I first talked about Moonraker Brewing back in 2020, calling them an up-and-comer you need to know about. And, nearly four years later, I’m saying the same thing…this place needs to be on your beer radar! They are one of the best hazy IPA makers in not just NorCal, but all of the country.
The brewery opened back in 2016 in Auburn, California - about 35 miles northeast of Sacramento - and focuses on sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint. Earlier this year they added a second location in Cameron Park, California - The Millhouse - which is about 30 miles south of their OG location (but still 35 miles east of Sacramento) and features a kitchen with a seasonal menu and an emphasis on local ingredients and low waste.
Today I have a beer from them with a fantastic name and an even better label - The Great Coneholio. This award-winning hazy Double IPA was brewed with Citra, Mosaic, and Motueka hops and features a real solid 8.2% ABV. The single 16-ounce can cost about $7 but you can find four-packs for around $22.
This New England-Style DIPA poured a murky, but bright, straw orange color. Just under two fingers of eggshell white head topped the brew but quickly fizzled away. The head left some nice lacing down the sides of the glass as it disappeared, coating almost every inch in tiny bubbles.
The nose was incredibly juicy and featured a blend of tropical and citrus fruits. Drove fruits, mango, guava, and tangerine were all in abundance and, when combined with the yeast, created an incredibly sweet aroma. Underneath the fruity characteristics was a light scent of flaked wheat and oats.
The sip began with a quick flash of carbonation and hoppy bitterness vthat fizzled across the tongue, waking up my taste buds for the delicious assault that followed.
Massive tropical and fruity notes slammed down. Peach, papaya, guava, tangerine all exploded in a fantastically tasty cacophony of flavors. It was insanely juicy.
Midway through there was a slight pithy grapefruit rind flavor that added a bit of sticky resin that coated my tongue. It was also around this point that the grist peeked out for the one and only time in the sip…adding just the tiniest bit of cereal flavoring before fading back underneath the fruits.
That late swelling of grapefruit brought a bitter twinge that finished off the sip before slowly fading out. Left behind was that resinous feeling and a bit of peach, grapefruit, and guava that slowly disappeared.
If not for the bookmarking of bitterness at the beginning and end, it could easily be mistaken for a juice cocktail. The body was a bit thicker but it didn’t sit too heavy at all, making it a really sessionable DIPA.
The Great Coneholio was an absolute banger. It was a bit fluffy/soft while drinking but had amazing flavors and was really crushable. Plus what a fantastic name and label. Great stuff from one of NorCal’s underrated breweries.