Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's Hop-tastic

There was a time when an India Pale Ale (IPA) was noted for being hoppy, bitter, and a bit malty. Then Dogfish Head pushed IPAs to the extreme. First a 60 minute, then a 90, and finally the ridiculous 120 minute IPA - that's 2 hours of continuous hopping for those keeping score at home.

That was the beginning of the end. Before long we had the double IPA (we won't get into the "double" trend here today). Everything is extreme. Today it's increasingly difficult to find an IPA that has hop character where you can still find the malt. So, is there a brew out there going by the IPA moniker that doesn't feel like your drinking some sort of hop-grain alcohol?

The Blue Point Brewing Company's Hoptical Illusion is retro in every way - including the label, it's psychodelic people. Behold the all seeing eye and with any luck the Free Masons are not onto this blog.

Hoptical Illusion has a hoppy front end but it's heart is malty, like a good IPA. It really is a classic American IPA. It's not going to meet the standard if you are all hops all the time. If you like hops, if you like something with character and a bit of complexity this is the IPA for you. You can have more than one (like we have tonight) and go back for more on your own accord - and not because you lost a bet.


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