#255 Left Coast – Hop Juice

Raffe and Richard with Hop JuiceName: Hop Juice
Brewery: Left Coast (Del Mar, CA, USA)
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 9.4%
Source: O’Carrolls Freehouse

Last Saturday I went on a pub crawl called The Auckland Hop. The photo on the right was taken about six hours into said Hop, and gives you a fairly good indication of how it was going at the time.

Note the cheery grins on the faces of Richard and Raffe, the enthusastic thumb gestures, and the off-kilter frame of the photograph. At the centre of it all is a beer that spells it out: I was on the Hop, and I was getting a bit Juiced.

Usually I would feel guilty about spending a sunny afternoon drinking beer in various pubs, but because I had a proper brochure and a map to follow, it felt more official and somehow justified.

In fact, I think this may have been my most productive Saturday ever. By the time I reached O’Carrolls I had already tried three new beers at Galbraith’s, toured the ancient Shakespeare brewery with Ben Middlemiss,  drunk Epic with Luke at Corner Bar, and eaten my share of fried carbs at all three venues.

I’d had plenty of nice beers by the time I reached O’Carrolls, but I was craving something bigger. Something more extreme. Something Imperial.

The Hop Juice seemed like the obvious thing, but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.  It had an awesome citrus/pine hop aroma, but in the mouth it was really sticky and sweet before the resiny bitterness cut in. I’m sure I’d had too many beers to properly taste things at that stage anyway, but it wasn’t quite the bitter punch in the kisser I was after. That said, I can imagine that on a fresh palate it might taste amazing. I think I have another bottle of this at home, so in the name of proper research I vow to drink it and let you know.

The Hop was a brilliant success and Kate Jordan deserves a huge round of applause  beer for orchestrating the whole thing. Big thanks also to the Brewery Britomart for saving my hangover and feeding us at the end of the night.

In other news, we’re having a Mexican party at my flat tonight which can only mean one thing – time to bust out the michelaaaaaaadas! 

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Published in: on April 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The Hop was indeed a grand day out!

    I think you are on the mark with your take of this beer, it was not nearly bitter enough for the malt body. I don’t think my tastebuds were too far gone at this point – the beer I had directly prior was an Emerson’s 1812, and that was beautifully balanced.

    So not to get confused with Richard, I am on the left of this photo. Afterwards I thought we perhaps should have gone for the hoverhands around the bottle and glass. Your camera focal length sure does some weird perspective stretching, like a in real estate photo.

  2. I wish I went on the hop. Regretting it now

  3. I find a lot of IIPA in the realm of hop juice. #needsmorebitterness

    Wish I could have made the Hop but I had a wedding to attend. Next year, for sure (unless I’m om a UK/Denmark/Italy/Singapore beer trip, as is looking likely).


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