Beer Review: Threadless IPA [Finch’s Beer Company]

Threadless IPA [Finch's Beer Company]

Threadless IPA
Brewery: Finch’s Beer Company (Chicago, Illinois)
Style: American IPA
ABV: 6.0%

We are in the middle of a ridiculous heat wave here in the U.S., just in time for Independence Day. What better way to celebrate our nation’s birth than by gaining a slight reprieve from the heat with an ice cold beer? A new brew from local Finch’s Beer Company caught my eye, most noticably because its cans were designed by Threadless, one of my favorite t-shirt companies. Threadless + a local brewery just seems like a match made in heaven. And better yet, this is an IPA, an absolute perfect fit for the summer.

According to Finch’s website, “Our Threadless/Finch collaboration IPA is a balanced experience of both perceived hoppiness and true bitterness.” This is an accurate statement, as the hops are quite present, with a finish that piles on the bitterness. This finish lingers on the tongue, and subsequent tastings bring out the prominent citrus notes. Orange is most noticeable, and overall it is a tad sweet.

The Threadless IPA is a bit of a complex beer, but it is one that is also quite easy to drink. At 6% ABV and residing in a tall can, it won’t take too many of these to make you feel good. Hop heads in particular will dig this one.

I love it when craft breweries collaborate with others, and this effort from Finch’s and Threadless is a real winner. Keep an eye out for it if you’re in the Chicago area.


Beer Review: Pegasus IPA [Argus Brewery]

Pegasus IPA

Pegasus IPA
Brewery: Argus Brewery (Chicago, Illinois)
Style: American IPA
ABV: 6.5%

New breweries are popping up like daisies here in Chicago. Argus Brewery, located deep in the South Side, is one of the latest in town to start selling bottles locally. As someone who is always willing to support area craft beer, I picked up a six pack of one of their flagship offerings: Pegasus IPA.

After pouring Pegasus into a pint glass, I was very surprised with its color. This is significantly darker in appearance compared to most American IPAs, as it has a copper-like red look to it. Its aroma is very subdued, with only slight hoppy notes. The taste, however, piles on the hops, and they leave a lingering bitterness reminiscent of grapefruit. Traces of caramel are also present.

Pegasus IPA is a reasonably drinkable beer with a good ABV kick, but it lacks a special “oomph” to make it stand out from the rest of the pack. I still enjoyed my sampling, but this is not something I will go out of my way to get again. I have to admit that I found it somewhat amusing that the brewery puts a mini-review directly on their labels, though, even going so far as to include an “overall impression”.


Beer Review: Centennial IPA [Founders Brewing Company]

Centennial IPA [Founders Brewing Company]

Centennial IPA
Brewery: Founders Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Style: American IPA
ABV: 7.2%

As a lifelong citizen of the Midwest (so far), I am a very big fan of the craft beer scene here. When I lived in Michigan, I had two “go-to” breweries: Bell’s and Founders. The latter, Founders, is located right in the middle of my old stomping grounds, Grand Rapids. Their Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale is one of my all-time favorite beers, and pretty much anything they release is of high quality. Tonight I opted for their Centennial IPA, which I am giving a fresh take on thanks to my new-found love of IPAs.

The first thing I noticed about this beer was its 7.2% ABV label on the bottle. This added kick is quite noticeable upon the initial tasting. In contrast to many American IPAs, Centennial is more complex. My first two tastings were surprisingly underwhelming — something was different about this, but I couldn’t place my finger on it. On the third taste, everything clicked. The citrus notes came rushing through, with grapefruit leading the charge. The floral hops made an appearance and lingered on the tongue. There was slight bitterness, but it was kept to a minimum.

I’m not sure what put me off of the initial tasting, but this beer certainly got better over time. While the hops are always present, it seems that the malt prevents them from exploding the way one might expect. Still, this is an eminently drinkable beer, a nice smooth offering that packs a little extra punch. This is a strong effort from Founders, and a great summer beer.