When I first visited Moonraker some two years ago they were fairly new and I was quite harsh as I judged them by the same standards that I judge most breweries. However, in order to fully recognize their progress, I made another trip to Sacramento so that I could try their beers again see how much better they have gotten over the last few years. While not every beer was amazing, there were two beers that were much more in line with my expectations for a proper hazy IPA.
Cloud castles was a deliciously citrus forward beer with a light bitterness and mild hop acidity on the finish. The beer was quite delicious although not as hazy as other beers I had on the same flight. Yojo, one of their most popular beers was quite excellent this time and very close to the flavor and mouth feel of fresh treehouse green, which I have been enjoying recently. The beer was quite tropical with guava, mild citrus, and a pillowy body. I was quite disappointed that they did not have cancer that I could try this side-by-side with treehouse green.
Yojo 33 1/2 was much thinner and had notes of bubblegum and grape. While easy drinking it lacked the punch of hop aroma of the previous two beers but it was still good. Hazy Duz It a double IPA was a bit darker in color and flavors of more resinous or pine character with more prominent malt flavor as well. I felt this beer was a bit muted in the hop aroma character but still good. The cloudy judgment double IPA was much more my style, thick and creamy with light citrus notes and flavors of sweet white cake, mango, and pineapple. This was another standout for me. I finished with the double vespers milk stout with coconut and vanilla and while it tasted pretty good at the beginning, it quickly tasted like sunscreen for me and I did not care for it.
In summary, Moonraker has achieved a quality of their hazy IPAs that makes their hyped status worth it especially for Yojo. From the lineup, it does appear as if they still have not gotten to the point where all of their beers are as creamy but they are able to achieve it sometimes. This particular batch of Yojo was spot on.