Craft Beer Review: Goldfinger/Hop Butcher Und Hopfen
today at 12:17 am
Goldfinger Brewing Co. opened earlier this year, just down the street from me in Downers Grove. They’re a small brewery, focused on lagers, whose founder, Thomas Beckmann, descended from Markus Goldfinger, who was a brewer and brewing equipment manufacturer in Poland. Since opening in July, they’ve put six lager beers on tap, from an export-style lager and a pils to a Baltic porter. This past weekend, they began putting their beer in cans, and marked the occasion with the release of their Hop Butcher collab, Und Hopfen.
This is a light colored lager, with the Hop Butcher style dosage of hops, sometimes called an India Pale Lager. It has a slightly stronger 6.1% abv, and is dry-hopped with Astra, Vic Secret and Mosaic hops. The cans went on sale Friday at nearby bottle shops, and were sold out the same day. Luckily they had some for pickup and the brewery on Saturday. I brought the 4-pack home and shot one of my One Take Beer Reviews.
The date on the can showed it was packaged just four days before I opened it. There was a big fusty smell of fresh hops as soon as I pulled the tab. It poured a big white beery head over a pale lager body, slightly hazy with a continuous stream of bubbles. The nose keeps up the hefty hop notes, just a note of tropical fruit and then some pine resin. There’s no doubting the taste is a big hop bomb. Lots of bitterness and resin, just a slight side of tropical fruit, with a bit of malt. But the malt is light, so the slightly higher alcohol has to defend itself against the bitterness as well.
While I was at Goldfinger getting my 4-pack—and I was told that was one of the last ones in stock—I was able to get my second Hop Butcher beer from the guest tap. Thematic Glow was one of their more typical Imperial Hazy IPAs, 7.5% abv, and hopped up with Citra and Rakau vaietals.
I had a draft served in Hop Butcher’s custom tulip glass, which they did not have enough to let customers buy for themselves yet. A very hazy yellow color under a creamy head, like perhaps there was some oatmeal in the grain bill. Citra hops are unmistakeable on the nose. The taste is big on hops, of course, but it’s not as much of a “bomb” as one might expect. Again, slightly creamy mouthfeel, malt keeps up easily with the hop load. Has some pretty good balance for a brewer known for big hop messes.