Beer Review: The Phantasm Menace (Second Sin Brewing Company)
Beer Review: The Phantasm Menace (Second Sin Brewing Company)
First, let’s jump back a couple of weeks (alright… all the way back to Tuesday July 26th), and a fantastic package came from our friends at Second Sin Brewing Company while I’m cutting and picking a few of my Chinook hops here at The Beer Thrillers Headquarters (or Bender Braus Brewery). Wasn’t a full hop harvest day, was just a gentle pickings and cuttings of some of my Chinook and Cascade Hops and getting a gallon bag of Chinook hops. But it was the first of the year and the start for the year for my hop harvest.
Second Sin Delivery
There is absolutely nothing better than beer mail. Especially when it comes as such a great gift from Second Sin Brewing Company! They had just announced the release of The Phantasm Menace, a Star Wars themed IPA using Phantasm powder, and I knew I was going to need it for 1) drinking reasons, 2) for Star Wars reasons, 3) for blog reasons, and 4) for Star Wars TV show day beer drinking and reviewing reasons on the blog…… ok, let’s just be honest with ourselves here — for drinking reasons that I could justify by saying “I’ll review it for the blog”.
Since I wouldn’t be able to get out to Bristol Pennsylvania before they sold out of it, I reached out to the devoted fans of Second Sin Brewing at the Facebook group – Disciples of Second Sin – and asked if anyone could hook a Star Wars beer loving nerd up with a can or more, either for trade or for sale (on the down – low if for sale of course). Thats when Mike Beresky personally reached out to me.
Mike Beresky is one of the owners of Second Sin Brewing Company and went out of his way to not only hook me up with a sweet package, but all on their own dime, initiative, and care. Completely above and beyond and totally unanticipated but very (very, very, very) much appreciated!
So needless to say I was completely ecstatic while out trimming, cutting, and picking hops when this fantastic delivery gets dropped off here at Casa De Kline (or The Beer Thrillers HQ). Not only did he hook me up with two ‘The Phantasm Menace’, but also two of their ‘Kolsch’ and two of ‘Dragged into Sunlight’ (both of which have reviews that are getting published shortly), as well as a sweet glass to top it all off.
Once again then, let me give a huge shout out to Mike Beresky and Second Sin Brewing Company. I can’t wait to get out to the brewery and give them a huge thanks, hopefully it’ll be by the end of the year (which means hopefully before the end of November, because most likely after Scarlet Emma is born, the traveling to breweries will slow down for a bit).
Second Sin Brewing Company
Speaking of Second Sin Brewing Company, let’s talk about the brewery itself before we get into the beer review. From Untappd:
Second Sin Brewing Company is a micro brewery from Bristol, Pennsylvania. They have 244 unique beers with 22, 393 ratings and a global average rating of 4.09 (as of 9.21.22). There is no description of the brewery listed on Untappd.
While of course its not THEE Star Wars Day (May the Fourth), it is a “Star Wars Day” here on the blog. Which means – its the day of a new episode of Star Wars TV released. We’ve done in the past, a new beer on each episode’s release of The Book of Boba Fett and the Obi-Wan Kenobi shows. Today is the premier of Andor (the Cassian Andor show) on Disney+.
Unlike in the past where I did a separate beer review for each episode, I’m going to do just one for today despite Disney+ releasing the first three episodes of Andor today (9.21.22). (One, it would be a bit much to do and have three different beer reviews to go today – and secondly, I would run out of Star Wars themed beers in no time.)
My understanding of the Andor show is that its a full season, but kind of broken up in three episode arcs. Which kind of explains why they decided to release the first three episodes as a bundle on the day of the premier. (They did this similarly with the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, which they released the first two episodes at once. Although, that was slightly different, and was a direct straight run of a show.)
I will come back to discussing the show, with spoilers and such after the full beer review. If you wish not to be spoiled, make sure to skip that area of this beer review blog post. And now, without further delay, lets get to the beer review……..
Beer Review: The Phantasm Menace
Now that we’re finally at the beer review, let’s dive right into this delicious juicy beer!
Beer: The Phantasm Menace Brewery: Second Sin Brewing Company Style: IPA – New England / Hazy ABV: 6% IBU: None Untappd Description: This beer is our first foray into using the new hotness in brewing – Phantasm. Phantasm is a powder made from dried wine grapes that are high in a chemical compound called thiols. There’s not enough room to go into it here, but suffice it to say thiols can be transformed by yeast into fruity, tropical flavors and aromas.
We paired that with some high thiol hops – Blanc, Crystal, Chinook, and Ekuanot – to amp things up and see what this new product can do in our Hazy IPAs.
Let’s start with the coloring of this beautiful beer. Golden hue, hazy, definitely a New England IPA through and through. It has a warm golden straw coloring that is opaque and looks beautiful. This is a wonderfully beautiful looking beer, keeping with the style completely. A great pillowy light, airy foamy head, left great lacing on the glass, and maintained its coloring throughout. Little to no sediment on the bottom with the entire beer poured into the glass. As you can see in the first pic it looked good during the day, and then when I had the second one later in the evening, it looked just as good at dusk and evening.
