As a wine geek who also enjoys beer — but who doesn’t work nearly as hard at beer drinking as I do wine tasting — it’s been fascinating to watch the evolution and revolution of the hoppy beers.
When I first started getting into India Pale Ales (IPAs) it was both the flavors (mostly dank and resinous in those days) as well as the bitterness that appealed to me. Now, there are so many different varieties of hops, each bringing different flavor profiles, that it’s harder to know what you’re getting if you just pick up any IPA off the shelf.
The most recent trendy iteration of IPA “New England-Style IPA” with its effusive tropical fruit character, unfiltered haze, creamy mouthfeel and lack bitter bite on the finish are easy to drink. Still, I miss the hop-born bitterness. It cuts through the fruity and creamy qualities and makes for a more balanced beer.
The folks at Moustache Brewing Co. always have a deft hand when it comes to all things hops and ale. Our “Beer of the Week” is their Get Up On Outta here Double India Pale Ale, which show off their talents blending hop varieties quite well.
“For this beer, we used a combination of hops from Germany and New Zealand, Mandarina Bavaria and Hüll Mellon from Germany and Motueka from New Zealand,”said co-owner Matt Spitz. “The Mandarina lends nice a citrus character, and the Hüll a subtle melon character. (While) The Motueka give notes of lemon and zesty lime with slight tropical undertones.”
They also used some wheat — rather than all barley — in the grist, which brings a lightness to what Spitz calls a “springtime DIPA.”
Tasting the beer, you can pick up all of those citrus and melon notes, with only the faintest tropical notes. Drier than most DIPA you’ll find on the market (that’s on purpose) it also features a distinct, appetite-whetting bit of bitterness on the finish.
Sadly, this is sold out at the brewery (you may find it around town, however) but fear not — there are more hoppy ales coming from Moustache over the next month or so.
“We have a few IPAs coming down the pike in the coming weeks,” Spitz said. “DJ Night is our new regular IPA, brewed with Azacca and Idaho 7 hops. Buffalo Theory is a DIPA that we brew in honor of our friend Ed that tragically passed away a few years ago. It’s pretty close to a West Coast style IPA and proceeds from that beer are donated to the Ed Hahne Memorial Scholarship fund at SUNY Stonybrook.”