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Belt’s Beer Garden: 2022’s Last Call

Cerebral’s Time Crystal is the final brew of 2022

Next week I’ll be releasing my annual “Best Beers” article so we have just one more beer this year - a juiced up hop bomb from Cerebral Brewing.

Denver is home to a great many breweries so it takes a lot to stand out there. One of those breweries that stands high above the rest is Cerebral.

Cerebral is located in the Capitol Park area of Denver but they are slated to open a second location next year a few miles away in Aurora, Colorado. Since opening their doors in 2015, the brewery has focused on “quality, innovation, and evolution in all endeavors.” And that has led them to making some of the best brews in the state, if not the country, across every style imaginable.

With an extensive array of IPAs and Foeder/barrel aged beers, it’s no wonder they are universally loved. However, they are a rare get for me so when I was able to purchase a can of their Time Crystal, I jumped on it.

Time Crystal is a hazy IPA that was brewed with flaked and malted oats and four hops - Galaxy, Mosaic, Simcoe, and Strata. It features a solid 6.7% ABV but wasn’t easy to come by and was $7 for a single 16-ounce can, which isn’t too crazy.

This IPA poured a cloudy, golden straw color with a decent amount of head. About two fingers of frothy, bright white foam appeared. As it began to disappear, the head left quite a nice amount lacing around the entire glass. There was a complete webbing around the sides of the glass with some big lines, indicating how much I had after each sip.

The aroma was soft and subtle but featured a trio of hop qualities - juicy, dank, and resinous. Tropical fruits - like orange, tangerine, and pineapple - led the way. Some dank earthier notes blended nicely with some resinous grass qualities and sat underneath the juicy fruits.

Each sip begins with a pop of bitterness and a carbonated fizzle that quickly rushed across my tongue.

The tropical fruits apart first, with a burst of orange/tangerine, papaya, and grapefruit. A small hint of sweet pineapple also appears periodically but doesn’t appear on every sip as the other fruits do.

Slowly creeping forward is a grassy, herbal flavor that brings forth a sticky resinous feeling. The resin isn’t overpowering and stays behind the juicier characteristic. A tiny black pepper spice can be picked up occasionally.

Towards the backend the grist adds a bit of breadiness and offers up some cereal-like notes that wash away the earthy and pepper flavors.

Time Crystal ends surprisingly clean, with just a bit of pithy grapefruit peel and stickiness lingering on.

I enjoyed Time Crystal more and more as I continued to drink it. There was something that made this into a very sessionable beer while still having a heftier body and being packed with a ton of flavors.

It’s a very tasty, super easy to drink IPA. It won’t blow you away but it certainly won’t disappoint. This is a brew I’d come back to again and again.

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