Magic Hat Brewing Company has continued to produce some new beers. I recently saw their spring seasonal at the the six pack store, and I was in the mood for something hoppy, so I grabbed it. The bottle looks pretty funky, like something out of the 60′s. Then again, most of Magic Hat’s stuff looks a little on the funky side.
The beer comes in at 5.8% ABV and 45 IBUs. I opened the beer and eagerly awaited the inside the cap message. My first beer said, “break the cage of the digital age.” I always enjoy a beer that has a message inside the cap. Particularly when it is something interesting and not just a list of their awards (Sam Adams). Hi.P.A pours a cloudy orange color and has a great aroma. It smells almost like raw hops are in it. I don’t know if I got a fresh bottle or not, but it really suprised me. It had a nice head that lasted through the whole beer and had great lacing.
On the first taste I caught some nice sweet malt with some hops. The hop aroma is much stronger then the actual hop flavor, which could be a good or bad thing depending on what you are looking for. There is a nice orangy zesty flavor in there. Overal nice and citerousy with good malt to back it up.
I think this is a pretty typical IPA. The hops are there but not overpowering and the smells are great. I might of actually enjoyed the smell more then the actual beer. Not that it is a bad beer, but it isn’t that different from any good IPA. If I saw this again at the six pack store I would probably look around a bit to see if there was anything else I didn’t try yet. I was good, but not great, but if you like IPA this would be right up your alley. Continue reading →
A few weeks ago a few friends and I went to Victory Brewing Company for a tour as part of one of our brewery tour weekends. We actaully stopped a Victory twice during the day; once to grab brunch and again to grab a drink before heading home for the day.
Victory has recently redone their enitre eating area and it looks amazing. There is copper everywhere, the bar is amazing, and the beer selection is out of this world. On our visit there were over twenty beers on tap and six beers in casks. Yeah, that’s a lot of beer. I got a sampler to split with one of my friends and we chose six wonderful beers. We had three beers from the cask and three from the tap.
I’ve had most of these beers before but there is something about drinking at 11 o’clock in the morning in a brewery with the smell of yeast around you that makes everything better. Later in the day I also had a pint of Moon Glow, which was wonderful.
A few quick notes about the beers. Old Horizonalwill kick you in the mouth and the alochol is super high, even in the taste. Storm King is much better when it gets a little warmer and the roasty flavors start coming out more. Baltic Thunder is a solid beer that is a perfect fit for early spring. You can see my notes on Hop Wallop here, but it is fantastic on cask. Hop Devil on cask puts the beer into a new category. Finally Wild Devil is basically the same as Hop Devil with a few minor differences. Victory gets very crowded on weekends, esipcailly around dinner time. If you visit, I would suggest going early, when the smell of yeast is still in the air and yuppy cologne is not.
If you don’t get the last image, you need to watch Entourage on HBO.
This blog generally only talks about good beer and beer related things, but I just saw something that irritated me to no end. It was a TV commercial about Miller Light. I’m used to that type of thing, generally it says tastes great, less filling and flashes some hottie up there. But no, this commercial went after the craft brew industry a bit. It talked about how Miller Light is hopped three different times. I wasn’t even sure there were hops in that swill. To quote a recent article:
“MillerCoors shared its new Miller Lite ad campaign with investors, saying it will focus on the brand’s taste to woo new consumers. One ad played for analysts touted the fact that brewers add hops to Miller Lite three times while it is being made. It also used a slogan familiar with its fans: ‘Great taste, less filling.’”
I guess this isn’t really that suprising since they also claim they are a true pilsner beer but come on.
Last summer I was in Hawaii and had the joy of the Fire Rock Pale Ale. I haven’t had it since August, but I ran across a six pack here in Texas and I knew I had to try it again. Let me start off with what the brewery has to say about its beer:
“Fire Rock Pale Ale is a crisp, refreshing “Hawaiian-style” pale ale. Its signature copper color results from the unique blend of specialty roasted malts. The pronounced citrus-floral hop aroma comes from the liberal amounts of Galena, Cascade & Mt. Hood hops added to each brew.”
I like that they refer to it as a Hawaiian-style pale ale because I believe it is the only pale ale made on the islands. I remember reading the following somewhere, but I am unable to find it now, so bear with me. The brewery is located on the Big Island and there beer there is only served on the islands. The company is environmentally conscience and has another brewery on the mainland that produces beer for the rest of the beer for the states. If you know if this is false or true please let me know.
Anyway, Fire Rock Pale Ale has a wonder aroma to it. It is mostly hops on the nose and a very citrusy hops at that. It pours a copper to light orange and has a bit of haze to it. The head on the beer is great, it diminishes somewhat, but lasted through my entire drink.
For a pale ale, there is a lot of body on the drink. Nice and malty with the hop carrying through the beer. It finishes smooth and the hop sits on your tounge for a bit. Unlike a lot of American Pale Ales this is a balanced beer that isn’t overly hopped. I think the biggest thing with this beer is that it is very drinkable. I remember sitting by the pool at my hotel with a six pack of this stuff and just loving the day away. If you happen to run into a six pack, go ahead and pick it up, I don’t think you will be disappointed. Continue reading →
Lancaster Brewing Company’s Hop Hog is one of the four beers the offer year round. You can read the description that LBC gives their hoppy brew on the right.
This is actually one of the first microbrews that I ever had so it will always have a special place in my heart. At the time I first tried it, it was a bit hoppy for me. Now, I think it is just right. Anyway, this beer changes drastically from keg to bottle. Obviously keg is better but the bottled version is nothing to laugh at.
Opening up the bottle there is a pleasant floral/hop aroma with a hint of malt base. It carries a decent head that lasts through the whole drink and Hop Hog possessed excellent lacing. The brew pours and orange/copper color and is extremely clear (common of most IPAs).
As you can see on the right, there is a ton of hops, but the malt character does a great job at balancing the flavors. It is very dry and the drink just falls off of your tongue. Unlike some beers that have an unpleasant hop taste left after the drink has left your mouth (see CBC EPA), this has a lingering hop but it is right on for an IPA. I’m drinking a bottle that I bought four months ago at the time of writing this and the hop flavor still seems fresh.
As for most IPA’s the mouthfeel is very light and goes down easily. It is a very drinkable beer that gets better down the glass. I prefer mine slightly above fridge temperature as there are some notes that really pop right around there. As you can probably tell, this isn’t one of those brews that I have had a 6-pack of. I’ve drank Hop Hog several times, and I will continue to do so so it is an excellent IPA and a local one at that. Continue reading →