So it’s humid out and your hair is getting all frizzy and you’re sweating bullets ... I prescribe for you 65CLs of Hop Therapy!
This summer has been one of the most dramatic summers from Mother Nature in a long time. Just under a month ago, floodwaters that beat even the record 2011 flood hit Brandon, but thankfully kept business as usual for the most part. Outside of town folks weren’t as lucky.
Now, I don’t remember the last time it even rained. It’s been hot hot hot, lots of humidity, lots of mosquitos — but also lots of sun, which means — visit all the patios!
India Pale Ales are next to impossible to find at any pubs or restaurants in western Manitoba. I’m lucky when I do find an IPA period. Once in a blue moon, some places do have IPAs in cans or bottles, such as Double Trouble’s Hops & Robbers, Tree Hop Head or something by Flying Monkeys.
Other than those, most restaurants don’t cater to hop heads. The closest thing to an India Pale Ale you will find is Alexander Keith’s Cascade Hop Ale, which isn’t bad by Keith’s standards, but it lacks the magic of an IPA that I’ve come to known and love.
I don’t usually talk about future First Draught columns, but a few weeks from now, I will be doing a piece dedicated entirely to the best IPAs available in Westman.
Almost all of you are familiar with Fort Garry. For the longest time, if you wanted a beer that’s a "little bit different," you’d get a Fort Garry Dark or Fort Garry Pale Ale.
But one thing you likely didn’t know is that Fort Garry is actually owned by a brewery out of B.C. called Russell Brewing. Russell’s a very well established brewery that at one time, brewed the official beer for the B.C. Lions. So they have a bit of knowledge when it comes to beer.
Hop Therapy, in name only, seems like the kind of IPA that could possibly cure the common cold — hops have been known to reduce symptoms of colds and flu to some extent.
Boasting an International Bittering Units (IBUs) rate of 100 means Hop Therapy is one freaky bitter and hoppy beer — this isn’t going to be your cousin Neil’s favourite Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale, oh heck no!
Hop Therapy IPA pours a cloudy golden straw, with a bit of a honey hue and a thick creamy head on top.
The aroma is quite pungent, with notes of a liberal amount of hops to give it a fresh-cut alfalfa aroma, plus a bit of a spicy black pepper backing, notes of pine and a hint of grapefruit — what you should expect for the general aroma of a West Coast-style IPA.
The taste is quite a bit like the aroma. It has a great floral touch that’s reminiscent of alfalfa, with a bitter citrus fruit coming from grapefruits, and a very boozy taste that just hits your palate that reminds me of higher ABV beers such as barley wines.
But seeing that this beer is nine per cent ABV and a double IPA, it’s safe to say that the hit of booze you get is meant to be there.
Overly aromatic, it’s a bit harder to drink than your standard Keith’s, but that should be expected when the bitterness rating is 100 and Keith’s is rated at 12 to 20, depending on which Keith’s product you do drink.
Hop Therapy is a great autumn beer to drink with a few friends in snifters or special IPA glasses, which will give you more of a whiff of the beer than a standard beer glass.
For those who want a bit of a sweet boozy (Double) India Pale Ale with notes of alfalfa, pine and grapefruit, this beer’s for you. It might be a bit much for most, but that means more for me to drink!
At 9.0 per cent ABV and 100 IBU, Hop Therapy just might subdue the common cold — it’s always worth a try!
Available for $7.39/650mL bottle at the 10th and Victoria Liquor Mart. There are only a few bottles left in stock, so pick it up as soon as you can!
Lastly, Half Pints’ Weizenheimer wheat ale is now in stock at the 10th and Victoria Liquor Mart for $4.33/bottle. Half Pints’ seasonals are a rarity here, so I hope you get to try it out before that one is gone, too.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 16, 2014