Black Falcon Black IPA - 7.4% ABV and 82 IBUs. Nice strong flavor of dark chocolate and coffee with a very strong hops presence. It's like a nice chocolate Stout paired with an IPA. Kind of gives you the best of both worlds. ****
Red Falcon Red IPA - 6.83% ABV and 67.8 IBUs. A hopped up Red Ale. Hint of caramel and toffee. A really good beer. ***
Zeus Will Smite Thee IPA - 7.24% ABV and 76.2 IBUs. Terrific beer brewed with Galena, Zythos, and Antanum hops and Pale and Rye malt. Really hoppy with spicy citrus hops nose. ****
You can check out their whole line up at www.bugnutty.com.
In case you were wondering about the name Bugnutty, here's how they define it:
1. To have feelings of discouragement, disappointment or frustration.
Example: "Not having a great selection of locally brewed craft beers makes me Bugnutty."
2. Being in a state of overwhelming emotion; especially: rapturous delight
Example: "I am so Bugnutty now that I have fresh craft-brewed beer right here on Merritt Island!"
Florida Beer Company - I've seen some of Florida Beer Company's beers around throughout the South and even occasionally up North. But it seems to always be their Key West Sunset Ale or their Florida Lager. Many bars seem to have the Sunset Ale on tap. I had begun to wonder if they brewed anything else. Indeed they do. We visited the Florida Beer Company for drinks (no food) and found they had a pretty good selection. The tap room is large with an enormous circular bar. The walls are all glass looking into the working brewery.
I tried the three IPAs (surprise!). Here's what I found:
Devil's Triangle - ABV: 6.66% (Get it? - Devil - 666); IBUs: 66; SRM: 10 - A delicious IPA full of the spicy hops you would expect from an American IPA. Brewed with Cascade, Centennial, Columbus and Warrior hops, it's a beer that won't disappoint hop hounds.
Swamp Ape Double India Pale Ale - ABV:10%; IBUs: 85; SRM: 12 - A big, bold slap-you-up-side-the-head beer. Five hops: Tettnang, Chinook, Cascade, Centennial, and Amarillo give this beer a
powerful punch with a nice warming alcohol-fueled bitter finish. A great sipping beer.
Smoked Swamp Ape - Same as above with a smokey aroma and subtle smoke flavor.
What the Brewer Says: "IPA descends from the late 18th century when beer was exported from London to India. Typical of India Pale Ale, this ale is bold, assertive, and full of hop flavor. It has a medium to dry finish and a fantastic citrus overtone"
Color: 14.9 SRM, Unfiltered buckwheat honey
Pour: Better than decent off-white head with good lacing
Aroma: Grassy hops
Body: A touch more than medium
Taste: Bitter, especially on the aftertaste, it fills the mouth and is heavy. there are notes of toffee and caramel.
Overall Impression: Can't Get Enough
Comments: "It's a little sweeter than many IPAs; It has a big "industrial" taste; It's a good tailgate beer; This has a complex taste; There is a little more alcohol presence - it announces itself, but not overly; The aftertaste is almost like 'give me another taste'; This is a good local beer that rivals the national beers; It compares well with the West Coast IPAs."
The Beer Facts: BREWER: Empire Brewing, Syracuse, NY; STYLE: IPA; ABV: 7.2%; IBUs: NA; WEBSITE: empirebrew.com
What the Brewer Says: "Our American IPA, hopped heavily w/ 6 kettle additions of Falconers Flight. It has a citrus aroma and a bright earthy flavor, with just the right amount of malt balance."
Color: Unfiltered buckwheat honey
Pour: "Guinness Class"
Taste: fairly balanced with some bready notes
Overall Impression: I could drink this!
Comments: "There's a nice little bitter finish to it; It's a pretty good IPA; It starts out a little sweet; It has a taste like sawdust smells (in a good way); I drink it when I can find it; We say 'bottle it!'; It should be at the MBT Stadium, the Dome and at Crunch games."
The Beer Facts: BREWERY: Lake Placid Craft Brewing Company, Lake Placid, NY; STYLE:India Pale Ale; ABV: 7.0%; IBUs: 70; MALTS: Pale Munich, Carapils; HOPS: Amarillo, Simcoe, Chinook, Citra. WEBSITE: ubuale.com
What the Brewer Says: "Walking through the forests around the Olympic village you experience the enormity of the Adirondack Mountains. We offer this big, slightly piney brew in tribute to both the 27th High Peak and our ski jumps, which rise high above the trees. Here's to the heights!"
Pour: Slightly better than Decent head
Aroma: Quite a ways toward the Hoppy end with hints of pine
Body: Between Medium and Full
Taste: Leans to the hoppy, with notes of pine resins
Overall Impression: Can't get enough!
