Beer Diary, I survived Hopslam mania 2013.
I think. I mean, I guess its not really over. Not ’til the last drop is drank. So, probably about now.
Being a relative newby to the Cincinnati craft beer scene, I became very intrigued about Bell’s Hopslam. Since I’d never tried this double IPA (um hello, my favorite style of beer), and have enjoyed other’s of Bell’s (of Kalamazoo, MI), I went on the lookout as soon as I started hearing “the buzz.” And boy was their buzz.
It started on the twittersphere, pictures from @bellsbrewery of production and tweets about where the “chosen beer” was headed. The hype was kind of intense. I can’t say I didn’t get completely wrapped up in it either. Having chatted up the Dutch’s guy, I had found out the exact date of their delivery of this liquid gold, and I even tweeted at them for confirmation because, yes, I am a giant tool. For those of you in the Cincinnati area who haven’t checked out Dutch’s, do yourself a favor and do it. That is literally a completely separate blog post so I’ll leave it at that.
After work, I went straight to pick up my one, single six pack. One. All I wanted was one six pack. So I was kind of shocked to learn that they were out. Gone. Poof. I stared at the very nice beer-man with wide eyes, “You’re out?” He shifted his eyes side to side, “Um, yea, a few people came and picked up whole cases of the stuff.” Wow, I thought, I seriously underestimated Hopslam mania. Feeling like a naive little girl, I sheepishly turned and walked away. He yelled after me, “You might try the Hyde Park Kroger.”
I needed some groceries anyway so I did. There, in a somewhat disheveled stack, was the Hopslam. “Yes!” I exclaimed out loud. Then I saw the sign that read $17.99. SEVENTEEN NINETY NINE. For one six pack. I felt irritated, but knew that my curiosity wasn’t going to be satisfied until I had a sixpack to call my own. I went home, put the room temperature beer in the fridge, and started making dinner.
Once it was properly cold. I tore open a bottle with mixed emotions, ridiculously I was kind of nervous, which is insane. I took a good sniff, and sipped slow.
So, the beer. This uber hyped, mania-inducing beer. Its really good. I sorta even understand the mania. Bells was not messing around when they made this beer and it is damned good: hoppy, but a little sweet to balance out the bitterness. For me, the overwhelming flavor is clean, grapefruit hop. Seriously good stuff. It’s 10% ABV, but you would never guess it. Take that as you will. As an avid double-IPA drinker I have to say after all of this that I’m a little sad. This is a really good beer. But is it really worth the craziness? We should have local Cincinnati beers that draw this much attention. That are this good. I think we’re on our way (50West, Blank Slate, Triple Digit, Double Barrel, MadTree Brewing, I’m looking at you). But for now, the Hopslamania continues.