Modern Times Fortunate Islands

I picked up another Modern Times beer that got favorably reviewed on one of the podcasts I listened to. I’m all about a hoppy wheat, so let’s crack this open.


ABV: 5%

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Fortunate Islands shares the characteristics of an uber-hoppy IPA and an easy drinking wheat beer. A massive dose of Citra and Amarillo hops gives it a blastwave of tropical hop aromatics: mango, tangerine, and passionfruit all leap out of the glass. Brewed with 60% wheat malt, Fortunate Islands also has the mild, nutty malt backbone, reasonable ABV, and restrained bitterness to make it an outstanding session beer.”

Random: The simplicity of their can art makes them stand out on the shelves.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was lightly hazy and straw yellow in color. It had a lot of carbonation visible. On first sniff, this was way more like a hoppy pale ale than a wheat ale. It had a lot of grass, grapefruit and tropical fruit. Orange segments were present too. At the end, I thought I caught a hint of wheat, but this beer was really hoppy. The taste was exactly what I thought it would be from the nose. It was super grassy with grapefruit flesh and pith. The tropical fruit note manifested like mango and made it really bright. Tangerine body spray came through next. There was that same touch of wheat at the end of the sip, but this was all about the hops. Where it did remind me of a wheat beer was in the body. It was light with a lot of carbonation, which would make this easy to pound. The finish was quick, but had the tangerine room spray note. A pounder can of this was $3.50 ($.22 per ounce), which is a bit expensive for the style. Despite the price, if we got distribution of this, I would get it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

SweetWater The Pit & The Pendulum

When Val picked this up for me, we didn’t get SweetWater distribution. That has since changed, but I’ve only had a few beers from them. When I saw that this was a Brett beer with peaches, I knew I had to try it.


ABV: 8.3%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The perfect balance of three distinct divergences. Allowed to initially flower with Belgian ale yeast, The Pit & The Pendulum was then incarcerated with Brett and freshly pureed peaches to intensify the trifecta of its persona. Enjoy fresh, but also a good one for the cellar, as the Brett continues to contemplate its environment.”

Random: My one cat (Citra) keeps jumping on the couch to the window and back down. And no, he hasn’t had any catnip.

This beer poured with a huge, fluffy, four finger head. It was cream-colored and dissipated quickly, leaving behind no lacing on the glass. The body was bright-yellow and moderate carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of citrus up front with sweet orange flesh and peach flesh. I didn’t pick up any brett on the nose. There was slight amounts of hay. The taste was also not very tart. The brett just dried out the beer. There was a lot of fresh peach flesh and then a yeasty note, but it quickly goes into orange segments. It had an oak characteristic, but I don’t believe it was oak aged. The booze was really hidden. It had a medium thick body with lots of carbonation. The finish was lengthy and dry with peach. A corked and caged bottle of this was $14.99, which broke down to $.60 per ounce, which was on the more expensive side, but absolutely worth it. This was just a wonderful beer for a warm day.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Prairie Phantasmagoria

I’ve only read one review of this beer and it wasn’t good. I was hoping they got a bad bottle, but (spoiler alert), I was not a fan of this beer. It’s rare that I say that about a beer coming from Prairie.


ABV: 8%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Phantasmagoria is an IPA that is low in malt flavors, but high in hops. We brew this beer as a nod to the big hoppy beers of the west coast. We use loads of citrusy and piney hops at the end of the boil and in the fermenter to make this beer a hop experience.”

Random: This comes in at 70 IBUs.

The brew poured with a one finger, thick and fluffy white head. It dissipated slowly and left generous amounts of lacing on the glass. The body was really hazy and lemon juice yellow with light carbonation. I was surprised that I couldn’t see more carbonation. The nose was musty with hay and then grassy hops. I was surprised that I picked up a wheat note too. The taste was…well, interesting. The first thing that I picked up was lemon pledge and old pine needles. It had a green herbal note. Maybe it was arugula? Then, it went into wet hay. It also had a fruity note with a touch of tropical fruit, like star fruit. It had a thick body with a lot of booze. The carbonation was light and could have been amped up. The finish was lengthy with hay, dried grass and dried lemon peel. This beer was expensive at $5 a bottle ($.42 per ounce). I wouldn’t have this one again because of how expensive it was and how weird the taste was.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Maine Beer Company Weez

As you can read below, this is the “fraternal twin” of Another One. If you want to see what I thought of that beer, take a look here.


ABV: 7.2%

Style: American Black Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We took a bold blend of hops and brewed it two ways. Weez is the hoppy result of blending with dark malts, while Another One is the smart blond fraternal twin. Hoppy and ‘roasty’ from start to finish, this version is named Weez after our brewer Mark’s cat. A tasty black ale, it’s dedicated to stray cats everywhere — especially those cared for by a group we support, HART, the Homeless Animal Rescue Team of Maine.”

Random: I love the simplicity of Maine Beer Company’s labels.

