Fantasy Factory
Karben4 Brewing

Fantasy FactoryFantasy Factory
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
IPA - American
Ranked #240
ABV:
6.3%
Score:
91
Ranked #3,451
Avg:
4.11 | pDev: 10.71%
Reviews:
98
Ratings:
666
From:
Karben4 Brewing
 
Wisconsin, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  50
Gots
  195
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Fantasy FactoryFantasy Factory
Notes: Hopheads crusade on a heroic quest for the holy grail of India Pale Ales. The subconscious composes paradisiacal scenes of malty waves crashing on a ripe lupulin landscape cascading hop flavors and aromas in profuse abundance. With humble confidence we offer this brew as fantasy made reality. Balanced in every detail and gushing resinous, exceptional citrus flavors and aromas that collaborate with soft bready notes surrendered from premium English golden malted barley, this beer is a tropical dreamscape. Epic.
Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 666 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of cyclonece09
cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Pours deep orange with a small white head. Smells of citrus and floral hops, nice mixture and inviting. Tastes of citrus and earthy hops and slight pine. Beer is light bodied and easy drinking, good carbonation. Overall, a very good beer.

Sep 17, 2020
Photo of HopHippie
HopHippie from Wisconsin

3.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Good golden color with some haze.
S: Citrus with a nice toasted malt.
T: Initial flavor is just all bitterness followed by some citrusy tropical notes.
F: Very bitter and is slightly dry.
O: Not the hop profile I usually enjoy but this was fine.

Jun 12, 2020
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can from Tavour. The artwork alone gets this beer points. Medium golden with small soft head. Aroma is fruity, like a tropical Lifesaver. Hops first on the palate, more tropical fruit trailing behind. A bit if a dry finish.

Jan 07, 2020
Photo of farrago
farrago from New Jersey

3.21/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Whipped up and frothy head of off-white foam with no retention. Soft haze, driven mostly by a large amount of small particulate floating in the glass, light amber in color. Disjointed nose of undercooked dough, pepper, campfire ash, bubblegum with cantaloupe, pear, apricot scents, minimal if any citrus, the more you sniff the less you like it. Medium-bodied, firm from cheek to cheek and suffers from a metallic bitterness and oily earthen, ashen quality. Lots of malts, something like corn syrup, and cocoa powder. No fruit, no citrus. Unsure what was supposed to be enjoyable here and have basically run out of words to say. (Bottled 7/15/19)

Aug 19, 2019
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78 from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, date stamp is smudged. Thanks to Derek for giving me a bottle to try! Amber colored ale with a frothy beige head that quickly dissipates to a thin layer of foam. Aroma is sweet caramel malt with earthy pine and faint mango & citrus. Flavors are balanced with notes of caramel malt, grain, mango, orange, and earthy pine. Full body, resinous hop oils, ample carbonation, bittersweet finish. This is a well crafted American IPA - kind of a hybrid of new school and old school IPAs.

Aug 17, 2019
Photo of Creevo
Creevo from Michigan

4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Woodchucks game August 1, 2019. The hop flavor didn’t have the finish I’m a fan of but it was ok in a tap lineup of of wheat beers and ales.for my taste and liking I’d give it a B-. Just skating by with my type.

Aug 02, 2019
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.64/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Can from Tavour
Lightly hazy deep golden color with a decent sized bubbly white head that slowly recedes. Earthy pine and citrus with caramel and butterscotch notes.

Apr 24, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.44/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Kegged fall 2016; drank 10/7/16 @ Karben4 Brewpub.

Cloudy dull orange appearance.

Minimal white head; minimal lace.

Grapefruit, mango & caramel notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Caramel & grapefruit flavors up front; mild pine bite on the finish.

Decent but not really to my taste; nothing to chase down, certainly.

Mar 18, 2019
Photo of GrumpyGas
GrumpyGas from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated 09/11/18 poured into a pint glass shows an orangish, dirty gold colored body and briefly floating a 1/2in cap of whitish tight-bubbled foam and leaving erratic lacing.

