Let me clear my throat, the name is Nick. I am an incredibly enthusiastic, albeit, self proclaimed craft beer geek that moonlights as a borderline hipster music junkie. I’ve been into craft beer for quite some time, and my passion for it has helped bump me up the ranks from cooler jockey to the craft beer buyer for the St. Louis Park location. I am constantly on the lookout for the next underdog brewery that is doing great things so I can sing their praises from the top of a mountain… metaphorically speaking. Swing in and talk craft brews with me anytime.
Another week means another entry in the brand spankin’ new beer blog. As we focus on the weeks ahead with fingers crossed for an early spring; I can’t help but think about bbq’s, bonfires, beaches, and baseball (That’s a lot of B’s). I was far too excited about these three brews, so rather than focus on a specific brewery, I am looking at a couple of lighter bodied IPA’s. Beers like Top Rope and Hop Lift, which are lighter in body for the style and will treat you well in the warmer months to come. With light style IPA’s, I feel the need to balance it with one of my personal heavy duty favorites, Chillwave, but more on that mighty beast later.
And Now, the Brews
|Third Street: Hop Lift | IPA|
|Third Street Brewing, out of Cold Spring, Minnesota, have tasked themselves to take a step back and analyze how they can improve their original recipes as well as staying relevant by bringing some new beers to the table. This is where Hop Lift comes into the picture. A brand new IPA that is available year round, which is a first for this brewery. This IPA is wonderfully approachable and lighter in body. It has a strong scent of tropical fruits with a hint of dry pine. A well balanced carbonation makes for a slightly coarse, but overall pleasant mouth feel. The tropical fruits give way quickly to a nice dry finish.|
|4 pk 16 oz cans | 6.2% ABV | 60 IBUs
Serving: This beer pairs well with a ball game on the radio while fishing off the end of the dock.
|Tallgrass: Top Rope | IPA|
|On the topic of tried and true breweries bringing out brand new IPA’s; Tallgrass Brewing out of Manhattan Kansas has decided to retire their old heavy weight Ethos to tag in a middle weight contender that goes by the name of Top Rope. Light copper in color, with a wonderfully sweet peach and pineapple nose. This beer does a great job of pinning your pallet with it’s bright, clean, and balanced flavors. Tallgrass has done it again making another quality beer for a wide range of hop heads, brother.|
|4 pk 16 oz cans | 6.0% ABV | 80 IBUs
Serving: This beer would pair well with cleaning out the garage, and getting things in order for the hot summer months.
|Great Lakes: Chillwave | Double IPA|
|I get excited about Bells releasing Hop Slam every year, not only because it is a solid beer, but that means that Chillwave is right around the corner. A couple years back Great Lakes decided to reformulate the recipe for their spring seasonal Alchemy Hour. The end result was a tsunami of hops aptly named Chillwave. A dense hazy orange hue hides a big bold flavor. Mosaic hops are the main culprit behind the lusciously fruit forward nose. The taste is tantalizingly tropical and dangerously smooth for such a boozy brew.|
|4 pk btl | 9.4% ABV | 80 IBUs
Serving: This beer pairs well with bonfires and friends who know how to play more than one song on the acoustic guitar (I am looking at you guy who only plays Wonderwall, we’ve all heard that song enough for one life time. It’s bush league and you know it!!)