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Belt’s Beer Garden: Pillow Talk

Common Root’s Pillow Gossip & Half Acre Bodem

Common Roots Brewing opened up their taproom back in December of 2014 in South Glen Falls, New York – a village of nearly 4000 people located about 50 miles north of Albany.

Right now, you can only find their beers across New York and Massachusetts but I was able to secure a few cans of their Pillow Gossip.

Pillow Gossip is a limited release IPA that was brewed with Citra and El Dorado hops. It checks in at 6.4% ABV and a four pack of 16-ounce cans will set you back roughly $15.

The beer poured a bright golden straw color with moderate head building. Just under a finger of pure white foam topped the brew and coated the sides of the glass with a solid lacing as it slowly fizzled down into a dusting across the top.

The scent of tropical and citrus fruits flowed from the beer. There were notes of tangerine, orange, grapefruit, and just a hint of mango and peach. Behind the fruits a flaked oat and wheat aroma balanced the smell out some.

Starting the sip was a rush of carbonation that fizzled across my tongue and hummed for a brief moment underneath everything.

The hops kicked things off with a slew of tropical fruits. Tangerine and oranges hit the hardest but were soon followed by some stone fruits, like peach and apricot.

Mixing in with the fruits were those grains that added some sweetness and the flavors of flaked oat and wheat. The addition of the malt gave it a brief cereal-like flavor for a few moments.

However, that taste didn’t last long as, about midway through, notes of grapefruit sliced their way past the other flavors and took control of the sip. Joining the grapefruit was a heavy dose of citrus rind bitterness and a hoppy bite.

As the name implied, the beer had that soft, pillowy feel to it that most hazy brews have and, because of that thicker mouthfeel, it also had a bit of a heavier body.

Pillow Gossip ends slightly dry with that bitter twinge lingering on for a few moments after everything else had faded.

Overall, this was a pretty solid IPA. Starts out soft and citrusy before the hops take over towards the backend with a moderate hoppiness and a dry finish.

*canned 10/9/19, reviewed 11/30/19*

Next up is a new year-round beer from one of Chicago’s best - Half Acre.

Every Chicagoan knows just how good Half Acre is. The brewery opened their initial taproom on Lincoln Avenue on Chicago’s north side in 2008 but needed a second location to keep up with demand just a few years later. And, in 2015, they opened their Balmoral location just two miles north of their original.

They’re famous for their Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, which is consistently known as one of the country’s best. But they offer a range of brews, mostly one-offs and special releases that complement their four year-round brews.

For a long time Half Acre only brewed three beers year round but, recently, a fourth brew made the list: Bodem IPA.

Bodem features a hop profile of Cashmere, Idaho 7, and Mosaic Cryo hops. It has a solid 6.7% ABV and a four-pack of 16-ounce cans costs the usual $10.

This IPA poured a slightly cloudy light copper color with about a finger of foam building up. The head dissipates quickly, leaving a thin layer of white bubbles topping the beer after just a few moments.

It was packed with super dank aromas of tropical fruits and a soft malt backing that brought some breadiness to the smell. And, when I say dank…I mean dank. It had a very weed-like smell that mixed in with notes of mango, grapefruit, melon, and berries.

My first sip began with a low hum of carbonation and a surprisingly lighter, almost watery, mouthfeel.

The tropical fruits popped up almost immediately. The mango and melon led the way with some berry and pineapple acidity hiding behind the main fruit flavors.

Midway through, the grapefruit added some very light citrus peel bitterness and the hops provided some grassy, floral notes as well. The malts also appeared slightly at this point, with a bit of caramel and lighter pastry dough breadiness.

That dankness that was so prevalent in the smell was nowhere to be found in the taste.

On the back end, the hops add a prickly bitterness that slowly builds from the moment the grapefruit flavor arrives. It’s not a strong or overpowering bitter bite but it is noticeable.

From there, Bodem ends mostly clean. There’s a slight sticky resin left lingering on with remnants of grass and grapefruit and a tiny bit of dryness but, for the most part, it’s a really clean finish.

Bodem is a nice blend of East Coast and West Coast styles. Slightly juicy and filled with tropical fruits, like a NE IPA but not one to shy away from showcasing the hops in all their bitter glory, like a West Coaster.

The blend between the two made this a very solid and quite sessionable IPA. It’s worth the price and I can see why they’d choose to offer this brew year-round.

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