Aromas of citrus rind, pine, and an almost caramel malt, make this a nice smeller.

Flavors are all up-front piney bitterness, with a slight lemon and lime rind.

Mouthfeel is soft and bitey up-front then a mellowed clean finish.

Overall a nice mix. Good with lots of food, but especially a lighter chicken preparation.

Oct 28, 2018
Photo of SouthernSips
SouthernSips from Mississippi

3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle dated 3 July 2018 into my stemmed IPA glass.

This beer has a resinous and citrusy flavor and is a almost a dark straw color but not quite an amber. I'm not a big fan of West Coast IPAs but this one was pretty good. I think if it was a little younger it might of been rated higher. The smell definitely correlated with the flavor.

Oct 20, 2018
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew from Ohio

3.37/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I got this off the single shelf at at a grocery store outside of Milwaukee whilst there for a hockey tournaments. It poured a hazy copper with fizzy white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent was one of a beer that was overprimed. The taste wasn't too affect by the prime but it was great. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with big carbonation. Overall it's a beer that I would wish to try on tap.

Feb 16, 2018
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.52/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the better ipas to come out of Wisconsin. Take that fwiw: Wisconsin sucks at ipas, relatively speaking (they kick ass at just about every other beer style though). Pours a golden color, good clarity, 2/3" white head. Aroma hit citrus, grapefruit like notes. Dry hopped, but not mega dry hopped.

Seems like the ol centennial and chinook hop familiarity going on, with just a little bit of proprietary hop flair thrown in for good measure. Malt bill isn't quite that dry west coast feel, but it does toe the line between caramel and toasted pale malt dryness, best of both worlds possible vibe. Nah, I'd just prefer it be more dry. This is kind of the typical problem for WI ipas: Lots of grapefruit bitterness, but not the biggest amount of hop flavor. Did I enjoy it? Yes. But I'm still confused as to why it is so popular in WI. Its good, not great.

Oct 17, 2017
Photo of bcaputo99
bcaputo99 from Florida

3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a fresh pint at a Pizza Bar in Madison. Not my IPA style as its flavor is overtaken by the hops....finishes off with a bitter taste on the tongue.

Oct 17, 2017
Photo of beerbehr
beerbehr from Wisconsin

4.96/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This IPA strikes a perfect balance between hops and citrus. There's no fruity tang or pang, but rather hints in smell, sip, and swallow . And the hops are hoppy, but without feeling like you've sucked on a roll of nickels. Best IPA coming out of Wisconsin.

Sep 20, 2017
Photo of Roby923
Roby923 from Canada

4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pungent hops on the nose. There is no shortage here. Incredibly smooth to taste. Lighter on the malt side. Dry aftertaste.

On tap at the Silver Dollar in Madison, WI.

Sep 03, 2017
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85 from Minnesota

4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber orange. Moderate amount of bubbles and a solid finger of off white head that settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A juicy and earthy hop driven aroma with a scent of citrus, pine, and caramel. Citrus hop scent of grapefruit, orange peel, tangerine, and apricot. Malt scent of caramel, grains, and cracker with yeast. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a juicy and earthy hop driven taste with notes of citrus, pine, and caramel. Upfront citrus hop notes of grapefruit, orange peel, apricot, and tangerine. Malt notes of caramel, grains, and cracker along with some yeast. A pretty nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy and fairly oily.

Overall: A pretty good take on an IPA. Nice citrus hop presence with a good sweet caramel malt backing.

Jul 27, 2017
Photo of gatornation
gatornation from Minnesota

3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slight hazed golden color with a nice 1 finger head , Smell is dank & tropical with a sweet malt finish. Taste has b4 mentioned hops but its wrapped around a bitter pine hop finish, the hops in the smell were overtaken by this. Mouth feel again very bitter in the finish the tropical hops want to excel but they dont. Take away the bitterness and this would be a super star.

