Archive for the ‘Beer: IPA’ Category

8, 9, 10, and 11 of 2012.

So, around this time of year the vaunted Hoplsam is released by Bell’s Brewing and we couldn’t be happier. So, once again we purchased a sixer of what I consider to be the best DIPA going, and we ambitiously compared it to three others.

We may have bitten of a bit more than we could chew in terms of alcohol content in this go around, but sometimes you gotta just play through the pain…or the awesome.

Here we’ve got a west coast DIPA that Bob brought back from San Francisco, an “Imperial” IPA I brought back from Buffalo, NY, a DIPA from Charleville Brewing (this one may have been a touch past its prime), and of course, Hopslam.

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80-84...85 not pictured.

Welcome to another round of India Pale Ales. No matter how many of these we drink, there are always another fifty of these wonderful hoppy ales in the fridge to try. This time we even added a sixth to the proceedings as we had extra time and no one was around to tell us not to!

I really like the line up we had for this round. We have a well thought of craft brewer, Goose Island, a craft brewer that I don’t think gets enough press, Dundee, a highly reputed craft brew that you can’t get in St. Louis, Dogfish Head, a wonderful Scottish Brewer, Belhaven, a new to St. Louis craft brewer, Green Flash, and an English brewer, Greene King.

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The considered.

Well, with looking at beers that we’ve purchased and seen and wanted…we ended up with a whole ton India Pale Ales again, but more than that, we ended up with doubles, triples, extras, etc. So, in this installment, that I’m generously calling Double IPAs, we’re going to have one Extra IPA, one Triple IPA, and two Double IPAs…so if you average it out…that’s four double IPAs. My apologies to the person who said to me how nice it was that we don’t do too many IPAs. Bob and I both love IPAs, and the fridge is full of them. So we’ve got to move a few out…we’ll get back to another kind of beer next time. I promise.

This time out we’ve got one Schlafly, one Founders, one ODell, and one from a new to us brewer, Green Flash. We decided to take them in order of lightest to heaviest…there’s a pretty big gap between the highest and the lowest.

Bob: Overall this was a very high quality tasting session, perhaps our finest thus far. All of these brews were flavor bombs that I can’t imagine anyone being wishy-washy about.

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The group.

I don’t really know how it happened, but IPA’s seem to have become my beer of choice lately. I really have grown to love their bitter hoppiness. I suppose it may have happened after I stopped drinking session beers. Most nights, I’ll go to my fridge and have one beer. On the wild and crazy weekends, it might even be two. So, I find myself enjoying a beer for a lot longer than I normally would. IPA’s are definitely much better at being able to  enjoy them  over a longer period of time than say a macro lager…especially after letting them warm up a little bit. I try to get them to around 45 degrees before I start drinking them. I’d say by the time I’m finished, they’re probably around 60 degrees or warmer though…and most times, still very tasty.

This time we’re going with Extra IPAs, which have just a bit more kick in the alcohol content. These beers have a variance of only .07% between the highest and lowest of the three.

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Round 2.

It has been a little while since we did our first IPA sampling in our special Hopslam IPA series, and we were ready to get back at it. This time, we chose to compare some local IPA’s to the glorious god of the medium: Boulevard Brewing’s Single Wide IPA and O’Fallon Brewery’s 5 Day IPA and see how they measured up.

IPA’s or India Pale Ales came to be an export variety of Pale Ales to be sent to India. They have a very strong hoppy flavor and very bitter which was meant to survive the trip to India from England. In time domestic demand grew for the export varieties as well. (Source) (Note: Hopslam is a double IPA which is hoppier and has a higher ABV.)

We chose to drink the Hopslam last in this tasting session as not to contaminate the others…but I did find myself wanting to finish to get to the Hopslam…

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The considered.

As many of us know, it’s Hoplsam season! For the past two months, on all the forums I visit, when beer comes up, the inevitable question is when is St. Louis getting Hopslam? Why is St. Louis late getting Hopslam? Where can I get Hopslam? So, with that in mind, we’re doing a four part series in honor of Hopslam.

We are comparing other IPAs to Bell’s Hopslam.  When we went down to the beer fridge to grab some IPAs, we discovered there were far too many to drink all in one go, so we’ve decided to make this into a series. If we taste 10 IPAs in one go…what will we remember???

This will be a slightly altered and more defined direction for this column. We’ll compare IPA’s to IPA’s and such…at least the majority of the time and today, we’re comparing two IPAs to the vaunted Bell’s Hopslam: Abita’s Jockamo and Lagunita’s Hop Stoopid. How did they all fare?

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