Beer Review: The Hog (Boneshire Brew Works)

Beer Review: The Hog (Boneshire Brew Works)

The Hog by Boneshire Brew Works, in collaboration with their muggers of the year (2018 – 2019) Mike Luckovich and Dan Ploch.

This will be as much a review about The Hog by Boneshire Brew Works as it will be a review of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker……….. I kid…. I kid…. I promise I won’t get into Star Wars too much here (well, maybe until the end of the post). We’ll see how it goes, play it by ear (or the Force ?).

But to set up why I’m even mentioning Star Wars, lets just say that Thursday (Dec. 19, 2019) was unofficially Star Wars day for me. Thursday being my day off (my Saturday; for now) was perfect. The Mandalorian released episode 7 “The Reckoning” on Wednesday, so I watched that first thing in the morning, then spent most of the day reading “Resistance Reborn” (my book review of it here: GoodReads – Resistance Reborn) and getting hyped for “The Rise of Skywalker”. We were set up with tickets for the first showing at 6PM at the Regal Cinema, so after picking Tony up, stopping at Rutter’s for gas, we had to pre-game before the movie, and what better place than Boneshire to pre-game for Star Wars?

Mug club members of the year – Mike Luckovich (left) and Daniel Ploch (right) with their brew – The Hog.

So what is The Hog? As I’m sure you’re far more interested in reading about the beer (the actual point of the beer review) than my thoughts on Star Wars (…or are you?) or what led to me getting to the brewery; lets get into this delicious beer and how it was made.

Checking to make sure everything is A-O-K

First off, given Boneshire Brew Works and their logo, its about time we had a beer called The Hog. Its perfectly apropos and was a very fitting beer for the brewery and for all involved.

This was a collaboration beer between Boneshire Brew Works (Alan Miller) and the two muggers of the year from their mug club – Daniel Ploch and Mike Luckovich. If you’ve ever visited the brewery, you’ve seen them. Their regulars, and that might be an understatement. As most breweries do – Boneshire Brew Works does a mug club; and there is always perks of being a mug club member (bigger pours, cheaper drafts, special events, special contests, cheaper merchandise, etc.) and at Boneshire the two muggers (mug club members) of the year got to join Alan Miller for a collaboration brew. This was said product of that collaboration.

Mike Luckovich working away at his collaboration – The Hog

In a bit of a first for Boneshire, this is a Triple IPA. Boneshire Brew Works is definitely known for some wonderful IPAs; you can see find reviews on many of them here on the blog.

Boneshire Brew Works IPAs on The Beer Thrillers:

And this is just barely scratching the surface of their amazing IPAs. Not even listed here is Green Machine (and double dry hopped Green Machine) which is probably their most recognizable IPA and possibly their best one.

Dan Ploch stirring the wort of The Hog

But The Hog is their first Triple IPA. They’ve done numerous variants; New England IPAs, Double New England IPAs, West Coast IPAs, Double West Coast IPAs, and Black or RYE IPAs. But this is a big boy here, and its a strong one with a hell of a kick to it.

Mike Luckovich preparing for The Hog

Dan Ploch and Mike Luckovich put a lot of hard work, and care, into making this beer with Alan. And obviously; it goes without saying, Alan put a tremendous amount of hard work and care into the beer, just like he does with all of his creations at Boneshire Brew Works. You can tell he passionately cares about the beer, the brewing process, and his brewery. And certainly all of his hard work has been paying off. He has a staple of favorites and a packed house most nights of regulars with them bringing in many new guests, and many new guests learning about Boneshire Brew Works and checking the place out. (Which, let me put a little footnote in here – if you haven’t checked the place out. Please do so. Cannot recommend the brewery and the beer more. You won’t be disappointed.)

The Hog by Boneshire Brew Works

Beer: The Hog
Brewery: Boneshire Brew Works
Style: IPA – Triple
ABV: 9.8%
IBU: 51
Untappd Write-Up: Our collaboration with Muggers of the year 2018-2019. Mike Luckovich and Dan Ploch dreamed up this big hoppy fruit forward IPA. Brewed with Simcoe, Amarillo, Zythos, and Citra hops.

