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Fantasy Factory | Karben4 Brewing

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Fantasy FactoryFantasy Factory

Brewed by:
Karben4 Brewing
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Ri0 on 06-11-2013

For Trade:
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Reviews: 68 | Ratings: 543
Photo of robbieracer
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Superb IPA, my nephew introduced me to this beer while visiting in Wisconsin. Was my favorite beer back there, drank it on draft and in bottles. crisp, clean taste, not too bitter with nice finish. Looking forward to trying this again in the future.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For my 250th review, I chose a Wisconsin beer that I really enjoy that I've never gotten around to reviewing: Karben4's Fantasy Factory. I picked up a six-pack of 12 oz bottles at The Malt Shoppe in Milwaukee. No bottling code that I can see, but all the other bottles from the pack tasted quite fresh. Poured right from the fridge into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a cloudy, dirty apricot with about an inch of eggshell head that sticks around for a little while, falls to a moderate film and ring, and leaves mild lacing on the glass as it goes down. The lazy visible carbonation is mostly obscured by a good deal of very fine particulate that seems frozen in the glass.

S: A very unique and engaging bouquet on this one: there are orange and lemon citrus notes, pineapple notes, some melon, and some resinous pine. There's also a bit of grassy and tea-like hop aroma. The malts are bready and a bit toasty, which adds a nice element to the nose. As another BA mentioned, the whole show has a bit of a sugar cookie aroma to it.

T: Bready and sweeter caramel malts are there at the outset. Following on their heels is some bright, astringent hop flavor that tastes of lemon and orange. Toward the middle, there's a growing resinous pine presence, as well as grassy, spicy, and tea-like hop notes. Some melon and pineapple in the middle, with an accompanying sweetness and toasted quality from the malts. I'm enjoying where the malts help to take this flavor--they're definitely doing as much work as the hops here. The back end introduces some definite citrus rind/bitter resinous pine hop flavor, but there's still an underlying sweetness that keeps it from being abrasive.

F: This one is on the heftier side of light-bodied/the lightest side of medium-bodied, and it has a modest level of carbonation that keeps things lively and creamy on the palate. Smooth, astringent, creamy, and bitter in turns. While it does have a lighter body, I never got the impression that it tasted watery.

O: I'm a big fan of this IPA. I think the things I like most about it are its interesting and engaging aroma and somewhat offbeat flavor profile. The malts brings a sweet and toasty quality to the experience that really sets this one apart from most pale ales out there today. Which isn't to say that this one doesn't bring great hop flavor, because it really does have some great hop notes--a very nice blend of citrus, tropical, pine, and herbal. This one may not be for everyone, but I definitely recommend giving it a shot.

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Photo of ZAP
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

L-Peach colored...little head...light lacing

S-Ripe citrus fruits...juicy tangerines and mandarin orange slices...also a good dose of toasty malt notes as well

T-Toasty malt and fresh citrus.....(see above)....hops less assertive on flavor....very balanced IPA...

F-Biggest knock is the carbonation and body....a bit thin and carbonation is very low which makes this slide down very quick....not a sipper...a drinker...

O-I like the balance and overall flavor and aroma. Not a hop bomb and probably more of an East Coast style IPA. I find it quite enjoyable and a refreshing change.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy dark golden orange with a noticeable amount of flaky particulate which looks like the remnants of shaved orange skins.

Big juicy orange and lemony citrus fruit character, zesty and slightly grassy notes overpower any malt character in the aroma.

Pungent and juicy orange, lemon, pineapple, and some other slightly tropical fruit flavor.

Light-medium bodied, medium carbonation, nice prickly carbonation and smooth finish.

Overall, was very pleased with this beer as it's delicious. My only knock is the amount of particulate as it is definitely not yeast, which I don't mind in my beer, but looks like they need to filter better after mashing.

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Photo of DJChaseTheBase
3.77/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this from a 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. I feel I may have received a slightly dated IPA here due to the lack of citrus taste and overwhelmed funky bitterness taste. The aroma was great w/ extreme citrus notes, then when tasting I couldn't find the taste I was smelling due to the bitterness overpowering the beer. I wish there was a date on the bottle so I knew when this was brewed. I guess I will have to go to Wisconsin and try this on tap, because I'm not feeling it this time.

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Photo of Peepskp
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is an incredible IPA that needs more recognition. The dank smelling hops are really something special. Floral, citrus, well balanced. These guys know how to brew and are gonna be big.

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Photo of woemad
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of the largesse of @Ri0. Not only is this my first Karbon4 beer, but before I received this, I’d never even heard of the brewery. No obvious freshness date. There is some sort of code stamped on the bottle but it either has nothing to do with a date, or I’ve had too much to drink to be able to figure it out. Incidentally, this is one fantastically weird beer label. For those not in the know, it’s of a bandanna-wearing cat riding a flame-snorting unicorn while brandishing what looks like a Colt .45 (the pistol, not the beer). Rainbows and a castle can be seen in the background, along with glitter(?) that is apparently hanging in the air. Weird stuff, and I own albums and books of artwork from the likes of H.R. Giger and Roger Dean!

Poured into a pseudo-IPA glass from Mad Bomber Brewing, this was a burnt orange-amber colored brew, hazy with some really tiny sedimentary guys floating about, so small they look like Don Ho’s favorite subject. Big, sudsy, beige-colored head, easily agitated back to life after it fell, with “beer neglige” style lace left on the glass.

Grapefruity hop nose, a little subdued. Not as piney smelling as a typical PNW IPA (the IPA “style” I’ve had the most of), but not as sweetly citrusy and juicy as a stereotypical New England IPA. Is this my first standard Midwestern IPA? I think it is.

