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Belt’s Beer Garden - BrewFC #13: A Galactic Battle

Connecticut Valley’s Fueled by Gravity vs Mikerphone’s Spacebar in a battle of Galaxy hopped brews

It’s been four months since our last BrewFC match and now it’s time to prepare for another epic fight.

Today’s battle features a newcomer to Belt’s Beer Garden - Connecticut Valley Brewing. Connecticut Valley has their work cut out for themselves as they will face a veteran, and two time BrewFC Champion, Mikerphone Brewing. And, as always, I try to find two beers with similar qualities...this time, each beer was made using only Galaxy hops.

The bout, as usual, will be blindly judged on three categories - Appearance (5 points), Aroma (15 points), and Taste (30 points) - with a possible 50 points up for grabs. The beer with the most points wins. I will not know which beer is which until AFTER I have made my decision.

Let’s look at the tale of the tape.


BrewFC #13

Beer: Connecticut Valley Fueled by Gravity Mikerphone Spacebar
Beer: Connecticut Valley Fueled by Gravity Mikerphone Spacebar
From: South Windsor, CT Elk Grove Village, IL
Style: Double New England-style IPA DDH Double IPA
ABV: 8.00% 8.50%
Hops: Galaxy Galaxy
Cost: $17/4-pack $19/4-pack

Connecticut Valley hails from South Windsor, Connecticut, just a few miles northeast of Hartford. I’ve chosen their Fueled by Gravity for this fight. This Imperial New England-style IPA features Galaxy hops and has an 8% ABV. A four-pack, when available, costs $17.

Mikerphone, out of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, is no stranger to BrewFC fights - this will be their third beer in a bout. Their first two brews, Say Uhh! and Heads Will Roll, each won so there will be a lot resting on Spacebar. Spacebar is a double dry-hopped Double IPA brewed with Galaxy hops. It features an 8.5% ABV and costs $19 per four-pack.

And now....

LET THE FIGHT BEGIN!


Beer 1:

Appearance:

This brew was super cloudy. The muddled straw color and nice, bright white head looked real juicy and good. 4/5

Aroma:

The aroma was soft and juicy with some nice tropical fruit aromas, like pineapple, passion fruit, and mango. However, there were some sharp boozy/hoppy notes as well that appeared every so often. It also had a slightly grassy undertone to it. 11/15

Taste:

The brew started off sharp and acidic as the pineapple hit first like a hammer. In fact, the first half tasted just like raw pineapple juice before a light bitterness kicked in midway through. Weirdly, the beer shifted to a much juicier finish with mango, passion fruit, and some light orange/tangerine kicking in at the end and squashing that bitterness. There was a slightly dry, resinous grassy finish to it but, overall, it ends really cleanly. 23/30

Total: 38/50


Beer 2:

Appearance:

This brew was hazy as all hell. The dark orange color looked closer to OJ than beer and, if not for the finger of off-white head, I might have mistaken it for juice. Another very good looking beer. 4/5

Aroma:

This was a juicy but subtle smelling brew. It was hard to pick up a lot of smells as it was so muted and simple. There tropical fruits like mango, tangerine, and melon but there were also big notes of flaked grains like wheat and oats. This one gets the edge as it didn’t have that harsh boozy bite the other did. 12/15

Taste:

Beer #2 started off with a soft, subtle beginning. Mango, tangerine/orange, and a bit of pineapple led the way. The grains from the aroma didn’t transfer to the taste too much. It wasn’t as juicy as the first beer and the ending featured a pithy grapefruit rind bitterness that lingered for a few moments. It then ended on the dryer side of things. 20/30

Total: 36/50


In a very close bout Beer #1 sneaked by with a 38-36 victory. But which beer was Beer #1? Will Mikerphone keep their crown and go to 3-0 in BrewFC matches??

THE WINNER IS.....

CONNECTICUT VALLEY FUELED BY GRAVITY!!!

The newcomer has upset Mikerphone! And the former champs fall to 2-1 in BrewFC matches!! Congrats to Connecticut Valley and stay tuned to see more BrewFC fights and beer reviews here on Belt’s Beer Garden.

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