Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Yeah, I know that yesterday’s “Hedonist Beer Jive Guide to IPAs” was pretty weak. I started out with a list of the twenty best I’d ever had, and had every intention of filling in the post with a bunch of whatzit around IPAs. Different varieties, different hops, some gentle mocking of beer dorkitude, and so on. I really didn’t have enough time for a proper post – as is so often the case – so I just fired off the list and let it be. Let it be said that no beer variety can hold a candle to the India Pale Ale in most situations: hot days, lazy summer nights, raging at the beer bar w/ yr beer dork friends, etc. I may get bored with them from time to time, but when they’re on, they’re on, and now we’ve got folks from all the way across the Atlantic schooling Americans on how to put a new twist on our appropriated masterpiece.

I really like the idea behind a single-hop IPA. If I’m ever going to graduate to craft beer guru status, I’m gonna have to know my Amarillos from my Centennials from my Simcoes, and maybe these Danes at MIKKELLER can help show me the way. MIKKELLER SIMCOE SINGLE HOP IPA shows off, you got it, the Simcoe hop, a hop very prevalent in US IPAs but one that I can’t personally tell you much about. I’ve been wanting to try MIKKELLER’s beers for a great long while, but the price tag and their lack of easy availability (they do come here from Denmark, you know) have made that a bit difficult. The other night at The Church Key we ordered one of these up, though, and it was a very good call. SIMCOE SINGLE HOP is strangely super-hopped; a very different sort of IPA than any I’ve had before. Very thick mouthfeel, and wonderfully hoppy and robust. A big IPA for sure, but not off the hook alcohol-wise (7%). Spicy and piney, with some serious bitterness. Again, it’s really a new taste to me, and for that alone I highly recommend it. This isn’t some lazy west coast IPA-by-numbers, but a weirdo beer made by some crazy-ass Danish cats (and brewed at the De Proef brewery in Belgium, no less!). 8/10.


Rational Realist said...

I agree with your point that craft brew guru status includes the ability to distinguish the hop varieties. I am still stuck on the floral v. citrus test. Ballast Point's Sculpin is brewed with Simcoe, but not sure whether exclusively, and it is one of my favorite IPAs. I want to try this Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop IPA and others from Mikkeller, as well as Scotland's Brew Dog. It's interesting that both these Euro brewers (I know the Scots don't view themselves as Euros) have brewed collaboration beers with Stone.

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