Tom Becham on Novelties

Some craft beer lovers get a “fix” out of weird, novelty, brews-PGA


Written by Tom Becham

Spring and Summer seem to be the times of year when brewers get a little more whimsical with their releases. They experiment with flavors of fruits and spices, in what many people might call (and this is the most polite term I’ve heard) “girlfriend beers”.

Well, fruit has a long tradition as a beer ingredient, and as to experimental beers, well, that’s what pushes the envelope. It’s good to have an open mind about what constitutes things like patriotism, a family, or even beer.

Okay, my first two beers are both from The Bruery, in Placentia, California. Something one can *never* say about The Bruery is that they do anything normally, average or “to style”. Every single brew they produce is drastically unique in some way, and these two certainly fit that description. Continue reading “Tom Becham on Novelties”

Beer Profile: Victory Helios

Profiled by Maria Devan

Looks so good. I never rate a beer’s appearance that high but this beer is perfectly clear, has a thick creamy white crown that lasts and leaves a film and ring on top. Body is sunshine yellow. Golden.

Nose is sumptuous but fun with lots of fruity citrus, a plentiful hops herbal that is whimsical with pepper and a malt sweetness that is a touch of white bread with honey. Taste is sultry and heady with lemon, the bright lemon peel, the spontaneous herbal.

The hops herbal in this beer is like hay or dried grass but it also has quite a bit of pepper. A perfect tartness that makes the mouth water and a dry and bubbly finish that lets that pepper really tickle. Smooth and at 7.5% it’s on the high side for abv but you will find it a pleasant warmth in the swallow. There is a bitterness in this one and it’s welcome because of the slightly higher abv. It balances out that alcohol sweetness and bit of extra body perfectly and lets the beer reside in the aftertaste as plentiful in flavor as it was on the palate.



Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”


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mdMaria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is a great beer writer. That’s Maria in the middle. The other two are not, but they are lucky to have her as a friend.