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Thursday, July 20, 2006 

Beer Review: New Glarus Hearty Hop IPA

There are few three letter combos that can elicit a reaction like IPA. Most beer drinkers that I know have strong feelings about IPA's, or India Pale Ales. The IPA is a British invention, created to survive the long voyage to India. When you hear IPA, immediately think "hops". Hops give a beer flavor, usually a bitter flavor. There is also a signature hoppy bite to heavily hopped beers. The overpowering hop flavor in IPA's causes most drinkers to either happily embrace this variety or totally scorn it. I'll admit to be an IPA snob. I like hops but only to a point. I want to taste the beer too. I don't want a mouthful of hop bite.

Tonight's selection is the New Glarus Hearty Hop IPA. It has a dark bronze color to it. The head is fairly frothy and maintains itself well. Even recovering from a cold, I can smell the aroma. It is hoppy and spicy. The first taste will remind you that this is an IPA, in case you forgot. As the beer passes over your tongue, you get hit with a sharp hoppy bite. It certainly wakes you up. There is a nice aftertaste of woody hops, but it does dissipate after a few moments. It finishes fairly clean, leaving your mouth feeling dry after the flavor is finally gone.

This is a beer that you sip slowly and enjoy. There is something about the combination of an IPA, a warm Summer night, and a patio that is just right. If you like IPA's, the New Glaurs Hearty Hop will probably be right up your alley. If you aren't into hops, pass on it.

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