AS WE WRAP UP A HAZE-FILLED 2022 we asked our production staff to weigh in on their favorite beers of the year. It's good timing, because we are days away from the release of our first release in 2023 and with a rotating HIPA program like the Project X Series, it's easy to forget the past, especially since any given beer in the series only has about a 60-90 day life. So what did they say when given the chance to wax poetic about beers of the past? Let's find out.
DESCRIPTION: In loving memory of Nate Soroko we teamed up with longtime friend, mutual San Diego beer steward, and renowned artist, Sean Dominguez, to create a special label in honor of one our most avid supporters, and simply put...just a really good dude. In Memoriam features a beautiful aromatic floral bouquet with citrus, stone fruit, and some pine. A malt bill featuring just 2-row malted barley, wheat, ensures it goes down smooth.
HOPS: Nelson, Citra, Talus
STATS: 7.5% ABV, 25 IBU
TASTING NOTES: Pink grapefruit, citrus rinds, dried roses, pine resin, tropical fruits, sage
Brian Smith, Packaging Operator - In Memoriam
"In Memoriam, hands down! [It] Had a raw hoppy bitterness that a lot of hazies don’t have and a super light malt backbone that just showcased the hop profile, which is what an IPA should do in my opinion."
John Harden, Packaging Tech - In Memoriam
"My favorite project X beer has to be In Memoriam. Not only because it was a great tasting beer, but because I’ve had the opportunity to meet Nate Soroko. He was a super cool guy and meant a lot to the San Diego beer community, so I appreciated immortalizing him on a beer can."
Yeti Wattling, Packaging Manager - In Memoriam
"In Memoriam was my favorite Project X beer, not for the liquid exclusively, although the beer was awesome for sure, but also for the artwork and the respect paid towards Nate Soroko. Having not known him, I have to assume he was a great person for MEBC to pay its respects to him with a beer and label dedicated to him. In terms of the beer I think "
DESCRIPTION: Copious amounts of wheat and oats team up to provide a solid body that is exemplary of the style without the use of lactose. Despite its hefty body, the malt profile is neutral, allowing an assault of strawberries, passionfruit, and grapefruit to dominate the aroma. As with others in the Project X
Series, we use the iconic “Juice” yeast strain to ensure the beer finishes full, without being sweet.
HOPS: Nelson, Mosaic, Strata
STATS: 7.0% ABV, 35 IBU
TASTING NOTES: Melon, cannabis, grapefruit, passion fruit, strawberry
Nate Anderson, Brewer - Dimensional Universe
"In my opinion Dimensional Universe was the best project X beer we released this year. What set it apart from the others is the malt used in it. Full-bodied but mellow enough to really let the hops shine. The artwork on the label was fantastic. The amount of carbonation was phenomenal, But most importantly they were just very crushable for a hazy, or any beer for that matter."
DESCRIPTION: Rakau is a New Zealand varietal that comes to us via Crosby Hop Farms in Oregon with good street-cred and solid results in our tasting panels. The goal of Static Profile is to increase hop flavor and aroma using a slightly altered dry hop regiment featuring a dry hop during knock out to the fermenter. Similar to Fractured Reality, Static Profile leans heavily on stone fruit flavors and aroma - Stone fruit with a touch of tropical mango and citrus. The body is medium due to a light residual sweetness and pillowy, or cloud-like mouthfeel.
HOPS: Mosaic, Citra, Rakau
STATS: 7.5% ABV, 35 IBU
TASTING NOTES: Peach, pear, fig, apricot, plum
Mike Davis, Lead Brewer - Static Profile
"My favorite was static profile for its fruity hop-forwardness. The pear-like taste from the rakau hops were on point. Rakau is also a hop we haven't used in other brews, so it stood out more to me. Also, the art work for static profile reminds me of something you would see in an art gallery. It's not too obvious what it is, so it makes you take a closer look at it, which is something I think good art makes you do to interpret it in your own way."
Matt Waterson, Head Brewer - Static Profile
"I enjoyed Static Profile a lot. It may be due to the weight of recent memory, but we have refined our techniques and most importantly learned to utilize our chosen yeast (Imperial Labs A38 “Juice”) to impart fluent and concise fermentations while highlighting the hops, which are really the stars of the Project-X show anyhow. With Static Profile, we chose Mosaic and Citra hops to lay a baseline with bright fruit-driven profiles for New Zealand grown Rakau. We enjoyed working with Rakau, which isn’t a hop we have much of in our stores. Fresh pear and nectarine drove the needle with Rakau and it’s a hop we will continue to find a home for in our IPA work."
Chris Baker, Director of Brewing Operations - Static Profile
"My favorite Project X of 2022 was Static Profile. We nailed the mouthfeel and bitterness while creating an aroma and flavor reminiscent of orange juice. Also, Rakau is the focal hop and its fruit forward juicy attributes were on full display. Creating a hazy IPA that is balanced and hop forward is the name of the game and this was our best of 2022."
Well there you have it folks. The brewers have spoken. Unfortunately, In Memoriam and Dimensional Universe are long-gone, but Static Profile can still be found for a limited time at a craft retailer near you. Make sure to visit our beer finder to search for it near you and check out our Project X Series page for info on other beers, including the forthcoming release for January '23 - Idol Worship.
Check out this gallery highlighting three other beers in the series and comment below with your favorite of the year.