PROJECT MAYHEM: 77 Points
What is the first rule of Fight Club?
This Belgian IPA is released randomly in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: N/A
My Description: For such a great name for a beer, this BIPA doesn’t live up. It begins with an average, off-white colored head that fades to a thin film that hangs around for a while leaving behind some spotty lacing. The aroma smells decent enough with notes of malt with faint spice and herbal notes; there are also some tropical notes like pineapples. Project Mayhem is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile isn’t the greatest example of the style. There are grapefruit notes and some tropical notes like pineapples but the yeast notes are too subdued. I could barely pick up on the yeast notes; there are some very faint spice notes but that is it. Plus, the hops are barely visible and it isn’t as bitter as it should be. Overall, this ale doesn’t taste that fresh but I did finish it. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled asparagus, a mushroom burger, or a light salad.
ABV: N/A Color: Ruby Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 3/10
BRAINLESS IPA: 89 Points
Subtle Yeast Notes
This Belgian IPA is released in 22 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Our Brainless® IPA pays tribute to the collaborative efforts of innovative brewers. The fruity Belgian yeast and powerful American hops relentlessly tease your pallet.”
My Description: This is a good beginner beer for those who’ve never had a BIPA because overall it is calm and not overly bitter. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head with a retention level that holds most of the way leaving behind a wall of lacing. The aroma is interesting because even though there are big grapefruit hop notes there is also an apparent Belgian candi sugar presence that comes through. Some pale malt notes and tropical notes like mangoes add to the complexity of the aroma. Brainless IPA is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile doesn’t have as much yeast notes as I’m used to in a Belgian IPA. There are hints of yeast spices and a slight tang-like presence but that’s about it from the yeast. Citrus hops and some fruity hop notes take center stage but these are also not too potent. This beer is very mellow in the flavor department; there is some malt sweetness and a moderately bitter finish but nothing in your face. This works for when you’re in the mood to have a smooth ale that isn’t overly complex but still satisfies. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with smoked sausages, sharp cheeses, or coconut shrimp.
ABV: 6.6% Color: Murky Golden/Orange Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10
PRIVATEER: 87 Points
AKA Piraat Triple Hop
This Belgian Strong Ale/ Belgian IPA is generally available year-round in 330 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “This light ambercoloured Piraat with full foam head overwhelms with an aroma of bitter, spicy, malty and alcoholic scents. What follows is a perfect combination of malty, sweet and hopbitter tastes, after which you are drowned in a very long, semi-sweet after taste with bitter undertone.”
My Description: Privateer is good representation of a hoppy Belgian Strong. However, it falls short of being memorable and a little more attention to the harmony of the flavors would make this ale taste better. It pours a very large, off-white colored head that lasts forever and leaves behind a great amount of lacing, the head is very impressive on this beer. The aroma is interesting and slightly complex with notes of honey, malt, caramel, faint noble hops, and a touch of lemon. Privateer is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. An earthy presence holds up a flavor profile consisting of light caramel notes, some yeast spices, hints of stone fruit, and a touch of herbal hops. The aftertaste is moderately bitter but tastes too sharp and unrefined. The alcohol is hidden decently in this ale and the texture is on the smooth side. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with gourmet cheeses, mushroom burgers, or spicy fish tacos.
ABV: 10.5% Color: Amber/Orange Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 4/10
HOUBLON CHOUFFE: 96 Points
A bitter Triple
This Triple is available year-round in 330 ml. and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “The HOUBLON CHOUFFE was brewed for the first time in 2006. It is an ‘Indian Pale ale’ type of beer, with a harmonious balance between a marked bitterness (three types of hops are used to make it) and a pleasant fruitiness. The HOUBLON CHOUFFE is unfiltered, and re-fermented in the bottle as well as in the keg.”
My Description: This Belgian IPA is nicely done. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head with a nice retention level and it leaves behind a respectable amount of lacing. The aroma is strong with citrus and pine hops taking center stage with Belgian yeast playing a background note. Houblon is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is delicious with bread notes and some sweetness upfront transitioning smoothly into a moderately bitter aftertaste. Pine hops and the Saaz spice notes are apparent along with a light fruit notes. More flavors develop as the beer warms adding to the enjoyment. The alcohol is nicely hidden behind the bitterness and the prickly carbonation. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled salmon, sauteed shrimp, or a heavy salad.
ABV: 9% Color: Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5/10
LITTLE SUMPIN’ WILD: 97 Points
This Belgian IPA has an IBU of 72.5 and is released seasonally around July in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “A higher gravity seasonal version of the year-round Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale. It’s made with Westmalle Trappist yeast that creates those curious phenolic off-flavors that are freakin’ everyone out these days. Massively dosed with boatloads of wheat and pale malt and finishes with a big, hoppy ending.”
My Description: Little Sumpin’ Wild is a great treat and must be purchased when it becomes available. It pours a decent, off-white colored head that dissipates quickly to a film that holds nicely the rest of the way leaving behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is enticing and complex with notes of pale malt, tropical fruit, citrus hops, lemon, and mandarins. Wild is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. Clean spice notes tingle the taste buds with grapefruit and earthy hops adding a welcoming element. The pale malt notes come through nicely with a touch of sour and pineapple flavors. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and easy to swallow. The alcohol is dangerously hidden and the overall flavor profile is nicely balanced. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with Thai noodles, grilled shrimp, or rice dishes.
