tart rather than sour, the flavours are bright orange with plenty of that Seville zest familiar to marmalade fans, with the faintest hint of light, grainy, biscuity malt peeking through as it warms. Srsly though it really does resemble a fancy orange soda. A tasty, super refreshing, and eminently gulpable beer, but lacking any depth or complexity. I can’t decide whether I love this idea or hate that I coulda bought three bottles of Fentimans instead.

St. Elmo Brewing Co.

These are from my second time at St. Elmo, one of Austin’s newest breweries. I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything I’ve tried there so far. Carl is a kolsch and even come in the traditional highball-like glass. It is most definitely a light beer but pretty refreshing without being watery. Doughy German-style malt and yeast make up the majority of the flavor. Winston is on the other end of the spectrum, a robust export stout. Lots of roasty malt and even a bit of tobacco dominates. This is finished off by black coffee and a hop zip. A very flavorful stout. 

Magic Rock Unhuman Cannonball, 11% abv

I thought I’d missed out on this year’s release of this storied US hopped triple IPA from Yorkshire’s Magic Rock, but once again Instagram, and Neil, came to the rescue!  The beer absolutely lives up to the hype, ‘tis ridiculously, absurdly juicy. A mango, guava, pineapple, and mandarin H-bomb in a tsunami of tropical fruit punch of a brew. It’s sweet up front, medium dry and lightly bitter at the end and the booze really is so well hidden I thought nothin’ of sinking the whole bottle of smooth and soft liquid joy in no time flat. Then I tried to stand up and well, it didn’t really work. Anyhoo, if I’m being entirely honest it maybe lacks the complexity of some other big IPA’s but TROPICAL FRUIT ATTACK is always fun. Great stuff, can’t wait for next year’s!

4

Northern Monk Brew Co of Leeds, Yorkshire, have built up a decent reputation in their short time on this earth. Based in a converted flax mill in an old industrial part of an old industrial city they go about the same business of brewing high quality contemporary takes on traditional beers that untold squillions of other craft breweries do, so what sets them apart? Um, I dunno. But their cans look pretty! Unfortunately, pretty cans by themselves ain’t enough to win my heart, so I quit my stroking and eyelash fluttering and cracked ‘em open. 

Eternal Session IPA (4.1% abv) is an entirely decent brew. For a session IPA. Zesty citrusy piney tropical fruity hoppyness aplenty. Light in body and booze. Tasty and effortlessly easy drinking. It hits all the right notes and plays a nice tune, but like every session IPA I’ve ever had it can’t disguise the fact that it’s just a tribute act. Which is okay as long as it enjoys itself I s’pose.

New World IPA (6.2% abv) is more like it, an intriguing brew inspired by the hop ratios and techniques used in original English IPA’s but using a blend of Australian, English, and US hops. The payoff is better than I coulda hoped for. Bold, pithy, grapefruit led citrus and rain dampened evergreens run riot on my tongue, with tropical fruit undertones of kiwi, papaya, and mango joining in the fun. An earthy, herbaceous quality develops nicely, and there’s a subtle caramel maltiness lurking amongst the fruits and shrubbery. It finishes dry with a surprisingly strong bitterness and more of that grapefruit pith. A damn fine brew indeed!

I’m finishing up with Northern Star Mocha Porter (5.9% abv). North Star Coffee of Leeds supply the ground beans that are added to the brew, and what an impression they make. ‘Tis packed with sensuous coffee flavours, a fine match to the decadent malts. Cocoa, bonfire toffee, vanilla, roast nuts, and hints of dark dried fruit notes all offer great support to that potent coffee. Softly carbed, medium light body, some coffee grounds bitterness at the finish to offset the early sweetness, it really is rather good! 

And I’m done. A thoroughly enjoyable investigation it was too. My ambivalence towards the session IPA was firmly outweighed by my genuine enjoyment of the New Old World Type Stuff IPA and the almost Mocha Porter, a pair of classy, well executed, and tasty brews that are even better than their packaging would suggest. Nice cans. Great beer.

2

Wild Beer, Beyond Modus 2014 8.0 % abv

I have the squidgiest of soft spots for the straw chewing folk of Somerset’s Wild Beer and their unusual, intriguing brews. Take their debut creation, Modus Operandi, an old ale fermented with wild yeast, aged in both bourbon and red wine barrels, and blended into something unique and delicious. As a beer to showcase what they were all about it was a triumph. But these lot are never still, and late last year they released a special version of that flagship beer. After the initial ageing with wild yeast this stuff was aged for a further four months in Burgundy red wine barrels and then blended with a couple of their other barrel aged beers. Just ‘cause.

The result really is incredible. It’s tart and sweet turning to properly mouth puckeringly sour with loads of complex red and black berry flavours, red wine vinegar, old oak, and with deeper, darker fruits and more potent red wine flavours developing towards the end. Absolutely stunning stuff, my favourite beer yet from these guys and one of my very favourite beers from 2014. Cheers!

Stone, RuinTen IPA 10.8% abv.

I managed to snag one of these utterly sexyful creations from the Escondido craft brew pioneers off of the BrewDog online shop recently and I’m ever so glad I did!

Originally brewed to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Stone’s magnificent Ruination IPA in 2012, this powered-up hop monster’s immensely fruity hop profile bashes you round the chops with sack loads of oranges, peaches, grapefruit, and mangoes before performing forced acupuncture on your tongue with pine needles. The solid caramel malt base attempts a rescue but is soon overwhelmed (in an entirely good way) by those oh-so juicy, fruitastic hops. Spot on carbonation, generously bodied, medium sweet into bitter. Then more bitter. Bloody fantastic stuff!