One of the hardest working humans in Connecticut craft beer is John Kraszewski of Armada Brewing. Kraszewski moved from Illinois back to his home state of Connecticut back in March of 2016 and quickly began assembling the parts that would eventually become Armada Brewing. Renting out space in East Haven at the already established Overshores Brewing Company, Armada began releasing beers one at a time on 750ml bottles and building the brand my distribution as opposed to taproom sales. At one glance, it can seem risky, on another, genius.
Hitting markets that most breweries can’t reach in one fowl swoop is exactly what Armada banks on. If a brewery is based in the northeastern tip of CT, it’s tough to penetrate the Fairfield County market, but Armada finds itself on shelves or on tap from Canton to Stratford. Without a taproom audience to satisfy, Armada bottles their beer and delivers to package stores and bars around the state. While weekends aren’t built around selling pints and flights, Armada’s beer is technically reaching a wider audience on a daily basis than its statewide rivals.
We got out hands on Armada’s Black IPA, Death of Corruption which was an ambitious beer that delivered on everything we hoped it would.
If the hop craze is the new thing, then why aren’t Black IPA’s more abundant? it’s all about the image these days. The hazy juice bomb IPA’s are getting all the Instagram likes and attention so when a brewery puts out a jet-black offering, the audience immediately correlates it with malty, astringent, and roasty.
Death of Corruption gets its appearance without the usual bitterness carried by darker malts. A de-husked German malt gets the aspired color, but not the undesired bitterness. There is a warm, roasted character to Corruption and there should be, this is a Black IPA. If you want a fluffy, fruity, juicy IPA, go wait in line somewhere for an hour and force a smile as you walk back to your car with a four-pack of obscenely overpriced beer.
DEATH OF CORRUPTION
Corruption smacks the palate with sharp pine bitterness that melds so well with the dark fruit tones from the malt background. Both extremes somehow find a balance and you find yourself drinking something totally unique, which these days, is really saying something.
Coming in at 7.5% ABV, this offering from the East Haven tenant isn’t for the weak hearted. Shelf space is becoming a heated competition amongst CT breweries, and Armada has been getting more and more of it in recent months. With a few more fermenters purchased, expect more Armada beer to be available throughout the summer into the fall and beyond.