ABV: 8.8% Color: Honey/Orange Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 5/10
KARMA: 79 Points
Not the Greatest BIPA
This Belgian India Pale Ale is released in April for the Summer months in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “We believe in Karma. We suspect most of you do, too. It truly is a global concept: very simply put, “you get what you give.” Inspired by this principle and the wonderful farmhouse and pale ales of Belgium, we’ve created Karma Ale, a decidedly fruity and estery ale, intricate in body and nose, all driven by a unique Belgian yeast strain. Remember, good things DO happen to good people. Here’s to being good!”
My Description: This beer is decent but falls short on flavor and quality. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head with a decent retention level and a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is the best part of the beer, it is welcoming and pleasant. There are notes of earthy hops, grass, light malt, and a touch of spice. Karma is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. Upfront, there are flavor notes of light malt accompanied by citrus notes and a hint of sour. This transitions into an aftertaste that is minimally bitter with a touch of spice. There are not much yeast notes in this beer besides the spice and the bitterness is too low to make this beer enjoyable and refreshing. This ale was a slight disappointment and it is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled pork chops, fresh salads, or salmon.
ABV: 5.4% Color: Amber Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3/10
STONE CALI-BELGIË (BELGIQUE): 95 Points
Hops + Yeast + Stone = Heaven
This Belgian Style IPA has 77 IBU’s and is available year-round in 22 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “We carefully selected a Belgian yeast strain that illuminates a fascinating new aspect of the beer that is otherwise quite simply Stone IPA.”
My Description: Cali-België is not a beer to drink if you are in the mood for a traditional IPA or a Belgian Ale, but if you’re feeling like you need something new, this will definitely suffice. It has a nicely sized, off-white head with a good retention level and it leaves some good lacing. The aroma is bright and pleasant with fragrant notes of citrus hops, bubblegum, cloves, Belgian yeast, and a touch of green apple. It is roughly medium bodied with an average carbonation level and a slightly dry finish. The beer tastes fresh with flavor notes of Belgian yeast, citrus hops, malt, and light fruit. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and smooth. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled shrimp, duck l’orange, or crab wontons.
ABV: 6.9% Color: Clear Orange Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 6/10
BPA: 92 Points
mmmm, Belgian yeast
This Belgian Style Pale Ale has an IBU of 21 and is available year-round in 12 oz. and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “This uncommon Belgian pale ale is bronze in color with citrusy, spicy, floral hop flavors and aromas coming from the liberal amount of Styrian Goldings in the brew kettle followed by dry hopping of Cascade (hops).”
My Description: I enjoyed how nicely balanced the beer was; the bitterness was noticeable and nicely accompanied by some yeast esters and malt notes to make this beer an easy and pleasing drink. It has big and foamy, off-white colored head with an excellent retention level and a good amount of lacing. The aroma is fresh and clean with aromatic notes of citrus and pine hops along with some tropical notes and a touch of Belgian yeast funk. It is roughly medium bodied with an average carbonation level and a crisp, dry finish. With the alcohol being completely hidden, the first thing you will notice is a beautiful citrus hop taste accompanied by some clove and spice notes with a minor touch of mango and other tropical fruits. The aftertaste is moderately bitter but it doesn’t linger as much as other pale ales do. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with pizza, grilled salmon, or a blue cheese burger.
ABV: 6.2% Color: Bronze Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10
BELGO: 88 Points
Part of their Explorer Series, this Belgian Style India Pale Ale has an IBU of 60 and 201 Calories. It is generally available year-round.
Brewer’s Description: “Hmmm Belgo sounds like a Belgian disco. Hops like to party. Next thing you know, we bust out a disco-ball and brewers started groovin. Hops started hoppin. Add in an authentic Trappist yeast strain and the place brewed into a frenzy of citrus hoppy folly.”
My Description: I think I can groove to this IPA; it smells great, tastes good, and it is easy drinking. It has a thick and fluffy off-white colored head that leaves great lacing and retains really well. The aroma was my favorite part of the beer, it was a perfect mix of hops and yeast giving off fragrant notes of citrus hops, pine hops, cloves, and other yeast esters. The beer was medium bodied with a normal carbonation level for an IPA. Up front, you will get more of the yeast flavors such as cloves with a minor hint of light fruit. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with a hint of banana. The finish is dry with a lingering bitter flavor and no alcohol notes. Overall, the flavor combination was good but I thought that the hops could have tasted a little better, they seemed too sharp. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with smoked ham, brisket, or fish & chips.
ABV: 7% Color: Peach/Orange Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 6/10
RAGING BITCH: 92 Points
Usually I hate bitches.
Part of their Canis Major Series, this Belgian Style IPA has an IBU of 60. It is available year-round in limited releases in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Sweet malt body contrasted with pine and grapefruit hop flavors and exotic fruit yeast notes.”
My Description: This brew will give that IPA bitterness but accompanies it with some yeast flavors to shake it up a bit. It has a fluffy tan colored head that retains really well and produces some great lacing. This has a big citrus hop aroma that smells great. You will also pick up on fragrant notes of pepper, piney hops, and a hint of bubblegum. This beer is roughly medium bodied with a good carbonation level. The flavors work nicely together to give you an enjoyable experience. Up front, there will be subtle notes of clove and Belgian yeast which lead into an aftertaste that is moderately bitter with a hint of fruity sweetness. The finish is dry with little to no alcohol flavor. The lingering bitter taste could have been better but overall the beer is delicious. It is best served around 42°F and pairs nicely with jerk chicken, andouille sausage, or beef brisket.
ABV: 8.3% Color: Amber Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 7/10