Ruined by Abner and Topper - what's similar?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by MrKsBeer, Apr 8, 2013.

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  1. MrKsBeer

    MrKsBeer Initiate (0) Mar 31, 2009 Massachusetts

    Hill Farmstead Abner is my new favorite beer. A coworker brought me back some Abner and Harlan from HF, and Heady Topper from Alchemist, which is my close second. Yesterday was an incredible day for beer in my little world.

    Problem is, I can't get either of them in MA.

    I need to find beers with a similar flavor profile, hoppy as hell, but not bitter as much as tropical, fruity and floral hops. I need a delicious, savory mouthful of beer, and unfortunately, even my favorites like Racer 5 and Green Flash West Coast IPA look like hackwork when compared with these.

    So I pose it to you guys (and girls), what beers have a similar tropical flavor? Are there any that compare with Abner or Heady Topper that are available in MA or am I ruined?
  2. cincysig

    cincysig Aspirant (290) Sep 15, 2010 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Ruined. Many other avenues to explore. Jack's Abby Hoponius Union and The ABCS. Lagunitas Sucks. Ballast Point Sculpin. Port Brewing Mongo. Plenty more.
  3. Dirtinabottle

    Dirtinabottle Devotee (485) Aug 21, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    Prescription: Gandhi-bot. Take two before bed.
  4. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (501) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

  5. ChefHopMeister

    ChefHopMeister Aspirant (256) Aug 3, 2010 Virginia

    Ruined? I call it acquiring an educational benchmark in beer acumen.
  6. Nectar

    Nectar Initiate (0) Jan 17, 2013 New Jersey

    Fresh Flower Power. It sits on shelves so its overlooked a lot in the day of Rare Rare Rare.
    Weavagra likes this.
  7. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Fresh Flower Power really hits those same tropical/fruity notes. That element does fall off pretty fast though - very different beer after a month...
    jrnyc, Errto and DevilsCups like this.
  8. Andrew041180

    Andrew041180 Crusader (700) Mar 15, 2013 Massachusetts

    I hear you. Lately I've been trying to justify road trips to Vermont (I still haven't had any HF beers). Instead I will end up buying the occasional bomber of Ruination or Double Jack.
  9. Pnell316

    Pnell316 Initiate (164) Aug 16, 2010 Pennsylvania

    I had the HF galaxy not to long ago and then a couple day late I got to try younger for the first time. Galaxy blew it away for me.
    Brew33 likes this.
  10. lhteacher

    lhteacher Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2013 Massachusetts

    I'm reluctant to spread the word but check out Tree House. Just don't go on Thursdays.
  11. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,094) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    If you don't mind paying for it, I think Mo from Maine Beer Company gives a similar fix even though it's a pale ale. And let's be honest, it's not more expensive per oz than purchasing Abner, especially if you don't bring your own growler or 750 to HF.
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  12. dawatts

    dawatts Aspirant (211) Dec 27, 2006 Massachusetts

    Start brewing your own clones. :wink: I too recently got a few cases of Heady and some HF stuff and it left my basement far too quickly.
    Tballz420 and FUNKPhD like this.
  13. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Meyvn (1,247) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I mean I prefer fresh FinestKind to both of those, but that's just like my opinion, man
    jimmy82063 and Seanniek91 like this.
  14. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (501) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Agreed, but it is much more bitter than the beers in question, IMO.
  15. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (1,800) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Probably easier if you just move to Vermont.
    cjoc83, brystmar, CityofBals and 3 others like this.
  16. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,094) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    Also meant to say...a fresh bottle of Be Hoppy does the trick
    BeerRollups and VelvetExtract like this.
  17. mhksuccess

    mhksuccess Zealot (579) Jul 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Have you tried any Knee Deep they making some nice IPA's the Simtra and brand new Batch 138
    also Figerou Mountain Hoppy Poppy good
    La Cumbre Elevated IPA so nice one of my tops
    Surly Abrasive is another
    betweeen us I am drinking a growler of Abner for the NCAA final tonite woohoo
  18. patkorn

    patkorn Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2007 California

    To say that Racer 5 and West Coast are 'hackwork' shows a serious lack of knowledge on your part sir.
    YogiBeer and nickapalooza86 like this.
  19. papaholmz

    papaholmz Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I was lucky enough to have two 32oz growlers of Black Note this year; ever since then all barrel aged stouts out of the bottle just don't taste as good as they once did. That fresh Black Note out of the tap was simply amazing.
  20. IPAphilic

    IPAphilic Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2010 Minnesota

    Port mongo (often on tap at a few Boston locations) is the only other beer that I put in the same category as HT and HF. Lawsons (also VT only) is there as well. Lunch from Maine brewing company is same hop aroma explosion without being overly bitter. For similar aroma but in a low ABV, All Day IPA from founders is a sessionable substitute, as is Indeed's Day Tripper (my MN go-to now that I can't get Heady on a daily basis.)
  21. jmmy3

    jmmy3 Aspirant (292) Nov 30, 2010 Massachusetts

    Anything close to HT, we don't have access to in Mass, in my opinion anyway. Abrasive is up there though, as is another Vermont-only brew, Double Sunshine. Don't let it discourage you though, we're not far from VT, and we still have alot of great things to drink. Go grab some Jacks Abby!
    Fahz likes this.
  22. jmmy3

    jmmy3 Aspirant (292) Nov 30, 2010 Massachusetts

    I guess I'll have to try Mongo then. I had their Hop 15 recently and it was incredible.
  23. MrKsBeer

    MrKsBeer Initiate (0) Mar 31, 2009 Massachusetts

    They're not hackwork. They're both top notch, well crafted IPAs and I love them both. The consistency in flavor and bright hops make both beers very drinkable all year round, and I've relied on both to satisfy my hop cravings for years. I meant no disrespect.

