Tuesday, November 23, 2010

432. Iron Horse Hop Hub Pale Ale

Our first beer from Iron Horse Brewery, located in Ellensburg, WA, “straight from hop country” as it says on the bottle. This is their 4th Anniversary ale, labeled as the “Beer Shoppe Anniversary Ale” on the bottle, although there is nothing on the Iron Horse website to indicate that this beer ever existed. And the bottle is bike-themed! So in other words, it is all good. We also had Caldera Ür Bock Rauch Beer, which was a bit too sweet in relation to the smoke flavors—it was more Kansas City BBQ than smoky rich bacon-y goodness. Our third beer for the day was Hopworks Urban Brewery (or HUB) IPA; HUB is located in Portland, OR, and is pretty much a straight up West Coast IPA: say hello to Amarillo, Centennial, and Cascade hops coupled with a lighter malt load—organic Canadian pilsner and organic German Munich and Caramunich. Big hop flavor coupled with a chalky dry malt body. Dee-licious. HUB IPA also contributes to the bike-theme of today’s post: Hop Hub Pale Ale and HUB IPA (see the bottle photo if you’re more into the visual thing)—we couldn’t plan this if we tried. Sure, the Caldera is dragging down the bike-themed post, but you’ll all suck it up and deal, won’t you? Because if not, I’ll be forced to taunt you a second time.

Pouring a hazy tan with a light white head, Hob Hub Pale Ale has a restrained spicy hop aroma with lower levels of caramel malt sweetness underneath. There are also light fruity and apple hints along with the spiciness in the nose. Flavors are crisp and bright; there is light breadiness in the front followed by light bitterness and fruity and floral hop flavors. The finish is bready and bright with lightly lingering bitterness. Hop Pub Pale Ale is medium-bodied with a crisp body and brisk carbonation that helps round the bitterness and the body, along with a light chalky dryness. Elli liked it more when it was cold; I liked it more as it warmed up—the hop character ended up much like the fresh hop beer we made (well, minus the bitterness)—the floral, fruity, and light apple components are a lot of what we got of those hops we pulled off of the bike path. The difference here is the bitter components, which do help the overall beer. Nice job, Iron Horse. Wish we had more, but I doubt I’ll be seeing this in Dayton anytime in the near future. Ah, beer: why must you taunt me so?

HUB IPA says “Ride your bike,” dammit.

From Rate Beer: “Hop Hub is fermented just up the street from America’s hop mecca; the Yakima Valley. In this pale ale we are showcasing two strong and odiferous domestic hop varieties; chinook and amarillo. Hop Hub has ample citrusy hop aromas and flavors. We backed up these two high roller hops with a snappy blend of specialty malts, including caramel, honey et al., to keep this beer from tipping over.”

ABV: 6.0%


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