Saturday, October 24, 2009

Head for the Hops

Last night we made it to Al’s place for, apologetically, the first time but already the third weekend of the 20th Anniversary celebrations. This weekend: Hop Heads Only.

Of the 14 beers I can confidently say I’ve had five of them before, possibly a couple more. Taking advantage of the three 4-ounce pours for $7, it was pretty easy to make it through the list. In the first round I opted for some of the lower ABVs and ended up with Steam Works The Conductor Imperial IPA, Boulder Flashback India Brown Ale and Left Hand Warrior IPA. The IBA hit me as a bit too sweet, The Conductor a bit too malty but the Warrior, right on the mark – num, num hops!

Mag took the lead ordering the second round, choosing Poperings Hommel Bier, Flying Dog Double Dog Double Pale Ale and Eel River Organic IPA. No surprise, the Poperings being a Belgian was not for me at all but the next two surprised me. I’m not shy about saying I’m generally not a fan of the Flying Dog stable of beers but this one, this one was pretty darn good! And the Eel River, well, I was hoping for more as I’ve enjoyed the couple of other beers of theirs I’ve had before but this one I found to be too floral for my liking.

In the final round Mag picked Urthel Hop-It, Avery The Maharaja Imperial IPA and after a bit of haggling, agreed to include Moylan’s Hopsickle for me in exchange for most of the pint of Surly Wet. Having had the Urthel in Al’s Battle of the Belg Part I, I had no need to try this Belgian again. The Maharaja was good, but a little strong on the alcohol at 10.24%, and the Hopsickle was nicely hoppy but sweeter than I was hoping, probably in part due to its 9.2%.

All in all, a nice evening of sampling with friends and a great bartender who always makes sure the beer geeks are properly taken care of.

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