Sometimes scaled-up contract brewing can cause an otherwise solid beer to lose some of its shine. Thankfully, that’s not the case with “party pale ale” Are We Having Fun Yet? from Ohio-based Hoof Hearted Brewing, which leveraged its partnership with the 12 Percent Beer Project to blast this double dry-hopped fruit bomb all across the country.
Despite the creepy clown on the can (I’m not afraid of clowns but this one is objectively creepy), Are We Having Fun Yet? pours a very inviting golden-orange. The difference in color from the bright hazy body and thick, bubbly, white head is stark. The beer’s appearance foreshadows a light, airy and fruity pale ale—I hope it is.
The aroma is an intoxicating mix of fruit. Notes of pineapple, strawberry, orange, melon, and grapefruit fill the air. This is a great example of the power that a double dose of dry hops wields in the hands of a good brewer. It’s an interesting blend of fruit that isn’t quite like anything I’ve smelled before, likely due to the inclusion of little-known Belma hops in the dry-hopping, which bring tons of strawberry and melon aromas.
From aroma to flavor, this beer is a fruit bonanza.”
It’s nearly impossible to deliver on an aroma like this, but Are We Having Fun Yet? comes damn close. Each sip reveals a bouquet of bright, sweet, and floral fruit. Despite the complexity and volume of the flavor, the beer doesn’t hammer my palate and remains in balance. That light, airy body portended by the appearance carries the weight of the flavor pretty well, too. As the beer warms slightly and I get deeper in the glass, the fruity sweetness starts to take a bit of a toll. Are We Having Fun Yet? could benefit from a final bright or bitter punch, but it’s a strong offering nonetheless.
Hoof Hearted calls Are We Having Fun Yet? a “party pale ale,” and I can get behind that. From aroma to flavor, this beer is a fruit bonanza, and the fact Hoof Hearted was able to mostly balance all that fruity flavor in a 6.0% ABV pale ale is pretty amazing. Call this another victory for contract brewing arrangements like 12 Percent.