In following Marz Community Brewing’s beer releases, I’ve come to learn one thing. Always expect to get way more than you bargained for.
The brewery is just one project in the balancing act that Ed Marszewski has going on. As the driving force behind Marz Brewing, the Co-Prosperity Sphere gallery, Maria’s Packaged Goods, he co-founded the Kickstarter funded Lumpen Radio with Leah Menzer, which began broadcasting over Chicago’s FM airwaves early this summer.
Lumpen Radio’s initiatives are similar to that of the brewery; to give talented artists the platform to share to share their work. Unlike other stations broadcasting over the airwaves, there’s no genre of music they adhere to. Sometimes there are stories and dramatic readings, news and other curated collections from those seeking exposure, and sometimes there are just ambient noises. It’s a fitting formula when paired with their methodology in crafting their beer.
Fast forward to Lumpen Radio’s debut, the gallery held a launch party and Marz brewed Lumpen Radio Liquid Release Volume No. 1. I was able to find a bottle a few months back when it was released and was expecting one thing from this IPA and got something entirely different.
The label featured the track list of The Palace Sound, the band that had performed at the launch party as well as a link to download the album, giving those lucky enough to purchase it the ability to connect to their various projects on several levels in addition to brewing a beer worthy of the shelf space in its own right.
Pop the bottle cap, begin to pour it into your glass and you won’t be greeted by the familiar sights of IPAs as we know them today. Instead, you’re treated to rich shades of cherry and mahogany with a thick, off-white head that sticks around for days. Nothing about this IPA is typical.
As with many of their beers, the nose carries heavy fruit aromas; slightly citrus with a moderately resinous scent. First sip brings upon heavy plum-esque flavor, followed by roasted maltyness that rides its way to a bitter hop finish. It’s a refreshingly retro take on an IPA, which I would fathom is what Marz is after.
Last month, I was able to snag a bottle of Marz newly released Double IPA called Liquid Dreams. Going into drinking this one, I thought they might veer back towards the typical American IPA; gold in color with a white head and hops galore. I was again brought back to the unexpected.
While not quite as dark, Liquid Dreams has several similarities to its Lumpen Radio predecessor. It pours a hazy orange with reddish hues and a simliar off-white head. Get your nose close and you’ll recognize the boozy difference straight away, while still managing to carry a floral, fruity scent. One sip and you’ll be surprised how well the booze is hidden, first and foremost by tropical fruit notes.
From there, it makes an extremely smooth transition from a sweet, malty/earthyness and ends with a terrific pithy, bitter, citrus rhine, hop flavor. Such a well-balanced surprise at 9% ABV. Certainly more than I bargained for.