Pretty apt description here; this is a big hoppy fruit forward IPA. Its a big smash-up of fruit and citrus style hops in a powerful triple IPA with a big ABV that gets you going on this bad boy.

Appearance is a beautiful New England IPA. Its golden hued, its a little hazy, its translucent, and its bright and bold. It has a good shine and an ephemeral quality to it. This may sound like a bit of a contradiction, but its both opaque and slightly transparent. Not completely see-through, not completely clear, but as you drink, it becomes noticeably clearer and more translucent and you can see the bar behind it. It starts off super hazy from the pour out of the tap and it settles down some. It has a tremendous head with various bubbles and a nice white foam, that crests down as you drink. Leaving good lacing on the glass. No extreme sediment, no hop bits, no pulp, nothing standing out in a bad way here.

Aroma is a straight up right undercut of hop explosions nailing you. Maybe not an undercut… maybe a good crossface right through the nose. This has all of the hop notes you want in a big fruit hop beer.

Lets break down the hops used:

  • Simcoe

Simcoe is often compared to Cascade, sometimes called “Cascade on steroids”. It is described as being both fruity and earthy. It can carry notes of berry, apricot, passion fruit, and citrus, but also has pronounced aromas of pine and woodsy earth. Flavor and aroma is quite complex and unique. Simcoe is a dual-purpose hop. It is most often used in bittering additions and creates a clean, smooth bitterness along the same lines as what you would expect from magnum hops. But, unlike Magnum it holds more potential when it comes to flavor and aroma. It can impart some spicy, fruity, and earthy notes through aroma and dry hopping additions

  • Amarillo

Distinct flowery, spicy, tropical; citrus-like with qualities of orange and lemon, like Cascade but much stronger. Considered a Cascade type hop. Dual-purpose aroma and flavoring hop with low enough Co-Humulone levels to allow good bittering properties also. Often it is used in dry-hopping to augment the lemon/orange citrus character in the beer. This citrus quality makes this a particularly good variety for the wheat styles. The myrcene oils that produce the grapefruit/orange character are so high that overuse of the hop can also create a somewhat metallic flavor.

  • Zythos

It features notes and aromas of tangerine, grapefruit, pine and even pineapple. Its high alpha acid content means it can be useful for bittering but is largely intended to shine as an aroma hop.

  • Citra

Citra lends a wide range of delicate fruity characteristics including wonderful aromas and flavors of lime, grapefruit, bright orange, mango, lychee, and gooseberry. Citra is considered a flavoring/aroma hop. It does have the requisite high alpha acid and low co-humolone to make a good bittering hop, but in most cases brewers have found its bitterness too harsh.

Ok, now that we got the hops out of the way, you can see how the aroma (and flavor / taste) is so extremely fruity and hoppy. These hops are loaded into this beer and are all very fruit and citrus forward. You get heavy notes of mango, tangerine, lime, orange, lemon, with small hoints of pine, little earthyness, and it all wraps up nicely.

Enough looking at it and smelling it, lets get to drinking it. This is one delicious beer! It is extremely citrus, extremely hoppy, extremely fruit, extremely strong and powerful, and extremely delicious. I think the over usage of the word extremely here is needed. (And hey, I’m fresh off of watching The Rise of Skywalker, so extreme seems to be a right word choice). You immediately get the fruit and citrus hop notes, you are bombarded right off the bat – like from a Star Destroyer in space – of mango, orange, tangerine, lemon, lime, zest, lychee, and other fruit notes. It all kind of swirls around and hits you. There is some btitering to the hops, you get some pine notes, a little bit of earthyness, but all in all its a clean NEIPA style triple IPA. Its smooth, definitely has the feel (mouth feel, appearance, taste) of being New England style; just with a much heavy handed boozyness with the 9.8% ABV. The ABV does sneak up on you though. I think a good comparison beer for this would be Troeg’s Nimble Giant, where you don’t feel the ABV and then it kind of hits you… especially after your second or third of these; which with how smooth and how tasty it is, they go down so easily. It would be too easy to sit back on a football Sunday and kill a good number of cans of this.

