Perhaps it’s due to the brewery’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains, or perhaps it’s the way the beer’s name evokes something mysterious. Either way, Breckenridge Brewery’s Hop Peak IPA is not what you might expect. Despite the fact that this IPA makes a bold declaration about its taste from the outset, there are still surprises to be found here.
The label depicts hops that tower majestically, equal in size to the mountain range that looms behind them. The beer’s color is a golden brown, and the look of it is largely clear, with a slight opacity. A thin trickle of small bubbles periodically rise to the surface as the beer rests in the glass.
Unsurprisingly, Hop Peak smells hoppy. A floral intensity emerges when you breathe it in: the sweet smell of sunflowers, with a pinier musk lurking behind it. The collective effect is fresh and clarifying. This one has a smell you can savor.
What makes Hop Peak stand out is the way in which it evokes familiar tastes and sensibilities just before it swerves.”
Hop Peak’s hearty color and floral smell suggest fullness, and the beer follows through on that promise. Crisp, sweet and nectar-like, the flavor initially evokes ripe apricot. Behind that comes the bristly, resiny taste of hops. It comes on strong but doesn’t linger for long. What does endure is a sense of balance between two contrasting tastes.
If the label doesn’t tip you off, the presence of Simcoe and Citra hops, along with lupulin powder, provides a good indication of what you’ll get before you’ve taken a sip. What makes Hop Peak stand out is the way in which it evokes familiar tastes and sensibilities just before it swerves. There are plenty of IPAs made with those hops, but the result here reaches a less familiar destination—and that unpredictability helps Hop Peak stand out.