We drink beer to celebrate days well lived. Whether it’s going above and beyond to serve a customer, giving someone feedback they may not want to hear, but need to, or bringing yourself into the moment to enjoy time with friends and family, taking some time to enjoy a beverage that has been expertly crafted is a celebration of a day’s small victories. As we look forward to the Halloween weekend, here are four beers that remind us that we earned it.
Drekker- Metaphase (8.2% ABV Double New England IPA)
Further proof that great beer comes from all over, Drekker, located in Fargo, ND, brings us Metaphase. This big ole’ double IPA hopped with Citra and Nelson overdelivers on the outstanding can art. Pouring a pale yellow haze, we get notes of orange rind and soft grape on the nose that urges us to indulge. The palate is nice and dry with further notes of white wine grapes and grass. Metaphase finishes with some alcohol heat, which it is welcomed, and still remains smooth and soft for an aggressively hopped 8.2% double hazy. Well done.
Phase 3- TDH Triple Low Ceilings (10% ABV Triple IPA)
The latest Phase 3 releases are always a staple of my Thursday beer run. Having enjoyed the previous versions of this beer, Low Ceilings and DDH Double low ceilings, I was especially looking forward to the triple version.
To the best of my knowledge, all three of the Low Ceilings variants have featured the same Citra Mosaic pairing that have given us Chicagoland favorites like Double Grid and Beezer, and TDH Triple Low Ceilings lives up to this high bar and at 10% ABV, dare I say, raises it.
The appearance is flawless. Exactly what you want in a hazy Chicago triple. A finger or so of tight foam and an inviting haze. The nose is orange dank, and I get some vegetal spice, but not too much. This beer wreaks of high amounts of hop contact time.
The palate is a pillowy soft berry citrus. It isn’t too sweet- the downfall of many a Triple IPA- but the beer still manages to pack some heat and finish smooth. A new high watermark. QDH Quadruple Low Ceilings next?
Riverlands & Oswego Brewing- Boots & Waders (7.5% Double IPA)
I love all things Riverlands and I was very much looking forward to this collaboration with another local favorite, Oswego Brewing Company.
This double IPA is hopped with Citra Lupomax, Mosaic, and Ekuanot. When you pour it, it looks like a double IPA. Amber with some haze. On the nose, we get fresh zest, pine, and citrus. The palate is the perfect balance of malt and hop bitterness, with juicy floral notes and a nice bite on the finish. While a little out of step with the big ole’ sugar bombs pervading the Chicago beer scene, this one is the perfect respite, an awesome hazy/traditional imperial IPA hybrid.
Goose Island- 2019 2 Year Reserve Bourbon County Brand Stout (14.9% Barrel Aged Imperial Stout)
The big finish. As we prepare for the 2021 release of BCBS, we needed to clear some room in our cellar and broke out this guy. This 2019 variant of BCBS spend 24 months in 25th Anniversary Knob Creek bourbon barrels.
It pours a motor oil black with about ¼” of espresso head, impressive for a beer that went into a bottle 24 months ago. On the nose we pick up the Knob Creek in droves and also get a notes of oak that give way to black licorice and dark fruits. On the palate, we get notes of almond and tobacco. The beer finishes with pleasant amounts of rye spice, leather, and char. No sugar. No adjuncts. Just malt, barley, barrel, and time. Fantastic.
That wraps us this week’s Friday Four Pack. We’re looking forward to Halloween and all the good times that lay ahead. We hope that you also are able to find some time to enjoy one of these beers and celebrate the small victories of a day well lived.