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Fantasy Factory - Karben4 Brewing

Not Rated.
Fantasy FactoryFantasy Factory

Educational use only; do not reuse.

51 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 385
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 30.48%
Wants: 39
Gots: 82 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Karben4 Brewing visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Ri0 on 06-11-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 385
Photo of tylerMKE
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thin head w/ light amber body. Aroma is tropical and citrus notes, primarily mango and orange. Taste differs from nose slightly, in that there is more grapefruit and resin in the profile. Juicy mouthfeel and crisp, clean finish. Thumbs up to Karben4 on this one. Definitely better than your average IPA. Reminds me of Zombie Dust, but with more tropical notes.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.66/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Karben4 Fantasy Factory IPA has a thin, off-white head, an initially clear, golden-orange appearance, which gets very murky, once the brown sludge at the bottom of the bottle is swished and poured in. The aroma is of tropical fruit, hop resin, flower nectar, and rather intense hop resin. Taste is of sweet, white bread, sugar crystals, lightly browned bread crust, hop oil, and pine. Mouthfeel is medium, and Karben4 Fantasy Factory IPA finishes dry and drinkable.


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Photo of tbryan5
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into tulip

A-Pours a very hazy orange with medium head that leaves a little lacing.

S-blood Orange, sweet citrus, slight pine

T- Blood orange, ripe, sweet citrus, notes of some earthy pine

F- Medium low carbonation,

D- I was surprised by this IPA. Not a hop bomb, just a very well balanced beer all around. Would get it again if I was in their distro.

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Photo of HoppedChef84
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer was shipped to me from Wisconsin, and if it was this good after traveling cross country, I can only imagine it fresh. Holy shit this one is a winner. Beautiful juicy hop flavor very reminiscent of my favorites out here in RI. i would go on record saying this is one of the most memorable IPAs I've had in a while.

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Photo of stakem
3.38/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks Kegatron. 12oz bottle into a tulip appears a clouded copper color with white cap thats quick to fade leaving spotty lace. Even thoufh I left a decent bit of beer in the bottle when pouring, some yeast chunkage found its way into my glass.

This smells fruity of alcohol moreso than hops. Its herbal, citrus, pithy and pulpy with slight solvent in the nose.

Its taste is bitter and slightly solvent. Some herbal aspect with citrus pith and pulp.

This is medium in body with modest carbonation. A pretty decent albeit average ipa that I think might be a bit dated but no way to tell since there was no frehness indication.

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Photo of kbwalters
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured cold into a tulip glass. Bottled on 10/11/14, consumed on 10/28/14.
Look = 4.5 Pours a cloudy golden orange color with two fingers of frothy off white head. Great retention and great lace on this one.
Aroma = 4.75 Super juicy hops, citrus and tropical fruits. Orange juice, smell wonderful.
Taste = 4.0 Citrus and tropical fruit hops lead the way. Theres a bit of sweet malt balance in the middle followed by a mild bitter finish.
Feel = 3.75 Light bodied and light to medium carbonation - comes off a little watery and a little flat though refreshing.
Drinkability = 4.25 Hoppy and juicy, easy drinking IPA.
Overall = 4.25 Aroma really stands out on this one. Great all around beer, hurt a little by the mouthfeel.

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Photo of pkalix
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

very cloudy and i swear i got a wholesome 'belgian yeast' on the nose..... but the aroma off the bottle was excellent! hard to explain, but a very hearty, hoppy aroma.....
fruity taste.... orange, citrus..... very 'amateur-ish' flavor, yet very, very good.... not refined.
heavy on the palate.
all these qualities together gives it the 'amateur' (maybe like a homebrew?) feel but it is very tasty and delicious!
awesome label artwork also..... is he blowing flames out of his a$$$????

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice orange body with average carb. Smell is juicy. This is a well balanced IPA. You get notes of bitterness, citrus juice, and sweet malt. Nothing really shines but all is well integrated. Mouthfeel is slick.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Hopcat in Madison, WI.

Overall a very good IPA; probably the best non-New Glarus WI beer I had last weekend. Citrus hops, grapefruit, oranges, resin, pine hops, and fruity malts. Light bitter bite but pretty easy to drink. Would like to have it again.

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Photo of Circles313
4.91/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This brew should be in the best 10 IPA's of all time!

It's light, crisp & refreshing while still juicy with an amazing body! Notes of; Grapefruit, Orange, mango, tangerines & pear.

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Photo of core42
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is an excellent version of a Midwest style IPA where it has a great hoppy, almost orange juicy smell to it. It has great hop presence up front but that malty backbone to keep it in check. This is a great IPA

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First tasted from draft in a pint glass at Monk's on July 5, 2015. Tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 12 oz bottle for this review. Look is cloudy golden orange, quickly fading head and lingering lacing. Smell is a complex combination of bitter citrus fruit and floral notes balanced with sweet malts. Taste is citrus fruit balanced nicely with sweet malts. Feel medium but velvety smooth finish.

