When it comes to Collective Arts Brewing, it is hard NOT to judge a book by its cover; or, in this case, a beer by its beautiful can art. These brew artisans out of Ontario, Canada have shot onto the scene by creating great beer and also collaborating with artists all over the world to create great cans.
In the past year, they've designed some of the best sleeves, including the ones covering their core lineup. Heading into an unknown liquor store is nerve wracking and knowing that these great beers can be identified by stand-out can design helps.
The limited release sampled for this specific review is IPA No. 3, which is the third installment in a series that began with a Nelson Sauvin, Simcoe, and Citra hop blend. IPA No. 3 is a combination of Crystal and Citra hops that could not complement each other more.
As the goldenrod beer pours, and the carbonation cascades up the side of the glass, you smell the aroma of a spring garden going toe-to-toe with overwhelming blows of grapefruit and lemongrass. These two hops harmonize to bring you the stylings of a citrus IPA and, in a more subtle form, a New England style haze bomb. It's as if summer and spring are fighting in a glass without any awareness of fall or winter.
Collective Arts is perfecting the idea of a true, singular beer that cannot be replicated.”
The complexity is brash, yet simple, just like the can art, designed by Ery Burns out of Bristol, UK. Collective Arts pays homage to two hops that create delicious beers separately and puts them together to showcase the best attributes of each. It is light, and almost session-able, for a brew that taps out at 7.1% alcohol by volume. As it sits, the flavor increases in dankness, as the Citra hops begin to form the backbone of a, seemingly, new beer. The duality of these hops are shown in the aroma, the initial sip, and throughout the warming process. It is hard to find a beer that does this well while epitomizing two separate hops in many different ways.
Their special IPA series has done this on three occasions, with a fourth on the way. Releasing beers without plan of re-release is something reminiscent of Tree House Brewing’s famed “Curiosity” series. Accumulating over forty one-off IPAs has been a staple throughout the history of the beer maker from Massachusetts.
Collective Arts is attempting their own series of specialized IPA for the experienced palate. This limited release goes hand in hand with the can art, which can be submitted directly to the website. The staff picks the best pieces that are sent in, and matches them with specific beers. Collective Arts is perfecting the idea of a true, singular beer that cannot be replicated.
From the flavor profile to the can itself, noteworthy attributes smack you in the face. Their BeerGraphs page displays a brewery that provides consistency. With the success of the newest installment in their IPA No. series, and a fourth remix on the way, this is one producer that is easy to keep an eye on as they continues to grow.
Finding great beer from an unknown source can be tricky. Craft beer drinkers know the pitfalls of investing into a passable brew. Every release from Collective Arts has a unique spin to it and the limited releases have shown to be simple, yet flashy.