Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hop Rod Rye

Hop Rod Rye is a Rye IPA brewed by the Bear Republic Brewing Company of Healdsburg, CA.

While rye has been a small component in craft brews for quite a while, its recently seen its quantity in recipes increase. The spice that rye brings can add a third dominant flavor to the sweet malts and fruit/floral/pine hops.

Hop Rod was one of the earlier recipes to emerge putting rye in a more prominent flavor role. Even with that role rye only makes up 18% of the malt profile here, which shows you how far rye flavor will go.

Rye has an interesting role in the history of beer, indeed it helped lead to the famous Reinheitsgebot laws. Long story short, there was a rye shortage in Germany. Rye was a populat ingredient in bread. In order to protect bread production the Reinheitsgebot laws were passed that among other things, banned rye from being in beer. 

I highly recommend visiting the brewery in Healdsburg. The location is awesome - it backs up to a creek and is just off the town center square.

I picked this up at Bel Air, it has an ABV of 8%.

The aroma has a dark candy grape aroma with hints of the rye spice. The aroma has a balance of citrus & pine hops with dark malts and rye spice. There's pops of floral hops as well. The malt flavor is rich and thick, but is cut well by the hops. There's a biscuit and bitter citrus finish that lingers. The mouthfeel is creamy and the body is medium, leaning toward thick. The carbonation is spot on.

Overall, this a very good beer.  Its hard to categorize, because it covers various spectrums from IPA to imperial red to rye, which is what makes it great. A wide variety of flavors that compliment each other.

Unfortunately, I did get an older bottle and the massive hop aroma was gone and the hop flavor muted. Even with that, the beer is still good.  As I have written about before, picking up beers in large markets is a crap shoot. This is especially true for hoppy beers whose flavors fade quickly and you don't know how long its been sitting there.

Despite that this is still a Must Have It. 

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