Join me now as I pop open some more beers that have been sent to me by the brewer for my comment.
Southern Tier Brewing Company takes its name from its location in the “Southern Tier” row of counties lining the southern border of upstate New York. I knew this already, only because I lived for a while in the “Northern Tier” counterpart in northern Pennsylvania. That’s a story you’ll need to get a few beers into me to tell. They began building out in 2002, and hit the market in 2003. They continued to grow from that point, adding new brewhouses and a tap room, and expanding distribution. In 2014, co-founders Phin and Sara DeMink partnered with Ulysses Management LLC to form a holding company, Artisanal Brewing Ventures, which acquired Victory Brewing in 2016. They later bought out Sixpoint Brewery, and the hard seltzer and alcopop maker Bold Rock.
For this article, Southern Tier’s rep sent me their “2X” line of double IPAs, in the form of a 12 pack with four varieties, and extra six packs of their two established 2X beers. Per my usual practice, I have a video review of one of them below, to be followed by my tastings of their other beers. I might finally go through some of their sought-after stronger beers that I already had in my cellar as a supplement.
As a beer putting “Haze” in its name, the 2X Haze fits under the “New England Double IPA” style. The hops aren’t mentioned in its description, but they do go on to mention having been dry-hopped four times.
The brew pours an opaque, almost whitish hazy yellow before a bit of the haze settles to show a dark yellow beer body. At least a one-inch layer of foam hangs on for quite a while. There’s a BIG hop smell right from when I open the can. I’m thinking Amarillos among the likely Citra and another of the “C’s.”
Hops are right there on the taste as well: piney and resiny, then there’s some citrus and then the bit of tropical fruit. Malts are bright, to let the alcohol work its magic without bothering the hops. A big, but deceptively easy beer.
Possibly the first of their dozen or so beers to carry the “2X” label.
It pours much clearer than the Hazy, but still with a brassy body under a foamy head. Plenty of pine and resin, likely from Cascade hops. Little fruit to this, it’s meant to be more bitter, with some caramel malts to provide just a bit of backbone.
Here we go with an Eastern version of a West Coast Double IPA. 8.2% abv. “Brewed with experimental hops from Hop Breeding Company hand-picked by our brewing team at the most recent hop harvest in the Pacific Northwest.” The main hop mentioned in their description is HBC 735, described by the grower as “high 3MH, lemon, pine, spicy.”
A sudsy head in the pour. Just under the tab I did get a big whiff of lemon. The beer is a slightly brassy gold color, with no haze. Once I get my nose in the glass, there is a note of “dank” as well.
The taste has plenty of hop and terpenes to it. The lemon in the initial nose comes back a little bit, but the dankness is almost chewy. Malts can’t much of an impression, just a little maltiness with a bit of caramel. But the alcohol does come in almost as fumes. A very relaxing brew.
This is another 8.2% abv Double IPA, in this case with the addition of orange and grapefruit flavor.
There is a big nose of orange and grapefruit as soon as I pop the tab.
There’s a big foamy head over a rather bright orange to gold beer, with very little haze.
The bitterness in the taste is rather bright, rather than the “dank” of other hazies. The taste bears a definitely citrusy note that’s more like a tangerine life saver. Then some grapefruit juice does come up the side just a little bit later.
The orange and tangerine impressions wind up on top of the taste profile and stay with me till the end.