MBG Summer Beer Fest: Recap, Part 3

One trend among the breweries at the festival was the appearance of a style that seems to be popular this year: Black IPA. We tried Black IPAs from Arcadia, New Holland, and Right Brain.

New Holland’s Black Hatter Black IPA had a good hop smell, but was thin and watery. It had high hop notes without having low hops notes to balance it out– all bite and no spice. I remember declaring that Arcadia was the clear winner, which surprised me, since I admittedly think of New Holland and Right Brain as “better” breweries. Arcadia’s interpretation of the style was the most compelling balance of hops, malt, and blackness. My notes also read “leafy…candy,” but I’m not sure what I meant by that. The BIPA from Right Brain, cleverly named “Black EyePA” was also tasty. Overall, we’re not totally convinced that BIPA is a good idea for a style. Though we had a few good examples of it, it seems like a very hard style to balance well– there are too many factors competing for attention.

When we sampled the “Black EyePA” from Right Brain, we also tried their offer from the Ferkin: “Vanilla Orange Chocolate Porter”. It was as gross as it sounds, tasting amazingly similar to one of those spherical chocolate oranges you find at Christmas time, wrapped in orange foil, which falls into wedges when you slam it on the table. There was a hoppy finish, which was surprising and somewhat unwelcome, given the syrupy chocolate-y-orange-y-ness. I could see having this on a cold winter evening around Christmas, as a novelty beer/orange-chocolate-liqueur, but not something to drink in large quantities, and certainly not to drink on a hot summer day outside.

Spherical chocolate Christmas orange gets slammed

In the coming entries we visit Big Buck and sample heartily from Kuhnhenn.

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~ by nininja on August 7, 2010.

One Response to “MBG Summer Beer Fest: Recap, Part 3”

  1. […] of Back in Black IPA, 21st Amendment’s latest year-round selection. As you may recall, we sampled a trio of Black IPAs at the Michigan beer fest this year, so I was eager to taste a West Coast attempt for the sake of […]

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