Aroma is fantastic as well. That great hop aroma that is so lovely and inviting with New England IPAs. It has that “just picked right off the hop vine” smell to it. The Chinook hops are the powerhouse of the aroma with this beer and I feel that the phantasm powder is just such a major boost to it, like steroids or hops on crack. Just lifts and boosts the hops aroma and flavor so much more. This has a great pine resin, woodsy, earthy aroma that gets added to it by a grapefruit and even grape fruit nose. The chinook and the crystal hops are certainly the leaders here, with the blanc hops adding their own distinct aromas as well.
Ok… time to put it all together and the true test of a beer…. and …. (sips… followed by deep sip….) wow – this is a delicious beer! When I want to describe a quintessential New England IPA to someone, this would be the beer I would give them to drink. This has everything you could ask for in a New England IPA; and probably even more. I am becoming more and more addicted to that phantasm powder in beers. Amy and I were even discussing it with the Fourscore Beer she reviewed – Phantomania (Beer Review: Phantomania by Fourscore Beer Company) – back in February before she became pregnant. We were looking at other beers that have used the phantasm powder and to do an article on that. The powder really brings out the smells, tastes, the flavors, the aromas, all of what makes hops… well… hops, but pumps them full of steroids basically. Its like taking the 120 lb kid in middle school and getting him pumped up and letting him loose in the WWE as a 280 lb monster of a wrestler. As for the hops, it has an earthy, woodsy, pine, pine resin, somewhat west coast IPA like taste; but it does get a drier finish most likely from the blanc hops (possibly because of the phantasm powder, but I contribute it to the blanc hops). There is certainly fruity notes and flavors, namely grapefruit, grape skin, there is a light lime lemon touch to it. There is a bit of a tropical hint to it all, I don’t think its super strong or overpowering, but its certainly there and noticeable, this could be from the yeast and thiols, from the Eukanot hops, and all in all the combination therein is probably the answer. I will just repeat that I absolutely loved the beer, it was downright tasty, delicious, quenched my thirst, and certainly made me want to go for the second can. The 6% low level ABV for the beer also makes it a nice steady day beer, not super sessionable or crushable but certainly not knocking you off the bar stool either.
Last but not least, we can discuss the can art. A simple red can art with a nice drawing of Darth Maul, and a great pun of a name (The Phantom Menace to The Phantasm Menace).
My Untappd Rating: ****.25 Global Untappd Rating: 4.1 (as of 9.21.22)
Spoilers alert. Klaxon sirens. Spoiler alert. I will be discussing some spoilers after this.
Disney+ released the first three episodes of Andor this morning (Wednesday, September 21st, 2022). And I am absolutely over the top about the show. If you squint… it looks and feels like Star Wars. Its refreshing, promising, and nice to see; a change of pace really. Unlike Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Mandalorian and the horrid ‘The Book of Boba Fett’, this feels like a gritty, adult, sci – fi show that happens to be set in the Star Wars universe. Its nice seeing that the only characters who have appeared before in Star Wars films will be – Cassian Andor (Rogue One), Saw Guerra (Rogue One, The Clone Wars, Rebels), and Mon Mothma (Return of the Jedi, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, The Clone Wars, Rebels).
Its almost like a William Gibson version of what Star Wars could be. Its gritty. Its dark. Its real. Its beautifully shot. But all in a different way to how other Disney offerings have been. Where the sequel trilogy felt like a bad version of new Star Wars, like an addition, a poor man’s add on to the Star Wars universe; or The Mandalorian which feels like its a love letter written by fanboys to other fanboys; or The Book of Boba Fett which was just a horrible show through and through; to Obi-Wan Kenobi which was a hit or miss interesting take on an intimate drama set in Star Wars but also felt… somewhat unnecessary and with some poor scenes that didn’t make sense.
This, feels like its Star Wars, but NOT Star Wars. There’s no lightsabers. There’s little connection to other source materials, but all in a good way. (At least to me anyway.) These three episodes were done very well, with a tightly woven story arc. Which is what the season / series seems to be aiming for – three episode arcs that will tie together as a full story leading up to Rogue One; leading up to the Rebellion’s beginnings; leading to in essence to A New Hope.
Be sure to check back here with the blog next Wednesday for another Star Wars themed beer review, and more discussion about Andor!
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As always, let me say thank you everyone for reading. Also, a huge (HUGE!) shout out to Mike Beresky of Second Sin Brewing Company for the great package and beers! Thanks so much!
Sorry for getting this review out late in the day, but time runs out on us all. Worked yesterday 11 to 7, and was hoping to have most of this finished (writing over from my beer notes, adding things, discussions, etc.) so I could just add the Andor parts in the morning. But post work, we stopped at Home Depot to pick up supplies for the baby room (Scarlet Emma will be here before we know it!) as well as everything I need to finish the back patio. Then when I got up this morning at 5AM to watch the show, time slipped away, and had to do a lot of chores about the house and only got two episodes of the three finished, and didn’t get to finish up the article. Then I worked 10 – 6 today at the casino, and we stopped for groceries afterwards, and now I’m finally got episode three watched and got to finish the article.
I hope you all enjoyed it. And can’t wait to look forward to seeing you guys here at the blog for our Game of Thrones Sundays as well as our Star Wars Wednesdays. Please be sure to check out the site and leave us any feedback or comments you have.
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