I’m working a few shifts at Hops and Hocks this week to cover for a friend who’s out of town. On Friday night one of my favorite customers came in, and he ended up giving me a really cool beer to try!


Finback Brewery was founded in 2013 by two longtime friends. After home brewing for eight years Basil Lee and Kevin Stafford left their full time jobs to launch Finback in Glendale, Queens. I’ve consistently been impressed with the brewery’s canned IPAs, but didn’t know what to expect from Procrastination–an IPA brewed with coffee.


Procrastination pours hazy, dusty orange–the color of a dirty grapefruit. The nose is mostly tropical fruit, with just a suggestion of coffee beans in the background. At first you think it drinks like your typical North East IPA–creamy mouthfeel, juicy, tropical hop sweetness–but then a wave of coffee swoops in. The bitterness you would expect to taste in a cup of coffee or IPA is there, but but there’s also the roasty, mocha quality characteristic of a dark beer. So cool!

This was only my second or third coffee IPA, and I enjoyed Finback’s execution more than the others I’ve tried. I like how they added coffee but maintained the light/medium body and juiciness I seek in an IPA. Do you have a coffee IPA recommendation? What about another unusual coffee-infused style?


Pretty Swell

The hoppy selection for November Beer of the Month Club has been available in Virginia for a while, but just came to New York last month! I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know much about Maui Brewing Company before choosing their Big Swell for November’s package.

This is not Hawaii, but I thought maybe you could use a beach scene this morning.

MBC was founded in 2005 by San Diego native, Garret Marreo. They now have a brewpub in Lahaina, HI and a brand new brewery and tasting room in Kihei. MBC’s beer is delicious, but their commitment to the environment and local economy is even more impressive. They make their beer entirely in Hawaii, package using 100% recyclable materials, and their cans are designed by local artists. In a piece on Marreo stresses the role craft brewers play in stimulating the local economy; sourcing ingredients and materials locally puts money in the pockets of community residents.

Photo Credit: Maui Brewing Company
Photo Credit: Maui Brewing Company

Big Swell IPA, one of MBC’s flagships, has earthy and tropical hop flavors, caramel malt sweetness, and a long finish. As H&H cheesemonger, Jackie and I shared this brew behind the charcuterie counter, we swore that we detected a hint of salty ocean breeze on the nose. It might have been our imaginations running wild, though…

Happy Monday!
I know it’s gonna be a rough one, but remember, it’s just threeish weeks until the next holiday!