One of the perks of helping a friend select Virginia craft beer to stock a bar for an upcoming party is of course the excuse this “chore” provides to try new brews. First up on this latest tasting tour is Hoptimization, a West Coast IPA from Three Brothers Brewing over in the Shenandoah Valley. Most of my previous experiences with Harrisonburg involved weekend roadtrips from UVA, apartments fondly known as “Trashby,” and drinking whatever was in the nearest keg…so this has to be a step up….right?
Hoptimization, Three Brothers Brewing (Harrisonburg, VA)
West Coast IPA, ABV: 7.1%
Presentation: Bottle pour into a pint glass.
Appearance: Dark amber with a thin white head dissipating quickly.
Taste: The most pronounced taste in Hoptimization is a citrusy bite from start to finish. Three Brothers describes the taste as, “Aggressively bitter” and maybe my taste buds have been dulled by years of hoppy abuse but I think that is a bit of a stretch.
ABV: Hoptimization’s 7.1% is about 2% higher than I would have guessed had I been tasting blind though it still falls well within the typical ABV range for this style of beer.
Overall: A solid IPA that is not so overbearing as to render is unpalatable for most in the summer heat while still possessing enough bite and taste to satisfy. Hoptimization seems like an ideal beer to drink while grilling a steak or relaxing by the pool to get your craft beer fix without feeling like a sack of hops was just dropped on your head. This was my first beer from Three Brothers Brewing and I look forward trying more of their creations down the road.