Colorful Noise | Milk Money Brewing
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I always get excited when new breweries open up. A new take on beers, sometimes a new and different area, and possibly some food thrown in there. Milk Money Brewing recently (December 2020 or February 2021 depending on who you ask) opened as the first brewery in La Grange, IL. They combine craft beer with some Michelin-starred firepower backing the food side of things. But we’re here to talk about the beer, and given my current proclivity towards non-hazy IPAs, I naturally chose to get Milk Money’s Colorful Noise IPA.
You might remember hearing Erik Pizer’s name many years ago as owner of 350 Brewing Company when it opened in 2014. We were less than a year into being a podcast and we were able to try his delicious Crook County IPA on our Open Bottle show. He has since moved on from 350 Brewing, landing at Rock Bottom in Warrenville, IL for a spell before getting involved with Milk Money as head brewer.
Milk Money’s aesthetic appears to be a very 1950s vibe. I absolutely love the black, white and mint color scheme. Within minutes of sitting down I asked if they had their Milk Money Brewing shirt in mint. The aprons are mint and the plush and comfortable bar chairs have a similar if not slightly darker mint color. Their crowler sealing machine also kicks those mint tones. If not for some modern touches (like two flat screen TV’s above the bar), I’d swear I was in Back to the Future. Love it.
After looking at their socials and seeing this, I came into the brewpub wanting only one thing – a mint chocolate milk stout. I didn’t leave completely disappointed as there was a really good (but not canned) milk stout (called Milk Money) on tap. I would be completely ecstatic if Milk Money collaborated with, say, Werk Force on a mint chocolate milk stout. I’ll take a case if that happens. (Make it happen Erik!)
Colorful Noise comes hopped with Citra, Mosaic, and Cascade and clocks in at 7% ABV. It pours a lovely burnt orange color that I sorely miss with a majority of IPAs these days. It reminds me of a beautiful autumn sunset. Big bubbles gather to form a finger and a half of head that takes its time leaving the glass. Once gone, a thin layer remains. I can clearly see my finger and anything else through the glass. I miss this.
Colorful Noise attacks – colorfully, I guess? – aromatically while poured. It’s got those classic West Coast IPA hop aromas – dank, resinous, and piney. Seriously smells like a forest. Or 2014 in beer. Malty sweetness supports this forest of an aroma. It reminds me of Sierra Nevada, Russian River hoppy ones or any of those old-school IPAs that rarely get the hype or talked about today.
Remember the IBU Wars? No, not the Clone Wars, the IBU Wars. In the early 2010s it seems as if brewers and breweries were trying to make the most bitter beer they possibly could. IPAs with IBUs over 100 came out frequently, with breweries like Dogfish Head being at the forefront of this rush. While i don’t think Colorful Noise quite reaches 100 IBU (Untappd states 65 IBU), it is extremely bitter. Pine and resin follow that bitterness across the tongue. Some small amount of citrus flavor comes through thanks to the Citra and Mosaic, but it’s the Cascade doing all the heavy lifting here. Colorful Noise finishes dry and the bitterness stays around. This isn’t one of those West Coast IPA-in-name-only. For bitter lovers only!
The carbonation hits that sweet spot of making sure you get the flavors and bitterness and then getting the hell out of the way. Only bitterness remains after the sip. And, really, that’s what a West Coast IPA should be bringing to the table – bitterness first, with some supporting flavors and malt sweetness second.
The good part is that Milk Money decided to can this beer. 4-packs of it available to go from the brewery! The bad part comes in having a friend over who indiscriminately chugs 3 of the 4, with only the one you tucked away in the back of the fridge for this review surviving. If you’re looking for bitter, Colorful Noise has got you covered.
I’ve been on a West Coast IPA kick for some time now and this covers it in the spades. We recently did a West Coast-style Chicago show. One or two beers listed as West Coast poured closer to a hazy beer. I don’t hate the hazy style, but I am fatigued by it. Hazy beers seem to keep getting sweeter and sweeter and less bitter with every iteration. If I wanted something sweet I’d go for a pastry stout. While not a perfect beer, Colorful Noise has me longing for the days of bitter-first West Coast IPAs. If you like bitter IPAs, get Colorful Noise before it sells out at the brewery . You won’t be disappointed.
Milk Money Brewing is currently open at 75 South La Grange Road in La Grange, IL. All on-tap beers can be taken home in a 32 ounce crowler while some beers are canned (like Colorful Noise) and can be purchased in 4-packs. Reservations can be made through Tock.