Brewery: New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus, WI
Name: Hop Hearty IPA
Style: American India Pale Ale
Distributed only within the state of Wisconsin, New Glarus is a rare treat in the Chicago area, and usually one obtained by crossing the border with a 6 pack, or 2, or 4. The anonymous supplier of this Hop Hearty must be protected as an OMG Beer! source, but much appreciation goes his or her way.
Hop Hearty poured a very reddish-amber color, with a light, off-white head, but a nice amount of sticky lacing. Caramel nose, with a sharp almost lemon-like citrus hint from the hops. The hop flavors arrive first on the tongue, citrus again, lemon and pine perhaps, then toast and caramel on the back. The hop flavors are well balanced against the sweet malt, if not perhaps a little understated. Makes this American IPA more old-school, presents as kind of a predecessor to some of the very flavor-bombastic IPAs and APAs of the midwest (Surly Brewing's Furious and Three Floyd's Alpha King come to mind). Hop Hearty isn't a heavy beer, and the carbonation is just right. Finished nice and ry, a little bitter, without any cloying sweetness from the malt-forwardness; in fact, there was some hop residue and slight hop stickiness. Quite a drinkable IPA, one that would go well with grilled meat.