Across the country, brewers are joining forces with friends and even competitors to leverage each other’s strengths and create incredible, innovative new beers.
Third Phase Brewing Company (Pixel Density) of Lake Zurich, Illinois, has taken this idea to the extreme by partnering with Standard Meadery of Illinois to create Double Dry Barrel (DDH) Cross-Pollination Double Density.
If you’re a beer lover like me, you’re probably aware of the complex and diverse world of beer. The number of different types of scissors is incredible, but one common product has become available to consumers.
On the other hand, mead is perhaps a somewhat new concept for the ordinary beer drinker. Overall, however, this is not a new concept.
Since ancient times, honey has been used in Europe, Africa and Asia as a key ingredient to facilitate the fermentation process. This is in contrast to beer, which usually contains grains of malt (i.e. barley) for fermentation.
Like beer, mead comes in many varieties, ABV values and flavor profiles. In general, however, the use of honey results in a sweet, wine-like drink. It is sometimes even called honey wine. The flavour of a particular honey stick is a very accurate reflection of the variation in the honey used to produce it.
To be clear, cross-pollination is definitely beer, not mead. However, there are aspects of this drink that fully capture the spirit and flavor of mead.
Third Phase and Standard Midri have combined the two worlds by combining Citra hops with orange blossom honey and double dry hopping to create this wonderful 8.0% alcohol hybrid.
The label for this beer reflects this collaboration perfectly. The indications for three-stage brewing and standard meat processing are clear and present. In addition, the label features the traditional third stage of the hummingbird and the drone. The two approach Lilly and prepare to pollinate her.
Surrounding the glass is an intricate black and white floral arrangement, reminiscent of a very well done tattoo. The pattern is beautiful.
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When this beer is poured into a glass, it appears thick and dense. The color is deep gold and reminds me of the color of honey from certain angles.
The head sinks very little, but as one drinks, the heavy head sinks, a result of the thickness of the beer.
I loved the taste of this beer. Citra hops are very prominent in the nose with strong citrus and tropical notes including lemon and orange peel and pineapple.
The sweetness of honey is also present in the aroma, although not as strong as the flavor.
This beer is wild, and I mean that in the best sense of the word. First of all, this is a pure IPA, with a provisionally juicy citrus flavor. There is a hint of pine and a slight raw taste.
Then it changes immediately. The first thing you notice is that this beer is thick and creamy. Once in the mouth, it is reminiscent of a creamy ale.
The orange honey flower shines in the aftertaste. As soon as you swallow, you get an explosion of dense, sweet honey flavor. The honey almost melts in your mouth and stays there for a while, with a very nice, smooth aftertaste.
I love IPAs and have been interested in mead for a while, but I don’t know where to start. So when I saw this collaboration, I really wanted to try it. Cross Pollination is one of the most unique beers I’ve tried, and honestly, I wasn’t sure about it at first. I do have to say that the more I drank, the more I enjoyed it.
For any modern beer drinker looking to get into mead, I can’t think of a better way to start this journey. Phase Three and Standard Honey have developed the perfect balance between their respective styles.
This beer is both a well-made IPA and a good introduction to mead. Personally, I’m looking forward to learning more about this mead.
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