Welcome to Thirsty Thursday, a weekly column where we pick a beer from our fridge and review it, because in a world where two new breweries launch every single week, sometimes we need some help sifting through all of the hops.
When it comes to beer names, there’s not many better than Evil Genius Beer Company. With efforts like “Ma, The Meatloaf,” “Han Shot First!” and “You’re Killing Me Smalls,” Evil Genius taps into our love of pop culture, making some pretty tasty beers in the process. In fact, if you go to their website, the brewery has a Beer Name Hall of Fame, an extensive list showing every name it’s come up with in the past. It’s a smart marketing scheme to be honest and it got me to purchase a six-pack of #Adulting Guava IPA while walking around the store. While I have had it before, along with many Evil Genius beers, I couldn’t quite recall how it measured on my scale, so I figured I would try it again.
Based in Philadelphia, Evil Genius has made a name for itself on a hyper-local level, operating out of borrowed facilities since 2008 – that is, until early last year. It was then that Evil Genius set up “The Lab” in an abandoned 19th Century carriage factory in the city’s Fishtown section. And the brewery is a really cool hang, with various lawn-style games outside and a couple of Sega Genesis consoles inside. Since planting its roots, the company continues to grow and expand, making 18 beers over the course of the year, while offering locals a ton of efforts that are only available on site. Finding information, as far as production, isn’t easy, but I’m sure it’s on the lower end of barrels per year.
A Guava IPA isn’t something you hear often, so I’ll let Evil Genius explain it better than I can. Per their website: “#Adulting is our Guava-infused IPA! Pale and crystal malts marry perfectly with Citra & Cascade hops, creating an easy drinking, creamy, medium-bodied, clean, smooth IPA. It is then infused with all-natural guava, turning this already delicious IPA into something truly unique. Big, bold hop notes of tropical fruit, watermelon, and lemon, balanced perfectly by a slightly sweet malt backbone and juicy, refreshing guava.” I should add that it’s 6.8% ABV and 65 IBUs – all the characteristics for a solid IPA.
After years of looking at the various bottles in their lineup, there isn’t anything special outside of the names. The label is pretty dull, featuring the brewery’s standard look, though in a different color, based on the beer, with the name strewn across the middle and a plain hops design in the background. It offers no real explanation behind the beer. But, while a creative label is fun, isn’t it what’s on the inside that really counts?
As soon as I opened it, I got a whiff of something unusual. It had just a little bit of pine, though it was mostly a smell that I don’t often associate with an IPA. The dominant smells were something of cantaloupe or a related fruit, so I’m guessing it was the guava. #Adulting poured really nicely, with a gold-copper look and an eggshell colored head. The head was about what you’d want in a medium-bodied beer, while the carbonation definitely hung around.
I actually really like the taste of this beer. Much like the smell, it has a fruit undertone to it, which could be the cantaloupe I was smelling or, perhaps, something else. It’s almost a little sweet, yet offers a nice little bit at the end – though in a battle between hops versus guava, guava wins. And, believe me, that’s not a bad thing. There’s also a sticky mouthfeel to it. #Adulting is one of the most drinkable beers I’ve featured on Thirsty Thursday, as it went down super smoothly – and I couldn’t wait for the next one.
A six-pack of #Adulting was about $11.00, which really is about par for the course. While you might have a tough time finding it if you’re not in PA, NJ or DE, there is a beer finder on their website that might point you to a small batch, though it’s unlikely. The average score on BeerAdvocate is 3.87 and I think that’s not too far off, as I would give this effort a 8.1 out of 10, because it’s delicious and something different than the standard IPA.
Stay tuned for next week, because I might just try something from your favorite brewery.