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Have we overdosed on the Hops? Well, probably.

Leibowitz May 16, 2013 11:41 PM

But, that may be a good thing, in time.

Related (please ignore the stupid, Slatey inflammatory headline):


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  1. j
    jpc8015 RE: Leibowitz May 17, 2013 01:03 AM

    There is a time and a place for super hopped beer. There is also a time and a place for a malt forward beer.

    They are all good.

    1. Jim Dorsch RE: Leibowitz May 17, 2013 04:11 AM

      It's interesting that until recently a preponderance of American drinkers, even those who bought craft, were put off by hops. My, how things change.

      We are seeing a lot more session beers, and even though the emphasis there is on alcohol content, hop levels naturally decrease as well.

      1. Chinon00 RE: Leibowitz May 21, 2013 04:14 PM

        I've been saying for years that some won't be satisfied until every beer is an IPA. What's an "American" brown ale? A hoppier version of an English brown ale. What's an American Barleywine? A hoppier version of an English Barleywine. What's an American Stout? Etc, etc. Then we got into black IPAs and then white IPAs.
        American craft drinkers will drink any style as long as its IPA.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Chinon00
          MOREKASHA RE: Chinon00 May 21, 2013 05:48 PM

          Sad yet true. However, many Cali wines are now going naked, unoaked so hopefully the tripe imperial mega mega will fade away along w/the mass market dry ice light cold can.

          1. re: Chinon00
            The Professor RE: Chinon00 May 21, 2013 06:57 PM

            Americans do tend to supersize and overdo pretty much everything they lay their hands on.

            It's so funny.
            In my college years (1970-1975...there was 1 year where I must of had so much fun I don't even remember it) ...I took a LOT of ribbing because I liked IPA (7.5 abv and 70 IBUs. LOL) and never drank "normal "beer" unless there was nothing else available. I'd bring a sixer of IPA (or failing that, Bock beer) to parties so there was always beer for me to drink...no one ever dipped into my stash because many were afraid of it and those who deigned to taste it couldn't stand it. LOL. More for me, guaranteed.

            Now IPA has become so mainstream. And happily, there' s a precious few commercial IPAs that are worthwhile and enjoyable when I'm out eating or at a gin mill with friends. Most of them however are rather shitty, cranked out quickly and served without the traditional aging. The brewpub versions are always by far the worst.

            To be fair though, a lot of folks _do_enjoy them in all their harsh, too young, grassy, unbalanced splendor. Whatever floats 'yer boat I guess...

          2. b
            bulavinaka RE: Leibowitz May 22, 2013 01:35 PM

            I find the vast majority of hoppy beers that I've tried far too harsh for my palate. Off the top of my head, the only one that I have found memorable was Pliney the Elder - incredible nose - still bitter but tolerable given the complexity of flavors and aromas. This does me little good since it's so limited in availability. What would be a list of "worthy" beers that do justice to the hops-component?

            14 Replies
            1. re: bulavinaka
              Chinon00 RE: bulavinaka May 22, 2013 02:36 PM

              One of my favorite IPAs is Bells Two Hearted

              1. re: bulavinaka
                deet13 RE: bulavinaka May 22, 2013 04:21 PM

                Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City is pretty good also.

                It's so good that there's a bit of a shortage.


                1. re: bulavinaka
                  jpc8015 RE: bulavinaka May 22, 2013 08:20 PM

                  Stone Ruination

                  1. re: jpc8015
                    The Professor RE: jpc8015 May 23, 2013 10:29 AM

                    I'll second that suggestion. Very good stuff!

                  2. re: bulavinaka
                    RB Hound RE: bulavinaka May 23, 2013 09:58 AM

                    It might be helpful to know where you live, so we could point at local offerings. Would LA be a correct guess?

                    1. re: RB Hound
                      bulavinaka RE: RB Hound May 23, 2013 10:55 AM

                      LA is correct - thanks in advance...

                    2. re: bulavinaka
                      Pius Avocado III RE: bulavinaka May 24, 2013 09:02 AM

                      I find it surprising that Pliny is the one hoppy beer a non-hop-inclined imbiber would gravitate to; I don't find it complex at all (that's not to say I don't enjoy a pint now and again). Much of its hoppy flavors stem from the use of hop extract. If you like that, you'll like Lagunitas Hop Stoopid- they are very similar. Though Lagunitas hasn't come out and said they use extract as RR has, I'm certain they do.

