Focal Banger

Review Date 5/20/2022 By John Staradumsky


Welcome friends, to Economics 101. At least, as it were, with relation to beer. You see, one of the fundamental principles of economics is the law of supply and demand. When supply is greater than demand, prices go down. When demand exceeds supply, prices go up. Very simple, but very true.

If there is any brewery that knows how to manipulate the laws of supply and demand, it is Vermontí The Alchemist. They do not, however, use it in the classic fashion. What they do is to keep supply below demand not to drive up pries as far as possible, but instead to keep demand above supply continuously.

Consider Focal Banger India Pale Ale. After many years of trying to find it, I finally got a can from for $9.99. Thatís pretty pricey for a pint of beer, but to be fair in areas where The Alchemist distributes, you can get a 4-pack of this beer for $16.99 at Total Wine (when you can find it). I have seen many craft beers of lesser quality command far more than that.

The Alchemist does the same thing with Heady Topper, keeping supply low and demand and interest in the beer high. Certainly, other brewers know how to do this as well (I think of Russian River and Pliny the Elder and Younger).

Be that as it may, I have a can of Focal Banger before me now, and I am really enjoying it. From the label on my can:

Focal Banger is an American India Pale Ale. We have a real love for IPAs here at The Alchemist, and we strive to offer you the best hop experience that we possibly can.

This beer is brewed using Citra and Mosaic hops and our favorite British malts. Truly, an abundance of hoppy goodness...

Freshness and control have always been my main concern when it comes to our beer. We are committed to providing you with an unfiltered and unpasteurized hop experience.

Why do I recommend that you drink it from the can? Quite simply, to ensure a delightful hop experience. The act of pouring it in a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have worked so hard to retain.

If you MUST pour it into a glass, you may find that some of the hop resins have settled to the bottom-leave them in the can when pouring. This beer is perishable and at its best when it is young, fresh and hazy. Keep it cold, but not ice cold.

Drink this beer today, you could be dead tomorrow...

John Kimmich

Focal Banger has an alcohol content of 7% by volume. My can is stamped CANNED 04/19/2022. I got it from Craftshack on May 10th and drank it on May 16th, which is a pretty quick turnaround for me.

The Alchemist Focal Banger pours to a hazy yellow color with a thick fluffy white head and a nose of intense grapefruit citrus. A thick layer of Brussels Lace forms on the side of my glass and follows the liquid all the way to the bottom. Taking a sip, the beer is medium in body and even more grapefruity than the nose promised. A hint of tropical pineapple comes through, along with grapefruit pith and bitter rind. The beer finishes very bitter and very satisfying indeed.

I might like this better than Heady Topper! Contrary to the instructions on the can, I poured into a glass and also roused the last third and added it in after drinking half my glass. The bitterness became more intense when I did this, and the hop aroma, too.

Would I buy this again, even at ten bucks a can? Just try to stop me.


Glad I tried it?  T

Would I rebuy it??


*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned