First order of business is to hop on the honesty train and admit the first few times I tried the beers from Singlecut Beersmiths in Astoria and which included several trips to the brewery I wasn't blown away by their beers. On one of our early dates my girlfriend went for a run over the Tri-borough (or RFK Bridge, whatever) which terminated at the brewery to quench our thirst. She had a variety of the Kim, I believe Hibiscus which kicked off her torrid love affair with sours of just about any variety. I drank up and down the tap list, a few of the IPAs in the Billy series and definitely a pint or two of the Jan. I enjoyed most of what I consumed that day but nothing I drank left me itching for more.
As of late 2015 things started to change at Singlecut, they drastically increased their production capacity and installed a bottling line to the brewery. And along with some fancy new toys and apparently plans to install additional seating in a mezzanine level of the high-ceiling taproom the beers started to change as well.
The original set of beers was very lager heavy and most were all agreeable for the masses. But that was just it, they were agreeable, there wasn't anything worth shouting from the roof tops to tell the world about. Then came the rotational IPA series of beers which really started to stand out. Maybe they don't get the same hype as some other IPAs being brewed in NYC right now but at least you don't have to wait in line for hours or scour multiple bottle shops just to accumulate a four pack of pints.
In recent weeks I've had a chance to try a few of them including Mo' Shuggie Soulbender and Bon Bon 2x TNT. Both beers had aromas and flavors that I or just about any hop fiending beer nerd would go out of their way to find in order to get their fix. I tried the Soulbender by chance when it was on tap at a local beer bar and I wasn't expecting such a juicy hop aroma (with a fair amount of pine) and the taste was bright and heavy on the citrus with just the right about of bitterness. The Bon Bon had much more tropical fruit on the nose and is definitely a bit maltier but I had a very fresh bottle so that bitterness offset any unwelcome caramel flavors.
Whether on tap or bottled fresh (they just started stamping dates) the next time you see any of the SInglecut IPAs I highly recommend you give them a try. I'd also say they same for taking a little walk beyond the last stop on the N/Q train line to check out the taproom at the brewery.
**Don't mind the Money IPA from Barrier in this picture, it was from a bottle share with friends.
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