I’m a guy that is willing to try pretty much any beer at least once, and recently I’ve been seeing an influx of beers showing up in my neck of the woods brewed by Hideout Brewing Company. I had heard a bit about Hideout Brewing and they were already on my expansive “to visit” list of breweries that are on the west side of Michigan, seeing their bottles starting to distribute to the east side of the state was a welcome surprise. Over the last month or so my local bottle shop has stocked up on Hideout beers, including a bacon ale, a vanilla cheesecake stout, a cinnamon red velvet ale, as well as about 12 other varieties of unique, and sometimes weird, sounding beer. I plan on trying quite a few of these bombers but the beer that caught my eye and seemed like a good place to introduce myself to Hideout Brewing was their Bubblegum IPA. Bubblegum IPA, sounds weird and since this is the first IPA I had come across that was brewed with bubble gum I figured why not, I’m always up for something different, new, and weird.
As soon as I pulled this beer out of my fridge I thought “man this is going to be a really sweet beer”. Fortunately for me the beer really isn’t overloaded with sweetness, we’ll get that out of the way up front. Still Hideout’s Bubblegum fermented concoction delivers, for the most part, what it advertises. The aroma of the beer is by far the first thing you notice, and no surprise it smells like a bubblegum, but not in an overpowering way, in fact although the bubble gum scent is present it’s met nicely with a malty biscuity aroma that mellows fairly quickly once being poured. The beer pours with a deep amber color with just a hint of a pink hue to it and forms a thick creamy head in the glass that’s pretty much going to hang out with you for the duration of the beer. The beer itself has a surprisingly malty bitter flavor and a somewhat creamy mouth feel, which the consistently present head on the beer definitely contributes too. You only really pick up on the bubblegum flavor on the beer as a finishing note giving a unique sweetness that instantly made me think of the bubblegum sticks that used to be packaged with baseball cards when I was a kid. I didn’t pick up a lot of the more traditional IPA style flavors from this beer, considering that the label declares a strong hop presence I wasn’t finding that. The majority of flavors I got were more on the malty side more common to the style of an amber ale or even an American strong ale, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The only thing I would do different with this beer is that I would strongly recommend sharing this one with a friend, unless your really into bubble gum. The beer is interesting enough and definitely warrants trying but 22oz’s of this was simply more than I needed. This really shouldn’t be taken as a negative towards the beer, but more so a reminder that I haven’t invested much in the bubblegum industry since I was much much younger and 22 ounces of bubblegum beer has reminded me why .
Bubblegum IPA was a great introduction to Hideout Brewing for me. I’m not sure what my expectation was for the beer, other than being different. As a beer it was a much more solid and well balanced brew than I expected. Truthfully I probably won’t buy another bomber of this beer unless I want something that’s just a bit more unique for a bottle exchange or something like that, but this beer definitely will make me try more beers from Hideout Brewing. Looking at the Hideout Brewing Beer Catalog it’s very clear that this company likes to experiment with beer, and that’s good, innovation is one of the things that makes craft beer great and keeps me interested in the ever expanding world of beer.
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