When thinking about SweetWater Brewing Company’s Hop Hash Easy IPA, one word comes to mind: texture. This isn’t to say that this is a beer with an unexpected mouthfeel, or one that incorporates some sort of bizarre additional element… If Bubble Tea IPA doesn’t exist yet, I’m sure it will soon. Instead, Hop Hash is all about the evocation of something complex and unruly. While it’s a smooth-drinking beer, it slowly deepens into something more—a phenomenon due to its ability to convey the taste of hops without being overwhelmed by them.
Appearance and Aroma
Hop Hash sits in the glass peacefully—stray bubbles rising to the top provide the only disturbance as the beer rests. Its color is a soft and muted gold, with a touch of rosiness if you stare at it long enough, while the beer itself is somewhat opaque. Inhale this IPA and you’ll soon pick up more than a whiff of hops–perhaps unsurprisingly, given the beer’s name. The effect is almost floral. There’s a slight citrus tang present as well. The overall effect bridges the gap between sweetness and an earthier overtone that adds some depth to the beer.
There’s a lot to admire in Hop Hash, especially its ability to blend excess and moderation.”
The taste of Hop Hash comes at you in an unexpected way. The initial flavor is clean—perhaps deceptively so. There’s a slight sweetness as it hits the tongue—echoing the aroma—but it’s not until a moment later that the main event happens. That’s the multifaceted bitterness of its hops, which arrives in an onrush and lingers for a while. The crisp base highlights the prickly, pithy, pear-like flavor of the hops. Once swallowed, a bitter aftertaste fills the mouth, along with a sweeter flavor reminiscent of pineapples.
There’s a lot to admire in Hop Hash, especially its ability to blend excess and moderation. In this case, an abundance meets drinkability. At 4.2% ABV, this beer packs an impact on the taste buds without becoming overwhelming. The effect is immersive. Sometimes session IPAs can come off as an underwhelming alternative to their stronger cousins. However, this one uses its ingredients to its advantage, creating a distinctive taste within the confines of a familiar style. Hop Hash doesn’t lead with the sensation of a abundance of hops, but instead momentarily delays its arrival. It’s a small difference, but it pays off. This is a beer that rewards patience.