Beer Review: MODERN TIMES SPACE WAYS

Beer Review: MODERN TIMES SPACE WAYS

The visual presentation of Modern Times’ Space Ways is undeniably striking. Pouring from a 16oz can, the beer exhibits a radiant orange hue with a substantial, long-lasting beige head. The overall aesthetic is pleasing and certainly adds to the anticipation of the tasting experience.

Aroma

The aromatic profile of Space Ways is a mixed bag that may polarize enthusiasts. The initial impression is peculiar, reminiscent of a freshly opened tennis ball can, accompanied by robust plasticy phenols. There’s also a notable hint of something akin to gasoline or nail polish remover. While some may find this off-putting, the volatile compounds gradually subside, revealing more inviting notes of pineapple, green mango, and a subtle hint of gooseberry associated with the sought-after Nelson hops.

Taste

Delving into the tasting experience, Space Ways delivers a juicy sensation that stands out in the realm of hazy IPAs. Unlike many counterparts that drown in concrete mix flavors, this brew presents a prominent interplay of bright pineapple juice and unripe pear. The balance between sweetness and bitterness is commendable, resulting in a well-rounded flavor profile. As the beer warms, a touch of creaminess emerges from the wheat and oats, contributing to the overall complexity.

Mouthfeel

In terms of mouthfeel, Space Ways aligns with the New England-style IPA tradition, offering a satisfying creaminess. The moderate mineral flavors in the finish, although a bit dusty and chalky, do not overpower the palate. The beer strikes a commendable balance, maintaining a refreshing quality without succumbing to the heaviness seen in some peers of the style.

Overall

For a beer category known for its intentionally raw and unrefined nature, Space Ways surprises with its cleanliness and refreshing character. Modern Times’ adeptness in honing their hazy IPA recipe is evident, although the distinct aroma driven by Nelson hops may be divisive. In a market saturated with brewery-exclusive hazy IPAs, it’s commendable that Modern Times extends the reach of their exceptional offerings to a wider audience.

Similar Beers

While Space Ways shares the use of Nelson Sauvin hops with Alpine Beer Company’s Nelson, the similarities end there. Alpine Nelson takes the hop varietal in a different direction with its clear, rye IPA. In the realm of hazy IPAs with Nelson, the options on store shelves appear limited. However, for distributed hazy IPAs without Nelson, notable recommendations include Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing, New Belgium Juicifer, Firestone Walker Mind Haze, and Victory Cloud Walker.

In conclusion, the critical exploration of Space Ways reveals a well-crafted hazy IPA with distinctive characteristics that set it apart in a crowded market. The beer’s strengths lie in its balance, complexity, and the decision to make it accessible beyond the brewery’s doors.