Around the Bend | Kinetic Repulse
Big thanks to Dan from Around the Bend for the review beer!
Science has been getting dragged through the mud recently. Science’s Q-rating has never been higher, but its reputation is worse than that of Congress. But science is like Father Time – undefeated. Around the Bend looks toward science for their #Science series of beers (all IPAs so far) to extract the most amount of flavor and aromas from hops they can. The focus of Kinetic Repulse – their most recent #Science beer – lands on the Galaxy hop.
We’re fans of the #Science series here at ABV Chicago. Ryan loved Recreational Chemistry (Patreon exclusive) while Craig preferred the coconut notes of Lost Words, so a track record has been established. (Colors in the Void, the third in the series, we somehow missed.)
No one ever said science was easy on the eyes. Kinetic Repulse pours a burnt orange/yellow color with about a finger and a half of head. It runs the entire color spectrum (or at least the poles of it) with the beer going from a milky white color on the surface to an almost black below. It moves very slow and thick in the glass which for some unknown reason always worries me (Sweetness? Heaviness? Irrational fear of sloths?) Don’t spend too much time looking at it.
Science does however smell delightful. By putting Galaxy hops in the whirlpool with a heavy dose of the high-linalool count Bravo hop, the aromas really shine and are front and center. Pineapple, papaya, mango, grapefruit, berries are all present, with more that I probably didn’t get. Kinetic Repulse presents itself as very tropical and very citrus forward. (Not be left out, but there’s some Citra in the whirlpool as well.)
This one takes a bit of time to find its place – just like science! A grower if there ever was one. First sip was very, very bitter and very, very medicinal. I gave my wife a sip and she couldn’t get past that aspirin quality and wouldn’t try it again (more for me), but since I’m a professional I kept researching.
The bitterness does subside a bit but is still very much present. Same goes for the aspirin/medicinal quality (which could be a β-glucoside!). Most all of the aromas are present in the beer, including pineapple and mango, while adding some orange and sherbet notes. Malt exists at no point along the taste field (typical for the style), but the sweetness also ceases to exist (atypical and a big plus). However, the alcohol is very much there and detectable, which most hazy IPAs hide extremely well. Kinetic Repulse doesn’t come off as boozy, but you do taste all 7.7% of the ABV. Adequately carbonated, only the fruits and a bit of the aspirin hang around.
While the aspirin/medicinal note will turn some people off, it does subside and the bitterness is a very welcome addition to the beer. That booziness and bitterness actually move it closer to a West Coast IPA. Kinetic Repulse is definitely not for everyone and worth a try before you buy it. That being said, Around the Bend’s #Science series has earned repeated chances based on their previous offerings. I’ll gladly try the next one in the series. After all, not every hypothesis is the correct one.
Around the Bend brews out of the District Brew Yards. They are currently open for pickup, delivery, and for draft on their ample patio.