US Airways - July 2013 - 25


Wine & Dine

Taste, Savor,

A Crafty

Artisan brewers are vying
to see who can be the
“hoppiest.” The best of these
bold beers use hops wisely.
By Nick Passmore


photos (from top) by Dr. sue Atkinson/stockfooD munich AnD © brewers AssociAtion

To say craft beer aficionados are passionate
about their brew is an understatement of
the first order. Fanatical might be a more apt
description, and these days all that single-minded
attention is focused, laser-like, on a particular
ingredient: hops.
And brewers have taken notice. “We are absolutely seeing more of a demand,” says Chad Melis
of Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont, Colorado.
“It’s pretty clear that the American palate is going toward hopcentric beers. You’re seeing the
more aggressively hoppy IPAs
[India Pale Ales] surpassing the
pale ales.”
This has developed into
something of a macho chestthumping contest — my beer
is hoppier than yours.
Hop Wallop, HopDevil,
Hoptical Illusion, and Hopsession are a few of the names
one can find on the shelves.
And, as JT Thompson of Smuttynose Brewery in
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, observes, “In the
last few years we’ve seen double IPAs, triple IPAs,
and every other riff on hoppy beer styles.”
According to Julia Herz of the Brewers Association, in 2011 brewers used 23 percent more hops
per barrel than in 2007.
Yes, hops are on everyone’s mind these days,
but while all the enthusiasm for craft beer is
encouraging, some brewers have gone a bit over-

A lot of beer lovers
prouDly cAll themselves
hopheADs, me being one
of them. i Don’t DemAnD
ultimAte bAlAnce.
—Julia herz, brewers Association

board. Yes, hops are essential to good
beer. But in too many cases it seems
to be the brewer’s entire focus.
American craft breweries are to be admired for
many attributes, most notably their enthusiastic
spirit of innovation and near messianic sense of
mission to bring good craft beer to the people. But
subtlety is not one of their strong points.
While a good English IPA or Czech pilsner
will seduce you with its elusive complexity, its
American counterpart will slap you on the back
and embrace you in a bear hug.
Unless you’re a total hophead, hops are neither

July 2013


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of US Airways - July 2013

US Airways - July 2013
Table of Contents
CEO Letter
From the Editor
Did You Know?
Making It Happen
Hot Spots: Family-Friendly Vacations
Wine & Dine: The Other Portland
Great Tastes: Benjamin Steakhouse
Wine & Dine: A Crafty Measure
Diversions: Fresh as You Please
Great Tastes: Savor
Great Escapes: Now Resorts & Spas
Adventure: Climbing Mt. Rainier
Travel Feature: Grand Cayman, the Epicure's Island
US Airways: Top Dogs
Special Section: Northwest Arkansas
Golf: Primland, a Course Apart
Special Section: North Carolina High Country
Readers Resource Index
Your US Airways Guide
Video Entertainment
Audio Entertainment
U.S. and Caribbean Service Map
International Service Map
Airport Terminal Maps
US Airways Fleet/Customs & Immigration
Passenger Info/Contact US Airways
US Airways MarketPlace®
Window or Aisle?

US Airways - July 2013