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.
This week’s beer comes from one of my favorite breweries. I thought I had featured one of Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company’s beers a while back but I didn’t, so I guess you could say I was just waiting for some sort of massive effort to come along. And, from the looks of it, it did.
While I have never actually had this week’s beer, Pineapple Shape of Haze to Come, I have had the original iteration, The Shape of Haze to Come, and thoroughly enjoyed it, which leads me to believe that creating a new variation, one that accentuates more of a pineapple vibe, will only prove to be successful. First brewed a couple of years ago, it’s typically a limited release this time of year and the most recent iteration was originally only available at the brewery’s two tap rooms, I believe, but since it sold like gangbusters, Neshaminy Creek decided to can it for distribution.
Founded in 2010 in Croydon, Pennsylvania by head brewmaster Jeremy Myers and assistant brewers Rob Jahn and Steve Capelli, Neshaminy Creek has grown substantially in the Philadelphia suburbs, thanks in part to an ever-evolving list of efforts, some of which have brought home medals at the Great American Beer Festival. The company’s lineup includes seven year-round efforts and a whole slew of limited releases that seem to come out on the regular.
While I might have a little bias for this brewery, especially since they allow dogs – which will earn any beer producer bonus points in my book – there have been a few releases it’s missed the mark on in the past but that comes with churning out so many in short order. Neshaminy Creek produced close to 22,000 barrels in 2018 and I can only imagine that number will continue to rise as it continues to stretch it’s distribution radius outside of the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware markets.
Pineapple Shape of Haze to Come is a 9.0 percent fruited double dry-hopped – with both Citra and Mosaic hops – Double IPA that is conditioned in a hefty amount of pineapple. The label to this beer features a wizard smoking a pipe and a giant lizard, along with humongous pineapples. The artwork was done by JP Flexner, who has been creating the brewery’s distinct look on labels and posters – and even fun murals inside of the brewhouse – for close to a decade. Flexner’s pieces are even featured on Wednesday nights, as Neshaminy Creek hosts Drink and Draw events, when patrons are encouraged to show up to color sheets that highlight some of the artist’s notable works. The only thing I wish the label had was a little more background information on the beer.
When I cracked it open, I immediately smelled a pungent citrus aroma, with pineapple and mango, along with the distinct pineyness of the hops. I certainly enjoyed it and thought it went wonderfully with what Pineapple Shape of Haze to Come was trying to project. It poured a golden orange color with a lot of haze and a lot of light orange head. It has that almost orange juice-like look which I think is damn near perfect – the kind of look I typically drool over when I see photos posted by breweries on social media.
But the look of a beer can really only take it so far.
When it came to taste, this medium-bodied effort had a strong pineapple presence, as you would imagine, but it was much more than just that. It had a slight bit of sweetness which was balanced nicely by the hops selected, with a nice punch of bitterness on the back-end – but nothing too crazy. This beer is wonderfully dank and irresistibly crushable. I would have no problem drinking two or three in a single sitting.
The best part of all just might be the price. A four-pack of Pineapple Shape of Haze to Come cost me $17, several dollars cheaper than similar beers of this same tier. A quick search on BeerAdvocate found that this beer had no rating by the website but an average score of 4.12 based on six ratings. I would give it an 8.3 out of 10. It’s super drinkable, it’s dank in both smell and taste, it’s a solid balance of the pineapple acidity with the hops – it’s a next-level beer through and through, for sure. It’s pretty hard to find a complaint, though a little more information on the label would’ve been nice.
Stay tuned for next week, because I might just try something from your favorite brewery.