This beer poured with a one finger, tan head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. It also left a huge crown on top of the dark brown, almost black body. Because of the color, there was no visible carbonation. The nose was really piney, almost like Pine Sol. Then, it went into deep roasted malt notes and cold brew coffee. The taste was the opposite. It started with the roasted malts and dark chocolate. Coffee came through too and was backed up by grassy hops and pine sap. The body was thick and had a touch of booze. It had mild carbonation that I wish was a little more prevalent. The finish lasted on my tongue forever with smoke and roasted malts. This was $8.99 for a 16 ounce bottle, which meant I paid $.56 per ounce. I really enjoyed this beer, just like I enjoy every beer from Maine Beer Company. I wish it had a touch more hops, but that’s really my only complaint.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Short’s Huma Lupa Licious India Pale Ale

This was another beer that I picked up in Pennsylvania when Short’s started getting distribution. I find their labels interesting. I can’t figure out if I like them or not.


ABV: 7.7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Huma Lupa Licious’ name derives from the hop plant, Humulus lupulus. It is Short’s best-selling India Pale Ale. Huma Lupa Licious is brewed with five different hop varieties, providing a punch to the palate. Between the beer’s abundance of hops, and the type of hops used in its creation, it has a delicious bitter taste and enticing citrus aroma. The hearty malt bill melds well with the hops for a perfect balance. Huma Lupa Licious is the product of Joe Short wanting to create the ultimate IPA experience. Originally, Huma Lupa Licious was named Humulus Lupulus Maximus, and went through several recipe changes before settling on the recipe we know and love today.”

Random: This is another beer from their “Flagship Series.”

The beer poured with a one finger, pure white head that dissipated slowly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was incredibly hazy and a light orange color. I couldn’t see any carbonation because of how cloudy it was. The nose had notes of lemon and super sweet malt. It was like a really sweet breakfast bread with caramel and honey. There was some hops to it, which manifested as old citrus. I am guessing I got an old bottle of this, because the hops were way too mellow given the description of this beer. The taste was also very sweet. It had a lot of grain, honey sweetness and toffee. There was this weird lemon taste that was almost like medicine that I didn’t like. Or maybe it was lemon verbena? Either way, it was really weird and unpleasant. It had a medium thick body with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick and sweet with honey. I got this for $1.71 for the single ($.14 per ounce). I didn’t like this beer, but I’ve chalked this up to being old. I would give it another shot if it was fresh.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Conshohocken Blood Money

I’ve made my love of blood oranges well-known on the site. I’ve tried almost every beer that I could try that uses it, but I find that it’s a very hard flavor to utilize and execute well.


ABV: 6.7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Blood Money is a super juicy Blood Orange IPA, with aroma and flavor bursting at the seams. Bravo and Cascade hops and a hearty grain bill complement the juiciness of the blood orange.”

Random: I didn’t realize when I got this can how dented the bottom was.

This beer poured with a quarter of a finger of cream-colored head that dissipated really slowly. It left a huge amount of lacing on the glass. The body had some chill haze and was a mahogany color. There was moderate carbonation visible. The nose was grassy with orange zest. I couldn’t necessarily say that it was blood orange specifically. It also had a straw characteristic to it as well. The taste was more flavorful than the nose, but light bodied. They nailed the blood orange with lots of blood orange zest. Then, some cattiness came through next. It also had a lot of grass and pink grapefruit flesh. After it warmed for a few minutes, I got fresh squeezed blood orange juice too. I couldn’t pick up any malt on this, but I didn’t mind. As mentioned before, it had a light body without being thin and moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sticky with blood orange pith and juice. This was $2.50 for a pounder can ($.16 per ounce). I loved this beer. I thought they nailed the pith and juice note, I just wish the body was a tad thicker. If you like blood oranges, give this a try.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Ninkasi Dawn of The Red I.R.A. Ale

Two Ninkasi beers in a row! This is their Imperial Red Ale. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 7%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Bursting with tropical notes, this Red IPA captures the bright complexity of El Dorado and Mosaic hops. An assertive hop presence is carried by a subtle caramel backbone, unearthing a beer that is flavorful and juicy. Mango, papaya, pineapple and stone fruit notes burst out with bitterness up front. Sustained by a subtle malt flavor, this beer finishes smooth, leaving one ready for the next sip of this flavortastic beer!”

Random: I am fascinated by “This Old House.” I am slowly turning into my father.

The beer poured with a one finger, off white head. It dissipated slowly and left some spiderweb lacing on the glass. There was a lot of detritus visible and moderate carbonation as well. The nose was really nutty. It was filled with hazelnuts and malt. It quickly went into grassy and juicy hops with pineapple and Mandarin orange. I did pick the booze up on the nose. The taste started with the hops. It had fresh cut grass and quickly went into mango and grapefruit. Malt was present and incredibly nutty with hazelnuts and a touch of sweetness. There was no booze apparent in the taste. It had a light body, despite the ABV and had a lot of carbonation. The finish was quick with the remnants of the sweetness from the malt. A single of this beer was $1.83 ($.15 per ounce), which I thought was a great price. I enjoyed this beer a lot. I’m normally not the biggest fan of the style, but this was a good example of it.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0