Jul 14, 2017
Photo of Redrover
Redrover from Wisconsin

3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

We buy this on a semi-regular basis as my wife really likes it.

12 oz. brown bottle poured into a pint glass, the beer is a hazy apricot with a skim of an off-white head.

It has a nice aroma of tropical fruits and a bit of citrus.

It is nicely bitter with apricot, grapefruit and peach notes. There is a nice bit of sweet biscuit type taste from the malt that adds balance. There is something slightly earthy in the finish, which I can’t put my finger on.

The mouth is slightly oily and coating, so that that works for me. Well worth a shot!

May 21, 2017
Photo of Masonz223
Masonz223 from Michigan

3.53/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Smell: candied tropical fruit especially peach and tangerine sweet breadsy malt some dankness.

Taste: right upfront you get a hit of bready malt sweetness but not overwhelming at all the mid palate the beer is really lacking maybe a hint of peach and tangerine peel but then the biterness really takes over this beer finishes really bitter with a mix of grapefruit pith and pine needle. The beer has a soapy bitter aftertaste that's really off putting.


Feel: medium body minimal creaminess. Dry and bitter finish.

Overall: the nose doesn't match the taste at all semi sweet upfront and really bitter in the finish. The beer lacks depth. Not really feeling this beer.

May 09, 2017
Photo of KensWorld
KensWorld from Florida

3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle dated 1/2017. Great label graphics, gun toting cat on fire farting unicorn, what they smoking up there in Madison.

Hazey honey color with 1 finger off white head that has great retention.

Smells sub par, no hoppy aroma.

Tastes is malt forward. Not much hop presence. Slightly bitter.

It feels more like an English IPA.

Lacking that intenseness of coastal IPAs but still having more overall drinkablity then most.

Apr 27, 2017
Photo of beerguy04
beerguy04 from Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark orange. Smells of fruit, citrus, and pine. Taste is okay. Has a piney bitterness. Not much citrus or fruit notes. Mouthfeel is average for an IPA. Overall good, but not great.

Apr 22, 2017
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

3.47/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle. Deep orange body. Smells of bready malts, a little fruitiness, some citrus, and floral hops. Tastes again of very bready malts. Kinda sweet. Spicy hops with pine resin in the back end. Medium body. Definitely a malty IPA. I'm used to citrus bombs at this point. This has a nice English malty flavor and an old-school balanced hop profile.

Mar 31, 2017
Photo of Beejay
Beejay from Virginia

4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Kelly!

A: A hazy orange amber in color, with a light tan head.

S: Smells like grapefruit and orange peel. Light honey.

T: Orange peel, citrus and tropical fruit. Nice bitterness and a decent touch of malt.

M: Medium in body, with fairly aggressive carbonation and a dry finish.

O: Overall a damn fine beer. thanks Kelly.

Mar 28, 2017
Photo of Ferretferret
Ferretferret from Wisconsin

4.89/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Out of around 100-150 beers, this is my second favorite, and my favorite of the ones available at every bar (at least, in Madison). The runaway hit of Karben4, that "The Bros" have not yet heard of this one should be criminal! This is the single favorite IPA of 3/4 of the people I talk to, and the favorite beer of many. If you want something that defines every IPA flavor in one, with a citrus splash usurped by a pine finish, this is it.

Mar 25, 2017
Photo of B-rett
B-rett from Wisconsin

4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Bright orange with little head. Looks like an orange drink.
S-Light citrus and pine. Very appealing.
T-Definitely two layers of flavor. First sweet citrus juice followed shortly after by pine and roasted malt to finish.
M-Juicy is the best word. Well carbonated.
O-Who could pass up a bottle with a cat riding on a unicorn? Tasty IPA and definitely a brewery I'll have to visit next time I'm in Madison.

Feb 22, 2017
Fantasy Factory from Karben4 Brewing
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 666 ratings