                      My "A" list, in no particular order:

                      Firestone Walker Union Jack and Double Jack
                      Port Mongo
                      Green Flash West Coast
                      Bear Republic Racer X and Cafe Racer 15
                      Highwater Retribution
                      Drake's Hopocalypse

                      1. re: Pius Avocado III
                        bulavinaka RE: Pius Avocado III May 24, 2013 09:26 AM

                        The vast majority of hoppy beers I've tried are upfront bitter with little else to offer. I found Pliney to have lots of perfume and flavor - various tropical fruits and pine. I think it's pretty complex, and that complexity seems to distract me from the bitter component. I don't mind bitter - just don't like to get slapped in the face and kicked in the back of the neck by it.

                        Of the ones you list, I did like Bear Republic on tap, but found bottled to be lacking. Thanks for mentioning Lagunitas Hop Stoopid - I'll give that a whirl next time.

                        1. re: bulavinaka
                          Gastronomos RE: bulavinaka May 29, 2013 05:38 AM

                          my sentiments exactly

                        2. re: Pius Avocado III
                          JAB RE: Pius Avocado III May 24, 2013 01:07 PM

                          Love Green Flash West Coast on tap but, was disappointed with it in a bottle. +1 for Racer X as well.

                          1. re: Pius Avocado III
                            Silverjay RE: Pius Avocado III May 24, 2013 01:23 PM

                            I enjoy it now and then, but I don't know if I can think of a more hop-forward beer (in both nose and taste) than Green Flash West Coast IPA....Have only had it on draft.

                            1. re: Pius Avocado III
                              Josh RE: Pius Avocado III May 25, 2013 08:30 AM

                              Small correction re: Pliny, the hop extract is only used for the bittering hops added during the boil to avoid vegetal flavors that can come from using whole hops. The later hop additions (which provide the aroma and flavor) use pelletized hops.

                              1. re: Josh
                                jpc8015 RE: Josh May 25, 2013 08:41 AM

                                And it is a great beer. I have only been able to find it once at an obscure market in Portland, OR. I have never seen it again.

                                1. re: Josh
                                  Insidious Rex RE: Josh May 28, 2013 10:20 AM

                                  and whats great is that Vinnie doesnt try to hide this fact at all despite the clucking by the nouveau hop heads who worship this brewery and this beer but equate hop extracts with bad beer and brewing short cuts that a true craft brewery would NEVER do. They get all flustered when you tell them its made with hop extract. The same way they do when you tell them Westy 12 is made with "adjuncts"...

                            2. l
                              LStaff RE: Leibowitz May 28, 2013 01:12 PM

                              Plenty of entry level type cream ales, blonde ales, porters, ambers, belgian sytels etc for craft beer noobs to cut their teeth on. Is craft beer any hoppier these days than it used to be in the late 90's? Some ipa's maybe - but at the same time there is a much wider diversity of styles too. Some people just don't get hoppy/bitter beer, so what, then those beers aren't meant for them, take a few moments out of your life to educate yourself on what YOU like and stop following others because THEY think its good.

                              Its lazy writing to take one/few data pts. where you have a bad experience with something you or others don't like, and just say all of craft beer is too hoppy.It was also a missed opportunity to educate the author's audience on what craft beers are alternatives to hoppy beer and now being regurgitated by the everyday press. Thanks.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: LStaff
                                MOREKASHA RE: LStaff May 28, 2013 05:41 PM

                                I'm not sure that this is about lazy writing, especially on this board. It's just that there's an imperial version of every style these days and the imperial always seems to imply more hops, more hops., and ...more hops. Hell, some the west coast brews actually say they're gonna wreck your palette. I think it's a valid point of discussion. L Staff, you're right that the style variations are greater then before., sour beers.....

                                1. re: MOREKASHA
                                  jpc8015 RE: MOREKASHA May 29, 2013 04:59 AM

                                  Imperial styles typically do not just include more hops, they include more of everything.

                                  1. re: MOREKASHA
                                    Josh RE: MOREKASHA May 29, 2013 08:35 AM

                                    There's one beer named Palate Wrecker, from Green Flash, and it was deliberately brewed to be excessively hoppy.

                                    1. re: Josh
                                      jpc8015 RE: Josh May 29, 2013 09:23 PM

                                      There are of course beers designed to be overly hoppy. THere are also beers designed to be overly malty. I had an English mild where the IBUs were somewhere around 5. It was really bad.

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