Wednesday, August 26, 2015

THE SHAPE OF HOPS AS THEY'VE ALWAYS BEEN

Out of the wallet-draining beer-trading racket for well over a year, I leapt back in this week by completing a cross-country FedEx beer box bonanza with recent Beer Samizdat interviewee Mark Ciocco - known to humanity and all animals as the man behind "Kaedrin's Beer Blog". This fella lives in Pennsylvania, and therefore sent over a phenomenal parcel of delights from the northeastern United States of America, all of which will be discussed and picked apart on this blog in weeks to come. If I did my job correctly, the various California ales I batched up for him will be explored and hopefully not savaged too viciously on his blog as well.

One rule of beer trading I've found that works for me is "Always drink the IPAs first". You know they've traveled far, but unless there's a "freshness date" on 'em, you don't know how long they sat on a shelf or in Mark's beer fridge. With that in mind, I reached for a cold NESHAMINY CREEK BREWING "The Shape of Hops To Come" last night. Brewed in the heretofore unknown town of Croydon, PA, "Shape" promises a blend of five different hops in one giant, 9.5% ABV imperial IPA. Said hops are citra, topaz, simcoe, apollo and newport. I'll bet at least one of 'em was made up by Neshaminy Creek just to fuck with us. My bets are on "topaz" or "newport". 

Is this hoppy hoedown truly the shape of hops to come? Brother Ornette Coleman could get away with such ballsy prognostication, but I'm not sure Neshaminy Creek is quite there yet. Oh don't get me wrong - this mess of hops comes together just fine, and it is eminently quaffable. A big, dank pine bomb with some resiny stickiness that'd put any hophead in his cups after two large glasses, and it looks lovely as well. Just look at it. Totally on the mark and on the target, but at the end of the day it neither sets, raises nor lowers the bar for imperial IPAs. 7/10.


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1 comment:

Mark said...

Nice review! It's one of the better regularly available IPAs around here (not counting Tired Hands, but they don't bottle/can IPAs), but I agree that it's not going to blow minds...

FYI, of the other two IPAs, the Sunshine is a little over a month old, and the Mosaic is almost as fresh as possible (having been released two days before I sent it)...