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Photo of richj1970
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into goblet. No visible bottle date.

A: Golden orange with one finger white head that dissipated fairly quickly. Some sticky lacing.

S: Light floral and citrus hops.

T: Grapefruit and orange zest mixed with a nice balanced malt backbone. Hints of a little spice that I can't quite place.

M: Medium body and average carbonation. Finish is slightly bitter.

O: Very nice IPA. My first beer from Karben4 and I might need to try a few more.

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Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy orange, lasting coverage, there's some floating sediment in suspension. Spotty bits of lace around the edges.

Fresh citrusy aroma, grapefruit pith, fairly mild.

Bittersweet flavors of orange zest and grapefruit, dry and lightly bitter aftertaste. Light pale malt undercurrent present too, thankfully not sticky sweet. Nicely balanced and very drinkable, it's medium bodied and flavorful.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.47/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dense, frothy white head with great retention. Bright citrus aroma. Hazy, straw color. Starts with a very bitter, citrus rind flavor. Smooths out considerably to a flash of malt with lots of remaining citrus. Lingering citrus rind.

This isn't too bad. It's a bit one-dimensional; citrus rind. Luckily, the bitterness isn't cumulative and lingering, which makes the finish enjoyable. It's well made, but not for me; I prefer the Midwest "Hoppy, but not too bitter" IPA.

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Photo of Uhopia
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I feel sorry (not really) for all you folks that can't get a taste of a FF. Or just Fantasy, as the locals call it. Come on, who doesn't dig a black cat with a golden gun riding a fricken fire-breathing unicorn w rainbows and puppy dogs on the label! OK I made up the puppy dog thing but seriously, it's a great name with a great label on a bottle of a truly great beer. I'd give this baby the Pepsi Challenge to any APA, any AP where.

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Photo of YalovaIA
3.46/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the reviews I have to guess this beer is a bit inconsistent. My batch, on tap at Paul's Club, had a very light nose. Taste was more crackery malt than I like and much less tropical fruits and citrus than other report. It got better as it warmed. I'd like to give it another shot and see how that batch goes.

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Photo of pagriley
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L- deep orange, like cloudy orange juice. Some lacing. Amazing color
S- sweet oranges, bitter citrus behind. Fantastic
T-orange rind with balanced malt sweetness. Very smooth and clean with almost perfect bitterness to round out
F- almost creamy with fine carbonation. Velvety and dangerously smooth

Overall a sublime IPA. New benchmark beer for me and awfully close to beating Zombie Dust as a personal favorite. Will be seeking this out very regularly

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Photo of Mulcahey
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Citrusy, hoppy goodness.

I'm (happily) not as sophisticated as most of the reviewers around here. I'm just drinking the beer. I'm not applying it to my vagina.

Here's how I review: If I've never enjoyed a beer more than the one I'm reviewing, then it gets a five. The rest are scaled accordingly.

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Photo of scaliasux
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L - Harvest yellow. Quite hazy. Short but persistent foamy ivory head.
S - Grapefruit, orange, tropical hops. Light sweet bready malt.
T - Bready malts dampen the fruity and resiny hops. Grapefruit, orange, tropical flavors and bitterness are prominent, but rather less overpowering than many American IPAs

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Photo of JamesStreet
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade with no bottled or best by date. Poured into small goblet
A- orange-straw color with a 1/2 finger of off-white head that produced medium-thick bubbles. Small amount of lacing down glass
S- grapefruit and pineapple primarily with some mango and orange secondary. Not overpowering hop blast because you do get a sense of some bread-like malt in there as well. Hidden in there are also floral hints of hibiscus and rose.
T- pretty nice malt/hop balance with the biscuity malt still making it's presence known. The primary nose of citrus continues in the taste as well although the bitterness is kept mild. Mango, orange marmalade and rose water also mingle in the back of the sip.
M- medium feel but seems a tad over-carbed.
O- very sweet extra in trade and tastes like what is becoming the standard profile for American IPAs. Nothing extraordinarily world-beating about this beer but it is definitely solid representation of its style.

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Photo of milwaukee512
4.96/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is a fantastic beer from a new Madison brewery. Reminds me of Bell's Two Hearted Ale, and that's a very high compliment. Smooth and easy drinking, but in no way short on flavor. Citrus-y hop flavor with a perfect balance and nice carbonation. I've tried just about every IPA made in Wisconsin, and this one tops them all. Ale Asylum's Velveteen Habit, New Glarus' Scream IIPA or Moon Man. and Wisconsin Brewing's Yankee Buzzard are all fantastic, but if I had to pick one this one gets my vote. Madison, WI is killing Milwaukee in the IPA (actually craft beer in general) game these days.

