Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye

I had the chance to try Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye. This isn't something we can get in Minnesota, but I picked up a bottle while over the river in Wisconsin. After getting it home and taking a closer look, I braced myself for a poor drinking experience. The bottle wasn't even completely full. As you can see below, it was filled about an inch or more below the normal fill level for a 12 ounce bottle.

It was also completely full of yeast and hop residue. I normally take care to leave sediment behind in the bottle when pouring, but this one had so much it was almost unavoidable (I almost wonder if this was the very last bottle off the line) and it basically looked like OJ with pulp.

mmmm pulpy.
To my delight, though, it tasted fantastic. It poured with a pretty small head which dissipated quickly. The aroma was thick with dank hops in the aroma. Full of moss and orange peel hop-bitterness, it was attention grabbingly bitter and nicely sweet and full bodied to match. The flavor was like honey-and-maple drizzled hops. West coast brewers often seem content with pushing one flavor-dimension to the obvious extreme, but this beer happens to push them all to the extreme in equal portions, and ends up with something balanced. Extremely balanced? I am informed by the label that this beer is brewed with rye, although I can't really pick anything rye-ish out in the flavor. It does have a nice crackery malt component which I sometimes associate with rye malt, and either way it's very pleasant. My only regret is not buying more.

1 comment:

  1. This is my brother in law's favorite beers outside the one in his hand and anything from Sierra Nevada in Chico, CA.