Seems like you couldn’t escape the solar eclipse news over the past few weeks. The hype hit its pinnacle late last week when there was a severe shortage of eclipse glasses. It’s a big event so we shouldn’t be surprised that there was so much hype over it. Included in that hype was a one time beer release from 450 North Brewing called The Great Eclipse.
If you follow me on Instagram (which you should) then you’ll know I am a fan of 450 North. They’ve been pumping out some great New England IPAs recently. The Great Eclipse is their latest release and it was a mix of great timing, amazing marketing and a delicious craft beer.
My Review Of The Great Eclipse
450 North wasn’t the only brewery that took advantage of the solar eclipse. Many others released special beers or held viewing parties. However, I don’t know of many that did it as well as them.
First off, the original release of the beer was on 8/10. This was intentional to make sure that the beer could make its way out to craft beer drinkers throughout Indiana (and further) before the eclipse. At the release, they gave away special edition t-shirts to those that got in line early.
On top of that, the beer reference the date of the eclipse, August 21, 2017. And the ABV is 8.21% as well; how clever was that?
Finally, to help celebrate, they had a viewing party with free solar eclipse glasses for the first 200 people. Yes, they had glasses when everyone else was sold out. They created a great opportunity to celebrate this event with craft beer.
I work during the day so drinking this beer during the solar eclipse wasn’t an option. However, it gave me something to look forward to that evening. I knew when I woke up on Monday August 21, 2017 what beer I would be having that evening: The Great Eclipse.
Looking at the amazing can design and knowing how much I have enjoyed their past beers set my expectations really high. With a total of 5 lbs per barrel of Citra and Mosiac hops, I was going to look for huge fruity hop aroma and flavor. I aslso wanted a soft but full mouthfeel with almost no bitterness. In the finish, I was hoping for a touch of dryness and a lasting sweetness.
After pouring, this beer provided a strong fruity aroma; primarily grapefruit and pineapple. This was mirrored in the taste.
As with many beers in this style, the fruit component is critical and The Great Eclipse delivered. The aroma and flavor matched up perfectly. This might be their best New England IPA yet.
The sweet fruit flavors lasted throughout and were backed up by a soft, full mouthfeel just as I had anticipated. The finish was not dry at all but did have the lasting sweetness. The ABV was strong but didn’t show in the flavor. I appreciated that as I was able to enjoy the beer and not fight through the ABV.
It is hard to find a fault in this beer; aroma, flavor, appearance, etc were all what I had hoped it would be.
I only wish I could have enjoyed it while watching the eclipse earlier in the day.
Related Post: New England IPA: A Style Of It’s Own?
450 North Brewing loves unique marketing angles on their beer. Some may recognize this picture of their Fruity Nuggets beer that I have to consider one of the best label designs I’ve seen.
The Great Eclipse ranks up there and they even commented on their approach saying:
“No one else in Indiana is actually doing something like this,” says Brad Brookbank, a sales representative for 450 North. “It’s a once in a lifetime beer, so we have to make sure the quality is perfect.” —Brad Brookbank, Sales Representative, 450 North Brewing Co.
“The alcohol percent for this particular beer is 8.21 percent to coincide the date 8-21 of the great eclipse,” David Simmons, owner says.
There’s no doubt that marketing has a huge impact on the craft beer industry but none of that matters if the beer isn’t good. Lucky for us, 450 North is taking just as much time and pride in their beer as they do with their marketing.
I look forward to more great beer from this brewery and can’t wait to see what other clever can designs they come up with in the future.