I heard about bitter being an “acquired taste”. I was convinced there wasn’t a chance it would ever grow on me. Why would someone even want to like the taste of bitter? Sip after sip of IPAs ended with the tensing of every face muscle I had (also known as bitter beer face). To my surprised it happened. After one marathon my husband asked me in regards to our ritual post long-run beer, “Are you craving malty or hoppy?” There it was. When faced with the two options all I craved was hop, Hop, HOP! Below are my list of my favorites and must tries for any Hop Head.
1) Favorite all around: Racer 5- Bear Republic– With an IBU of 65, I’d consider this the most mild on my list and one that broke me in, turned me around and gave me a good spanking. I love this beer. Someone once asked if I was stuck on an island with just one beer, what would I want it to be. Heaven forbid I’d only be stuck with only one type of beer (totally okay playing Blue Lagoon with my husband on an island though), but if that were the case it would absolutely be Racer 5. Yum, yum, in the tum-tum!
2) Favorite Local: Pure Hoppiness- Alpine Brew Company- (IBU- listed as Classified on the Alpine Beer Company website). Currently my favorite hop heavyweight in San Diego, I was given a bottle of this for Christmas from a co-worker. There are great mountain bike trails in Alpine. The co-worker has made riding the trails and visiting the brewery a Wednesday evening ritual. Now I feel like he’s my dealer for the sweet stuff, always handing him some cash Wednesday morning hoping he could score a couple bottles for me. “Please sir, I want some more,” I say in my best Oliver Twist impersonation. Piney and earthy, I found this beer to be very unique and familiar at the same time.
3) Hop Stoopid Ale- Lagunitas- (IBU- 102- YOWZA!) Despite the high IBU, this beer is extremely easy to drink. Hop Stoopid could be found fairly easily at local liquor stores that carry craft beer. The price has alwasy been fairly reasonable. Its standout aspect is the smell. Pair with a couple of fish tacos for a great weekend lunch!
4) Maharaja- Imperial IPA – Avery– Being one of my husband’s favorite beers means I get to this tasty treat fairly often for it only being a seasonal release. Definitely share a bottle with a friend or loved one or prepared to be useless the rest of the day. This one packs a punch!