While the grapefruit leads the charge, there’s a more herbal, tea-like hop flavor in the middle of the taste, whose bitterness comes to dominate the finish, which ends dry, like pretty much any IPA, but softer than the perhaps brash, piney bitter finishes I’m more used to.

More or less medium bodied, perhaps a little thinner than I’m used to for an IPA, but not to a deal-breaking extent. Slightly creamy, resiny mouthfeel.

It occurs to me that I don’t think I’ve ever had a Midwest IPA before! This makes me wonder if this is a standard IPA for the region. It’s definitely a take on the IPA that is different than what I encounter generally in my own region. It’s kinda like an English IPA, but with balls, if that makes any sense. I’m finding myself wishing I had a bunch of Midwest IPAs and embarking on a taste test saga to see if, indeed, I’ve tapped into a regional variation, but I’d probably just end up drunk. While not a type of IPA I'm used to, I'd definitely drink this again.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. The aroma features a lot of fresh resinous citrusy hops. The taste as the color suggests is nicely balanced with a big dose of hops and a nice malt backbone to help balance things out. Solid IPA.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Top notch IPA here - one that I had been waiting to get my hands on. Benefits from not being too imbalanced in any direction - easy drinking lower ABV IPA. The label art is awesome of course, and the appearance of the beer follows suit - burnt orange with a look like it has been run through an Instagram filter for added depth. This is fairly sessionable too - light citrus rind notes backed up by enough of a solid back end to keep things ticking along.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Hazy amber with finger white head, great retention and coating lace. Aroma is mild tropical fruit, touch of sugary malt. Good balance here, starts with toasted malt but the hops show up quickly and take over. Mostly earthy pine and floral notes, a little fruit peeking in, but mostly resiny, touch of stem. Soft creamy medium mouthfeel. Very solid earthy IPA.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance -The beer was a golden orange color with a bubbly white head. Carbonation was visible.

Smell - There are modest citrus notes that blend with light grass/resin.

Taste - At the beginning, I detect orange rind, slight pineapple and a resiny twang. The light backbone brings to mind crackers, which lead nicely into a dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation is noted, quickly brushing away any sweet notes.

Overall - This is a fairly standard American IPA

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Photo of joe1510
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
$9.99 6-Pack
Discount Liquor - Milwaukee

Fantasy Factory is an orange libation. It glows like the setting sun when backlit. The touch of haze that runs throughout gives it that dusky appearance. The silky foam is linen white as it rises to a finger in height. Taking its sweet time to settles it leaves sheet lacing down the glass. Fantasy Factory is a damn good looking beer.

The nose is citrusy and softly tropical. Jammy orange marmalade gets things going before being met with peach rings, pineapple, and lime zest. This beer smells like a crazy fruit salad. There are some soft resins running through the backend as well. A Doughy maltiness makes up the majority of the malt profile but there's some sugar cookie in there as well.Nice.

The flavor profile is a little different from the nose. A sturdy resin and pine hoppiness is what grabs your attention and it pushes through from start to finish. The fruitiness plays accompaniment with grapefruit pith and soft pineapple. There is even a hint of florals going on in there. The malt profile is straight up sugar cookie and toast in the flavor, while that's noticeable this is no doubt geared toward hops.

The body sits at moderate in weight but a slick feel makes this beer incredibly easy to put away. The carbonation is nearly unnoticeable in that it's not prickly, aggressive nor nonexistent or flat. It's just right.
The bitterness builds to moderate and hovers around there throughout the drink. I can't say that I'm setting the glass down much while drinking this beer.

Fantasy Factory is a damn good beer from up 'der in Madison, you betcha. The hop profile is fruity and resinous jumping from one to the other. It's a highly drinkable libation as well.I'll certainly pick more of this up and the future and would recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of Hopera
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

With a bottle like that, you don't even really need the beer to be good. Luckily, it's one of the strongest small craft brews I've had the pleasure of tasting on a whim. Super murky and wonderful, it takes the esb and ipa characteristics and blends them in a fine, earthy brew that is super drinkable. If you come across this, buy it!

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Photo of Carb-Overlord
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

So this is what happens when final fantasy dorks form a brewing company... awesomeness. Strangely, what caught my eye in the store was the artwork. I keep asking myself, "is there fire shooting out the backside of that unicorn? ... huh... "

This is a very solid IPA. This has a fresh crisp feel with that citrusy grapefruit flavor upfront with a bitter backend (just like the flames of that unicorn). I would love this beer after push mowing the lawn or a marathon session of gaming. Well played team. Well played.

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Photo of bfrank8
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Mix of IPA & ESB, has a malty sweetness. I think it has similarities to Rogue Brutal IPA. Don't see the Pale Ale/ Zombie Dust comparisons. Solid beer.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours from the bottle a somewhat hazy/almost cloudy orange with an off-white head that leaves plenty of lacing.
Big aroma of citrus, pineapple, and pith with a hint of sugary sweetness.
Tasty beer. Big fruit flavor up front. Oranges, OJ, and pith on my tongue, perhaps a little sweet pineapple a bit of sugared toast before a pithy, finishing bitter.
Mouthfeel is medium and slightly drying.
Excellent beer.

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Photo of Roland7792
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely cloudy golden orange with nice lacing head. Aroma is very juicy with tropical fruit, tangerine or pineapple and floral spice. Tastes just the same but with some nice earthy resin and bread like malt. Feel is pretty spot on and crisp on the tongue. A well done IPA!

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Photo of tylerMKE
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
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 +11.2%
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 +4.5%
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 +11.7%
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 -19.3%
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 +1.2%
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 +1.7%
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 -12.9%
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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Fantasy Factory from Karben4 Brewing
4.19 out of 5 based on 543 ratings.
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