Just some quick Friday night thoughts about this year’s edition of Hopzeit Autumn IPA from Deschutes Brewery, as I sip through the last of the three bottles they sent me.
- I’m still happy that Deschutes is putting out a fall seasonal beer in lieu of a Jubelale early release. Someday though… someday, I will convince someone at Deschutes to bottle a pumpkin beer.
- From what I can tell, they have used the same ingredients (and presumably, recipe proportions) as last year, but from what I can remember (and what I’d written here), there are differences. In particular, the aroma seems a bit mellower or even more muted this year, and the flavor is a mellower hop bitterness with more savory spice and melon rind on the back end. That lends, I think, to a maltier impression in the mouthfeel, and then finishes with a slightly peppery bite.
- All things being equal, these differences emphasize the fact that beer—like wine—is an agricultural product dependent upon ingredients that can change year to year depending on whether and other conditions. I’m thinking of the hops in particular since that’s where the main differences seem to be.
- While different from last year, it’s still a good beer with an interesting complexity that comes from melding the Märzen and IPA style sensibilities. I still don’t think it’s entirely new; as I noted last year, this is something of an American Sticke Altbier.