Shebeen Turbo DIPA
One 12 oz can, $2.50, 7% ABV (& 120 IBU!!!1!)
Purchased at the Brewery, Wolcott
As with all things Shebeen, there are always a billion things to say. And you guys and gals always want me to say them. You may disbelieve this, but I have barely written anything about Shebeen in the last year. One review in April, one in March and that’s been it for 2015.
I haven’t even taken the bait on Reddit or Twitter either. I’ve been a good boy.
And Shebeen has done its best too; now distributing to South Carolina and New Jersey, rolling through a few more head brewers and taproom managers, allowing the most well-traveled gypsy brewers (Pioneer) to utilize some of the unused capacity at the brewery…
If you follow the travails of Shebeen, you know that they have done their damnedest to sort of redefine the brewery and what it’s all about in 2015. I can’t front on that.
Although still sticking to their roots as a stunt-beer brewery to a degree, there has been a definite shift in strategy. Notoriously against hoppy IPA’s, Shebeen is now pretty much drowning in hops. Wet hops, dry hops, these hops, that hops, red hops, blue hops. Their social media feeds have more hops than a bunny farm these days.
Eh, marketing. What can you do?
And most importantly, they have a new head brewer as well as some sort of meaningful relationship with the Pioneer Brewing head brewery. We have been promised “better beers,” and “You won’t believe how much more delicious this version of this beer is,” and so on.
Admitting past mistakes is a wonderful step forward for the much-maligned (in some circles) brewery. Bravo.
I’m certainly willing to move forward as well. So what better beer to do that with than Shebeen’s revamped, rebranded Turbo Artichokes & Hubcaps Double IPA!
This Double IPA combines 5 different grains, 14 hop infusions and over 6 pounds of hops per barrel. We back load the hops at the end of the boil and dry hop to add more aroma than bitterness. A Hop Head’s dream come true!
See what I mean? Hops, hops, hops. Whatever. I’m more curious about the artichoke component.
With the merry-go-round of head brewers Shebeen has been through over the last year, I have no idea which one was most responsible for the can I drank. I think it was that kid Justin who lasted a few months.
This beer was okay. On the one hand, it smacks of desperation – “Hey! Look! We’re hop, hop, hopping everything here now!” but on the other, good for Shebeen. Of course DIPA’s and IPA’s are what the market demands these days, and with both Relic and Overshores getting into the hop game, I certainly can’t begrudge Shebeen for doing the same.
The whole bit about “aroma” vs. bitterness is a bunch of nonsense. Some hops impart strong, beautiful, floral/citrus/pine aromas. Some give beer those flavors, but none of the aroma. Dialing that delicate balance in is what makes NEBCO, Beer’d, and Steady Habit the Connecticut kings of the style.
Shebeen, and the Turbo IPA, are not yet sniffing at that masterclass of hop royalty. The finish on the Turbo was bitter and lasting. The 14 hop infusions merely infused vegetation and not much else.
No hubcap. No artichoke. With a stunt-beer brewery like Shebeen, I was really expecting a bit of both after studying the label. So I’m left somewhat confused. Oh well.
By the way, Shebeen isn’t alone in this. Plenty of breweries have tried/are trying to get on the DIPA train and just dumping acres of hops into the boil. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. There’s a nuance and an art to this brewing thing, and Shebeen still has a ways to go – at least when we’re focusing on the DIPA world of beer.
In short, the Turbo IPA is… drinkable. And that wouldn’t have been the case two years ago with a Shebeen DIPA. At the very least, poking around the rating sites allowed me to find a very rare individual… A Jacksonville Jaguars AND Shebeen fan.
I want to meet this dude:
Overall Rating: C
Rating vs. Similar style: C-