This is a strong, bold, powerful, delicious Triple IPA, and Boneshire Brew Works through Alan Miller, and the collaborators Daniel Ploch and Mike Luckovich did a fantastic and wonderful job of crafting this brew. I would certainly love to see it enter ‘regular rotation’ rather than be a bullpen beer.

My Untappd Rating: ****.25 (hard to choose between ****.25 and ****.50 but settled for .25; I think after future refreshings of this, I will probably go with .50)
Global Untappd Rating: 4.34 (as of 12.21.19)

As the Winter Solstice brings the night to a close, and I wrap up this beer review; which took me longer to write than it should have; this was a fantastic beer, and a good strong first-day-of-winter Triple IPA. With the holidays upon us, we should soon be treated to Boneshire Brew Works’ Holiday Reserve 2019 (annual beer but different each year). Definitely looking forward to that to round out the year.

Sooooo…. after watching The Rise of Skywalker with Tony, drove him home, dropped him off, I was supposed to head over to Drew’s to hangout while they did their podcast on Christmas / holiday horror movies. But I got called to my parents to help them with a few things and unfortunately I didn’t have the energy at 10-10:30 after stopping at home to then go back out (20minute drive) to his house. My friend Dan and his fiance Kat were fresh home from a trip up north where they stopped at Tree House, Dan was nice enough to pick up me a few cans – Sap, Julius, Haze, Doppleganger, and Autumn. So you can definitely be sure to get some reviews on these bad boys – as lets be honest here – who doesn’t love Tree House?

For those interested in hearing the Christmas / holiday horror podcasts; you can check them out here:

The podcast is “So a Mexican and a Scot Walk Into a Bar” and you can view their full listing here: So a Mexican and a Scot Walk Into a Bar. I have been featured on a few of their podcasts now – The Irishman, The Mandalorian, Breaking Bad / El Camino Pt. 1 and Pt. 2. I typically discuss beer while discussing the movies. For the Breaking Bad pocast I brought with me Boneshire beer and for the Mandalorian and Irishman podcasts I brought Pizza Boy beer, and we also sampled some Troegs as well.


Since I started off this post about seeing Star Wars, and this being such a cultural phenomena, and Star Wars being one of my biggest joys and loves, and a huge factor into things, I can’t not use this space to discuss it. So if you have no interest in Star Wars, you can stop reading here (or skip to the bottom where I give credits, and a few last second blog comments, and my sources) or if you want to see my thoughts on Star Wars and Rise of Skywalker, you can continue. I will keep it spoiler free.

As I said, I’ll keep this spoiler free, which for the movie makes it hard to review, so this won’t be the biggest review you’ll read. At some point, somewhere, I’ll post up on my thoughts in full on it, and I’ll probably link it here in the blog. Likewise, most certainly, we’ll be doing a podcast on the movie, and it will be spoiler heavy, and you can listen to that then as well.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Episode IX

I…. well… I didn’t hate it. Its certainly no The Last Jedi (take that however you want, but let it be known, I am not a fan of it). This is certainly not a masterpiece movie, and its probably not the final movie of the series that we needed. I will say; and this isn’t a spoiler, unless you’ve avoided movie posters, and all trailers and pictures of the movie – Emperor Palpatine’s return is…. so meh. It reeks of desperation, and it reeks of ‘we need a new bad guy!’. I know there has been some hints and things about the Emperor in the new canon’s EU (Expanded Universe) – through books like Aftermath trilogy and the comics Shattered Empire, but even then it didn’t really hint at his return, and kind of made it all seem like it was a set-up for Snoke. Who we saw in The Last Jedi is not the big main baddie. So Emperor Palpatine’s return is very meh and very lackluster.

I will say, I’m also not a fan of exactly how Kylo Ren / Ben Solo has been handled, but I think he was done very well here. Rey is super over-powered in this movie, moreso than in the previous two, and if you watch the movie, I know the explanation they’ll give, but its not really one I buy. I think another disappointing character becomes Finn. Who potentially had a very cool backstory and arc – a stormtrooper who defects, and becomes good, but that gets all kind of shunted to the side to make him just a sidekick. Poe certainly becomes a main character; far more than in The Force Awakens here. Leia is handled well… considering the real life issues of Carrie Fisher’s passing away. So there was certain limitations in how they could handle her character, and I think they did it very nicely.

