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A Celebration of Mediocrity
is No Mediocre Beer

{Reviewing Mediocrity and Celebrating it}

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   In this article, I will give you a reason to want Mediocrity to be a part of your life. It is on the taproom menu of

Almost Famous Brewing Company in East Granby, CT.

They just opened two weeks before this review and are the talk of the town. For only being open for such a short time, they are truly showing the industry “Just How It's Done.”  


   To avoid going down a rabbit trail, I will focus on the beer and not the brewery. This article is about the New England-style Double IPA called A Celebration of Mediocrity.  Toting an ABV of 8.5% and an IBU of 50 is far from insignificant or fair to middling.

Rapping with Jim


   I had the opportunity to talk to Jim Wilfinger, the brewmaster at Almost Famous, and I asked him about this brew.  He started by saying he used the local Thrall malt during his boil.  


Thrall Family Malt


    This malt is from Thrall Family Malt, based in Windsor, CT.  William Thrall first started farming this land in 1646, and now, three hundred and seventy-six years later, the Thrall family still tends to the land.  


   In 2017 the Thrall family started Connecticut’s first modern malt house, providing top-notch, locally-grown grains and malts to Connecticut craft breweries. The history involved here is impressive.


   Jim continued to comment on the ABV being 8.5% and that the malt “kind of hides the alcohol (flavor) a bit.”  I couldn’t agree more.  There is a very smooth flavor running across the full spectrum of this beer.  Alcohol is not the predominant taste when drinking this beer.  Jim also said that this Double NEIPA has a smooth mouthfeel attributed to the 18% oats used in the mix.


Jim Wilfinger - Brewmaster

Rapping with Jim
Thrall Malt

Hopping Right Along


   I asked Jim what hops he used, and he replied, Citra, Vic Secret, and Talus.  I believe it's time to look at these three hops to see what traits they hold and how they contributed to making this brew.




   While researching Citra on the Yakima Valley Hops website, I found this statement; “Citra® is the current superstar of the hop world. Citra® is the most sought-after hop variety because it offers an intense citrusy flavor and aroma that revolutionized IPAs. In addition, it pairs well with other varieties like Mosaic®, Galaxy®, El Dorado®, or BRU-1™ or is even strong enough to carry a beer on its own.”

   Many beers have been brewed solely with Citra hops.  A couple of examples of these Citra Single-Hop Beers include; Pseudo Sue by Toppling Goliath Brewing Co., which received a 4.13 with an astonishing 202,003 Ratings, and Zombie Dust by 3 Floyds Brewing Co. with a 4.27 with an even more impressive 251,538 Ratings, both on UnTappd.

Hopping Along
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   It is formally known as HBC 692, and it is considered a BIG flavor impact hop pound for pound. When used as a whirlpool addition or dry hop addition, HBC 692 delivers intense flavors of citrus, flowers, and wood. The taste is grapefruit, floral, stone fruit, potpourri, woody, coconut, and pine.


   Celebration of Mediocrity definitely carries that grapefruit, piney flavor to the point that tells you this has the foundation of being a classic IPA-style beer but calmed by the other attributes in the mix.


Vic Secret™  


   Vic Secret™ is a newer variety of hop, introduced to the market in 2013. You can expect flavors and aromatics of clean pineapple and passionfruit, with a little woody aroma in the background. Her characteristics come out more intensely in a whirlpool or dry-hop additions. Vic Secret™ possesses similar yet lighter characteristics than her peer Galaxy™, and Jim referred to Vic Secret as a “Poor man’s Galaxy.”   Whether she is considered a “substitute hop” or not, she shined bright in this batch of brew.

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Vic Secret
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Sniff and Sip


   In my evaluation of the beer, I did my usual Sniff and Sip and found that the aroma was faithful to the characteristic of the hops described above.  Therefore, I detected a pleasant air of citrus and floral that was most prevalent.  The sweet fruit, grapefruit, and piney tastes were at the beginning of the sip, but that malt kicked in and subdued and balanced the flavors very nicely.  I could taste the alcohol, but I agree with Jim that the malt hid it well.  


Bud’s Overall Rating


   I enjoyed drinking this beer, and I will return to Almost Famous Brewing Company to have another soon and hopefully sample and review other beers in their collection.   As for Celebration, I couldn’t find any other reviews to give you, but I am giving it a sold 4 mugs.  Keep up the great work.


Sniff & Sip
Bud's Rating

Time to Hear From You

  • Have you been to Almost Famous Brewing Co. yet?

  • Have you ever tasted a beer with Vic Secret hops?

  • Do you like Husky Dogs?  Almost Famous does.

Leave me a comment below.  Please take a moment to visit my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube channel.  Subscribe, like, share, and all that brouhaha. 


Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.

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What's a Blurb?!!


blurb  /blərb/


  1. a short description of a book, movie, or other product written for promotional purposes 

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