Last night was the night – Hop Chowdah was released to the world! Well, maybe not the world, but at least Longmont, CO and its surrounding towns.
We weren’t able to get over to the Oskar Blues taproom right at the tapping because of our jobs – boo office work! – but we hauled our behinds over there as soon as we could.
Walking in, it was a really cool feeling to see something you had a hand in making up on the specials board, especially at a place like Oskar Blues that’s so well-known in the beer world. (Not to mention, at a brewery whose stuff we’ve enjoyed for so many years, even when we lived in PA!)
Juice – the brewer who guided this whole thing – told us ahead of time that the beer turned out really well. But until we got that first sip, we wondered. Once we got our hands on that pint – oh wow! He was totally right!
The beer had a gorgeous caramel color and a ton of hops in the nose. Once you got a sip, you started smelling and tasting the aromatic hops. Then it mellowed in the middle before giving you a slap of bitterness at the end. Thankfully, that slap of bittering hops was the good kind that comes from a strong American-style IPA (which is a style we adore).
Hop Chowdah came in at a hefty 8.5% ABV, so it’s pretty strong. Since we live just far enough from the taproom that we had to drive, we had to be responsible and keep our Chowdah servings at one each. That just means we’ll have to go back this weekend and enjoy a leisurely afternoon at the Tasty Weasel. (Having too-hot-for-October weather in the forecast could be the perfect excuse to do that… as if we needed an excuse!)
We’ve gotta say thanks again to Juice and CAN’dAID for this awesome experience. We’d do it again in a heartbeat because we had so much fun (and the final product is excellent!).
PS – There seems to be an unspoken debate on how to spell “Chowdah”. Notice how the taproom spelled it on the board without the H at the end. In talking with Juice and his family, we all agreed that the beer’s name has got to be spelled “Chowdah” to really dive home the Boston accent-ness of it all. Since we’re all from the East Coast and we made the beer, that’s how we’re gonna spell it…