At the end of this though, I think the biggest takeaway though, is that its not a good wrap of the entire saga. The whole 9 movie saga feels ‘changed’ and not for the better because of how the Sequel Trilogy (ST) impacts both the Original Trilogy (OT) and the Prequel Trilogy (PT). I know the PT had a lot of flaws and problems, but I never thought it undermined or made the OT worse. Whereas the ST feels like it made the OT worse; and undermines a lot of it. Mainly Anakin / Vader’s descent, fall, rise, and redemption. It also seems to undermine Luke in the grand scheme of those things as well. It also makes the sacrifice of our beloved characters in the OT more meaningless; and not because of their being a new war, but because its the SAME war over again, and because their characters reverted – Han – or were ruined – Luke – or underutilized – Chewie / R2-D2; only Leia really gets usage and remains primarily unscathed (as far as character persona).

I will say the movie felt impressive, and looked impressive. It was a Marvel superhero formulaic movie, mixed with a big (BIG) budget blockbuster and thrown in some Star Wars. This might be the future and new wave of Star Wars; I dunno, maybe I’m an old curmudgeon, but I’m not a fan of it. I do love The Mandalorian, and I did love Rogue One, but this trilogy just didn’t do anything for me. The lack of cohesion, the undoing of TFA by TLJ and then the undoing of TLJ by TRoS, just…. its flattening and its disappointing and depressing. Especially given that this is the complete wrap-up of 40 some years and 9 movies and so much more.

My movie ranks for Star Wars now goes:

5 – 4 – R1 – 6 – 3 – 7 – Solo – 9 – 1 – 2 – 8

Obviously thats subjective, so take it with a grain of salt, and some of those could be interchanged. And with future viewings might change too. Your mileage will obviously vary. If you want to discuss it more, I will answer questions / thoughts in comments (or we can move to private then if you want to discuss spoilers). Please, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the movie, so be sure to leave some thoughts or comments here on the blog, I’d love to hear it!


Ok, back to blog stuff and this post stuff. Be sure if you check out The Hog at Boneshire Brew Works, you check in at The Wall along the back leading to the bathroom, that is where you will most likely see Mike Luckovich, and by the corner of the bar is where you will most likely see Dan Ploch. Tell them good job and congrats.

Hop sources are:

You can check out Boneshire Brew Works here on Untappd: Boneshire Brew Works. And make sure you check out The Hog on Untappd. And check out The Wall location on Untappd to see the collaborators.

As always, thanks for reading, be sure to leave a comment – on either the beer, or Star Wars, or Rise of Skywalker, or whatever, be sure to click follow, like, rate, all that good stuff. And we would as always, ever so gladly appreciate you following us on Twitter and Facebook and passing this on and sharing it. Hopefully you all enjoy reading this as much as we do writing it and drinking it.

In the coming weeks you can expect some end of year re-caps and beer reviews and brewery things, as well as our trip out to Mellow Mink this thursday (Dec. 26th). So be on the lookout for that as well. Me and Josh will be making that trip, so we will both most likely be writing something up. Sorry this review took a while writing and getting out there, started the title of it Thursday night, did a little writing Friday amongst the thousands of errands I ran, wrote the bulk of it Saturday night (Winter Solstice) after work, but finished it this morning (Sunday the 22nd). But its done and out there, so hopefully you enjoy.

Also, check out our buddies at Let Us Drink Beer’s blog where they interviewed beer bloggers, writers, journalists, podcasters, and YouTubers from around the country – (myself included) – and asked them what their drinking for Christmas. You can find the article here: What Craft Beer Enthusiasts Are Drinking For Christmas.

As always everyone, cheers, and enjoy your holidays, tomorrow is Festivus afterall. Can’t wait to hear some airing of grievances and seeing some feats of strength.

Cheers all!

-B. Kline

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