Barley Mowat 

Dead Frog Furious Rocket Friar Man

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Continuing their tradition of spamming the local craft beer market to see what sticks, Dead Frog recently pushed out two more seasonals, logically sourced from the opposite ends of the planet: an Aussie-hopped ESB and a Belgian IPA.

In addition to making these beers, they were also brave/stupid enough to send me some for review, so let’s get to it.

Furious Friar Belgian IPA

I’m just going to come out and say it: this beer is awful. Many of the constituent components of a great Belgian IPA are here, and the colour and nose definitely get your hopes up. If you were to get that far, and then somehow fail to actually put the liquid in your mouth you might have a favourable impression of this ale, but alas I did run some past my tongue. I regretted this decision immediately.

Okay, maybe that might be a bit dramatic. This beer didn’t scar me for life like, say, Voodoo Donut. Instead, it’s just super hot. The long chain alcohols give you a definite nail polish, fire-water tone that simply doesn’t go away. There are some nice banana/clove esters in there as well, but you don’t get to enjoy them because you’re preoccupied by being worried about going blind*.

* Note: Long chain alcohols, while unpleasant, won’t actually make you go blind. At least not in the levels achievable during normal fermentation.

APPEARANCE Cloudy yellow/amber with just a hint of red. Thin, quickly dissipating head. Pretty beer.
NOSE Faint, light Belgian esters. No hops.
TASTE Harsh hotness that’s only made worse by the heavy handed hopping.
STATS 9.0% ABV / ~70? IBU / Belgian IPA
SHOULD I BUY IT? Do you have silverware you need to clean?

Rocketman Interstellar ESB

To be honest, I’m not sure what an “Interstellar ESB” is, in terms of style. Since interstellar space is really just a nigh limitless void of emptiness, maybe drinking this beer will make you go mad from perceiving the infinite? Or maybe it’s a cheeky play in the heavy use of Apollo Hops coupled with not quite knowing enough space history to realize that “Translunar ESB” would be a much better, more awesome-sounding name for this beer. Whichever.

What about the beer, though? After the Furious Friar I was frankly frightened to try this puppy out. I even gave myself a 24 hour no-beer-cation to let my taste buds reset. So, with a fresh mouth and a heaping sense of impending doom I cracked the bottle, poured it into a glass, and did my job.

The result? This is a pretty good beer. I wasn’t sold on it for the first 1/2 glass, but over time the malt backbone did what it was supposed to do: make me want more.

APPEARANCE Pours deep cloudy/almost opaque dark brown with tight, long lasting white head.
NOSE Classic bitter. Good caramel / biscuit malt with well integrated hops.
TASTE Great malt backbone below a decent helping of fruity NZ-style hops (despite no actual NZ hops). Hops aren’t over done, but rather well balanced.
STATS 6.5% ABV / 40 IBU / ESB
SHOULD I BUY IT? Absolutely. Even if you don’t have to forget drinking FF.

Brewery Dead Frog
From Aldergrove
Name Furious Friar Rocket Man
Style Belgian IPA Interstellar(?) ESB
SOA Now None Bronze
SOA Potential n/a n/a
Drink Now Now
Potential as rocket fuel Decent Ironically, none
Availability Most LRSs/some LDB
Cost ~$6-9+ per 650ml
Similar Beers Fernie Snowblind Red Racer India Red, Driftwood Naughty Hildegaard


One out of two ain’t bad

Written by chuck

August 14th, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Posted in Beer and You

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One Response to 'Dead Frog Furious Rocket Friar Man'

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  1. We agree completely on these. In my opinion the ESB was a solid Very Good rating and FF was a Below Average one (way too boozy sweet), especially when a few bucks will nab you a Houblon Chouffe instead.

    The encouraging part is that the ESB was the first one fully developed by the Nick Fengler, the new head brewer which I am sure you already know. This is a good sign of the beers to come!


    14 Aug 14 at 15:41

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