Founded in 1913, Modern Times Beer—a small-production, San Diego-based brewery—is named for a 19th century socialist commune founded on Long Island, New York. With a group of like-minded friends, Jacob McKean (formerly with Stone Brewing) set out to create sessionable beers from a mashup of different styles. The brews just landed in the Treasure Valley, and the trio I tasted were true to McKean and company's goal. All three come in pint cans.
Billed as a bright, rustic saison, it's a hazy, straw-colored pour with a rich head. The characteristic funky, peppery clove aroma of Belgian yeast comes through, along with wet straw, lemon drop and a soft hit of hops. There's a smooth hop profile on the palate with just a hint of sour citrus, making this one an easy drinking, intro-level saison.
Fortunate Islands, $2.89—$3.39
They call this a pale ale, but it leans more toward the IPA style. It's a cloudy amber in the glass topped by a thick persistent head. Big, pine-laced hop aromas are backed by mango, citrus and cracked wheat. Lightly sweet malt and soft hop bitterness balance crisp tropical fruit flavors, and it's a great choice for the waning days of summer.
Blazing World, $2.89—$3.39
The two-finger head covering this crystal- clear, dark amber brew collapses slowly, leaving a nice lacing. Dark hop aromas are a mix of fruity and resinous, playing against toasted malt and toffee. This is a well-integrated brew offering layers of hop bitterness, with a creamy caramel malt component, tropical fruit and a touch of dark chocolate. Even at 6.8 percent alcohol, it's surprisingly sessionable.