Tröegs Independent Brewing
The doppelbock style long ago earned the nickname “liquid bread”—this here is liquid candy.
In the nose, notes of caramelized sugar, bananas and cherry chutney caress the nose atop a doughy, raisin bread base; the flavor adds toffee to this saccharine blend, though pleasant alcohol keeps things from ever getting cloying before the spicy-fruity finish. Smooth and silky, and pretty as a garnet gemstone, ‘Nator lives up to its 2014 GABF gold medal-winning reputation.
Ninja Vs. Unicorn
Pipeworks Brewing Co.
Our money’s on the ninja, but this 8% imperial IPA would distract from even that epic fight. The cloudy tangerine ale’s aroma alone is life-changing: orange zest, sugar cookies, starfruit, fields of grass. Sugary, doughy malts scents provide just enough balance and round out edges of subtle, oniony funk. The flavor is a bit less vibrant, but still displays lovely notes of tangerine juice and lemon peel followed by canned peach and pineapple chunks. Resinous hop character carries through from start to finish, sticking to the tongue long after the juicy, even swallow.
Crush Cucumber Sour
10 Barrel Brewing Co.
This weekend, it’s going to be 117 degrees in our town (Phoenix, monument to man’s arrogance); if we survive, it’ll only be thanks to cans of this Berliner weisse. The brew’s aroma, stuffed with lemon and sweet cucumber concentrate, seems to have a cooling, menthol-like sensation. The flavor, too, is clean and refreshing, leading with clean and uncomplicated citrus and cukes before a flash of lactic acidity is doused by cucumber water. The gourd’s invigorating peel is all that remains on the tongue after the sip.