Dang, though I had come up with an original corny hoppy pun…others have been there, done that. Now I am unhoppy.
At the very beginning of 40/40, I went to Sly Fox Brewery and came face-to-face with about the hoppiest collection of beers ever. I was not exactly overjoyed. Yet, I am changing. My tastes in beer used to be more in the Lager direction yet with all of the microbreweries I have visited recently, it is the case (pun alert) now that I tend to favor Ales and even have started to seek out hoppier beers on occasion. When I have examined when the change in course happened, I have placed it early on in my 40/40 journey…at Appalachian Brewing Company in Gettysburg.
I had originally planned to visit two microbreweries on my trip to Gettysburg. I discovered that one of the microbreweries, Gettysbrew Restaurant, had shut down. Apparently, according to the locals, I had not missed much. In their opinion, the beer there was bad. So, ABC and then Roy Pitz Brewery in Chambersburg became the two in one day. I was glad to have visited Roy Pitz. Good guys and good beers. It was worth the trip down Route 30/Lincoln Highway westward.
A general rule is that I would not visit the same Microbrewery twice. My interpretation meant that if the microbrewery was in two or more locations, I would not count it twice, three times, etc. It would have been too easy, for example, to hit all of the Iron Hills and take out five visits (I.H. has 5 locations in Pa) . However, due to Swasbuckler’s incompetence, I had to amend the rule. And, ABC Gettysburg filled the slot. It counts because I want to develop the “hop” aspect more. BTW, do a search on 40/40 using the microbreweries names if you want to see what I have written.
Here are the three hoppy beers I had at ABC that day:
Each one of these beers was brewed with only one hop apiece. I liked that…a lot. I found that I really enjoyed the Zeus and the Horizon, the Simcoe was a bit too bitter for me at the time. If I were to drink these again, I might favor it though since my tastes have changed. Here is some more information about hops. Interestingly, the Horizon and the Simcoe have the same acid content, so ABC may have done something to make it bitterer. The IBU (International Bittering Units) ratings were the same too. I am not knowledgeable enough to figure this out. It will just have to remain a mystery to be savored.
The story of IPA’s is an interesting one…the hops kept bacteria from ruining beer on long seafaring voyages from England to India. Hence the name Indian Pale Ales. Here is more of the story
In general, beers are in a see-saw type of scenario between the hops and the malt. The hops are bitter, the malt (from barley) are sweeter. Brands and types of beers exist somewhere on that continuum. It is possibly to have also a lot both hops and malts and to have the flavors both be prominent.
Olde School Barleywine
This is from Dogfish. I had a bottle last night at a couple’s house where good beer and good friends and good debate happens on a routine basis. There should be a warning on the label of this beer that one should not operate heavy machinery after drinking even one. It is the first “four fer” beer I have ever consumed, that is, one of these nearly equals–in terms of alcohol–four regular beers. I had taken the bottle out of the fridge in the darkened man cave and saw it was Dogfish. Only until I open and drank some, did I realize that I was in Barley Wine land. Let us just say, that my beer-drinking slowed nearly to a stop after this one. Bone-crusher indeed.
I have one final blog to write about 40/40…Dock Street Brewery. Then, my blogging will not be as frequent but I do plan to keep writing about beer. I have found it to be interesting and by the stats that I get from WordPress, it does appear than many others concur. Thanks for following 40/40!