Thursday, August 1, 2013

HOP VALLEY BREWING's "ALPHA CENTURI"

As I understand it, today is "IPA Day" for the overly beer-centric among us. IPA day. Hunh. For many others among us, it would seem that just about every day is IPA day. I've personally been in a mode this summer where I'm having one IPA (or imperial IPA) for every other beer that I drink. It's like I can't handle two sours in a row, or two saisons back-to-back. Every non-IPA must be followed by an IPA. It wasn't always this way, but I feel this style has its meathooks into me, and many of us, in an insidious and variety-threatening manner. I can't shake it, and I'm not sure that I want to.

It's hard to consider getting off the IPA party train when there are new beers as jaw-dropping as HOP VALLEY BREWING's "ALPHA CENTURI" imperial IPA out there to be consumed. This is one of those beers I brought back from my recent trip to Bend, Oregon. It's made in Eugene, OR, which is about two hours away. It's an absolutely lovely IPA. Perfect pine and citrus balance, even at 100 IBU. It's 9% alcohol, with a leafy, hoppy, pine needle taste balanced out by grapefruit and a caramel malt body. It just misses perfection, I'm talking "GEMINI" or "HOPSICKLE" perfection, by just not having enough flavorful oomph to push it over the top, but that's not a condemnation. Very little can touch those beers. This one's a special 'un, and I hope we can both find one to drink on the 364 non-IPA days we have been now and August 1st, 2014. 8.5/10.

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