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Lagunitas Hop Stoopid

By Andy Murphy
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“So Hoppy that it threatens to remove the enamel from one’s teeth.”
- Lagunitas Brewing Company’s website description of Hop Stoopid

I drink an India Pale Ale every Monday — but some IPA Mondays call for a little more punch than others. A day like today calls for a hop bomb, and Lagunitas Brewing Co. supplies the perfect beer.

If the beckoning header (“102 I.B.U.4 U.”) doesn’t catch your attention, the name surely will: Hop Stoopid Ale.

And it doesn’t disappoint — this Double IPA is “stoopidly” hopped!

Hop Stoopid pours caramel-yellow-gold with a huge, foamy white head. The beer is slightly hazy, with a myriad of tiny, almost imperceptible tiny suspensions. That said, it’s hard to pay attention to its appearance, because the aroma is so disarming!

ipa-mondayHop aroma radiates from this beer — green and resinous, the aroma is pine sap blended with grapefruit. There’s a hint of malt in the base note, but massive hops dominate the nose and create a juicy top note that steals the spotlight.

This is the “greenest” smelling IPA I’ve had all year! As I worked my way through the bottle, the hops seemed to relax just the tiniest bit, allowing more floral and caramel aromas.

This exotic aroma is the result of an abundance of hop extract — or hop juice, if you will. The label dramatically explains the process:

“Clean this mess up or else we’ll all end up in jail… those test tubes and the scale… just get’em outta here…” He was referring to the complex super-critical-CO2 hop extraction equipment set up on the table in the lab across from the brewhouse. Hop extracts are fort he BIG brewers, he thought — suitable only for crummy sub-standard industrial lagers, not the subtle and elegant craft beer made here. But wrong he was. The New Brewer does not eschew any possible inputs. In the case the extract will replace the mountains of hop vegetative material in the kettle thus creating cleaner hop flavors and preventing the otherwise spinach-like mess of a kettle full of super-hopped wort from clogging up a pump or worse. The sensuous honey-like amber ooze was administered intravenously to the wort kettle and the sacrament was complete. Another kettle of Hop Stoopid is once again raised up and fermented on high.

Hop Stoopid’s first sip is like slurping down hop oil with a slick coating of caramel malt and a dusting of orange pith. The slightly sweet malt barely registers before the hops take up residence on your tongue — oily and oh so flavorful!

Surprisingly, Hop Stoopid doesn’t taste as bitter as its 102 IBU rating would indicate. Despite massive amounts of hops, the beer still comes across as lightly sweet. It’s a pleasing combination, allowing the drinker to enjoy the taste of hops without puckering up.

Hop Stoopid clocks in at 8% ABV and 22 ounces — now that’s a great way to celebrate IPA Monday!

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Categories : Beer a Day, IPA Monday



I see you catching up. It is very ambitious. Keep driving driver.

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