It has been a struggle these past couple months to uphold our titles as self proclaimed hop-heads. For the safety of our communities our favorite local breweries shuttered up, hunkered down, with some ceasing production to try and hamper down the effects of COVID-19. In proof that the craft beer community is a resilient and optimistic bunch, work arounds to keep businesses alive and delicious beer in our hands soon sprang up. Curbside pick up at breweries and liquor stores, delivery service, and no contact drop offs are the new norm.
To satiate our need for our favorite brews and help support the local businesses that make up our communities, the Hoppy Thoughts team, from our respective work-from-home environments scrounged together all the beer we could muster and each picked out a favorite that helped get us through the 2020 lockdown. While a complete return to normal isn’t exactly right around the corner we hope that the passing of the CARES Act and subsequent relief will help keep the breweries we love chugging along. In the mean time we as beer enthusiasts can do our part by continuing to buy and pick up local craft by any means at our disposal. We are happy to share a couple of the beers we got our hands on and the methods we used to acquire them.
All Together IPA
World Collaboration Other Half Brewing Co./Magnify Brewing Co.
New York/New Jersey
Our resident IPA hophead, Paul Martinez got his hands on this fine collaboration organized by Other Half Brewing Company. This iteration put out by Magnify Brewing is double dry hopped with a happy mixture of Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe and Cascade. With a milder 6.5% ABV this one is pretty perfect as those spring temps start rounding toward summer.
Paul had this to say about the flavor profile, “I loved the beer because of the extreme hoppiness and the balanced finish. It was a little maltier than a quintessential Hazy IPA but not enough to take over the beer.”
Getting his hands on the beer couldn’t have been easier, “I placed my order right online and the beer was delivered right to my front door.”
Arguably the icing on the cake for this special beer is that all iteration of this brew in collaboration lend a portion of proceeds to The Beverage and Food Employee Crisis Fund to help hospitality and restaurant workers worldwide who have been impacted by COVID-19.
If you’d like to make a contribution, donations can be made to The Beverage and Food Employee Crisis Fund at www.bfecs.org.
Barrel-Aged Cucumber Hibiscus Sour
Avery Brewing Co.
Lisa Zalenski, our videographer and content creator managed to get her hands on some unique sours during the prolonged isolation. Venturing out to her favorite local liquor store she showed some support for her favorite local brews that she’d sampled on past travels.
“Sours are my go-to so I get really giddy when they’re done well. Having recently (pre-quarantine) enjoyed Avery sours in their tap-room, I knew this Barrel-Aged Cucumber Hibiscus Sour wouldn’t disappoint my quest for refreshing summer character.”
Light bodied with a modest ABV of 7% she immediately got notes reminiscent of candied watermelon. Of the flavor profile she said, “The cucumber certainly hits first with a hibiscus, flowery, and earthy flavor complementing it. Tart throughout, I loved this very easy to drink well-balanced sour.”
No delivery for Lisa, she worked double support by grabbing some craft beer at a local liquor store, “My favorite store carries the best selection of harder-to-find craft beers from all over the country, so it’s worth the 6 mile trek under quarantine.”
Prairie Artisan Ales
Hoppy Thoughts writer, Justin Guerra was on the lookout for a new stout to sample. “Being cooped up for days on end, I did a lot of reading. Drinking straight bourbon for a prolonged period I thought would be a bad idea so I was happy to find this Barrel Aged Stout.”
An Imperial Stout, aged to perfection in bourbon barrels, Bourbon Paradise is surprisingly light bodied, probably thanks to the smooth additions of coconut and vanilla. “These two flavor profiles mixed with the bite of bourbon made this the perfect after dinner beer.”
With a whopping 15.9% ABV for Justin this beer was still a one-and-done. “Its great to sip on while I’m wrapped up in a book, it carried me from novels to non-fiction.”
Living in a small mountain town in central Colorado, Justin hit up his local liquor store. “Doing curbside pickup my local liquor business was super patient and friendly while I read through their selection on a printed sheet outside. They carry beer from around the mountains and plains and couldn’t have made a better choice when I picked this one up.”
Magnify Brewing Co.
Social media wiz and content maestro, Danielle Cagginao, dropped in on her local favorites at Magnify Brewing Co.
“Living close to Magnify Brewing Company, it’s my go-to, finally being able to get back down the shore I picked up Mosaic Thrill on the way.”
Always a lover of the beach and hitting some waves Mosaic Thrill seemed to be the perfect complement after getting some high octane solitude out on the water with her jet ski.
Magnify never disappoints. This medium-hazy IPA pours with a massive sticky head and you can immediately smell the mosaic. A refreshing hoppy-bite that finishes with a citrus, lemongrass taste, this is perfect for weekends at the shore.”
With a pillowy mouthfeel and 7%ABV this IPA is brewed with a healthy dose of oats and is heavily hopped with Mosaic with some Centennial and Chinook thrown in for good measure.
Danielle was happy to pop over to Magnify in person and say hello to the folks handing out curbside pick-up.