On a return trip from a recent excursion to New York's Southern Tier region, we made a quick stop at a Wegman's supermarket for some lunch. Without thought, IÂ bee-linedÂ to the beer section knowing Wegman's usually stocks a pretty solid repertoire of brews. Being out of state, I was hoping to find something unavailable back home.
As I scanned the shelves (bypassing the usual suspects) I took notice of label artwork I'd seen before - Rochester's Three Heads Brewing. I was very excited to see some 22oz bomber offerings available. If you don't already know, we got our first taste of Â Three Heads at Hunter Mountain's TAP NY. Besides being a bunch of awesome dudes, we thought their beer was pretty damn good too.
Knowing their distribution is limited, we left TAP NY satisfied having experienced their beers but unsure as to whether or not we would be able to taste them again. When I saw all three of their flagship beers on the shelf, I knew instinctively that I would be depleting Wegman's stock to bring home and share with friends who would appreciate.
Not remembering much of this beer at TAP NY, I decided to first pop open "Blimey," their 6% ABV example of an English Pale Ale whose label art displays all thingsÂ stereotypically British (at least from a foreigner's perspective).
For the style, this beer pushes the envelope as it's a much bigger beer than your typical ESB or English style. This brew pours a deep copper - almost brown - with a head that starts off nice but quickly recedes. It has the typical biscuit-like, grainy malt character you get with a lot of English beers. The malt flavor is well balanced with English hops, making this an easy drinker. It reminds me of a Bass Pale Ale.
The Kind IPA is a tasty brew full of hop flavor without being extraordinarily bitter, as far as IPA's go these days. Lots of citrus flavor from from the hops comes through with a pretty good amount of carbonation. Â I really enjoyed this one much more on draft.
I was only able to pickup one bottle for myself, but it seemed to have a bit of metallic taste in the finish. I also have no idea how long this beer was stored on the shelf, shining in theÂ fluorescentÂ light of the supermarket. Overall: a pretty well balanced beer that I'd like to experience again.
Now, this is the bottle that I was anxious to try right off the bat after really enjoying it at TAP NY. Three Heads Black Skunk is a black IPA - a style we tend to gravitate towards around here if you haven't noticed. There has been a lot of hype about the black IPA style lately, but we're all for it as most of them areÂ deliciousÂ brews.
This particular black IPA pours a very dark brown with a nice cream colored head that laces the glass slightly. As soon as you start to pour, this beer smells amazing. The roasted malt stands out but this beer is clearly loaded with citrus-y hops. For being 6.5% ABV, this beer is very easy to drink as the flavors mask the alcohol well.
I've really enjoyed everything I've tasted from Three Heads Brewing and look forward to their future offerings. The Skunk is great example of a black IPA from brewers with a lot of potential - a stand out brew for sure.
If you're in the Rochester, NY area or within distribution of Three Heads Brewing, be sure to pickup a few from them as you won't be let down. They've recently released their summer seasonal Ontario Coast IPA. We've heard only good things and look forward to sampling it before it's too late, as well as future brews from these guys!