Ballast Point Orange Vanilla Fathom

Tonight’s selection is another one of the flavor variants of a Ballast Point beer. I’ll be honest, I’m not sold on the idea. I’ve had a lot of them so far and they’ve been big misses. Let’s see how this one was.


ABV: 7%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A sweeter take on an award-winning IPL. Our Orange Vanilla Fathom India Pale Lager continues our quest for exploration. The piney and citrus hop aromas of our Fathom IPL combines with sweet orange and creamy vanilla – while staying true to classic lagering techniques. Brewed with a touch of nostalgia, it may remind you of a childhood treat, but this one is just for adults.”

Random: My favorite orange soda is Stewart’s Orange and Cream.

The beer poured with a three finger, white head that dissipated slowly. It left a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The body was clear and bright orange. There was some carbonation visible in the body. The nose was filled with orange soda, but no vanilla. There wasn’t much else to it. The taste had the same orange soda note and again, very little vanilla. There was also old grass and grain. It had a heavy body with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with old orange soda. A bomber of this was $5.99, which came to $.27 per ounce. I was not a big fan of this beer. It seemed a bit gimmicky and the flavors just didn’t work out for me. I won’t be having this one again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Argus Cidery Fermentables Ciderkin

I’ve always wanted to go to Austin. I think part of it is one of the podcasts I listen to is based out of Austin. Since I’ve been traveling a lot for work, part of me hopes that I get sent to Texas, but we don’t have any sites by Austin, just ones by Houston and Dallas. This cider hails from Austin and maybe I’ll give them a visit if I’m ever out there.


ABV: 4.5%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Ciderkin delivers a dry apple palate with a tart bite, finishing clean and bright. Unpasteurized and unfiltered, Ciderkin is free of back sweetening and added sugars. Best enjoyed ice cold.”

Random: I just got up to change the laundry and my big cat took my seat!

This cider poured with almost no head on top of a clear, almost green body. There was moderate carbonation visible. The nose had Granny Smith apple skins and white wine grapes. It didn’t have much sweetness and had a vinous quality. The taste on the cider was tart at first with Granny Smith apple skins and flesh as well. It went into the same white wine grape note next. There was also some vanilla, which gave it depth. Golden Delicious apples were at the end of the sip. The cider was on the lighter side with generous carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with Golden Delicious apples and vanilla. This cider was pretty expensive at $9 for the bottle, which broke down to $.75 per ounce. I enjoyed this cider, I just wish it had a bit more depth to it.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Magnify Vine Shine IPA

Last time Val and I were in South Jersey, we went to Surf Taco in Jackson. Val loves Surf Taco despite so many of the items having onions (Val hates onions). My favorite thing to order there is the Mahi taco baja style, which means they make it extra spicy. They also have a really good beer selection and their taps turn over pretty quickly. This was one of the selections I had there.


ABV: 6.7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This beer was inspired by both East and West coast IPAs. Drawing its dank piney hop character from the West, and its smooth light bitterness, along with its dry ‘crushabilty’ from the East, Vine Shine combines both styles to make a truly unique IPA.”

Random: I love having a real fireplace. The cats do too.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was hazy and bright yellow in color with no carbonation. The nose was really grassy and bright with some citrus peel as well. The taste was equally light and bright. There were notes of grass, grapefruit and orange and a touch of biscuit at the end. The body was moderately thick with lots of carbonation. On the finish, I picked up some grapefruit pith and it lasted awhile on the tongue. Since I picked up a pint of this while out, I didn’t take note of the cost, but this was a solid flavorful beer that I had no problem throwing back. If you see it on draft, give it a shot.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Kane Night Swimming

One of my favorite music artists is Ingrid Michaelson. I’ve been following her for years and occasionally, she does a cover of R.E.M.’s “Nightswimming,” which I think is amazing. Val, on the other hand is a huge R.E.M. fan and doesn’t like the cover as much as the original. We went to Kane because we were in the area and I saw this beer on tap and had to give it a shot. It’s also a lager, which Kane doesn’t tend to brew much.


ABV: 5.2%

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Trivia: This is an unfiltered lager and the website had little to no information about it.

Random: This cold is super annoying. I had chicken soup for breakfast.

