Hops. What would beer be without them? They are a crucial element in the production of most styles of beer, imparting aromas, flavors and bitterness to various styles through the use of different quantities and varieties of hops. Depending on the type(s) of hops used, they can impart aromas and flavors reminiscent of orange, tangerine, lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, passion fruit, pine needles, grass, honeysuckle (or other flowers), earthy or spicy tones, and many other qualities. The bitterness they impart is also important because, without it, most of the beers you enjoy would taste far too sweet.
In well made beers, depending on the style of course, the bitterness of the hops is usually complimented by the sweetness imparted by the malt, resulting in a well balanced play between the two. Of course, many IPAs (and even some ho-forward Belgian and pale ales) purposely throw this balance out of whack, providing an aromatic and flavorful hop punch, often with a more generous amount of bitterness and hop aromas and flavors than you’ll find in other styles. With April right around the corner, Beveridge Place Pub is all set, once again, to celebrate all things hoppy with IPAPril: a month-long celebration of hoppy beers.
From Beveridge Place Pub:
All month long we’ll be serving up a hopheads delight, with twenty (20!) taps running at 60+ IBUs! IPAs, Imperial IPAs, Belgian IPAs, Double IPAs, Black IPAs, Single Hop IPAs, we’ll have them all (or as many as you can safely consume) for the entire month of April!
This month-long event is a real treat for hopheads in Seattle, but also a great way to test your perceptions of what your ‘favorite’ IPAs are. In addition to having at least 20 taps running with hoppy beers all month long, Beveridge Place will also have several blind tastings. Do you know what your favorite IPAs are? Do you really? Think you can identify your favorite IPAs by taste alone? Order a blind taster try and take a few notes. A day or two later, Beveridge Place will reveal the beers on your blind tray and introduce another blind taster tray. It can be a great way to discover a delicious IPA you never considered trying before; or to find out if you’ve been over-rating an IPA because of the beer name or the brewery it came from. It’s also fun to try and actually name each beer you sample to see if you were able to pick any out you ‘think’ you know just by taste.
Last year, I was able to re-confirm my favorite IPA by still selecting it as my favorite, even blind. I did, however, also discover a new favorite that was a pleasant surprise.
My Three Favorites Last Year were:
- Firestone Walker Double Jack (No surprise here. It’s been my favorite for years.)
- Black Raven Wisdom Seeker (This year’s batch was just recently released.)
- Sierra Nevada Hoptimum (A pleasant surprise!)
IPApril runs all month long, so you have plenty of time to get over to West Seattle for a visit to Beveridge Place. Of course, if you want to try all the different blind taster trays, you’ll need to keep coming back all month long. The taps will keep rotating as each keg is drained and even more hop forward beers will come online every day or two for you to enjoy.
Can’t make it over to West Seattle for IPApril at Beveridge Place Pub? Then try Cooper’s Alehouse up on Lake City Way. They recently announced the dates for their own nearly month-long IPA fest, which they hold each April as well. Like Beveridge Place, most of their taps are taken over with deliciously hoppy beers, and they even provide blind tastings similar to Beveridge Place so you can make a few new discoveries along the way.
From Cooper’s Alehouse:
Our 12th (!!) Annual IPA Fest runs April 5th-26th. Over 70 IPA’s this year, many rare and hard to find. Clear your calendar! Cheers!
Prepare your taste buds for a serious onslaught of hops and head out this April to Beveridge Place (or to Coopers Alehouse) for your fill. Don’t forget to take notes with your blind taster trays, so you remember what was what when the beers are revealed. Most importantly, have fun! I’ll see you at Beveridge Place (and probably a few days out at Cooper’s too).
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.