Hop Meadow IPA, 6.4% ABV
Two 12 oz bottles as part of mix-six pack, $9.90
Purchased at Copaco Liquors, Bloomfield
We plan out our weekly menu every Sunday morning in the CTMQ household. Frankly, I don’t know how families survive without doing this deceptively annoying weekly task. It frames our grocery store list and injects some much needed order into our rather hectic house.
After a week of dinners I’d planned, which focused heavily on my love for southern cuisine (fried chicken – followed by leftovers with waffles of course, breakfast burritos with hot green salsa and fried potatoes, an excellent BBQ shredded chicken sandwich with coleslaw and pickles…), Hoang followed up this week with her version of Hoppin’ John.
Mmmm-mm, I love Hoppin’ John. It has a rather interesting history. It’s history in my house is not a long one, as I think we’ve only made it two times prior to this Wednesday, when it makes its appearance between a mustard/dill salmon and a summer veggie/pasta dish.
So what better beer to pair with a steaming bowl of Hoppin’ John than the heavily hopped IPA from Hooker? Nothing, which is why I bought a couple bottles of this stellar IPA the other day.
This pale ale was originally brewed in 19th century England to survive the long ocean voyages to India – hence the name India Pale Ale. To keep the beer from spoiling during these four- to six-month journeys, a stronger, more generously hopped ale was produced.
Hooker’s creamy IPA emphasizes traditional West Coast Chinook and Cascade hops which produces a hophead’s delight of a brew: just-right complexity that’s not too sweet or over-the-top with hops.
It’s true. Well, I don’t know about the “creamy” part, as I wouldn’t call any IPA “creamy.” But it does have a complex flavor profile wherein the bitterness hits you first and then immediately eases as the sweetness of the beer takes over. But as Hooker just said, not too much.
It’s a very good IPA. I’m right on the cusp of being a hop-head and don’t shy away from the more bitter IPA’s out there, but as I get older, I’m finding that the best ones sort of temper that bitter/hoppiness in favor of a good, complex flavor. And I appreciate that.
I also appreciate the “Hop Meadow” name as that is a local area in Simsbury. I don’t know if it’s a specific place, but that name is very prevalent in town.
Overall Rating: A-
Rating vs. Similar style: B