September was an action-packed month that flew by way too fast. Full of Waukesha PD pumps and great beer, in lieu of our regularly scheduled Friday Four Pack, let’s take a look back at the beers that made September and set the stage for cooler weather in October.
Hop Butcher for the World- Bumper Crop (6% American Pale Ale w/ Michigan Copper, Mosaic, & Phantasm)
While September is supposed to bring cooler temperatures to the Chicago area, the average daily high in September 2021 was 80 degrees vs. about 74 degrees last year. Lighter beers, like Hop Butcher’s Bumper Crop, were a welcome respite from the heat. Using their lighter, 6% ABV malt bill, HBFTW still managed to pack this beer with aromatics. Pouring a mellow yellow and perfectly carbonated (aggressively poured, we got about 2 fingers of foam), this American Pale Ale punches us in the face with a piney, resinous floral with plenty of tropical notes. I think a lot of that is from the Phantasm, though I’m still not entirely sure what Phantasm is. But I like it.
Given it’s an APA, we were expecting a more bitter, malty palate, and instead we got a zesty, pleasant pine that was super smooth and pillowy soft. The soft body and fruit nose hang as the beer finishes before coming back with some nice piney notes. One of our favorite beers from September, Crop Bumper did an excellent job of bridging the gap between seasons.
More- Rada (15.6% Barrel Aged Imperial Stout)
We’ve been waiting a long, long time to get a chance to try Rada. Brewed in collaboration with Voodoo Brewing, we were able to enjoy Rada’s coffee adjuncted brother, Petro, back in March (I believe the same day Loyola beat Illinois in the NCAA tournament… funny the things you remember). So when we found out we could get bottle pours of Rada at More in Villa Park a few weeks back, we zipped over there as soon as we could.
The beer didn’t disappoint. Pouring a velvety, squid ink black, we got big spicy campfire notes, perfect for fall. On the palate, we got lots of rye spice, as well as dark and stone fruits, with some sweetness. The finish is all roasted barley and wood. At 15.6%, this one was definitely worth the wait.
Mikerphone Brewing- Paul Blends A-Lot (13.4% Barrel Aged Blended Imperial Stout)
After winning a FOBAB gold with Sir Blends A-lot, the Blends A-Lot has been one of the most sought after barrel aged beer series in Chicago. We’ve been fortunate enough to try most of them, but their most recent release, Paul Blends A-Lot is our favorite one yet. Pouring a shimmering midnight black with brown collar, Paul Blends was a cuvee of beers aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon, Chicago Maple Rum, and Elijah Craig barrels. We get a big chocolate and almond nose, full of fudge, bourbon, and some dark fruits. The palate has huge amounts of caramel, and the finish is packed full of roasty barley and bourbon. Not sure if this one is going to FOBAB 2021, but it should.
With September 2021 officially in the books, we look forward to October, cooler temperatures, exciting features on all thing SPXFlow sanitary pumps, and more great beer. Until next time, Cheers!