- On March 4, 2016
When it comes to people who enjoy hop-forward beer, I try to make them feel like kids in a candy store when they shop at Zipps. It’s no secret that IPA is the most popular craft beer style in America, and there’s no shortage of options in the market. Who can blame us? Hops are bold and intense yet pleasant and complex. Out of all of the ingredients commonly found in beer, they tend to stand out and get noticed by beginner craft beer drinkers, their presence acting as a gateway into the world of complex, artfully brewed beer. Over the past several days we’ve seen an influx of limited-release beers that are intensely hoppy. Here’s the scoop for your weekend beer haul, all of these are highly recommended:
Sixpoint “Hi-Res” – Sixpoint (Brooklyn, NY) recently made their debut into the MN market with a very impressive lineup of core beers. Among their offerings is year-round double IPA called “Resin”, named for it’s piney, dank character, which is a fantastic beer. As if that wasn’t enough, once a year they brew “Hi-Res”, a so-called Triple IPA. Hi-Res pulls off a miraculous balancing act; it’s outrageously hoppy, yet nicely stabilized with a sweet and sturdy malt bill and very little alcohol presence. Be careful with this one, I would have never guessed that it’s 10.5% ABV.
Bent Paddle “Hop Forest” – This is the first time that Bent Paddle has packaged a Double IPA, but it’s so good that I would have guessed that they’ve been doing it for years. It’s another exercise in balance, with a burst of hops featuring notes of tropical pineapple and pine, followed by a sweet lingering finish. Enjoy it as it was meant to be enjoyed: crack one open after a nice hike while soaking in our early spring.
Surly “Todd the Axe Man” – Todd the Axe Man is quite simply one of the best IPAs ever brewed in Minnesota. This occasional release beer returned to retail this week for another limited run, so get it while you can. Todd is a very new-school IPA featuring both Mosaic and Citra hops, which give it unbelievably intense aromas akin to tropical fruit, blueberry, and citrus. This beer is a relatively drinkable 7.2% ABV, but it absolutely coats your palate with fresh, delicious hop essence. It’s the most cutting-edge IPA in town, period.