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Four Mile Reap Volume II & Genesee Bock

American pale ale

ABV: 4.8%

Don’t Fear the Reap. Volume II, that is: a massively dry-hopped pale ale from Olean’s Four Mile Brewing. The name derives from it being the second farm-to-pint (F2P) offering from Four Mile with each in the series, though stylistically diverse, carrying the Reap label. All ingredients were locally grown and malted, hence its F2P designation. The grains (2-Row, Light Munich and a custom malted Crystal 40) were provided by New York Craft Malt in Batavia. The 100 percent Cascade hops were supplied by Crooked Creek Hops Farm in Addison. Reap Vol. II pours a deep, hazy golden hue topped with a thick, frothy white head, in this case setting up nicely in a shaker pint. The head stiffened to a meringue as it offered up esters of pine and citrus and retained beautifully while lacing to the last sip. The flavor is bold with a West Coast wallop up front, followed by a husky earthiness and a crisp finish that leaves a trail of hoppy bitterness to contemplate. With IBUs perhaps as high as 85 as estimated by the brewery, this ale is not for the faint of heart, but at 4.8% ABV, a second pint is an easy decision. As a one-off, Reap Vol. II is not widely available. Aside from the brewery, hopheads can seek out this indigenous treasure at Pizza Plant in Williamsville, Murphy Brown’s in Clarence, and Ship ‘N Shore in Pendleton.

Genesee Bock

ABV: 5.2%

STYLE: Dunkler Bock

From the day this is published, “Spring” is only 23 days away. In addition, St. Patrick’s Day weekend traditionally marks a turning point from Winter to Slop Season. It’s the time when the ground turns from beautiful, crunchy white to a slurry of browns mixed with misplaced fast food containers, lost garbage cans and random bits of car. Where does Genny Bock fit into all of this? Well..the can is GREEN (yay!), the beer inside is a bock (traditionally a Spring beer) and oh, you might see a bunch of empty Genny Bock cans rolling down Allen Street on parade Sunday. Genesee proves that you can make a really decent beer and sell 12 of them for just under $10 after tax and deposit. This dark lager clocks in at 5.2% ABV with a strong focus on a smooth, nutty caramel aroma and flavor through the finish. Bitterness is low, as to be expected for the style which makes it highly drinkable and clean. If you’re looking for that afternoon street dog (not that you’ll really be thinking about how your beer is going to pair with it) it WILL do you just fine as something flavorful to wash it down. This may not be the most highly regarded Bock on the planet but it sure scores a ton of points for value. I joined the cult of Genny Bock back in 2008 and haven’t left yet. Membership is only $8.49 annually.

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