While I was picking up some stuff at my local the other day, I walked over to what I call “the pile”. In the front center of the store there’s a stack of beer cases that are used to elevate the six packs that are “piled” on top of them up to a height which is easily reachable. This pile is a mixed selection of beers that you won’t find in the coolers. You never know what might pop up there, and on this trip I was pleasantly surprised to find a mixed six pack from the guys at Evil Genius. The six pack was called “EYECLOPS” and contained two bottles each of Evil Eye PA (IPA), Black Eye PA (Black IPA), and Blind Eye PA (Belgian Style IPA). How could I resist?
Evil Genius is the brain child of two guys (Luke and Mark) who weren’t able to talk each other out of the dream of opening up a brewery. Although the company is based out of West Grove PA, the company has been producing beer for a little over a year at the Cooperstown Brewing Company in New York, with the goal of opening a Pennsylvania brewery sometime in 2014.
Up first is Evil Eye PA, a beer produced Amarillo, Falconers Flight, Warrior and Galaxy hops over a framework of 2-Row and Simpsons malts. The beer looks very much like any IPA in the glass with a nice color and head you’d associate with an IPA. The nose smacks of citrus and malt, with just a touch of earthiness to it. A mixture of citrus fruits with a touch of grain round out the flavor. The mouth feel is light, with a touch of “hop burn” on the cheeks that finishes with a bite that lingers a bit, but not too long. A drinkable IPA. Good start.
Next I opened the Black Eye PA. This style had me shaking my head when it first started to appear with it’s oxymoronic use of both black and pale in the description, but it was recently given style status at the GABF, so it’s here to stay. And to be honest, I’ve had quite a few that I’ve enjoyed. Black Eye pours black (shocking I know) with a head that has a touch of tan to it. The nose has a nice touch of roast to it, with some citrus and hop peeking in and out, that no doubt comes from the dry hop of Simcoe and Citra that the beer gets. The flavor is dominated by coffee with a bit of pine that finishes with more roastiness and crisp finish. I’m not a fan of big coffee flavors in my beer, but this one wasn’t so strong as to be a deal breaker. This is a beer that I could drink while Tracey would interrogate me as to why I like it. It happens. Believe me.
And finally I finished up with Blind Eye PA, a beer built on 2 Row, CaraVienne, and Munich malts, and hopped with Warrior, Tettnang, Saaz, and Falconers Flight. The beer pours about the same color as Evil Eye, but a touch on the cloudy side. The smell definitely says “Belgian IPA” with that spicy Belgian yeast smell along with a good amount of citrus (grapefruit, oranges). The flavor has more of the Belgian notes, along with a nice malt base and a touch of peppery spice. It finishes crisp, with a very slight stickiness that doesn’t build up to much over the course of the glass. This is a little on the light side (it’s not Raging Bitch, but then again, what is) but I think it’s very accessible. It would be a very nice beer in the style to give to someone who’s just starting to try Belgian IPAs.
This was a very rewarding variety pack. And while none of the beers really pushed the envelope as far as style, all three were clean and solid. I’ll definitely be keeping an “eye” out for more Evil Genius in the future.
Time for another beer….