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The best beers we tasted this week

This week's standouts are filled to the brim with hops.
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Crux Gimme Mo IPA, Fieldwork Broken Clouds, Fieldwork Sushi Beer

Gimme Mo
Crux Fermentation Project

If what the judges on “Iron Chef” say all the time is true and you actually do eat first with your eyes, the appearance of this Bend, Oregon-brewed IPA made with whole-cone Mosaic and Citra hops is a meal in itself: dense tangerine hues, brilliant clarity, a large, frothy head with the texture of meringue. The sensory feast continues in the aroma, where wet wheat grass—like a shot you’d get at a smoothie shop—meets pine needles sprinkled atop clementine orange peel and soft honeydew melon. Just the tiniest bit of sweaty funk emerges with a swirl of the glass, but it adds to the bouquet. The 6.4% IPA’s flavor leads with more classic orange peel, but rarer notes arise as well: tiny hits of honey, fresh-mown grass, white grape and melon rind. Malt flavor is generic and kept to a minimum, providing a neutral base for the hops to alight upon, and the body is delightfully velvety and viscous, creamy and soft yet thick. Gimme mo, indeed.

Broken Clouds
Fieldwork Brewing Co.

Before he became head brewer at Fieldwork, Alex Tweet designed beers at Modern Times and Ballast Point (you can thank him for putting grapefruit in your Sculpin). The man knows his way around an IPA, and every bit of his expertise is apparent in this cloudy Nor’easter. Lemongrass and torn basil lead the aroma into a bowl of nectarines, blackberries and dried pineapple while wet, rising dough provides support. The nose is but a small part of what makes this double IPA so dangerous, however, it draws you in like a siren song, as the flavor traps you with a soft, sugary lift of stone fruit, berry and tangerine perfectly accented by easygoing bitterness. The body is, well, cloudlike, creamy and soft, and the 8.6% ABV is nigh unnoticeable. Fieldwork’s definitely a brewery you want to watch; look for much more about them in our Jan/Feb issue.

Sushi Beer
Fieldwork Brewing Co.

Brewed to pair with ahi, unagi and California rolls better than any sake bomb ever could, Sushi Beer is made with rice and impressive amounts of Citra hops. Those dank and sweaty cones deliver chive, onion and lemon in the aroma at near-IPA levels. Lime zest and juice brighten the bouquet with a swirl of the glass, interacting with a foundation of light, crackery malts and a touch of sulfury minerality. On the tongue, the hops shift toward bright, pithy orange skin, while delicate rice adds sweetness but keeps the beer’s body light and crisp. Grab a crowler at Fieldwork’s locations in Berkeley, Sacramento or Napa, then head to a sushi bar and get to grubbing.

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