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Photo of Schmitfaced414
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a good beer with a great label. It was still worth the purchase, but I may have been too excited by the unicorn. I will look for it again next time I am traveling through Madison. Go Bucky!

For a more detailed review, See below by Kojevergas.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.16/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"Fantasy Factory"

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Branded green pry-off pressure cap. Boasts some of the best label art I've ever seen.

Acquired: via trade with Duff27. Thanks, man!

Reviewed live at low altitude in Austin, TX. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Vintage: 2015.
ABV: 6.3% ABV.
Style: IPA (per the label).
Serving Temp: Cold.
Serving vessel: Pilsner glass.
Expectations: High. I was pleasantly surprised with Silk Scorpion.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~1 inch wide. Off-white colour. Nice creamy thick consistency. Even-keeled, soft-looking, and aptly frothy for the style. Leaves a light ring of lacing as it recedes.

Retention: ~4-5 minutes. Pretty good for the style.

BODY: Striking, with an unusual haziness suggestive of hop oils. Translucent transparent yellow-copper of below average vibrance. No yeast particles or hop sediment is visible, but I wouldn't call it a clean appearance.

Appears well-carbonated, with a body indicative of a lack of filtration.

AROMA: Pale malts, biscuit malt, graham cracker, clean barley. The malts seem nicely in step with the hop profile, which is comprised of dank resins, pleasant floral character, and some tropical fruit (primarily mango and tangerine). Given the tropical leanings, I suspect new world hop varieties were used (I'm not great at guessing, but maybe mosaic, galaxy, or the like).

No yeast character, booze, or off-notes are detectable.

Aromatic intensity: above average.

Suggests a sticky coating brew with a rough-around-the-edges balance and a ripe taste.

TASTE: The pale malt backbone is bolstered by some English leaning biscuit malt as well as a dab of caramalt and some pleasant graham cracker character on the fringe.

The hop profile is dominated by tropical fruit: mango, tangerine, maybe a bit of pineapple (which is a note I usually despise in beer, but it doesn't bother me here). Resinous, with touches of dank herbal character. It's a biteen candied, which doesn't do it any favours. In spite of the tangerine, I'm reticent to call this citrusy; there aren't juicy fruity bursts of orange or grapefruit. It has some floral character, of course, but it's secondary to the ripe tropical fruit. As it comes to temperature, I pick up on some faint pith, but no real fruit peel. A kiss of bitter rind, sure.

Depth of flavour: Average.
Flavour duration: Average.
Flavour intensity: Average, though notable considering its scant 6.30% ABV.
Flavour amplitude: Nice.

It's a decently balanced brew, but isn't quite dialed in; there's not a harmony of malts to hops, and I find it a bit too sweet. It's complex for its modest ABV, but sure there are far more intricate IPAs out there.

No yeast character or off-notes come through, though the alcohol is far more noticeable than it should be.

Constructively, I'd like to see them tone down the sweetness (starting with removing the candied element and some caramalt) and play up the fruit. The pineapple needs to go, and some flaked malts would leaven the body appropriately.

TEXTURE: Chewy, slightly oily, medium-bodied, and a touch too thick. Smooth and wet enough to be refreshing without going full-out slick and reducing flavour duration. Overcarbonated.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

This mouthfeel complements the taste well enough, but doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to the flavour profile and fails to elevate the beer. No notes are accentuated, aside from maybe the mild hop oil flavour. A cleaner, lighter body would provide more effective delivery of flavour.

OVERALL: Drinkable though this is, the discerning drinker will be unimpressed. It's a nice IPA from Wisconsin and I'm glad I got to try it, but the wide availability of superior offerings will make this a brew I don't intend to revisit. Far from world-class, but it's clearly an inspired brew, and won't disappoint.

Huge thanks to Duff27 for the bottle!

C+ (3.16)

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Bell's tulip. Obviously the beer is unfiltered as lots of particulate have settled on the bottom (nothing wrong with that). The pour is quite hazy but a really attractive orange and apricot color that makes me thirsty just looking at it. It sports a thin layer of dingy white head. Really delightful nose on this one. Lots of ripe tropical fruit, primarily oranges, peaches, grapefruit, and pineapple.

Medium body, firm feel, and a really nice hop-forward flavor. Ample malt backbone, some fresh bread and marmalade and then some biting hop flavors of fresh grapefruit, lemon rind, rosehips, white pepper, and apricots. Nice stoney finish with plenty of lingering oily hop notes.

My first beer from Karben4 and I thought it was terrific. A top notch aggressive American IPA that hopheads will love, but it isn't ridiculously out of balance either.

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Fantasy Factory from Karben4 Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.