    That being said, Abner has this completion to it that I didn't even know could exist. The only comparison I can think of is music. Abner is a concept album. The sum of its parts added create some grander meaning as a whole, whereas Racer 5 is an amazing collection of songs but the order of it has no extra hidden meaning. Know what I mean?
  24. Mag00n

    Mag00n Aspirant (208) Nov 21, 2008 New York

    Hmm, nowhere in that first post did I see him request for a hoppy malt bomb.
  25. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    I don't get the "ruined" by another beer thing...

    I've had Younger, Elder, Ephraim, Exponential Hoppiness, Headdy Topper, etc...

    But you know, Stone IPA and Lagunitas Maximus still taste just as delicious as they always have, a fresh six pack of either one of those still makes me giggly on the inside.
  26. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    Cool relative story, brosephous.
    Beerandraiderfan and cnbrown313 like this.
  27. MrKsBeer

    MrKsBeer Initiate (0) Mar 31, 2009 Massachusetts

    I feel like I did when I had my first taste of Rochfort 10. Up to that point, the highest quality beer I'd had was BMC. It was a game-changer. I started appreciating the flavor and craftsmanship as much as if not more than the buzz. It's not that BMC became undrinkable, it's that my perspective changed. Same thing happened when I had Abner. The gauntlet has been thrown, and I want to know who the contenders are.
  28. 1up

    1up Disciple (361) Mar 5, 2013 District of Columbia

    Schlafly Tasmanian

    Already been said:
    Surly Abrasive
    MBC Lunch

    Anything with NZ or Aussie hops works too.
  29. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    So you want a replacement for Heady and Abner, two of the finest beers on the planet Earth?

    I got nothing for you except to point you to the trade section.

    But really there are some good suggestions in this thread.
    dar482 and MrKsBeer like this.
  30. Hogfitz

    Hogfitz Initiate (130) Jan 14, 2009 Massachusetts

    Wormtown Be Hoppy. It has an excellent citrus profile and you can find it fairly easily in Mass.
    WeymouthMike and Horbar like this.
  31. Brew33

    Brew33 Crusader (748) Oct 24, 2007 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    This is an interesting/educational thread for me.

    I've had a lot of the beers listed in this thread and there may be 1-2 that I would consider in the neighborhood of "similar" to either of the 2 in the OP. Weird how different palates can be.
    MrKsBeer likes this.
  32. Fujii13

    Fujii13 Aspirant (206) Apr 27, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    It's already been said, but I gotta agree. You're in MA, if you can you should hit up Tree House and get some growlers of Julius. Well worth the trip.
  33. MrKsBeer

    MrKsBeer Initiate (0) Mar 31, 2009 Massachusetts

    I've heard of Tree House, and actually I only live an hour east on rt 20 but it seems like it's another world away. I'll have to get out there soon.
  34. BigBarley

    BigBarley Disciple (373) Aug 5, 2011 Texas

    And different palates make threads like this obsolete. It's one thing to ask for a broad "what do you guys like" kinda recommendation but it's another to ask for really specific recommendations that rely on factors open to individual interpretation.

    Just as an example, if I asked for a hop bomb, someone who's only IPA experiences are Stone IPA and Latitude 48 might recommend one of those. And someone who's had Hop Czar or Hop Stoopid would come along and say "um, ACTUALLY you're a foolish newb and you know nothing of hops, as there are CLEARLY (x) examples of exponentially hoppy beers!"

    So uh... why not just go grab every IPA you can obtain until you've found one worthy? The chase is just as exhilirating as the catch, sir.

    (by the way, someone send me some KBS for no reason)
    kemoarps and MrKsBeer like this.
  35. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (501) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    While very bitter, I actually find fresh GF Palate Wrecker to be pretty similar to Heady in hop profile.
  36. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    There are dozens and dozens of elite level hoppy beers all over the country that are relatively similar and awesome.

    I mean seriously, who would have thought a decade ago, that even Texas and Georgia would be cranking out some great hoppy beers?

    Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas and New Belgium are available almost everywhere. They make great, affordable hoppy stuff. Beyond that, there's about 100 regional hoppy beers that are awesome, at least one of them is in your area. Insert gilded age reference.
  37. ThickNStout

    ThickNStout Poo-Bah (2,121) Mar 8, 2011 Georgia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I understand the love for a couple great beers but it's a damn shame if you truly feel they've "ruined" your enjoyment of things you used to like.

    When I discover new favorites, I add them to the list of beers I'd love to drink again. Just because I've tried and enjoyed Heady Topper doesn't mean I'll stop drinking my current favorites. Just sayin...
    kemoarps likes this.
  38. caskstrength

    caskstrength Disciple (354) Nov 26, 2008 Minnesota

    hop venom
    enjoy by
    palate wrecker
    bad boy
    alchemy hour
    .....just to name a few
  39. cocoapuph

    cocoapuph Aspirant (219) Mar 4, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    gjahn123 likes this.
  40. patkorn

    patkorn Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2007 California

    I feel you and respect your opinion. But it's kind of like comparing a Lamborghini to a Honda Accord. The former is rare and maybe some day,maybe,you'll be able to drive one. The latter can be bought anywhere but is gonna last for years,never let you down,and you can actually get one. Guess i am starting to be weary of the whole 'well its so rare it has to be the best thing ever',whether in beer or in many other facets of life. Moon rocks are rare but its still a rock. Anyway,no offense taken here in Lo Cal.
    sjverla likes this.
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