A funny thing happened on the way to the Colosseum…or a Friday night dinner. After arriving in Charlottesville for Halloween weekend, we decided to hit up the restaurant a little early to grab a pre-meal beer. What we walked into was a South Street Brewery Tap Takeover. Now I have a very, very long history with South Street dating back to my collegiate days, as it was one of the few bastions in the Downtown area that I actually frequented in my later years. It was also one of 2 downtown craft breweries at the time and was a great change up from the offerings of undergraduate house parties. Since the decade plus (ugh) since I lived there, South Street Brewery is owned by Blue Mountain Brewery and has expanded the offerings of this great institution. Flashing back to dinner, we were offered a new beer from their collection and we decided to give it a try. And to our not surprise, it was tasty.
Hop Gothic, South Street Brewery (Charlottesville, VA)
Double IPA, ABV%: 8.5
Presentation: Tap pour into pint glass. I was told I could take the glass home, but the wife and I are at a beer glass standoff right now. I don’t think we have enough. She differs in this opinion.
Appearance: Deep gold to golden brown, clear, large off white head, sits two fingers, dissipated slowly but did not cap.
Aroma: Faint hops, very faint grains, but extremely muted for a DIPA.
Taste: Citrus/piney hop front that cleans up towards the middle-back end with a last kick of hop at the back. Middle is predominantly wheatish. A lot of the tasted didn’t scream DIPA, but front and back is where it showed it’s mettle.
ABV/IBU Mouthfeel: Medium body, balanced, hop back makes for bitter back end, but no more than you would see in the style. Very, very drinkable and dangerous for 8.5%, which is on the lower end of the scale. IBU not listed but I would but it in the 60-80 range, lower end as well.
Overall: If you are not a hop head, or if you have never foraged into the Double IPA realm, this would be a great first step. The overall impressions is that this is a very drinkable DIPA, almost to a fault. Traditionalists would knock the hop notes not carrying through all the way, but I like the play with the grain throughout. That being said, I love the versatility of this beer, from casual and formal settings to food pairings ranging the gamut of cuisine. It is a great Jack-Of-All-Trades IPA. This is a limited release (for now) and should still be around the Central Virginia area for another month or so. Definitely worth a try.