Fantasy Factory
Karben4 Brewing

Fantasy FactoryFantasy Factory
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IPA - American
Ranked #254
Ranked #3,796
4.11 | pDev: 10.71%
Karben4 Brewing
Wisconsin, United States
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: 102 | Ratings: 676 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by HopHippie:
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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
More User Reviews:
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore from Oregon

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

On draft at Karben4 in Madison, WI. Full pint poured into a Karben4 snifter today, 1/27/2014.

App- dark copper body, cloudy and comes with a finger white head with ok retention, leaving a thin film. Some lacing as the glass empties.

Smell- faint citrus. Grapefruit, tangerines, passion fruit is all there but not explosive like other citra IPAs such as ZD. Malt forward, with a sweet breadiness and caramel backbone on the nose.

Flavor- malty with a nice citra contribution. Bread, caramel, a bit of toffee. Grapefruit, pineapple, oranges are there but the malt is the most forward component.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, not too thick or thin, good carbonation. Not slick or resinous, easy to drink for sure. Almost sessionable, no sign of ABV.

Overall- nice malty citra IPA. Not the most flavorful but quite drinkable and brings just enough interesting character to the drinking experience. I prefer the juiciness of Hill Farmstead pale ales and pseudoSue, both of which definitely bring a nice juicy element to the experience, but hey this is a lot easier for me to get.

Jan 28, 2014
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Mulcahey from Florida

5/5  rDev +21.7%
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.

Apr 09, 2015
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richj1970 from Alabama

3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Jun 27, 2015
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getatmeimevil from Wisconsin

4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap.
Just brilliant stuff, absolutely love it. It's smooth but somehow still possesses all the bite and bitterness that I love from a good IPA. My only complaint is not having an awesome bottle to add to my collection. Oh well, I needed a new years resolution.

Dec 27, 2014
Photo of jwc215
jwc215 from Arizona

4.35/5  rDev +5.8%

Pours hazed golden amber with a thick white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

The smell is of robust citrus - grapefruit, orange, pineapple (hint of lime?)...

The taste is of upfront juicy citrus, vague hint of resin, with a sweet kiss of barley in the middle, leading again to a juicy, citric, bitter dry finish.

It is a chewy IPA. A wonderful IPA - just balanced enough to keep it complex and smooth. The hops are aromatic and flavorful. Very nicely done!

Oct 13, 2014
Photo of bound4er
bound4er from Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Bernie's Tap Room on 7/1/13. Notes from memory.

Hazy light amber appearance with a nice two finger head. Smells tropical with citrus and mango really jumping out of the glass. Taste is really clean and fresh with the citrus hops balanced nicely by bready malt. Mouthfeel is oily and slick without being too heavy. Overall this is a fantastic beer - probably one of the better IPA's I've had from a Wisconsin brewer. Karben4 is 2 for 2 with beers I have tried from them - Silk Scorpion being the other.

Jul 02, 2013
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nickapalooza86 from Wisconsin

4.98/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours very similar to the Ale Asylum beers when they were brewing on this system, super hazy little head half finger if that, but super hazy... Nice deep orange color

Smell well ya this is Citra hopped, big grapefruit, pineapple, nice tropical burst followed by a heavy pine residue, getting some nice crackery malts underneath

Taste is grapefruit first, some orange, big on the pine resin, definite malt backbone with mostly bready tones cuts through in the middle, but as soon as it came is gone for some lemon and grapefruit bitterness.... Wow just wow amazing

Mouthfeel is medium light, very dry as one would expect from this hop assault. Some nice coating resin.

Well glad I grabbed I grabbed a case on my family Christmas trip to the Dells/Baraboo area wish I would have grabbed two.

Once this because widely available I no longer see the reason to pay a bomber premium for PsuedoSue... Well don Karben4!!!! Well done indeed.

Dec 21, 2014
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DabblinWiscCraft from Wisconsin

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.

Jul 09, 2016
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Etan from Wisconsin

4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brickhouse BBQ.

A. Pours an unattractive burnt caramel with a small white head.

S. Aroma brings sticky citrus, vanilla, caramel malt, toasted grain, pine.

T. Taste brings brown bread, tangerine, grassy resin, bready with sweet citrus.

M. Light-bodied with light carbonation.

O. A hoppy IPA in the American vein, but with a bit of a malty English character. Not bad.

Sep 04, 2013
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DaftPatrick from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Oct 26, 2014
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Cbustard from Wisconsin

4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aug 11, 2015
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RichH55 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Oct 04, 2015
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mschrei from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sep 02, 2016
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Kevin79 from Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +21.7%

Dec 13, 2014
Photo of Jaulizia

4.8/5  rDev +16.8%

Sep 07, 2014
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NSLPublishing from Illinois

3.11/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Light and refreshing. Not much in taste

Jan 24, 2015
Photo of Toynk
Toynk from Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Aug 13, 2016
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BrownAleMale from Wisconsin

4.11/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jan 27, 2014
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Wisconsin_IPA_Lover from Wisconsin

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

May 26, 2016
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Hopstout from Minnesota

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

May 25, 2016
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costanzo_mike from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

May 16, 2015
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thebigredone from Wisconsin

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

Mar 01, 2015
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Eman17 from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Jul 24, 2014
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YalovaIA from Iowa

3.46/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

Apr 21, 2015
Fantasy Factory from Karben4 Brewing
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 676 ratings