Friday, 20 January 2017

Hop Hydrant Red IPA

Hop Hydrant Red IPA has a dubious distinction. With all due respect to Raleigh, North Carolina's Gizmo BrewWorks, the 1 pint 6 ounce bottles of their brew might just have the ugliest label I've ever seen. The label features a sad looking and crudely drawn dalmatian in a firefighter's hat (that looks more like a ball cap) getting inexplicably pummeled by a stream of hops spewing from a fire hydrant. Weird. Fortunately, the 6.3%, 68 IBU ale within was tasty enough to make up for the packaging (I'm sorry to the designers--it's just my opinion and I recognize that I couldn't do any better).

Copper coloured and hazy, the actual beer was a beaut, beneath a lush cream head. It had a nose that was initially robustly malty and tinged with caramel, but which was soon swallowed up by an evergreen hops presence. The flavour had something of roasted malt about it, too, which was nicely balanced against a sticky, bitter finish.

Once I got past the label, Hop Hydrant proved to be a delightful ale. It was a tad sweet, but not by much. All told, a beer approaching excellent.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

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