Something my brother and I love about the local craft beer scene is all the different shapes and sizes breweries come in. We have the juggernauts like Two Roads and Stony Creek, there’s the dozens of micros that work out of a taproom with 3 to 7bbl systems barely keeping beers on tap for more than a few weeks, and then there’s the even smaller ones like Fat Orange Cat that works on a 1bbl system out of a barn in East Hampton.
Armada Brewing falls somewhere short of the micros in terms of production, but perhaps ahead of Fat Orange Cat in terms of reach. Armada operates out of Overshores Brewing in East Haven with one 10bbl fermenter. They focus on one batch at a time, making sure everything is just right before bottling (usually a fun day filled with beer sharing and free samples), packaging, and hand delivering bottles and kegs to liquor stores and restaurants/bars all around CT.
It’s a completely unique way to do things. Contract brewing isn’t exactly a new practice, nor is Armada re-inventing the wheel, but the passion and savvy idea to focus on one release at a time makes Armada one of the most unique breweries in CT.
When Armada came on the scene at the top of 2017, it was Cursed King, an American IPA which we described in a previous review as a perfect blend between the New England style that’s so popular now, and the classic hop forward West coast IPA. It wasn’t long before the IIPA, Fortune Raider was released with great fanfare. Now, Armada is on to their third installment, White Storm.
This American Pale Ale is dripping with flavor, coupled with a healthy dose of wheat malt in the grain bill to let those hops sit on a soft malt backbone that graces your palate with some courtesy. But knowing Armada, those hops aren’t going to hide anywhere, and we’re glad they don’t. Toward the back end of your sip you’ll experience almost a second dose of flavor with notes of tangerine and a touch of pine resin. The softer mouthfeel and subtle hop start will have your mind thinking APA, but the bitterness on the end and full hop flavor will have your taste buds thinking IPA.
Overall, White Storm is another solid addition to the growing fleet Armada has set out for the Connecticut craft beer faithful. With a few more offerings on the way, we’re looking forward to Death of Corruption, a Black IPA, and Coffee King, basically Cursed King infused with coffee in the near future.
Check Armada’s website (www.armadabeer.com) for full descriptions of their beers and where to find them. Also keep an eye out for their handmade wooden tap handles at a bar near you.