Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hop Index (Town Hall Brewery, Minneapolis, MN)

Beer the way it's meant to be. In spite of my best efforts to be an omni-style drinker, I'm falling into the depths of being an hop head and love this beer. Copper colored beer that turns burnt orange in the light. Very nearly white head that bubbles up nicely without foaming too much, and lingers nicely with a heavy lace. Normally not a big fan of growlers, this one doesn't seem to have lost a step like most beers when they come home compared to the tap. This one matches or exceeds what I had two days ago on tap, but I was distracted when I drank on site, so the comparison might be fuzzier than warranted.

Enormous nose that is clean and fresh without being grassy. This is a skill that I would like to learn. Lots of fresh citrus, grapefruit from the Summit and CTZ (Columbus, Tomahawk and Zeus) according to the website. I was surprised by the 104 IBUs (again, according to Town Hall) because, while there's a very clear bite, it's so nicely balanced with the malty backbone of the beer that it's not overwhelming. The grapefruit dances lightly on the tongue and lingers there about until the next sip. Fills the mouth and really makes for a pleasant experience. The body of the beer is full and smooth, and light enough that the hops shine.

While not tasting the same, Hop Index is analogous to Masala Mama (a bit more hop than malt) and Flying Dog Double Dog Double Pale Ale (again, not necessarily a direct comparison of taste) in that it's a strong pale ale and doesn't have the qualities of an Imperial IPA. Light, refreshing, and crazily hoppy. Summer in a glass.

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