TF Daisy Chain and Helper Idea Shower | Drink | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Eat & Drink » Drink

TF Daisy Chain and Helper Idea Shower

New brewing techniques create two very different IPAs


  • Mike Riedel

TF - Daisy Chain: This New England IPA features a relatively new hop called Anchovy. It's a terrible name for a hop; it actually features no fishy tastes or aroma. The brew pours a hazy golden color, with a small head of white foam. The head has a moderate level of retention, fading over time and leaving a touch of foamy lace on the sides of the glass. The killer aroma is punchy up front with dehydrated pineapple, pristine wet lawn—like an early morning fairway. Hints of coconut and melon emerge—bold yet delicate, with an insane degree of freshness. You don't get much from the malt at all—just a soft honey note that works with the hops, holds a resinous texture, but stays mostly in the background.

The taste begins with a crisp cracker and bready malt flavor, paired with a rather strong showing of nectarine and peach. There are some lighter notes of melon, berries and papaya, along with a bit of lemon. Up front, there is also a bit of a floral hop taste, along with some graininess. The hop and grain grow a bit stronger, all while the sweet fades a tad, leaving one with a crisper, rather easy-natured citrusy taste to linger on the tongue. The body of the 7.3 percent brew is pillowy with an average carbonation level, great for making an approachable and easy-drinking brew.

Verdict: Crushable, but there's enough flavor to be satisfying as a slow sipper, and the way this has come together overall is extremely impressive. It's about as good as it gets for me, resplendent and exceptional.

Helper - Idea Shower: This cold-style IPA has a very pale straw color with a rocky white head. Vigorous carbonation features small, medium and larger-sized bubbles. The beer is quite clear; any haze will likely be chill haze. Nice aromas include dank notes with passion fruit, mango and pineapple, plus strawberries and a hint of chewable vitamins. There's also some pepperiness, and a subtle, doughy malt profile in the background.

Tons of grapefruit hit from the start of the taste, but the citrus character is less about juiciness than about the pithy, rindy, bitter nature of the citrus, bringing a lot of aromatics. There is some juiciness, but not a lot. The beer is pretty simple in its flavors, and everything works well together—a dry, crisp lager with lots of citrusy hop character. Pretty interesting that it can be so citrusy without any Citra hops. And as much bitterness as you get, it does not linger long on the finish. There's a subtle sweetness that comes through from the cracker-like malt, especially after the quick finish from the hops subsides. The 6.8 percent beer also has a touch of juicy acidity, which is nice. The beer is light- to medium-bodied, nicely carbonated with a clean, crisp, dry finish. Very drinkable and refreshing.

Verdict: It can be difficult to tell the difference between a West Coast pilsner, an Imperial pilsner (IPL), and a cold IPA. I previously thought that IPLs and cold IPAs were very similar; now I think that a West Coast Pilsner and a cold IPA are even more similar. I think what distinguishes the cold IPAs is that they have more malt balance coming through. This beer would be amazing on a hot day.

Idea Shower will take some effort to track down if you're outside of Helper, Utah. Beer pubs like The Bayou and Slackwater will have it, but when it's gone, it's gone. Daisy Chain is available for sure at TF's brewery, but it's a limited run as well, so don't delay on either of these new brews. As always, cheers!