Wednesday, October 31, 2007

CAN THIS IPA BE TOPPED? MAYBE NOT

I was honestly beginning to think that this HOP STOOPID Double IPA was never going to turn up in San Francisco, depsite being brewed less than an hour's drive from here. I was resorting to scanning the trading lists on Beer Advocate to see if anyone would float me a bottle, and I was coming up with folks in New York and Pennsylvania who had 'em in hand, and yet I here I was, crying in my water glass, thirsty as all get-out. Well all it took was a trip down to the Toronado Bar - as it so often does - to find SONOMA FARMHOUSE's HOP STOOPID, right there on tap, all for me.

Who are SONOMA FARMHOUSE, you ask? Just the good IPA-loving folks at LAGUNITAS, gone all fancy-like with a "sub-brand". Same people who make MAXIMUS, FREAK OUT! and KILL UGLY RADIO. Those guys. They make a Saison that I can find with no problem, but Hop Stoopid was a real mystery until the other night. I'll say this: it's restored my flagging faith in West Coast IPAs. I was beginning to tire of these things, but this one is so near-perfect, so cut from a different cloth than the others - why, it's almost HOPSICKLE-like! HOP STOOPID has the most wonderful "rounded edges" of any hop bomb you care to mention. At over 100 IBU's (that's "international bitterness units"), you'd expect it to be bitter, and yeah, you'd definitely be right. But the finish - man! That finish cleaned off any skepticism I might have brought to the barstool, and I was reminded of some mutant cross between a smooth-sipping English Pale Ale and a glass of pure liquid grapefruit and pine nuts. Even a little sweet if you can believe it - but only a little. This one's really got it going on, and I'm proud to bestow upon it a winning grade of 9.5/10. I sincerely hope it wasn't my last.

3 comments:

Rick Sellers said...

"it's restored my flagging faith in West Coast IPAs."

You had a flagging faith in what?! :D

There's a place here in Roseville that has had the Stoopid on tap for some time now, just enjoyed some last night - once again. It is clearly a wonderful beer.

Jay said...

I guess I never really lost my FAITH, just was feeling like every one I was trying tasted like the one before it. I was hoping someone would break out of the mass of "very good IPAs", and I think this one certainly does....

Anonymous said...

Can this be beat? Yes, in a single word. I do really like this DIPA though. It's got a nice level malt and hop balance and a really nice sweetness. I would vote Pliny above it, as well as PP Hop Suey, Oggi's Hop Juice and Alpine Pure Hoppiness.