Gene's Picks of the Week 8/16/21
1) Alvarado Street - Oh Chit Whaddup
Hazy TIPA, 10.5%
Alvarado Street's seventh anniversary beer is a rebrew of their sixth anniversary beer, which is befitting as 2020 erased so many observances and celebrations. Oh Chit is a total gonzo maximalist beer clearing the double-digit mark in ABV. The hopping schedule is complex, with Mosaic and Citra Incognito* as a foundational layer before the beer is double dry-hopped with the gems of the southern hemisphere - Nelson, Galaxy & Riwaka. It is a dense and heady aromatic experience, with loads of papaya and mango notes, while the finish belies its strength. Congratulations to Alvarado on seven years!
*NB: Incognito is a new product delivering hops in liquid form, without any associated vegetable matter. For local readers, North Park Beer Company has been trying it out in a number of their recipes recently, to great effect.
2) Bottle Logic - Orctoberfest
Anaheim's Bottle Logic may turn heads with their extraordinarily prolific barrel-aging program (and more recently, their fluffy overfruited sour beers), but lagers have always been an essential component of their portfolio as well. Earlier years' vintages depicted an armored bipedal man-beast - note the exact spelling of the title of the beer - but the current labeling has traded him in for a checkered Bavarian flag motif, alternating hues of green. This expression of the variegated Festbier style has the classic caramel/toffee tones on the nose with a nutty, toasty sendoff.
3) Off Color - Yuzu Fierce
Yuzu Berliner Weisse, 3.8%
Chicago's extraordinary craft beer scene is sprawling, mercurial and welcoming enough to handle a healthy eccentricity. Having left Goose Island after their acquisition by AB InBev, John Laffler opened Off Color in 2013 and began brewing one of the wildest array of creations seen yet in that city. With whimsical pen-ink artwork and cheerful insouciance (sample text from list of ingredients: "HOPS: None of your business"), Off Color specializes in farmhouse ales and low-ABV sour beers. Yuzu Fierce is an example of the latter, a riff on "Fierce", their fantastic recipe for a traditional Berliner Weisse. The base edition already exhibits lemony lactic acid notes from the kettle-souring process, but this iteration turns the dial up on those characteristics with an infusion of yuzu fruit. Truly a tart lemonade for adults!