Beers of Milwaukee, vol. 27

(You may be forgiven for thinking that all I do in Wisconsin is buy beer.  That’s not quite true; I also buy issues of Grassroots Motorsports, which are not to be found in the GVRD.)

So what’s a hops fan to do when he can’t get Ruination?  Thanks to the miracle of American economic dynamism and the Carter administration (when it wasn’t fleeing from vicious swamp bunnies), I have a trio of other ridiculous IPAs on my to-do list.  They’re all well north of 9% ABV, so I’m writing these comments on separate days.

The first is Lupulin Maximus from the O’so Brewing Company of Plover, WI.  It promises good things — there’s a hop cone in the bottle, for one.  The beer is cloudy and copper-coloured, much like Maudite.  Unfortunately, it isn’t all that hoppy.  It tastes like it wants to be hoppy, with the usual bittersweet IPA flavour lurking all over the place on the palate and in the aftertaste, but the overall effect is muted rather than overwhelming.  Too bad.

The next is Moylan’s Hopsickle Imperial Ale out of Novato, CA.  It’s appropriately dark and not as ostentatiously unfiltered as Lup. Max. despite bearing a bright red “LIVE ALE – KEEP REFRIGERATED” warning label.  It’s also precisely what I like in a hophammer IPA — it bludgeons the drinker about the palate with hops, has an aftertaste measured in minutes, and doesn’t ruin the effect with anything extraneous.  Hopsickle‘s bitterness is very much like what you get out of extraordinarily dark chocolate, astringent rather than cloying.  The label would like you to know that Hopsickle has won a number of awards; I suppose they probably won’t add my annotation that it’s at least as good as Ruination.

The last is Sonoma County Ales’ Racer 5 IPA (which, upon re-reading the label, I discover is only 7% ABV).  It’s fairly typical of a hoppy but not ridiculous IPA, easily in the same category as Tree’s Hophead or How Sound’s Devil’s Elbow. Like Hopsickle, it has lots of hoppy goodness and rather little of anything else, although its initial taste is typical IPA sweetness.

Nick Rowe has a good post up today that touches briefly upon substitution effects:

We know that substitution effects are negative.

Lup. Max., Hopsickle, and Racer 5 are substitute goods for RuinationHopsickle, notably, is a better-than-perfect substitute good — which doesn’t negate Dr. Rowe’s argument (which in any case was based on aggregate affects) but works out pretty well for me.


1 Response to “Beers of Milwaukee, vol. 27”

  1. December 31, 2010 at 08:06

    Excellent! I will have to find out if I can get Hopsickle locally – how does it compare on price with Ruination?

    As always, it’s awesome finding someone who loves a good IPA! And your description of it just became my Quote of the Day!

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