Hoppy & Hop Forward – Beer Reviews

Fat Head’s Head Hunter

head hunter

Head Hunter has so much hype around it, winning a Silver and Bronze Medal at GABF in 2010 and 2011 respectively, and being awarded the Brewing News‘s National IPA Champion in 2012. I have had this beer many times and I can tell you that it is definitely worth it. If you don’t have the luxury of having Head Hunter in a store near you, I suggest finding somewhere to get it. This is one of those citrus and piney hoppy beers that I love. It has a crisp, biting flavor that turns a bit earthy as it lingers. …

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Two Brothers – Resistance

two-brothers-resistance-ipa

I had this beer from a bottle last summer and thoroughly enjoyed it. So when I saw it on tap on my local watering hole, I was excited to have another glass.  Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed.  Resistance is described as an oak-aged IPA with a hoppy middle and an oaky finish.  Neither I, nor my friend who sample with me, got any oak, either is taste or aroma.  The beer actually was pretty harsh.  There wasn’t much flavor until about 30 seconds after swallowing each sip.  And then the bitter hop bite took over my palate.  This was definitely not…

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Ballast Point – Big Eye IPA

big-eye-ipa_large

As a huge fan of Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA, I was prepared to be a bit underwhelmed by Big Eye.  That is far from the case.

Big Eye starts off with an earthy, bitter taste.  While sampling Big Eye, I had a few other IPAs lined up to taste and this one was darker, more of an amber than golden in color.  As it warmed up, not much changed.  This beer is just pure West Coast hops, without blowing away your tastebuds by overdoing them.  As a fan of the West Coast hop style, I enjoyed it.  I still prefer Sculpin,…

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Columbus Brewing – Bodhi

Columbus-Brewing-Company

I am in love with this beer.  Being a huge fan of citrusy hops, I constantly order the Bodhi.  If it’s on tap, I’m getting it, pretty much without fail.   Bodhi is a DIPA, so I can’t really put it in the same category with the other IPAs that I review.  That would be like comparing Kelly Rowland to Beyonce.  While they were both in Destiny’s Child and Kelly on her own is a fine singer, there is just no comparison between the two and there probably shouldn’t be.  This beer does so much right.  That citrusy hop smell would be all I need…

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Ithaca Excelsior! Thirteen

Ithaca13

This beer is described as a double hoppy wheat, which led me to picture a summer beer good for sipping on the patio.  Not so.  This is definitely a fall beer, as it is not light.  There is a crisp citrusy finish that is perfect for a cooler evening.  Its taste resembles an IPA more than a wheat beer.  There is that clear bitter hop finish that is prevalent in all IPAs.  The aroma is piney, while the flavor is citrusy due to orange and lemon peel being added during the brewing process.  Even though this one goes down really…

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Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black Ale

Stone-Escondidian-IPA-570x673

I’ve been a huge fan of black IPAs this year.

This is one of my favorite IPAs, including the American and Indian more common varieties.  It is so unique in flavor and all-around texture, aroma, and mouth-feel, that it almost falls out of the category.   This is thicker than your typical IPA, but not so thick as a stout or porter.  It has a coffee, chocolate and caramel flavor, similar to what is often found in stouts, in addition to the hoppy finish that lingers.  15th is not overly bitter though.  The hops perfectly match the initial sweetness.  While there…

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North Peak Vicious

North Peak Vicious American Wheat IPA

This American Wheat Beer tastes much like an IPA.  The wheatiness is not overly present.  Without the classification on the bottle, I would not have identified this as a wheat beer.  Even though this is a relatively hoppy beer, it is very smooth and light for being almost 7% alcohol.  Which means, make sure to pay attention if you are drinking more than one of these.  They go down quick.  There is a nice back of throat hop bite that lingers a bit at the end. If you enjoy IPAs, this is a great one.

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Three Floyds Gumball Head

Three Floyds Gumball Head

While Three Floyds classifies this beer as an American Wheat, I feel that its hop presence places it firmly in the hoppy category.  While hoppy, this beer is nice and smooth with a lemony flavor that grows more pronounced as the beer warms.  There is a clear lingering hoppy bite at the beginning which mellows out a bit at the end.  The lemon isn’t so overpowering that I would consider this a shandy or that it might turn people off.  Instead it adds to the enjoyment of this beer.  Three Floyds nailed this one.  Another great summer beer to add…

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Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

60 minute is a commonly found IPA.  The name refers to the length of time that the hops are boiled, and the number of hop additions that are added during the brewing process.  Any beer that has more than about 40 IBUs will be noticed on your palate.  60 minute begins with a citrusy bitterness on the roof of your mouth that mellows out a bit as the beer gets warmer.  As always, I recommend letting the beer warm up for about 5 – 10 minutes before expecting to get a true taste.  This is a great introduction into hoppy…

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