Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hooray For IPA Class - Wannabe Hopheads Rejoice!

Had the opportunity to attend the Hooray for IPA class offered by Total Wine & Beer here in Greenville this week.

The beers offered ran the gamut from English style to West Coast Hop Bombs, the perfect introduction to folks who are just beginning to investigate what the hop world is all about. 

Beers were poured in the left to right order pictured.
For those bereft of a magnifying glass, here's the list of beers:

Sam Smith Classic IPA (English)
Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp (Belgian IPA)
Bell's Two Hearted American IPA (from Michigan and an example of East Coast style)
Diamond Knot American IPA (from Washington State, West Coast example)
Laughing Dog Sneaky Pete Double IPA (DIPA), example of Hopbombiness, 10% abv
Stone Ruination, Imperial/Double IPA (from San Diego county), Hopbomb poster boy
Oskar Blues G'Knight Amber Ale , East Coast style, West Coast would be Red Ale
Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet Black IPA

Looking at my beer tasting sheet, I rated Stone's Ruination 100 (the max) because, of the samples, it was the truest IPA for my taste. Hops in the nose, hops mid-palate and hops in the finish. 'Nuff said.
My second highest rated was, at 97%, the Laughing Dog Sneaky Pete. Good hop presence in the nose, well balanced medium body and dry finish. Plus it was a newbie for me.

A highlight of an event like this is meeting people who are just getting interested in IPAs and are adventurous enough to try something new. This class was no exception and I was pleased to make the acquaintance of Michael Myers and his wife Sherri. The class was a Father's Day present to Michael, a great opportunity for him to broaden his IPA horizons, so to speak. 
Michael and Sherri taking their beer ratings seriously.
After the class had wrapped up and all judging done, I asked Michael to name his favorite which turned out to be mine as well, Stone's Ruination. Sherri, not quite the hophead just yet, chose the milder Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp Belgian IPA. 

All were good beers, and two of them were new to me so I consider that a very succesful evening.

The class presenters:

Michael Austin, left, moves comfortably between wine and beer appreciation while Charles "Chuck" Epps, right, is a self-described beer geek. His knowledge of hops added substantially to the class. Well done, fellows!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like it was a very interesting event !!