The first was a beer which has a stupid amount of hype around it and I think it might be that hype which made me a little non plussed. It might have also been that I drank it at half time of the North vs West Coast final and was thus not in a happy mood.
Now I’m not saying that Epic’s Hop Zombie is not a great beer, because it bloody well is I’m just not sure it was the life changing, most amazing beer you’ll ever taste experience that everyone seemed to be telling me it was. Also if you haven’t already got a bottle in the cupboard, don’t bother trying to find one, they were all sold out in about three days. That’s what hype and limited supply does for you.
I don’t want to downplay it, it is a really good beer, with an interesting mix of hop tones and some serious bitterness, but surprisingly well balanced for a hop bomb. I reckon I’ve tasted better IPA’s (the Barrel-aged Hop Hog comes to mind) so I’m going to give it a Pint (cue angry mob with pitchforks who will be coming after me, I can only hope they are drunk and therefore I’ll be able to outrun them).
The second brew is one of two beers that Andre was nice enough to bring me back on his recent trip to the US of A. It’s from Founder’s Brewery in Michigan and is called the Founders Frangelic Mountain Brown, which is a brown ale infused with hazelnut coffee, because that’s a thing now apparently.
It poured a lot lighter in colour than I was expecting, although when I recalibrated my brain to brown ale rather than porter it seems just about right. I wouldn’t be giving the plot twist away if I told you that it smelled of hazelnut and coffee. Well wet coffee. Now I know I use this term a bit so let me explain it. Say you take a Bodum plunger coffee pot and brew some coffee, then pour out the coffee, now stick your nose in the coffee pot and breathe in, this is the smell of wet coffee.
As for the taste, well Jordan explained it best as ‘Plunger coffee in a hazelnut sandwich,’ which is to say you get sweet hazelnut straight off the bat, then a wave of the wet coffee taste and then the lingering taste is hazelnut again, tasty enough to do some lip smacking to see if it’s still there.
All in all it’s a pretty easy to drink brown ale, with all the added fun of both hazelnut and coffee – Good stuff – Pint.