Yet another brewery has recently found its way into Georgia: Finch’s Brewing Company of Chicago, Illinois. I’ve seen their beers a few times in kinger cans in a few local liquor stores, though I hadn’t picked any up yet. When I saw Finch's Threadless IPA on the draft list at my Canton Taco Mac location, however, I decided it was time to give the beer whirl.
With so many new beers being paraded out all the time, once has to wonder at times how long this can go on. Won’t the market for craft beers reach the saturation point at some point? Hopefully not, and truth be told it does not like the trend will slow anytime soon. Thankfully so, I might add.
According to the Brewer’s Association, craft beer sales in 2011 rose by 13% over the 2010 figures, at least by total volume shipped. That volume reached almost 11.5 million barrels, more than a million barrels more than were produced in 2010. Total market share reached 5.7% by production, which may not seem like a lot unless you keep in mind that this market has grown from almost nothing going back to 1980 or so.
Indeed, I can remember the heady days of the mid-nineties when beer geeks were amazed that the 1% market share level had been hit. Discussions were rampant at the time as I recall over how long this growth could possibly continue. Happily, we still don’t know the answer to that question.
In any event, you can read more fun beer facts about the industry here. (If you’re wondering, Finches is not yet on the top 50 brewers list, but they are trying to get there).
Back to the Finch’s IPA. Here’s what the brewery says about their beer:
Our Threadless/Finch collaboration IPA is a balanced experience of both perceived hoppiness and true bitterness. It pours a darker amber color and finishes with a citrus flavor, and when combined, will require this to be the last IPA you ever drink! Well, maybe, we realize you will probably drink more, but the result of this recipe clearly evolves into a very balanced IPA. The grain bill on this big pale includes melanoidin and Victory malts. We hop it up before the boil starts with some Columbus first wort hopping, then add a bunch more for bittering.
And I say:
Finch's Threadless IPA pours to a bright orange amber color with a thick creamy head formation and a big herbal minty hop aroma in the nose. Tasking a sip, the beer has a bit of caramel malt at first that is quickly subsumed by a massive herbal, minty, grassy hop aroma laced with a hint of grapefruit. The finish is long and dry with a bitterness that just won't quit. This one is all about the hops!
I like the fact that is a straight IPA with so much wonderful bitterness. At 6% alcohol by volume, it’s on the lighter side for the style, though that’s a welcome respite from the deluge of high-strength double and imperial IPAs that are all the rage these days.
Then too, this was a perfect "wing beer". The aggressive bitterness really stood up to a six pack of the famous Taco Mac hot wings. The price was the only drawback, at $6.50 a pint this was a bit pricey. Still, I will be looking for Finch’s Threadless IPA in cans for sure.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.