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Tag Archives: hops

Passion for the Pale

Union Jack
Firestone Walker Brewing Company – Paso Robles
IPA
7.5% ABV

Beer drinkers love any excuse for celebration. Thus, this month has been dubbed IPApril. Appropriately so, as the weather warms dark, rich stouts no longer satisfy the same way they did in the cold of winter. The floral hoppiness of IPAs give a nod to the new growth of spring. The grey drizzle that has thrown a blanket over Denver has brought with it the vivid spring green of new growth.

The staff at Euclid Hall is, by this point, well aware of our beer list challenge. A brief conversation about the remaining beers prompted Max and Jai to enthusiastically suggest Firestone Walker’s Union Jack. It’s a beautiful light amber beer with a golden hue. A slight head clings to the edges of the glass. The scent is subtle but fresh, citrusy, and floral from the four pounds of hops in each barrel of this beer.

Union Jack is a clean, crisp IPA. The hoppy notes are well balanced; while obvious, they don’t take over the beer. The first sip gives an unexpected sweetness, not cloying but fresh and almost nectar-like. The hops hit soon after with the complexity and depth that result from using a total of six different varieties of hops. The IPA lingers gloriously on the palate, both sweet and hoppy. Perfect for spring.

When words fail, hops deliver*

Torpedo Extra IPA
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA
IPA
ABV 7.2%

Good things come in threes: Stooges, Little Pigs, and Musketeers. We would respectfully add Triple Hopped beer to that list. Sierra Nevada uses three different varieties of hops — magnum, crystal, and citra — added at three different times. The brewery also designed and built a piece of equipment, “The Torpedo”, which infuses more hop flavor and aroma than many standard methods.

Torpedo pours a light, golden-amber hue and leaves delicate lacing on the sides of the glass. We were lucky enough to be schooled by Marc Bayes of notyourdadsbeer.com a few weeks ago and he taught us that the lacing along the sides of the glass is a visual indicator of protein combined with the residue from hops.

Despite being a “super-hoppy” beer, the malts temper the hops and smooth out the flavor; making Tornado enjoyable for people who don’t gravitate toward IPAs (Stephanie) as well as those who love hoppy beers (Lia).

That’s hop-tastic.

*We take pride in our witty prose, and believe that you, gentle reader, will appreciate knowing it took us a good 25 minutes to come up with a title for our post. As budding wordsmiths and certifiable nerds, the barrage of terrible to ridiculous combinations was a small obstacle for us to overcome. For you. You’re welcome.