January 9, 2008

Max Hoppy

NYT has a story today on exceptionally hoppy American beers, and the reactions of traditionalists.

Creating super-hoppy beers is certainly a way to get attention. And then, of course, you get people who pooh-pooh the idea of ultra-hoppiness on traditional stylistic grounds. And that’s a way for them to get attention. So it goes.

In any case, they actually tasted the beers, which seems to me to be a sensible way to judge these things. At least, it’s how I generally go about it. But, as always, I am not an expert, so I defer.

They mention Dogfish Head 90 minute, which was one of the beers I gave this year but failed to snag for myself. I’ve only have the 90 minute once; it was a gift and I believe I shared it with a crowd. It was noisy that night, so I don’t remember what I thought of it. I’ve already forgotten what we thought of the Newport Storm ‘07. I remember liking it. It’s important to take notes!

My problem with beer tasting is that I nearly always enjoy beer to some extent, I’m not particularly picky, except when it comes to my favorites, and I don’t drink it often enough to keep my taste buds expertly trained.

But, since this article made me thirsty, I figured I’d pass it along to you.

I have always preferred maltier style beers. But a good hoppy beer can really wake you up, add punch to a meal, and give you an excuse to slow down and pay attention.

It’s funny they mention spicy foods (long enough to trash the mo-hotter mo-better attitude) because I think hoppy beers pair really well with blackened meats and fish. You’d think you’d need something to soothe the tongue in between bites. But, on the contrary, it’s better to hit ‘em for a one-two punch rather than give them a rest.

Your Mouth May Vary. And I appreciate the efforts of any brewer who cares enough to make good beer, but resists making people look at it like wine.

Which reminds me; there are a couple of brewers I need to call and annoy about a certain Chocolate Bock and a certain Doppelbock.

Posted by James at January 9, 2008 8:54 AM
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Max Hoppy would be a good name for a cartoon about an Australian rabbit.

Posted by: Mike at January 9, 2008 10:05 AM

Well, I did take notes with the Newport Storm this year, and the ranking was 3-7-5-6. #3 was super-hoppy.

I haven't tried the Dogfish yet, because my tastebuds are still crap and I'm on antibiotics.

Posted by: Julie at January 9, 2008 10:36 AM

I lurv the Dogfish Head 60 minute, the 90 minute is a bit much for me, the 120 minute almost killed me.

Next your in Providence, AS220 serves Dogfish Head 60 minute.

There's actually a Providence Geeks Dinner (http://www.providencegeeks.org/) at AS220 next Wednesday. The Geeks dinners are usually well worth a trip to Providence.

Posted by: woneffe at January 9, 2008 11:34 AM

If I had a social schedule, I'd consider fitting it in. :(

Posted by: James at January 9, 2008 12:10 PM

"Doppelbock" - there's a lot of mileage in that name.

So, is this a beer that mimics another? Or is it trying to be twice the beer as another, and failing with a lisp? Or is it a little bit Bach-ish?

Who names these things anyway? Oh, I know! People who've been drinking beer with a pen in their hand.

Posted by: Kitten Herder at January 10, 2008 8:23 PM

Germans, pretty much. In this case, monks, I think. The first doppelbock was called "Salvator" - so it's also named after Christ.

They must have liked it. And, since it's a bit stronger than the usual brew, I bet they were in a good mood.

Posted by: James at January 11, 2008 12:30 AM

Dopplebock uses twice (roughly) the amount of malt as bock. It is therefore sweeter. Being German and not Belgian I think you're wrong about the monks. The Belgian abbey type would be just Doppel or Trippel.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at January 11, 2008 8:38 AM
Doppelbock emerged in the late eighteenth century as a powerful lager variant of the old monastic strong beer, the monks' "liquid bread," which they traditionally brewed for the Lenten season.


Turns out they made it with double the malt because that was practically all they consumed while they were fasting for Lent!

Posted by: James at January 11, 2008 9:09 AM

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