Foothills Brewing (NC) Hoppyum IPA in Roanoke!

Foothills Brewing, based in Winston Salem NC, is a regular at Roanoke’s annual Microfestivus beer festival.  But unless you travel to North Carolina often, Microfestivus is about the only time you might be able to taste their fine beers.  As the front and center statement on their home page refers to, they have a commitment to fresh tasting beer, so Foothills is only available on tap, not in bottles, and of course, mostly in restaurants and bars in North Carolina.  So when Foothills’ Hoppyum IPA turned up at a Fork In The City recently on tap, I made immediate plans for a tasting.  Ah!  Time for “research” once again – the work of a beer blogger is never done, darn it.

Hoppyum is big on flavor, and as many American IPAs go, the hops dominate.  Tastes of pine as well as a big citrus flavor are front and center with every taste, and it has a medium mouthfeel.  To me, there is a small layer of maltiness in the background, which in reviews is often described as caramel like, and in some beers serves to even out the big hop flavors.  But in this one, the malt is barely keeping the hops from toppling over the edge, sort of like a rope pulled taut and whose fibers are loosening and basically holding on for dear life.

As I wrote in my last post about IPAs, beers which are big on hoppy flavor can be difficult for the casual beer drinker to get into.  The pine and citrus characteristics from the hops are what people taste, if it’s for the first time, as simply “bitter”.  (As far as the “citrus” flavor goes, think the taste of red grapefruit.)  With time though, some beer drinkers come to appreciate, and then absolutely love, these individual flavors.  Hoppyum IPA, with its big on flavor, juicy citrus character, but overall hoppy taste, is a solid model for an American IPA, and could be a great first step for someone wanting to dip their feet into the IPA waters.  And if you already love delicious IPAs, get out and have one – and soon!  You never know how long regional and craft beers will stay on tap.

Currently, Hoppyum is at Fork In The City only.

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~ by thebeerroad on April 23, 2010.

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