Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Magic Hat Brewing Company, Dream Machine Indian Pale Lager

From a brewery out of Burlington Vermont, Magic Hat has released a new year round  beer for the first time in 10 years entitled Dream Machine IPL. Combining the elements of an IPA and the yeasts and brewing techniques of a lager, Magic Hat has beautifully crafted this new creation that promises to satisfy the hop-head IPA drinkers out there and spark the curiosity of the smooth drinking, lager folks.

The Dream Machine pours with an amber color and a nice fluffy head also giving off a citrusy, piney aroma due to the dry-hopping method where Amarillo & Sterling hops were used. Without a doubt, the idea behind this off-shoot style brew is to combine two great beer experiences into one, and certainly Magic Hat has easily accomplished this. The concept of providing a unique drinking experience was their tactic and indeed.

Magic Hat delivers as promised. The Dream Machine is a beer that was specifically designed for my palate. Being a lager drinker for years and years, this IPL really provides the best of both worlds into one smooth drinking, mildly bitter beer. I find the idea behind the recipe of cross-pollinating an IPA with an amber lager as intriguing as the taste of the beer itself! On the front end, a crisp grapefruit, yet mild citrusy taste gives way to a smooth, lager finish on the back end with little to no bite. The Dream Machine is highly aromatic, but not quite as bitter as one might expect from the amount of hops used to produce it.

Magic Hat has hit this one out of the park with their Dream Machine IPL! If you’re an IPA lover, give it a whirl. It may not have the ultimate bitterly hop flavor you’d expect from a standard IPA, but it certainly meshes 2 very popular styles of beer into 1 that has, in my opinion, captured the best elements of both styles. If you’re a lager drinker much like myself, this would be a great beer to help crossover into the world of craft beer drinking. The Dream Machine IPL is a great session beer and an enjoyable change-up from the standard routine. Whether you’re and IPA advocate or a lager drinker, this beer appeals to either and will not disappoint. Cheers & enjoy!

India Pale Lager

ABV 5.7%

Availability Year Round: 6 packs, 12 packs, 22oz bottles, draft

Personal Rating: 9.1/10

Style Rating: 9.6/10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at

Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Verboten

Weyerbacher, the company that has brought us so many good beers including Merry Monks, Blithering Idiot, and their popular Imperial Pumpkin Ale have yet another one of their crafty brews in the archive known as Verboten, a Belgian-Style Pale Ale. Originally released under the name Alpha, it was later changed to Zoten (the Dutch word for fools) when it became a seasonal release, but it wasn’t until they received a cease & desist from a European brewery that they chose to rename this beer Verboten, which fittingly translates from the German language to ‘forbidden’. 

Founded in 1995 by Dan and Sue Weirback, Weyerbacher Brewing Company is located in downtown Easton, PA. After touring Long Trail’s brewery in Vermont back in 1993, Dan was inspired and decided to start his own craft beer company, and there his company was born in a livery stable in Pennsylvania.

Verboten is a Belgian-Style Pale Ale, medium-body, moderately hopped with a light, fluffy head. The combination of Pale, Carahell and Wheat malts in addition to a generous hopping of Cascade really  gives this Belgian-Style Pale Ale an interesting, distinctive character. Verboten has a crisp, refreshing  first sip followed by mild bitterness introduced by the abbey yeast strain. Mild carbonation and a slight, soured fruity taste individualizes this beer from the rest of the Weyerbacher family.

I found the balance of this beer to be almost close to perfect! Verboten hits the mark with all of the ingredients used in the formula, but what I appreciate the most is the simplicity of the product upon completion. Not one aspect was overbearing or overwhelming and they really took the time to create a European beer with an American twist yet still keeping their creation harmonious.

I gave this craft beer a higher rating than usual, but it is well deserved and rightfully earned. Verboten  is a great session beer and a perfect change-up from the IPA’s and summertime farmhouse beers. I highly recommend this beer to anyone that enjoys Belgian-Style Ales and is looking for something a little bit different from the norm. Weyerbacher has yet to disappoint me with anything they have released thus far. I have had many of their beers prior to trying Verboten, but I must say this one is in my top 3 from Weyerbacher. Well done guys! Cheers!

Belgian-Style Pale Ale

5.9% ABV

Package: 6 pack 12 oz. bottles

Personal Rating 9.2/10

Style Rating 8.8/10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at