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Belt’s Beer Garden: Hoppy (Late) Halloween

Beezlejus, a massive Triple IPA from Chicago’s Old Irving and Alarmist

Old Irving Brewing began in Chicago, Illinois back in 2016. Since then they have won numerous awards for their beers, including a bunch at GABF. They are well known for their hazy offerings as well as their darker beers, like Krampus.

Since moving to Cali almost two years ago, I don’t often find Chicago beers. So when I do, I make sure to get them. And today, I have one that was perfect for Halloween a few days ago - Beezlejus.

This collaboration with Alarmist Brew takes its name from a pair of their beers - Old Iriving’s Beezer and Alarmist’s Le Jus - and, since this is the third collab between the two, they cranked it up from a regular IPA to a massive Triple IPA.

Beezlejus has a massive 10.3% ABV and was made with all the Citra. And by all the Citra I mean all the Citra - it was brewed with Citra cones, Citra Lupomax, Citra Incognito, and Citra Spectrum…so yeah, it’s a Citra showcase. A four pack of 16-ounce cans runs about $20 and you can find it throughout Illinois and Wisconsin.

It poured a deep, dark orange color with some nice murkiness to it. There was quite a bit of head, as nearly three full fingers of dense foam began to quickly build up. The slightly tan head fizzles down at a moderate pace and leaves a massive webwork of bubbles as it fades, lacing the glass nicely.

The nose is quite intense. There are massive hoppy notes, some hints of booze, and a bit of the grist in there for good measure. All those varieties of Citra hops added some fruity characteristics of pineapple, grapefruit rind, stone fruit, and a touch of berries. The grains gave off some sweeter notes of caramel and a biscuity backing to the brew.

Each sip begins with a thicker and creamy mouthfeel that leads to a pretty heavy body. However, despite that high ABV, there was no real alcohol bite to the brew early on…it was quite smooth for such a massive beer.

It takes a moment or two before the hops are able to appear and take over. And, even when they do, they are rather subtle as well. You get the same notes as indicated by the smell - some slightly acidic pineapple, a touch of orange and tangerine, a bit of peach, and just the smallest dash of berries behind everything else - but it doesn’t push too heavily on one flavor or the other. Instead they are all just there in a light blending of fruits.

Around the midway point of the sip, the grapefruit flavoring begins to get a bit more aggressive and adds a bit of pithy bitterness. But it’s not bad at all because, right around that same time, the malts begin to kick in with some caramel and biscuity notes that really slice into the bitterness and keep this a smooth and subtle brew.

As the beer finishes there is one twinge of hoppy bitterness that lingers for a quick moment, along with some sticky grapefruit resin. But, otherwise, this is one of the cleanest TIPAs I can remember having.

The flavors won’t blow you away as, again, it’s a pretty subtle beer and it is a bit on the heavier side…but it’s quite easy to drink for 10.3%. In fact, I kept waiting for the booze to kick in towards the end of the pint and add an additional bite…but nothing. It was really well hidden in the taste. However, I could totally feel it warming my face and chest around the midway point…so I know it’s in there.

Overall Beezlejus is a very solid, rather crushable Triple IPA. Its flavors won’t blow you away but, if you’re looking for a high alcohol beer that can be consumed easily…this is it.

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