Hopping into spring {TTT March 2014}

As you know by now if you’ve been following along with LBLF, the first Tuesday of every month is “Top Three Tuesday” where I share my current favorite beers.  I would pour these beers directly into your mouths if I could, but TTT is the next best thing.

As the weather warms (sorta), I’m craving hoppy, drinkable beers. We’re gonna do this month’s TTT by hop intensity – starting with a new favorite of mine:

Two Brother’s “Sidekick” Extra Pale Ale

Two Brothers' Sidekick Extra Pale Ale

Sidekick is a 5.1% “Extra” pale ale with 36.1 IBUs of bitterness. The beer is brilliantly clear with a beautiful, rocky, voluminous head. The aroma starts out floral with a light fruitiness and a very light, bready malt. The taste kicks in with a clean hop bitterness and similarly floral and fruity hop flavor.

What makes this beer remarkable is it’s amazing drinkability. It’s one of those beers you could easily sip on all day. The beautiful (though fragile) Spiegelau IPA Glass above work wonders to amplify the hoppy aroma and head retention for this lovely beer.

Next up! Rivertown’s “Lil Sipa,” a 4.5% ABV session IPA.
Rivertown's Lil Sipa

Lil Sipa brings a more aggressive hop bitterness than the Sidekick. The aroma is a complex hop profile, all together spicy, floral and notes of citrus and stone fruit due to the Citra, Galaxy, Columbus, and Cascade hops they use. The flavor is peppery, dry and very hop forward. The malt melts to the background with just a hint of oyster crackeriness. The hop bitterness remains pleasant here despite the 55 IBUs of bitterness and light malt flavor.

This is another easy drinking beer worthy of it’s 16 oz can.

Last, but certainly not least: Great Lakes’ “Chillwave” (used to be called Alchemy Hour) Double IPA.Great Lakes Chillwave Double IPA

Compared to our other easy drinking beers, Chillwave comes in fierce with 80 IBUs and 9.4% ABV. It’s got a heavenly aroma of pine and mango and is replete with flavors of passion fruit and citrus. Despite the hop assault, it’s got a great malt/hops balance owed to the honey malt used.

Chillwave is perhaps my favorite beer from Great Lakes. It is only available this time of year so jump on it if you see it. It is absolutely worth the $10 per four pack you’ll likely find it for, I promise. It may actually rival Bell’s mania-inducing “Hopslam.” Sacrilege, I know.

What’re YOU drinking and loving this month?

9 thoughts on “Hopping into spring {TTT March 2014}”

  1. I found Lil Sipa at Jungle Jim’s, brought it home and fell in love! I’ll be trying the other two as well. I’m hooked on hoppy beers…..anything else tastes like water now!

    1. I know! It’s great – will definitely be sipping on Lil SIPA all spring and summer long. While I love hoppy beers, I do still appreciate other, more nuanced styles. For me, springtime especially is IPA time 🙂 which reminds me – Aprihop from Dogfish Head will be coming out soon… cheers!

  2. Ooooh, I haven’t seen/tried that Two Brothers yet! They are one of the most solid breweries out there I think, I have yet to be disappointed.

    And mmmm…Aprihop…And speaking of Dogfish Head, have you noticed that they are now releasing some of their large single bottle format beers in 6-packs?! Finally got to try Namaste which I had been eyeing for a while, wonderful.

    1. Yea, Two Brothers is excellent. Such great beers.

      I did NOT see that about the large bottle 6 packs. I’ll have to keep an eye out… thanks for the heads up!

  3. Been awhile since I’ve checked in to LBLF. Site looks great. I’ve really been enjoying multiple cans of MadTree Lift, MadTree Spyre and Stone Go To IPA. All fantastic sessionable beers that will be great for Spring. I can’t wait to try Sidekick. Keep up the good work! Chris @ Queen City Fresh

    1. Hey Chris! Thanks for the kinds words.

      I just picked up Sprye and had a Go To IPA on draft at Dutchs’ the other night. Really enjoyed it. I think for session beers, I’d definitely go for the Sidekick before the Go To personally. I think you’ll really like it. The balance is perfect.

      Cheers!!

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