When I first became interested in craft beer, I immediately drifted towards hoppy beers. Then I realized that everyone liked hoppy beers and me being me, well, that just wouldn’t do. So, I started shying away from IPAs and Imperial IPAs and RyePAs (except Red’s Rye) and instead drinking browns and porters and stouts and fruit ales and everything in between.
But every now and again I need to be reminded that just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s bad. Thanks to Beer Todd and his Beerposium on IPAs, I got to revisit some old favorites and try some new ones. Here are my top 5 picks, in no particular order!
The Kuhnhenn dudes (Eric Jr. and Eric Sr.) stopped by! How awesome is that?! And I asked Eric Jr. and yes this was named for what you think it was named for; specifically with the idea that this beer is a nice, er, “warm up” for a bigger and more intense beer. The beer had has a nice citrus finish (insert porn joke here) with a very light mouthfeel (id). Weighing in at 4.7% a.b.v. does make it conducive for a heavier beer later on, after you’ve got your mojo going (id).
Copper Canyon’s India Pale Lager: I found this beer to be a little sweet, in a very good way. I normally don’t do well with sweetness in beer, but this was a charming taste. Noble hops added some spice to it and it was clean and crisp just as a good lager should be. This came out of the stash, so I don’t know if you can get this at the brewpub or not (sorry).
New Holland’s White Hatter: Recently Boyfriend Ken and I had a housewarming party, the theme of which was Heaven & Hell. We had tequila shots, lemon drops and dark beers in the basement and fruity blender drinks & summery beers in our kitchen. One of my genius friends brought along a bottle of White Hatter for upstairs and Black Hatter for downstairs. The bad news was that my friends drink faster than I do and the White Hatter was gone by the time I wandered in to find some. Luckily, this beer made an appearance at this tasting and I got to try some. Made with orange peel and coriander, this beer had a light citrusy taste and pleasant finish. This beer was a nice cross between a white ale and an IPA and extremely refreshing.
Sierra Nevada’s Southern Hemisphere Harvest: This beer is made with fresh hops that are, Beer Todd said, picked on the farm and shipped overnight to the brewery. When I first heard this, I worried that the hops would be overwhelming; I am happy to say that they are not. The beer has a nice grassy character to it, but does not hit you over the head with it. Likewise, the hops are definitely present but not so as to distract from the beer’s overall taste and enjoyment.
Kuhnhenn’s DRIPA (double rice IPA): This beer won a gold medal at the World Beer Cup and well it should. This beer is also a reminder that rice in a beer is not necessarily a bad thing. By using adjuncts of corn and rice, the macrobreweries have given us a negative impression of this friendly grain; however, after drinking this beer, I think you will find that rice can be used in a positive way. In this case, it lends to the crisp finish of this beer. Leading up to that stellar finish is a whole lot of hops that shine through without a lot of malty sweetness. This is a beer for hopheads, but also for those like Boyfriend Ken who is not at all a fan of the humulus lupulus. (And I should add that the Kuhnhenn family is adorable!)
Beerposiums are held at Copper Canyon on the first Saturday of the month. They start at 5pm and cost $20. The topics are usually announced a week or so in advance, so keep your eye, er, mouth open (final porn joke goes here).