Featured Contributor – John Fahrner @fahrn13 from Michigan
Bell’s has a variety of brews that are released every year as part of their annual release series, none of those beers are more sought after than Hopslam. Hopslam has been a staple of the of the craft beer hunter for as long as I can remember and has rightfully earned it’s place as a beer that sells out usually within hours of hitting shelves. What I will never understand with Hopslam is the group of hipsters inside the craft beer community that seem to rebel against this brew simply because it has gained a level of notoriety, similar to the way that a lot of people view breweries like Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada. That’s a rant for a different article though, Hopslam is here and now we can start the year off right.
Surprise surprise, Hopslam is a beer that is delightfully loaded with hops! The good people at Bell’s start this beer with 6 different varieties of hops and finish it off by dry hopping the brew with Simcoe hops making the beer have the most complex hopping system in the Bell’s brewing schedule. This lends to the wonderful citrus and floral notes that are very pronounced in the aroma of this beer, however when drinking this beer I’m hit more with the generous malty flavor and honey that balances this beer out flawlessly. Hopslam pours with a beautiful copper color, almost amber, with a light foamy head that can leave some Instagram photo quality lacing on most glasses. For a beer loaded with hops and packing a 10% ABV Hopslam is remarkably drinkable and very palatable even for those who would normally be intimidated by a very hop front beer.
One of the first people that I started hanging out with and venturing in to the massive world of craft beers has always told me that he isn’t a fan of IPA because of the bitterness and hoppy flavor that’s so pronounced in this style of beer. After years of my offering hundreds of different IPA’s for him to try that balance out those flavors he’s finally started to come around to IPA and more specifically Double and Imperial IPA. Hopslam has always been a beer that he has been a little intimidated by simply because of the name and the assumption that this beer would be a bitter assault on his pallet. Although there are plenty of hopped up IPA’s out there that achieve this Hopslam is in no way that type of beer. Hopslam is one of the high points of every year that you can always count on to be one of the most enjoyable IPA’s to hit the shelves. Unlike some other highly regarded IPA’s out there (120 minute IPA, Headytopper, Pliny) Hopslam is relatively easy to come across once it is in distribution, even if it doesn’t last long. Hopslam is a beer that is solid enough and of high enough quality that I would honestly recommend it for any fan of craft beer, not just hop heads and treasure hunters out there. The price on this one is on par with all the Bell’s annual releases, about $15-19 a six pack depending on where you buy, but totally worth every penny. It might only be January but I’m confident that few beers that will hit shelves this year will be as enjoyable as the Hopslam experience.
Overall Beer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
John Fahrner Bio:
John resides in Wolverine Lake, MI and is interested in craft beer, the Detroit Red Wings and MSU.
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#craftbeer #beer #MSU #redwings #sommbeer
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