The Modern Times Critical Band pours into the glass, presenting itself as a radiant, opaque pineapple juice, enticing with a thick and enduring meringue foam. Departing from the eccentric custom artwork of its brewery-only counterparts, this seasonal release embraces the brewery’s core and seasonal lineup can design, signaling a shift in the hazy IPA experience.

Aroma: Dessert-like Bliss

The aroma is a dessert lover’s dream, reminiscent of pineapple upside-down cake and piña colada, with subtle notes of guava paste and the comforting scent of fresh sourdough bread. It sets the stage for what promises to be a tropical and citrusy beer-magic journey.

Taste: Culmination of Expertise

Critical Band stands as the culmination of Modern Times’ experimentation with special release hazy IPAs. Offering a delightful combination of flavors, it emerges as possibly the best among its counterparts and coincidentally marks the brewery’s official fall seasonal release. The palate is a blend of pineapple juice and vodka-soaked cantaloupe, with a balanced hop bite that complements rather than dominates.

Mouthfeel: Fluffy Indulgence

The mouthfeel is akin to biting into angel food cake, with a fluffy texture that adds to the overall enjoyment. A touch of chalkiness, typical for hazy IPAs, is accompanied by a mild hop bite, showcasing an unexpected IBU level of 60. The sweetness in the beer enhances its drinkability, allowing the tropical flavors to shine, while the grain bill, featuring Marris Otter, oats, and wheat, contributes to a creamy body.

Overall: A Masterpiece of Refreshment

In the realm of hazy IPAs, Modern Times Critical Band stands out as an exceptionally well-crafted and refreshing brew. The beer radiates freshness, showcasing a mastery of the hazy IPA style. Impressively, it navigates the potential pitfalls of unfiltered, yeasty beers, avoiding distracting mineral elements that often plague such brews. As the first of Modern Times’ hazy IPAs to reach wider retail distribution, Critical Band is a testament to the brewery’s evolution and a must-try for those seeking the pinnacle of their craft. Cheers to no longer requiring a brewery visit to savor the best Modern Times has to offer!