Coronado Brewing Co. – Idiot IPA – This fine beverage was picked because the name was too funny to pass up. It is an Imperial IPA so that means plenty of hops. They use plenty of my favorite hops too – Cascade, Centennial, Chinook & Columbus – which happen to be the very same hop combination that The Brew Kettle uses for their 4C Pale Ale. The amount used in the Idiot IPA is much higher, 90 IBU to 50. That suited me just fine because that mix has an outstanding flavor to it that doesn’t get bitter even in nearly double the dose. Coronado does use some brown sugar to help sweeten the mix up but it didn’t come through in the flavor. Since it’s an Imperial, this beer will make you feel like an idiot because of it’s 8.5% ABV. Coronado distributes to the East & West Coast but not much in the Midwest except for the fine state of Ohio. My taste buds thank them.
Revolution Brewing Co. – Jukebox-Hero -If you listened, you would know that this beer was the official beer of OHPA 10. You would also know that this beverage is a Black IPA. It’s part of a five beer series of Heroes. This is the only colored variety of IPA in the bunch. They combined chocolate roasted malt for the color with Pale Ale, Munich and Naked Golden Oat malts, which helps to make it nice and creamy. They use a combination of hops too – Amarillo, Centennial, Chinook, Citra & Warrior. All of those hops have varying degrees of citrus, pine and bitter tastes to them. None of it sits on your palate long so the bitter taste doesn’t linger. At 75 IBU, they jam in plenty of hops but it’s not overwhelming especially considering the noise being brought from the malts. They match the IBU by going 7.5% ABV in this beer. I paid less for this than a beer at a rock concert so let your mouth enjoy a taste concert.
Revolution Brewing Co. – Rosa Hibiscus Ale – I had no idea what I was going to get when I drank this beer. It’s one of those beers that even I got a little concerned about trying. I’ve had hibiscus before in a meade from Brothers Drake Meadery here in Cbus. I was familiar with the taste but I wasn’t sure how it’d work with beer. It’s one thing to flavor fermented honey and another to go up against malts and hops. They eliminated both problems easily. The malt base was for an ale which helps to keep it lighter. Revolution also only made this beer 15 IBU so the hops are minimal so as not to throw off the taste of the hibiscus. It has just enough bitterness to offset the slight sweetness. What I ended up drinking is something akin to a shandy, which is a beer mixed with a juice, but much better in my opinion. The flavors in a shandy don’t mesh as well to me as this finely crafted beer. I still don’t think it’s for everyone, but if you want a light refreshing drink in the summer, this is certainly for you. You can find this Chicago based beer companies beverages by going to this link.
Victory Brewing Co. – Swing Session Saison – Because of my habit of prioritizing festival and trip beers over time order, this summer beverage is getting reviewed now. It isn’t labeled that way on Victory’s website but I’m assuming a beer with a baseball name isn’t the beer of choice with the temperatures already at a low. The other reason I don’t feel like it’s a winter beer is that it’s a saison which are also typically spring/summer beers. It’s light and spicy which means it should be quenching a summer thirst not trying to warm you up during frigid temperatures. The spice comes from peppercorns and orange & lemon peel, which again is refreshing and a very summer flavor. Victory is also uses Belgian yeast in this beer which as usual brings that unique funk to this beer. They don’t list IBUs but that is not an important part of this beer. They do list the ABV which is 4.5%. Victory distributes to these locations so if you can, when Spring Training hits, go to your home plate of beer joints and pick this one up for a swing. It won’t be a miss. – Kevin