Everybody I've talked to hates this brewery. And I don't get it. I hear people diss Finch's Golden Wing and their Cut Throat Pale Ale. Yet, when people are blindly handed these beers with no attribution to the brewer, their reactions have been positive. "That's pretty good!" Finch's should hire me as a secret shopper, or rather a secret beer handler who hands random people a Finch's ale, "try this." In a hurry they'd double their market share. Finch's is a new Chicago outfit, popping up in the last couple of years. Their beers come in cans. They are also on a few taps. I'd rate their roster of fermentations as aggressively hoppy and imbalanced; but everything I've had has been on the tasty side and a good one-off.
My most recent Finch's experience was this past Saturday after the Cubs game. My pal John and I headed over to Murphy's in the 8th inning, and before the crowd streamed in we were being handed a couple of Dreadnaughts, a name and a beer so perfect I feel that I should italicize it, like a play name or a Hemingway book. Dreadnaught. There. Being handed a fresh one in a plastic cup somehow made it even more fitting for a ballgame experience. It gave it all a certain proletariat nature to it. And it was crisp and perfect as almost always. But after we finished it, we had planned on doing one more beer at Murphy's and it certainly was not going to be another 9% IPA monster. Yet we are both big hop fans and mild wasn't going to do. I noticed the Threadless on tap.
I had tried a sample of it before to no great effect but it somehow seemed like a good come down from the potent Dreadnaught. Turns out it was the ideal follow up. Dreadnaught finishes with a bit of a sticky sweet caramel and tropical hops element. With ease the Threadless shredded this with a sharp, cutting herbaceous hop assault. It's a very chewy beer, thick and almost viscous. It envelops your tongue, coating it with spicy, rugged hops before finishing with grainy and brown sugar like malts. By the way, Threadless's head is monstrous, which huge round white bubbles entrained in the foam. Like most of Finch's beers, it slams you up front but gradually becomes colored by an noticeable imbalance of flavors. Its color gets described as being orange but it was much darker than the hazy yellow/orange Dreadnaught. To me, it appeared rather amber with a hint of rust.
Would I have this again, you ask. Hell yes, I answer. This is a rock chalk backyard barbecue beer. Follow up any lasting sweet flavors on your tongue with this - what it would do for countering a St. Louis barbecue sauce. I don't know if I'd want to start with it, and might not want two, but this is a solid middle of the order hitter, even if it won't win MVP. Or, perhaps that's MVB.
I can't complain about any of Finch's offerings so far. Everything I've had has been quite sturdy if not spectacular.
3.6 of 5 stars.