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.
These days, the craft beer landscape is largely based on geography, with a bulk of the efforts being hyper-local, so trading beer is a great way to try new stuff that might not otherwise be available because of lack of distribution or lack of availability. I sometimes trade with one of my friends who has a buddy that frequents New York City fairly regularly and hits some of the city’s most recognizable breweries. He grabs the beer, delivers it to my friend and then I make trades – and everyone is happy. Sure, it sounds like a sanitized version of the 2001 film Blow but it’s the best way to get next-level beers like Social Fabric, this week’s effort from Finback Brewery.
Located in the heart of Queens and founded back in 2011, Finback is a small brewery that brews “a wide variety of creative and elegant beers.” Focusing mainly on hop forward, sour and dark beers, Finback typically releases cans every two to three weeks at it’s taproom, which features 12 taps, located at the brewery’s 20-barrel brewhouse. Finback self-distributes all of its beers to the greater NYC area, though it can only be found on draft outside of the taproom. I have had a couple of Finback’s efforts in the past, thanks to said friend, just enough to know it’s capable of making some of the east coast’s best beer, especially when it comes to the abundantly trendy hazy IPA.
Social Fabric is an 8.0 percent double dry-hopped DIPA that features Mosaic and 007 hops. Finding more information about it proved to be pretty difficult, especially since Finback, much like other breweries such as Tree House Brewing Company or Tired Hands Brewing Company, is constantly pumping out beers, with new stuff always on the horizon and previous stuff sometimes planned for a revisit. Much like the explanation of this beer, the label is simple – like, really simple. Lately I have been gravitating towards labels with some awesome artwork – I’m looking at you, Solemn Oath Brewery and Abomination Brewing Company – but this label is the opposite of all of that. It features a minuscule version of its whale logo, as well as the style of beer and the hops and the directions to drink it fresh, all written very small on a green and blue striped label that’s about probably half the size of the can, giving off a little of a homebrewer-type of vibe.
But, trust me, the label didn’t matter when he gave me a DDH DIPA from Finback.
When I cracked this one open, I got an aroma that made me very happy. It reeks of the two hops, in an awesomely dank way, with a solid combination of citrus and pine as well. It has that earthy smell too, which I have almost come to expect from the bulk of the DDH DIPAs I enjoy. And then there was the pour, which was almost as pleasing as the smell. Social Fabric poured into my teku glass a strong orange-yellow color, with a carbonation-packed off-white head that turned out to be perfect. This one isn’t just hazy, it straight up looks like some sort of juice.
For the second week in a row, it’s safe to say I had a juicebomb on my hands. Social Fabric drinks like a bright DIPA, with a hefty medium-body that lends itself to a little sugar on the front-end, a wallop of both grassy earth and pineapple-like citrus, with a shot of bitter to end it. Not only did it hold its carbonation well for the duration but I felt like I was noticing more complex flavors as I drank, experiencing a little more pine here and some guava there. This particular effort is one that’s very well constructed and the drinkability is through the roof, on the level of Toppling Goliath Brewing Company’s King Sue – the kind of beer I just want to keep sipping.
I have no idea what the price was for this specific 16-ounce single can but I do know that I would pay up to have three more sitting in my fridge for later consumption. When I went on to BeerAdvocate, I noticed that the website gave it an impressive 93 overall and the average score, which was based off of nine reviews, was 4.31. I cannot believe I am going to say it but I think I would actually give Social Fabric a slightly higher score than that – an 8.9 out of 10. It’s in my wheelhouse and has the smell, the Instagram-worthy look, and the taste to warrant that simple label. I seriously pondered a flaw with this beer and I couldn’t find one. Get me more Finback!
Stay tuned for next week, because I might just try something from your favorite brewery.