Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Double Dose of Bitter Beer

And now it’s time for some IPA... If you’re looking to get your hops on this weekend, may I suggest a couple lovely bombers of bitter.

New Belgium Hop the Pond Double IPA
Yeezus, this one surprised me. With a heavy, resinous aroma of citrus and spruce, I was all set for this thing to screw bitterness into my jowls with a vengeance. Not so. For all it’s aromatic roar, the damned thing was gentle as a kitten. A wonderfully soft mouthfeel with a fruity, lemon/lime sorta hop flavor that immediately reminded me of Sprite® soda. The bitterness comes on stronger in the finish, but never quite reaches the punishing climax I kept expecting. I’m not complaining. Rare is the DIPA that makes me want another. This one did.

Hop the Pond Fact Sheet
The Brewery: New Belgium Brewing was launched in 1991. It is an employee-owned brewery with production facilities in Fort Collins, CO. This year the brewery plans to open a second production brewery in Asheville, N.C. New Belgium Produced 792,292 bbls of beer in 2013. It is the third largest craft brewery in the United States.
The Name: Hop the Pond is a reference to the sourcing of the beer’s ingredients, which were grown in Australlia Canada, Chile, England, Germany and the U.S.
Hops: Admiral, Citra, Galaxy, Styrian Dana.
IBUs: 80
ABV: 8.0%
Package: 22oz bottle
Where: Ski’s Meat Market
Price: $5.99

Toppling Goliath ZeeLander IPA
I’ve had several bottles of this over the past three weeks. The last bottle, I jotted down some notes. When I looked at them just now, I thought, well that doesn’t sound very good. But it is. Here’s most of what I scribbled: Gold. Hazy. Pillow white foam. Smells vegetal. Oniony. Light bodied. Fucking creamy! Smells like marijuana. Lots of lacing. Odd flavor. Celery. Grassy. Dandelion? Bitter. Not too bitter. Articulate, ain’t I? Just be happy I left out the crap about my back hurting. I think it’s a brilliant beer. Adam at Gardina’s says people seem to either love it or hate it. Aren’t those usually the best kind?

ZeeLander Fact Sheet
The Brewery: Toppling Goliath Brewing is located in Decorah, IA. The brewery was launched in 2009. This is a small, highly-rated brewery that currently produces approximately 5,000 bbls of beer annually. Oshkosh is one of just a handful of Wisconsin cities that receives Toppling Goliath’s beer.
The Name: ZeeLander is in reference to New Zeeland, where the hops for this beer were grown.
Hops: Nelson Sauvin, Nelson Sauvin and then some more Nelson Sauvin.
IBUs: 80
ABV: 5.5%
Package: 22oz bottle
Where: Gardina’s
Price: $8.99

A Final Word of Encouragement
Bell’s Hopslam began shipping last Monday. We ought to see it hitting the shelves here in town within the next few days. Here’s to your embittered existence!

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