Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Hoppy Guide to Oshkosh Tap Beer

We thought it might be best to follow yesterday’s post about growing hops with something about the ultimate purpose of those lively vines: Beer. So here’s a quick tour of some of the more hop forward beers you can find on tap in Oshkosh this weekend.

Abita’s Jockamo IPA at Becket’s
A good gateway beer for would-be hopheads. Not aggressively bitter, but it comes across with plenty of American hop aroma and spiciness.

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA at Dublin’s
The people at Dogfish Head call this a “session beer for hardcore beer enthusiasts.” This beer is loaded with citrus-like American hop flavor. Juicy and bitter. A classic American IPA.

Lagunitas IPA at Oblio’s
Never shy of hyperbole, Lagunitas claims to use “43 different hops and 65 various malts.” Don’t let that fool you. Though this beer has plenty of piney hop bitterness, it’s balanced with enough bready malt to save you from involuntary puckering.

New Belgium Ranger IPA at O’Marro’s
A new entry on the hop scene and one you should check out. Almost a study in Simcoe, the American hop known for its distinctive citrus aroma and flavor. Plenty bitter, but not harsh. I think it comes across better on tap than it does from the bottle.

Pilsner Urquell at Oblio’s
These days when people talk about hoppy beers they tend to mean American hoppy beers. That’s understandable, but a beer like this shouldn't be forgotten. There isn’t a better example of the mellow, earthy flavors of European noble hops than Pilsner Urquell. Much more subtle than the flavors you’ll find in American hoppy beers. Go for the tap version. The bottled beer is often notoriously skunky.

Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale at O’Marro’s
I’m getting very thirsty. This is a beautiful beer, practically glowing with the aroma of Cascade hops. The firm hop bitterness and toasty, malty body go so well together. Order two and let the other warm a bit as you have your first. The second will be even better.

Can you guess what I'll be drinking tonight?

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