Brewer: 21st Amendment Brewery
Beer: Hop Crisis
Style: American Double/Imperial IPA
Why hop crisis? A few years ago, the hop market experienced a shortage and the prices of hops skyrocketed, causing many breweries to either change the hops they used in beers or cut back on the hoppiness. In response to this “crisis,” the 21st Amendment went the opposite route and created the biggest and hoppiest beer in their lineup, and we are all better off because of this decision!
Description: Hop Crisis pours a slightly hazy golden straw color with a creamy off-white head that lingers long leaving a thick lacing on the glass. The aroma is dominated by what you would imagine with an imperial IPA: hops, hops, and more hops. The hop bouquet on display here is ruled by citrus backed with floral, and resin along with hints of breadiness from the malt and a bit of vanilla sweetness from the oak. The taste is surprisingly sweet, which some may complain about, but I love it. On the palate up front, the taste of biscuits and caramel from the malt coat the palate before being assaulted by grapefruit and lemon notes from the hops before washing away leaving a long dry finish. This beer is super crisp with a medium body and great carbonation – everything you would want from a great beer and even better since it is in a can.
Food pairing: As with most IPA’s, Hop Crisis pairs perfectly with many Mexican dishes, especially those with bright citric notes. However, the sweetness of this beer make is perfect with Thai food. Thai is known for its perfect blend of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy dishes, and Hop Crisis is truly in its element with these dishes, especially those with coconut, highlighting the sweetness of the dish and the beer. Another great final summer dish to have with this beer is a nice grilled salmon drizzled with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon and black pepper. The citrus of the fish and beer are a perfect combination, and the oil from the salmon is picked up and taken away from the beer, making it a true summer treat.
Is it worth trying? Do you like beer? If you read this far I will assume yes, in which case, TRY THIS BEER! It is a tough beer to find, though, because it is a rotating beer for 21st Amendment, meaning it is not available year round, and when it is released, it goes very fast and with good reason – it’s delicious! Summer is typically seen as IPA season, and since summer is winding down, I felt the best way to end it was by reviewing one of my favorite IPA’s. If you cannot find Hop Crisis, though, certainly try 21st Amendment’s Brew Free or Die IPA, another fantastic IPA! The other fantastic feature of this beer is that it is great for hopheads and still very approachable for newbies to craft beer, a tough balancing act to achieve!
Rating: W W W W V
Where can I get it? Get your cans at Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer in Wilkes-Barre, the only establishment with this beautiful beer in stock. But get there fast – these never last!
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Follow Derek’s beer blog at idtapthat.org.