The Righteous Brews: The Best Beers of the Northeast
With his band currently out on tour with The Black Dahlia Murder, Fallujah vocalist Alex Hofmann has combined his passions for all things brutal and foamy into one unified pursuit: to find the most Righteous Brews that America has to offer! Throughout the tour, fans have been dropping off cases of some of their favorite local beers for the band to enjoy, and Alex has been chronicling his opinions of the nation’s finest suds for his very own MetalSucks column. Read the first installment here. The second one follows:
What’s up, ya drunks! I’m back with another edition of the Righteous Brews, this time chronicling some of the great stuff I sampled in the Northeast! What I will mention in regards to the previous edition is that this column is curated not just by me, but by the fans who bring us the beers that I sample. As mentioned before, we are brought beers by fans from all across the country and hope to gain an insight based on their generosity. I’m sure there are always better beers or breweries than what I sample, but that’s not why I’m here! I write about what I drink; some of it is great, some of it sucks! Now, let’s get down to business…
Sixpoint Brewery – Hi-Res
Our good friends Anthony and Ariel were so kind as to hook us up FAT while in the Northeast with a six-pack of Flying Fish Wild Rice IPA, a six-pack of River Horse IPA and many others. The Sixpoint Hi-Res can is super high gravity, packing 10.5% ABV. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that high ABV and “booziness” are two separate things. I’ve had boozy 7% IPAs and smooth 12% Belgian triples. Anything thats 10.5% in a can would normally have me either running for the hills or apprehensively reminiscing about the poor alcoholic decisions of my youth. This beer, however, was fabulous; it was super drinkable with citrus in the nose, tropical and sweet on taste, and with just a hair of alcohol bite in the finish. I drank this all night at the show in Philly, which was defined by absolute chaos: five-foot tall girls face-stomping the front row, people crowd surfing UP THE STAIRS to the balcony, and my drunk-on-Hi-Res ass having the time of my life. Would recommend this beer for something sessionable that will have you taking your clothes off and doing cartwheels in no time.
4 out of 5 horns
Heavy Seas – Plank IV
Early on in the tour we spent a day off in the Reading, Pennsylvania area with our good friends in Rivers of Nihil and Black Crown Initiate. We met up at a local pub with a fantastic tap selection, and I was so lucky as to stumble upon this gem. This beer is a seasonal Belgian quad, only available in spring, and it packs a punch with an ABV of 10.5%. Drinking this beer is like dating a female rodeo rider; she’ll put some hair on your balls and cut you down if you get over-zealous, yet in the end make you feel all kinds of warm and fuzzy. This beer poured dark, with a subtle red/burgundy tint, and it’s defined by dark fruit flavors of cherry, plum and a pleasant caramel warmness in mouthfeel onset by the high-ABV. I found this beer to evolve as I drank it, mainly in the aftertaste. I wasn’t sure if the malty-licorice aftertaste was disappearing or if this was some kind of euphoric numbing of the senses caused by the alcohol. While such a conundrum may remain a mystery through the eons, I do know that I drank three of these and enjoyed every sip.
4 out of 5 horns
Berkshire Brewing – Maibock Lager
Every now and then a beer comes along to remind you that all the time and enthusiasm devoted towards this blasted beverage is not in vain. German beer styles are where I got my start, mainly with the Erdinger Pikantus Weizenbock. Since then, the German Bock style has been a mainstay in my love for beer, especially in the colder months. Maibocks are a beer meant for the spring (Mai meaning May in German), brewed with pale malt and hopped slightly heavier than your typical Bock, making for a lighter and more refreshing take on this bold style. I got a pint of Maibock up the street from the Palladium in Worcester, MA during the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival at an amazing place called the Armsby Abbey. The place had a concept, sourcing all beers, cheeses, meats and other options locally, so it was right up my alley. This beer was one of the best I’ve had in years. The taste was so balanced and satisfying, with strong notes of malt, caramel, and biscuity sweetness. I think our bassist Rob summed this beer up perfectly: “It tastes like what I imagined beer tasting like before I ever had one.” I too remember as a kid seeing my father or uncles take a massive gulp of this dark, bold beverage, imagining what kind of flavor stimuli they were experiencing as I heard that giant burp and exhale of satisfaction. This beer was smooth, drinkable, and balanced as any Maibock should be. These Yanks are giving the Krauts a run for their money.
5 out of 5 horns