Focal Banger | The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center

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Focal BangerFocal Banger
BA SCORE
4.57/5
World-Class
3,847 Ratings
Focal BangerFocal Banger
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center
Vermont, United States
alchemistbeer.com

Style: New England IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An American IPA, hopped judiciously with Citra and Mosaic.

Added by koopa on 07-06-2010

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#75
Reviews:
501
Ratings:
3,847
pDev:
7.44%
 
 
Wants:
1,818
Gots:
1,169
Trade:
14
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,847 |  Reviews: 501
Photo of howardnss
4.6/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of brewme
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can bought for me at today's Patriots game in Gillette Stadium for eleven dollars. My second brew from these guys. Absolutely outstanding, looking forward to trying again.

 173 characters

Photo of leantom
3.77/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Yeah, definitely not as impressed with this one as I was with Heady, although I really didn't like Heady too much either. Prefer Lawson's and Hill Farm' over the Alchemist. Alright, here goes:

A: Beautiful. While the beer's body isn't exactly appealing (it's merely a very cloudy yellow), its head is massive and fluffy. It also lasts for a very, very long time and leaves a lot of lacing. Great.

S: Pretty good, but somewhat one-dimensional. While it's very floral, the predominant scents I'm detecting are lemon and grass. Pretty good for what it is, though.

T: Too bitter. I taste lemon and not much else besides onion. Not very appealing, IMHO.

F: Perfect. Very soft.

O: Simply not my cup of tea. I prefer Lawson's and Hill Farm's NEIPAs over this one.

 777 characters

Photo of Dynobolt
4.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bubbawilly88
4.46/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kush0687
5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Tilley4
4.49/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really really nice beer... the marks are matched and surpassed in many cases here... had this on a long night of drinking many good/great beers but this was a stand out to me... very....intense.. I would gladly jump at the chance to have this beer again.... I'd like to start with this and sip slowly throughout the evening.... even with the amount of beer I had prior to this, it made a damn good impression on me... highly recommended!

 444 characters

Photo of mjw2808
4.12/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bloodbuzz99
4.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had from can, approx 4 mos old, likely why it didn’t set off any alarms of greatness for me

93 characters

Photo of -steve-
4.16/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MWhit
4.1/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of eldoctorador
4/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of khargro2
4.19/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AleManDan
4.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A very well balanced hazy IPA. I enjoyed it more than Heady which I tried alongside it. Funky, citrus rind and stonefruit hops with a muted profile (meaning, lots of flavors and aromatics but no major bitterness) thanks to the soft, billowy backing which I assume includes oats or whatever.

Really, really good but the memory has faded a bit so my review is...this.

 367 characters

Photo of OtisCampbell007
4.6/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bradlowman
4.99/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of petrusek23
4.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of meekus1212
5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Heady Topper gets all the love from Alchemist, but Focal Banger is the better beer in my opinion.

97 characters

Photo of mkuzdeba
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of JB4Beer
4.39/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Tcsox
4/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of QuentinDishaw
4.53/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TheBrewsky
4.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First time trying this beer. For me on the West Coast, this is a big deal. No observable canning date, but I am fairly confident that it is fairly fresh.
L: Pours a golden straw yellow/honey color. Very unfiltered in appearance, and definitely would be considered murky back in it's time. About a finger of a frothy white cap was achieved from a non-aggressive pour. Moderate amounts of sudsy lacing clings to the glass' edge as I partake.
S: Full of ripe citrus aromas. Orange, grapefruit and lemon are in abundance. I also get a slight melony vibe coming off on the nose as well. Malt presence is also prevalent on the nose, lending a bready/warm complexity to the smell.
T: Follows the nose very closely, with greater emphasis on the malt. Malt backbone is prevalent throughout the entire flavor train. There is also an abundance of citrus, particularly grapefruit and lemon. Hops are also an integral part of this beer, giving an earthy/grassy flavor. Pine is present on the finish and resides in the aftertaste. As far as taste goes, this is superb. It is essentially the perfect fusion of WC & NE styled IPAs.
F: Pretty damn great. Medium in weight but seemingly fuller in terms of body. The carbonation is spot-on for my liking. Just the right amount to give that fizzle on the tongue, but not overly done making the beer thin. It is soft, smooth, and relatively creamy.
O: This is fantastic. Focal Banger encompasses the feel, texture and fruitiness that we love in NEIPAs but bring the malty/hoppy/citrus flavor that we love in WCIPAs. In my opinion, this beer is more enjoyable (for me at least) than Heady Topper. This is great, and I would definitely drink again. I am very glad to try as a humble Californian, and 100% recommend. Cheers!

 1,755 characters

Photo of cjohns73
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Madmiker13
3.84/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Focal Banger from The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center
Beer rating: 4.57 out of 5 with 3,847 ratings