Hop Talk Podcast #10 – We’re back!

In this episode we talk about

  • Beer headlines
  • Homebrewing with your kids
  • Summer vacation post-mortem
  • “This or That”

Download it here: Hop Talk Podcast ep. 10

…or subscribe with iTunes

Show notes:

Beer Headlines

IPA is now the #1 craft beer style in the U.S.

It has beat out pale ale for the first time, based on sales in supermarkets and big-box stores. More interesting, perhaps, is the difference in the other items in the shopping basket between craft beer purchasers and those that purchase industrial light lager.

eBay’s black market for beer

Why it’s happening and what brewers are trying to do about it.

Washington hops harvest under way in Yakima Valley

Washington leads the nation in hops production, but the harvest is down about 5 percent this year to about 23,000 acres due to oversupply.

New Jersey Beer Co. flooded by Hurricane Irene

But the beer is okay! It was brewed the same day as the earthquake, too. No sign of locusts.

Homebrewing with your kids

Lifehacker pointed us to an article by a homebrewer who talks about brewing with his kids as a way to demystify alcohol and grow closer as a family. We offer our opinions. Geek uber-celebrity Wil Wheaton wrote recently (at length) about his great experience homebrewing for the first time with his son, as if to reinforce the point.

Joffre the Giant: Alcohol and Kids part 1 – a ramble

What we drank:

Spot a discrepancy? Something missing? Let us know. contact@hop-talk.com Follow us on Twitter: @hoptalk and @hoptalkron

Music credits:

Background music at bar during intro:
Artist: Gnappy
Song: Best Not FUnck Around

Main intro:
Artist: A Thousand Knives of Fire
Song: She’s Yours

Outro Music:
Artist: Aphasia
Song: Metal Tank

Transition Music:
Artist: Devil In A Woodpile
Song: Beer Ticket Rag

Widmer Brothers X-114 IPA

Ron got to drink a little of this during Podcast Episode 8. Then my wife discovered this on tap at a new pub. And then we discovered it at the local beer store. Cool!

They say:

Meet X-114, our secret formula for hophead nirvana. Named for the experimental hop that came to be known as citra, this aromatic IPA balances perfect proportions of big fruit and citrus flavor, with hints of peppery spice, caramel malt sweetness, and a bitter but smooth finish. It’s one experiment that bears repeating. Often.

Pours clear and light gold, white head. Biscuity with a floral hop aroma. Moderate mouthfeel, big hop character; fruity, bitter. I like it. My wife does too. I’ll be lucky to get half of the six-pack.

Widmer Brothers Rotator IPA: X-114

Happy International IPA Day!

Have an IPA today, won’t you? It’s International IPA Day!

A message from the founder of #IPADay

To participate, share your photos, videos, blog posts, tasting notes, recipes, thoughts with the world on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress, RateBeer, Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, Untappd or any other social media platforms you may use. Use the hashtag #IPADay in all of your posts and then see what others are saying by searching the hashtag on Google, Twitter or other social media resources.

Several breweries and beer bars are participating, so look for local events. I know that Untappd has a special badge you can earn for checking into an IPA today.

I’m meeting friends after work at a brewpub, so you know what I’ll be having.

Henry Weinhard’s IPA

Henry Weinhard’s IPA, available April 1, 2011, is going to be a year-round beer added to their family of brews. It pours a copper penny in color with an abundant creamy head. Pleasantly hopped, lightly sweet with a mild body behind it makes this IPA go down easy.

The beer is a session IPA. At 6% ABV, it borders on “session” status, but from an IBU (43 to be exact) and drinkability standpoint, this a great session IPA. The hop bitterness is pleasant and won’t leave you waking up the next morning questioning that “I’ll have just one more” decision you made.

It is brewed with a blend of two-row and Caramel malts along with a blend of three different hops – Galena, Cascade and Citra, all from the Pacific Northwest.

Henry Weinhard’s IPA out of Hood River, Oregon, is in a limited distribution, available in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

Rare Beer – Cigar City Brewing

I was presented with a great sample recently from the Beer of the Month Club. I had no idea that they offered something called The Rare Beer Club. I was given two bombers of beer that I had never had before and that is always a treat in itself, but the both these beers out of this world.

The first of the two beers I tried with some close friend (and beer lovers) was the Jai Alai Cedar Aged Humidor Series India Pale Ale from Cigar City Brewing in Tampa Florida. It is a west coast style IPA aged in cedar and is a GABF Gold winner.

This beautiful beer poured a light rusty orange-red with a big sticky head. The aromas coming off this beer were huge, both spicy and citrus. On the palette, my friends and I all immediately said “grapefruit!” As I kept drinking I also noted some sweetness behind the spice, I called it banana and butterscotch. The spice was hard to describe – maybe cedar’y.  We all thought it was a treat.

The Rare Beer Club is a great find… Just look at what they offer on any given month. One of the things I like so much about The Beer of the Month Club is the newsletter they provide each time. It is a well written article about the beer and details about the brewer, the style… you name it.

For instance, in this case they point out that excellent craft beer from Florida is quite rare in itself, which I never really thought about. They also mention some of the other wonderful brews at Cigar City, like their Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout which is aged with Peruvian cacao nibs, Ancho and Pasilla chilies, cinnamon , and Madagascar vanilla beans. (Yumm!)

Cigar City obviously knows what they are doing and I love that they are out there on the fringe trying things like cedar barrels to age in. I hope you try some.

(Serafijn review coming soon)

Great Divide Belgica

Beer-a-Day #349 Great Divide Belgica

Belgica—the Roman name the Low Countries—is a marriage of the best in American and Belgian brewing traditions. Belgian pilsner malt, a generous amount of American and European hops and a unique Belgian yeast strain combine to give Belgica big notes of citrus and spice, creating a lively concoction perfect for spring in the Rockies—or the Ardennes.

Pale yellow with a beefy white head. I can definitely smell the promised citrus and spice; especially cloves. Flavor is heavier than I expected, with a flavor a bit like roasted apricots in the finish. That’s not bad, but at 7.2% ABV is probably a bit bigger than I would generally have to wile away a Spring afternoon.

Great Divide Brewing

Pyramid ThunderHead IPA

Beer-a-Day #344 Pyramid Thunderhead IPA

Our hop heaping IPA is a golden nectar garnering thunderous reviews. Its floral aroma strikes a harmonious blend between a sweet malt flavor and bold hop bitterness. Enjoy this thirst quenching adventure.

A pretty light amber, clear with an ivory colored head. Pineapple and grapefruit aroma from the hops. Nice flavor with a pleasant bitterness that doesn’t kick you in the head. I’d gladly have that again.

Pyramid ThunderHead IPA

Watch City Brewing – Again

This was my second visit to Watch City Brewing in Waltham, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. (My first trip recounts a return trip was warranted.) The bar room was not too busy, but not entirely empty early on for a Monday Night Football evening. I would have liked to stay longer, but it was a long day.

I enjoyed a couple of Hops Explosion IPA’s which were excellent, though maybe not quite up to the level of some of my other favorites; but a fresh brew in a friendly relaxing atmosphere is always better than something from a bottle.

My friend had a German dark lager that he described as “smooth”. He also had a second so he must have enjoyed it.

I had the Cuban sandwich which was just great. But again, the fries steal the show.

Do you think these are wood, or lined with stainless steel? I think another return trip is needed.