Tag Archives: ecliptic

On The Rail: Ecliptic

Due to a miscommunication, I have arrived in the Mississippi area with nobody to meet and no goals to accomplish. Sounds like a good time to check out Ecliptic brewing again. I ask about the Points Unknown IPA, a collaboration with the Stone & Wicked Weed breweries. Told it’s a blend of 25% Belgian trippel ale aged in tequila & red wine barrels, and 75% double IPA.

Whoa. Let’s try that.

It’s complicated, I’ll give the beer that. The tequila aftertaste is in the nose, after the fruitiness, and the beer tastes…weird. The finish is dry with a hint of cough medicine in it, then goes vegetal on me. The middle seems almost nonexistent. I really can’t recommend this blend and I’m disappointed because I haven’t had a beer from Ecliptic I’ve liked yet, but I’ve been told so many good things. Everyone else loves them and I’m standing there asking why?

The man next to me asks about the beer, so I tell him. As soon as the word ‘tequila’ comes out of my mouth, his eyes get wide and he says “Tequila is a bad idea for me.” He decides on the porter and when I ask him about it, he says “It reminds me of McMinamins,” (and my eyes go wide with negativity) “but that’s really not so bad,” he finishes.

Oh?

“Yes,” he says, “but I’m not sure how to describe it better yet. I’m just going to stare at my phone until it comes to me.” I nod; sometimes you have to let your brain go in order to hit on the proper description.

“It’s not bad,” he adds, absentmindedly, “but I think you could probably get a better sense of it if you had a sample.”

Probably true but I’ve had my only beer here, so Ecliptic’s redemption will have to wait for another day.

Where I Want to Go: Ecliptic Brewing

I wanted to like Ecliptic from the start. Just walking up to the big gray building drenched in white-blue halogen light felt good. The interior was a bit dimmer than I would have liked but still bright enough to play cards by and the televisions on the wall weren’t enough to overpower the rest of the place, if you didn’t want to watch the game.

Once I got in, I read a bit about them and found out they were combining astronomy and brewing, naming the beers after celestial objects. As a lover of sci-fi I was really looking forward to what was on tap. As a lover of brewing, I was excited to see what the former brewer for Deschutes was going to offer. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out like I’d hoped.

I lead off with the Spica hefepils which smelled skunky, as if light struck. I don’t know how a beer served at night from a keg tastes light struck but I was dismayed at this discovery. As I continued to drink the beer, corn became a more notable presence but that didn’t help at all. It tasted cheap, with a finish that starts with a hit of sour, rapidly moves to a cheap, nasty bitterness with a final dirty override I’ve come to associate with organic organic beers.

I hate this beer. I cannot even believe I am writing this but it is true. The Spica tastes like an expensive PBR and I am loathe to finish it.

However, one beer is not the be all end all, right? And a pils is a very difficult style to master, especially on a new brewing system. Ecliptic hasn’t been around that long, so perhaps they’ll get that ironed out while being supported by the other beers. I had an Arcturus IPA and it’s much better, with a lime nose and finish, nothing overpowering but definitely pleasant. It wasn’t great but it was at least good.

In addition, I was with some friends and they all ordered food. It smelled delicious and they let me mooch some fries off their plates, which were fantastic. If you can do good french fries you’re well over halfway to getting everything else right, as far as I’m concerned. Good french fries are hard to get, man.

Between this place and the Tannery, I may have to start a new series with a redemption theme. Not a bad excuse to go visit a brewery that has as much potential as Ecliptic does.

Finally, this is the last post until next Monday, and that will be the last post until the Monday after. Happy holidays, everyone!