America, Fuck Yeah!!!!

With the 4th of July just a day away, the testosterone driven American pride reaches its yearly peak. Its the one time of the year when its acceptable for Americans to say fuck you and good riddance to the British. Come on you know you really want to. Also in this moment pro-American songs take on more epic meaning, for example:

Thank you Trey Parker and Matt Stone for writing the greatest pro American song ever!!

Anyways time to drag this post back into the realm of beer relevance. During this “Screw the British” holiday of ours we should embrace that American style that is a big fat middle finger to British beer tradition: The American IPA and its bastardized sub styles! One of the quintessential English beers, the IPA, has been gloriously bastardized* by brewers from around this great country. The subtlety that has become the English IPA just doesn’t live up to the America’s over-the-topness. This 4th of July enjoy the American IPA and its various sub styles:

Victory Brewing Company
Hop Devil
6.7% ABV
American IPA
Rating out of 5: 3.85

Hopdevil pours a nice dark copper color. Things are topped off by a finger or so of light khaki head. The head settles to a ¼ ring. Head leaves plenty of sticky lace in its wake.

Onto the aroma. Lightly pungent grapefruit hits the nose first. A bit of herbal mint backs things up. Juicy orange notes are present as well. A touch of sweet caramel and very light baked bread notes make an appearance. An overall fruitiness is present as well. Some stone fruit notes,mainly peaches, as well as a hint of apple/pear round out the nose.

The hops are bit more dominate on the palate. Grapefruit notes are more pungent. Stronger mint notes have a drying quality. Some orange peel notes round out the hops. More peach notes show up near the finish. Some light apple notes are present as well. The finish is lightly drying, with a lingering herbal bitterness.

Hopdevil sits near the lightish end of medium bodied. The carbonation is effervescent.

Hopdevil doesn’t wreck the palate with aggressive hops like a typical American IPA. Its a more balanced take on things. If you are hoping for a hop bomb, this ain’t it. For those seeking a lighter, easy drinking IPA, Hopdevil is the perfect choice. In the end this is a well crafted and balanced brew.


Bear Republic Brewing Company
Hop Rod Rye
8.0% ABV
Rye IPA
rating out of 5: 4.65

Color – Murky deep red/mahogany. Off white/Tan head. Thick and creamy head falls to a 1/4 inch. Leaves some beautiful lacing down the glass.

Smell – Hops and lots of em. Very citrusy/orange hops with a bit of light piny-ness. A bit of caramel/toasted and rye malt struggle to make it past the hops.

Taste – Initial taste of toasty caramel malts, with a touch of a biscuity quality. Malt is immediately beaten into submission by the hops. Hops match the nose. Fruity/citrusy/orange hops dominate the palette. The finish is dry and spicy with a long lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel – Chewy with a prickly carbonation.

Overall this is one impressive beer. The rye helps give this beer a defining edge over other DIPA’s. Is it balanced? Screw balance. This beer is a hopheads dream come true. Yet another wonderful brew from the folks at Bear Republic.


Stone Brewing Company
Ruination
7.7% ABV
Double IPA
Rating out of 5: 4.2

Appearance: Hazy Copper. Nice frothy/creamy head. Head falls to a ring. Leaves plenty of lacing down the glass.

Smell: Initial aroma is of hops…loads of hops. Initial burst of floral and piny notes. That’s followed by some earthy citrus/grapefruit. There’s some bready and toasty malt notes in the background.

Taste: Much like the aroma. Initial burst of hops – floral upfront, followed pineapple and grapefruit notes. Earthy and minty notes in the middle. A very smooth hop character. There’s also a constant bready/toasty malt backbone throughout. The finish is dry with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a crisp carbonation.

This is one hell of a beer. This beer truly lives up to its name. My taste buds have been wonderfully decimated by loads of delicious hop flavor. It has truly ruined my palate for the evening…and that’s a good thing!


Deschutes Brewing Company
Hop In The Dark
6.5% ABV
Cascadian Dark Ale
Rating out of 5: 4.1

This brew pours a slight shade above pitch black. Things are topped off by a couple of fingers worth of light khaki head. Some lacing is left down the glass.

The aroma is classic American IPA with a bit of a porter/stout layer underneath. Bright citrusy hops hit the nose first. Grapefruit dominates upfront. A bit of juicy orange is present as well. A nice floral hop quality rounds out the hops. Behind the hops is a definite roast quality. Some light coffee and chocolate notes are present. The dark roasty malts never overtake the hops in the nose.

The taste follows the nose closely. Grapefruit and light orange notes hit first. Behind the citrus is a bit of herbal hop quality. Hops waft over the tongue with a drying quality. Each sip encourages you to take another. Behind the onslaught of hops, a bit of roasty dark malt shows up. Light bittersweet chocolate comes into play. Backing things up is some light roasted coffee notes. The finish offers a nice balance between the citrusy hops and the roasted malts. Overall the finish is dry, with some lingering herbal bitterness.

Mouthfeel sits squarely in the range of medium bodied. The carbonation offers an effervescent quality.

Hop In The Dark is a tasty brew. While definitely a hop heads brew, this shouldn’t deter the rest. The brass hop-centric citrus quality makes a porter-esque beer into a very bright, refreshing brew. Its rare that a brew the color of used motor oil manages to be this refreshing. The Cascadian dark ale/Black IPA/Whatever seems to be here to stay. With brews like this I am glad its here to stay.

*In all historical honesty its the British IPA that has become bastardized. The brash over the top American version is much more likely to resemble the original brews being drunk and enjoyed in India a century ago or more.

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~ by thebrewgeek on Saturday, July 3, 2010.

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