Full Tilt Brewing

Hops the Cat IPA

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category-iconBeer Reviews

Too Much or Just Enough?

July 10, 2017

By Eno Sarris, July 10, 2017

Can you have too much of a good thing?

It’s easiest to wonder this when you’re staring at a deep-fried twinkie with a Twix shoved into the middle of it or maybe that bacon-covered hot dog slathred with chipotle mayo. Maybe add some Donkey Sauce, maybe add it to either. Definitely some ketchup if Guy’s not around.

But in beer, you also run into this consideration fairly frequently. Right now, I’m wondering it. As I stare at this cat with laser eyes destroying a city on my can of beer, and sniff my Hops the Cat from Full Tilt, I can tell how much of a good thing is in this can.

Citra. Mosaic. Nelson. My favorite three hops, contributing a bouquet of fresh, bright mangoes to my nose. Should this have come more muted? With some Simcoe and Amarillo to bring more classic citrus bitterness? Will it taste of vegetables, or over-ripe mango, or (man, I hope not) cat piss? Will it be a blast cannon of confetti to the face?

Too much Mosaic in the boil can lead to that vegetable or cat urine taste, though I don’t know how people know how the latter tastes, I can imagine it when I run into it. Too much Nelson in the boil, as I got in a local Ghost Town Ghost of Nelson recently, can give you the overripe mango, that one that’s been sitting too long in the bowl with the flies and the bruises.

You can have too much of a good thing. Don’t put bacon on that fried twinky.

The lack of filtration is what ensures that this collection of super-star hops won’t be too much when put together.”

Thankfully, we’re not at the county fair eating fried convenience store. Hops the Cat is mangoes and peaches and body and then alcohol, like we used to love before everything had to be hazy. Some may say the alcohol kicks in a bit much, but it’s not really too much at 7.4%, and it holds hands with the bitterness, which is a bit muted, and helps clean up the full bodied fruit in the middle. You have to have help when it’s time to clean up after you have one of those Too Much parties.

The body was important to co-owner Dan Baumiller. “Cutting out as much filtration as possible has been huge for the flavor of our beers,” he said in an email. “It would just seem that filtration strips that extra umph from really any beer, especially an IPA or a PIls where the hop profile is pretty crucial.”

And maybe that’s what helps this beer stay together. In a way, that lack of filtration is what ensures that this collection of super-star hops won’t be too much when put together. Maybe you do get some of that vegetable body but you also get so much of the stone fruit, and that Citra melon freshness, that the cat piss (ahem) fades away. Then you have that alcohol to clean up the party, in a surprising reversal of roles.

So yeah, man, there’s a cat on the label and he’s staring hops lazers into you. This beer has every Now hops in it. You know, it’s even a bit hazy now that I’m looking at it…

Nevermind all that. This cat works on all levels.

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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