575. New Belgium Brewing – Hop Kitchen – Hoppy Bock Lager

575. New Belgium Brewing - Hop Kitchen - Hoppy Bock LagerAs I mentioned in my last few posts, I’m in Columbia, Missouri, home of my alma mater, for an alumni golf tournament. My friend Bill and I have already stopped at Booche’s for a burger and a Stag Beer, as well as Flatbranch, where I had their Red Wheat. Now we’re at Addison’s Bar and Grill meeting up with our friend Tom. I haven’t heard of New Belgium’s Hop Kitchen line, but thought this beer sounded interesting.

Location: On tap and served in a regular pint glass at Addison’s Bar and Grill in Columbia, MO.

Numbers: 6.9% ABV, 70 IBUs, 200 Calories

Ingredients: Hops: Nugget, Hallertauer, Perle, Fuggle; Malts: Rye, Melanoiden, Munich, Goldpils Vienna;Yeast: Lager.

Appearance & Aroma: It’s clear and copper in color with a thin, frothy, foamy, white head on it, which fell after a few minutes, but left a good amount of lacing as I drank it. There’s a good amount of hop aroma to this, with mostly grassy-piney smells and hints of citrus with some biscuity-bready maltiness in the background.

Taste & Feel: The body was medium and the mouthfeel was crisp, with a decent amount of carbonation and hop bite.  The flavor up front was a bit sweet with caramel malty and toasty-biscuity flavors. The hop flavor comes through quickly after that, with piney-floral flavors in the middle. The floral hop flavors and bitterness grows in the finish and is accompanied by some citrusy hoppiness as well. The floral hop flavors seem to stick around for a minute or so in the aftertaste.

Food Pairing: This is a mostly floral hoppy beer with some caramel and biscuity flavors up front. I find this type of beer to go nicely with a cheese burger, as the biscuit and caramel flavors mix nicely with the bun, and then the hop flavors complement bold cheese flavors. With the floral nature of the hops, I might also suggest this beer for a caesar or another salad with chicken or turkey.

Overall Impression: With the name of the series being “Hop Kitchen” I was expecting a huge, smack-you-in-the-face hop flavor and bitterness. It was nice to find the malt flavors came through up front, and I really enjoyed the toasty-biscuit flavors. The hop flavors definitely dominated, but weren’t overwhelming, and the combination of pine, citrus, and floral was enjoyable. Overall, I found this to be a pretty good beer which differentiated itself with a more floral hop character.

My Rating: ★★★½☆

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Author: Kevin

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