Friday, August 15, 2008

Weekend Brews - Week 34 - Hip Hop-It

It's Friday and that means it's time for another Weekend Brews report. This weekend we travel to The Netherlands. Yes, that's right, home of legalized marijuana, mushroom tea and prostitution. What a country!

I'd like to introduce you to an IPA from Holland via Belgium, brewed by De Leyerth Brouwerijen (aka Urthel), called Hop-It. No, not hobbit, Hop-It ... although there is a sort of hobbit-looking creep on the label. ha ha.

Turns out, Hildegard van Ostaden, Brewmaster at Urthel discovered that she loved the strong, extra-hoppy IPAs of the American Northwest upon her visit to the US, and wanted to brew her own American-style IPA. You have to love that!

This thirst-quenching beverage pours a light amber color. A fine frothy foam head sits atop the glass and patiently waits for my first sip. It has a subtle, fruity and spicy aroma pushing through the foam. I think I'm going to enjoy this sample.

The flavor is well-rounded ... full of pilsner malt crispness, some caramel and kiss of bitterness from the hops. This is nowhere near your average American IPA, so be disappointed when your not puckered up after the first sip. However, this is an excellent example of how you can take a style and make it your own. Ms. van Ostaden certainly added her own touch to this special brew by choosing a yeast strain that gives off some fruity esthers and really produces a gentler beer than your average IPA. Great job.

One day I will get to tour Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands. Who's coming with me? Everyone start saving money now, and perhaps in the next couple of years, we'll have to get a group trip to live the dream. Here's to feeling good all the time.

This is a 9.5% ABV beverage, so feel free to crack open a bottle and share it with friends. It's a great way to start the weekend.


Overall score of the Urther Hop-It: 4.0 out 5.0

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