Comments:"It has a big nose; And a promising aroma; This is my favorite Lake Placid beer; I hope they start selling it in the Syracuse area; This is one delicious beer; It has a fireplace and easy chair written all over it; Delicious; It's full all through to the swallow; This is truly a find; It aggressively invites another sip; so far, this is the find of the day."
The Beer Facts: BREWERY: Ithaca Beer company, Ithaca, NY; STYLE: IPA; ABV: 7.5%; IBUs: NA; MALT: 2-Row Pale, Honey Malt; HOPS: Simcoe, Chinook, Citra, Ahtanum, Centennial; DRY HOPS: Simcoe, Amarillo, Centennial; AWARDS: Silver Medal - Tap NY 2008 / National IPA Championship Final Four 2008, 2010, 2011; WEBSITE: ithacabeer.com
What the Brewer Says: "Enjoy the clover honey hue and tropical nose. Simultaneously punchy and soothing with a big body and a finish that boasts pineapple and grapefruit. Flower Power is hopped and dry hopped five different times throughout the brewing and fermentation process."
Color: Cloudy pale yellow
Pour: Decent head
Aroma: Hoppy pine and grapefruit
Body: A bit beyond Medium
Taste: Well toward the expected IPA bitter end with notes of grapefruit, citrus and pine
Overall Impression: "Can't Get Enough!"
Comments: "This is one good beer; A real no-brainer; This is always in my fridge; It (the logo design) reminds me of the late '60's; This has been a standard in the area for a very long time; In my opinion, it is the best East Coast IPA; It stacks up well to the West Coast IPAs as well; It is arguably one of the best beers on the market; It's definitely a staple."
The Beer Facts: BREWERY: Hopshire Farms and Brewery, Freeville, NY; STYLE: IPA; ABV: 7.5%; IBUs: 74; MALTS: Pale and Caramel; HOPS: A lot of them; WEBSITE: hopshire.com
What the Brewer Says: "A hop farm needs a big American IPA. We start with a solid malt base...and then add hops (a lot of them!) five times during the boil. We don't stop there.We add to the serving tank in a process we call 'laced with hops.' Hopheads - find your NearVarna."
Color: Unfiltered copper
Pour: Some lacing with slight head
Aroma: Quite hoppy - grapefruit and pine
Body: A bit past medium
Taste: Well toward the bitter end with notes of citrus, grapefruit, nuts and pine
Overall Impression: Just a whisker shy of "Can't Get Enough!"
Comments: "This beer has a complex flavor; The color is typical of my vision of an IPA; It's a little sweeter and fruitier than many IPAs; Lots of hops flavor throughout; It has a nice malt body as well."
The Beer Facts: BREWER: Good Nature Brewing, Hamilton, NY; STYLE: Imperial IPA; ABV: 8.5%; IBUs: 95; SRM: 5; MALT and HOPS: NA; WEBSITE: goodnaturebrewing.com
What the Brewer Says: "Our Imperial IPA was originally brewed to celebrate our second anniversary in 2014. We were so taken with her that we decided to keep her on as one of our first bottled beers. A complex IPA that delivers on many levels. The simplicity of the grain bill allows the hops to really shine. Tropical fruits and lemon on the nose with a spicy finish that tickles the taste buds."
Color: Cloudy clover honey
Pour: Between Decent and Little Head with lacing that clings to the glass
Aroma: Hoppy with hints of citrus
Body: Well toward Full Bodied
Taste: Bitter with notes of pine resins and the "Seven C's" hops
Overall Impression: "Can't Get Enough!"
Comments: "A West Coast hops cocktail; Similar to lagunitas; Smells like a pine tar road; it's a 'let-the-designated-driver-drive' beer because you know you are going to have another one; There is a malty start, then a nice bitter hops finish; It reminds me of Malicious Intent; This is dessert; It's sweeter than most; The strong malt backbone lets the alcohol rise; It really does taste like another; The taste lingers; It's definitely West Coast style."
Empire plans on striking back, but when you consider the deep pockets of their opponents, it is unlikely they will win. Which is too bad. Granted, big movie studios do need to protect their copyrighted material. Franchises such as Star Wars bring in millions to the companies on peripherals alone: action figures, book tie-ins, tee shirts, hats, toys etc. Without a tight rein on the use of names and likenesses, unscrupulous entrepreneurs could cut drastically into those profits by selling knock-offs at bargain basement prices.
But Beer? Really? Confusion in the marketplace? "Gee, I wanted to get my kid a Luke Skywalker action figure but I ended up with this six-pack of beer." I think there's a big difference between trying to bilk the public with knock-offs and a nod and a wink to a beloved icon with clever word-play. I'd hate to see craft beer names lose their edginess and fun out of fear of a lawsuit.
Good Luck to Empire. May the Force be with you on this one. Or, to reference Mel Brooks, May the Schwartzbier be with you.