Beer Review :: Karben4 Fantasy Factory :: IPA

in beer •  5 months ago

There comes a time in every man's beer drinking life that he must ignore the label on the bottle entirely and just roll the dice and hope for the best.

This is one of those times.

Karben4's Fantasy Factory IPA has one of the most intentionally weird labels I've ever seen on a bottle.

Sporting a fire-breathing unicorn being ridden by a cat holding a gun, it exemplifies the adage that you can't trust a book by its cover. Or a beer bottle by its label.

Karben4 is a Madison, Wisconsin brewery founded in 2012. They mostly only distribute in Wisconsin, but they've been expanding a lot recently so they will likely start reaching into neighboring states. I've not tried their products before. I'm going to start looking for their beers on tap and in stores now.

Since I'm in Wisconsin right now, Madison is about a 2 hour drive south of me, and as such their beer ought to be fresh and tasty. Let's see what we have here.

Let's get started. It's a nice Saturday afternoon. I'm outside with a beer and my laptop and plan to do some writing, and this very distracting bottle comes along.

I just don't know what's going on with this label, but I think I want it as a poster in my office.

Sporting 6.3% ABV, it's reasonably powerful, but a couple of them won't knock you over.

I do like Karben4's logo. Seems very sciency.

Finally got it out of the bottle, and it pours a warm orange, nearly red. Head was medium and long lasting. Very pleasant aroma.

I checked out the score on it after I consumed the beer. While sometimes I want to know if a beer is considered good or not before I buy it, in this case I had already purchased it. And lo, it was good.

In summary:

A hazy pour, with a very fruity nose and peach aroma. Sweet at the beginning fading to bitter at the tail end. A nice malt backbone as well so it's not just all hops in your mouth. Surprisingly good. Don't judge a beer by its label.


Images by @negativer

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What an epic label. That's awesome.
An IPA with a good malt backbone is a must for me if I drink an IPA, which actually doesn't seem to exist much. Seems like you found a nice local gem here.


I love an ipa that can balance the malt with the hops. Seems it's rare indeed.

I judge a beer by how chewy it is.

I demand that my beers be chewy... otherwise, why bother?

I agree, the label is something else. However, not enough to redeem a non-chewy beer... But I agree, maybe a good poster?



So if you did judge a beer by its label, what would your assessment be? That no serious beer worth its hops would have a gun-slinging cat or a fire-breathing unicorn on its label? 🤣

But in all seriousness, I enjoyed this post. Beer and wine companies have gotten so clever with their graphics and marketing that it’s easier than ever to be wowed by presentation, whether or not it’s truly earned the product.

I sat out on a patio with friends last night and had a Surly Furious, my favorite. Ah summer!


Surly, for instance, has great can/tap handle artwork. You expect the beer will be good.

Something that looks like it came from art class at a pre-school normally is a bad sign. Normally. But no longer, I guess. The last bastion of beer decision-making has been shattered, and now I have to actually taste the beer to know for sure if it's good.

Oh well!


It’s tough to be you! I know you’re up to the challenge. I believe in you. 😊

cheers🍺 enjoy your beer 🍻

Looks yammi cheers !

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