Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

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category-iconBeer Reviews

Bow Down Before King Sue

July 27, 2018

By Jerard Fagerberg, July 27, 2018

Psuedo Sue is a damn-near perfect beer; it’s an IPA icon. It’s the beer that single handedly turned Decorah, Iowa, into a craft beer destination. How could it get any better? Toppling Goliath attempts to answer that question with King Sue, the doubled-up sister brew to their T. rex of a flagship. Recently released in 16-ounce four-packs in an expanded distribution area, this gloriously over-Citra-ed double IPA is more available than ever, meaning that it’s big fish, little pond complex just went national. How does this monarch from the Midwest compare when it steps down from its throne and into the national craft beer scene?


King Sue pours ambrosiac orange with a slight milky film. The color is the part of the tangerine between the rhind and the fruit. It’s that same fresh-squeezed, opaque creamsicle color that Alchemist and Trillium have made famous, but King Sue brings the pith. It’s a mesmerizing color. You keep waiting for the cloudiness to separate into a thousand layers of fruit and hop and liquid sunlight, but King Sue maintains its suspension.

It’s a big, fresh pillow of succulence. Press your forehead to the floor and thank the sky sovereigns that this beer exists.”


One sniff of King Sue, and you’ll know you’re breathing rarefied air. Since Citra is the workhorse hop, you get fragrances of pineapple, mango, mandarin orange and grapefruit. All the fruits smell like they’ve fallen from the tree and ripened to a fragrant mush. Dig beneath that layer to unearth grassiness and ganja-like dank. That’s King Sue proving its magnate spans from coast to coast.


You could likely trick a beer novice into believing this beer contains no malt. Any modicum of sweetness or roastiness are utterly subjugated by the raw, fresh power of the hops, which preside indominably through every phase of your sip. Did Psuedo Sue need the extra injection of Citra? Royals do not bother with questions of necessity.


If Psuedo Sue is great, King Sue is superlative. If Psuedo Sue is exceptional, King Sue is anointed. Even without the antecedent, King Sue would still reign as a world-class beer, but having that point of comparison illustrates the revelation that is this beer. It’s a big, fresh pillow of succulence. Press your forehead to the floor and thank the sky sovereigns that this beer exists.

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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