Humble Forager’s Elevated Perspective Goes Rogue in Pursuit of PerfectionNovember 10, 2020
Minnesota liquor laws are among the most arbitrary in the country. We won’t get into it now, but Rochester’s Forager Brewing knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Forager makes some of the Midwest’s most renowned beers, but as a brewpub, it’s prohibited by Minnesota law from selling beer in bars, liquor stores, and restaurants. Last October, it launched Humble Forager, a label that contract brews Forager recipes at Wisconsin’s Octopi Brewing, finding a work-around to the absurd Minnesota law keeping their beer off shelves.
Humble Forager led the launch with Elevated Perspective, a line of daring double IPAs. It has dropped two variants since, but the just-released Elevated Perspective V3 somehow ups the incredibly high standard Forager began with. It comes with a nearly indiscernible list of qualifiers—double dry-hopped imperial oat IPA with Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy, and Citra hops—but beneath the jargon and the local politics is an innovative beer that could define this venture.
Forager has always been regarded for its New England-style IPAs, but this edition of Elevated Perspective outdoes almost all of them. Remarkably soft and juicy, it spills aromas of bergamot and candied apricot. The softness is an effect of the oat cream in the malt bill—a difficult flourish to accomplish in the brewhouse, but one that pays off immediately. The beer has the consistency of an overripe peach—with all the Citra and late-boil hops, you could practically sink your teeth into it. But Elevated Perspective doesn’t just play the haze card and call it a day.
Peel back the fruit sensations, and you get to the resinous core of the beer. Elevated Perspective’s backbone is built of sticky pine tar, a hidden current of bitterness that rises at the end of each sip. And it is a joy to be caught in the see-saw between the up-front juiciness and resonant dankness.
In that way, Elevated Perspective is an excellent metaphor for Humble Forager itself. Between two poles, a moment of satisfaction that makes all the trouble worth it.