The Alchemist: Focal Banger

ABV: 7.0%


Availability: Year-round

@untappd says: 4.49/5

In a week full of bucket list beers, we celebrate the 100th window sill post with the most bucket-listy beer of all time.
Can you believe it? 100 posts already! It’s been a fun road, but man, am I excited to review today’s beer, the Focal Banger. Aside from the amazing taste, I think the best part of this iconic beer—and the Heady Topper too—is the amazing and unique art that adorns the can. Well, according to Brewery Representative Christine Flynn, who so kindly answered my emails last week, you can thank Dan Blakeslee, an artist from Portsmouth, NH, for both of these beautiful works of art. All of The Alchemist‘s other labels are designed in-house, but special beer needs special art, and I think Blakeslee did a great job. I also inquired about the inspiration for the names of these two sought-after brews. It turns out there’s no real story there, which actually makes for a pretty good story. Apparently, neither origin has ever really been described. Said Flynn, “John (Founder John Kimmich) always seems to say that both were created after a long, fun night of enjoying beer.” I guess a lot of good can come from nights like that.

As for the Focal Banger, if I retired the window sill after today, I think I’d be going out on top with this American IPA. It’s among the juiciest beers I’ve ever tasted, and the Citra and Mosaic hops are perfectly balanced by their favorite British malts. As it says on the can, “Drink this beer today. You could be dead tomorrow…”

Thanks again to Brewery Representative Christine Flynn for her gracious responses!

Check out more of my bucket list beers on Instagram now!

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