Friday, May 3, 2013


The modern phenomenon of making one base beer for IPAs, then varying the hop that's used within it to highlight each hop's uniqueness, is a very cool one. MIKKELLER did it; I think someone else did too. San Jose's HERMITAGE BREWING have done it as well, packaging them up in 22-ounce bottles and retailing them for good measure. I was fortunate enough to have their CITRA SINGLE-HOP IPA last year, and raved about it here. Everyone loves that Citra, don't they? I've been wanting to buy that one in a bottle - let me know if you've got a line on one - but settled for the "SIMCOE SINGLE HOP IPA" yesterday instead, and then settled in with it last night.

You know the simcoe hop. It's what gives Pliny The Elder - and many other IPAs - that piney, resinous quality. The citra, on the other hand, is a big, fruity, citrus-packed punch. Hermitage's showcase of the simcoe hop in this beer is an excellent forum for it to show itself off. Piney and a little on the grapefruit-y side as well, this beer is more dry than other IPAs and had a wonderful fresh smell. It's 7% alcohol, and takes a little bit of adjustment when you're used to a more fruit-forward, "west coast" style of IPA - though of course it's all in the eye and tongue of the beholder, isn't it? I thought it was really good, and I'm going to try their El Dorado version next. 7.5/10.

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