The brew poured with a one finger, thick, white head. It dissipated quickly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy yellow color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of grain with sweet honey, almost like Tupelo honey. It also had some grassiness from the hops that made it quite interesting. The taste was clean with a lot of grain and then quickly went into spring flower petals and honey. It was followed up with grass. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. It had a quick, grainy finish. I don’t recall what I paid for a glass of this at the brewery, but it was a draft only release. This was an easy drinker with decent flavor. If they brew this again next year, give it a shot.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Night Shift Awake

Night Shift beers are in high demand and when my parents were antiquing in Massachusetts, they offered to pick me up some beer. After I asked if the store had Trillium beers, Night Shift was my next choice. They also have really cute can art (Val and I have an affinity for woodland animals). This beer specifically also uses Counter Culture coffee, which I’ve heard is very good, although I’ve never had the chance to try it.


ABV: 6.7%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Coffee porter aged with Counter Culture coffee. Notes of fresh roasted coffee and baker’s chocolate.”

Random: The place that we buy coffee from didn’t have as good of a sale this Black Friday. We may need to find another place to order from.

The beer poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly. It only left a small amount of lacing on the glass. It did leave a slight crown on top of the dark brown body. I couldn’t see any carbonation due to the color of the beer. The nose had deep espresso with bitter chocolate and a touch of sweetness at the end. The taste had a lot of espresso, vanilla and roasted malts. The same bitter chocolate came through as well. All of the flavors were well-integrated. The body was thick and heavy with light carbonation, making this a perfect winter beer. It had a lengthy finish with coffee and roasted malts. I’m not sure how much the beer was since I received it as a gift, but whatever it costs, it’s worth it. This was an excellent beer and I would search it out.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

River Horse One Score Anniversary Ale

Having a brewery in my town has some perks. I was able to pick this up the weekend that it was released.


ABV: 10.5%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The inspiration for One Score Anniversary Ale came from a River Horse staff favorite, their go-to cocktail: the Old Fashioned. We took our top selling beer, Tripel Horse, and put half into bourbon barrels and half into red wine barrels with oranges and tart cherries. Closed them up and let it age. It took awhile, but after the flavors were exactly where we wanted them to be individually, we blended them to create a classy and delicious beer. The perfect beer to toast our 20th anniversary!”

Random: I can’t believe that Cats is back on Broadway.

This beer poured with a half a finger of off white head that dissipated quickly. It left a modicum of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy orange with no visible carbonation due to the cloudiness.
The nose was filled with Belgian candi sugar and stone fruit, specifically apricot. There was also a decent amount of alcohol that was noticeable. I didn’t pick up much spice or barrel on the nose. This changed with the flavor. The first note I picked up was toasted oak and vanilla. It also had a touch of red wine, which played off well on the tripel notes of candi sugar and apricot. Some clove spice was present too. It did have a booze bite, but nothing that was offensive. It had a medium thick body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sweet with peach, apricot and vanilla. A bomber of this set me back $14.99, which was $.68 per ounce. This is probably the best beer that I’ve ever had from my local brewery. I highly recommend this one.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Founders Mosaic Promise

Founders is a really solid brewery and I can’t believe that it’s taken so long for me to give it a shot. I’ve heard really good things about it and I hope that it lives up to the hype.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Mosaic Promise showcases two unique ingredients: Mosaic hops and Golden Promise malt. The versatility of the hop’s pleasing aroma and flavor characteristics and the traditional barley’s depth of flavor comprise this clean, rich, golden beer. We can brew complex beers with the best of them, but we recognize that there is also beauty in simplicity.”

Random: This beer is a seasonal from April to September.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass. But, it did leave a small crown left on top of the body. The body itself was slightly cloudy and straw yellow. There was some material floating in the beer and had light carbonation. The nose had notes of grass and earthy pine with lots of tropical fruit notes. It had overripe mango, specifically. The taste was very bright with grapefruit peel, overripe mango and some pineapple. The body was on the lighter side with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick, but tropical finish. A bottle of this was $2, which broke down to $.17 per ounce. I enjoyed this beer a lot. It had a lot of great flavor and was low in alcohol. I would highly recommend giving this a shot.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0