- Fieldwork | All The Pretty Colors | Hazy Double IPA, 8.5%
The fascinating condition known as synesthesia causes sensory inputs to become gently scrambled, so that musical notes or specific tastes are indelibly linked to colors. Famously experienced by the abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky and the composer Olivier Messiaen, it often creates “sensations” of hues even with eyes closed. Fieldwork’s homage to this spellbinding and mysterious form of consciousness is a hazy Double IPA with a smattering of hop-varietals (Citra, Enigma, Idaho 7 & Strata), an arpeggio of berry, earthiness and citrus at once. The brewery’s name shines rainbow against a black background, iridescent and transfixing. Drink while listening to the Turangalîla Symphony.
- Lowercase| New Zealand Pilsner | Nelson Pilsner, 5.1%
While the Noble hops of Bohemia and Bavarian will eternally be linked to pilsners, the unusual triploid hops of New Zealand have carved out a niche space within the style as well. Regular readers of this column will know that I reserve a particular fondness for pilsners with Motueka, being as it is descended directly from Saaz. Yet Nelson Sauvin (the most famous varietal hailing from Aotearoa) has tantalizing expressions in clean clear lagers as well as the IPA world. Seattle’s Lowercase Brewing continues to emit esoteric and exciting bottom-fermented beers with gorgeous labels – this tropical take is no exception.
- Maine Beer Co. | King Titus | Robust Porter, 7.5%
Cascade Brewing has distinguished itself for more than a decade and a half Local distribution of Maine Beer Company offerings has been a feast-or-famine affair for years now, with long silences punctuated by floods of Lunch, Another One, Peeper and even occasionally Woods & Waters. While this week’s drop will include plenty of Lunch, it is also noteworthy for containing the very first non-hoppy beer of theirs, the mighty King Titus. I distinctly recall this beer’s debut in the Massachusetts market a decade ago, as it landed at the beer-store where I worked in Somerville. My co-workers and I referred to it as “King Tubby”, in reference to the famous dub sound engineer. In any event, this assertive and roasty porter promises baker’s chocolate, cocoa and a distinct warming sensation.