Hop Crisis by 21st Amendment

Tasting: August 24, 2012
Style: IPA (Imperial)
Hop Crisis

21st amendment hop crisis

While it’s nice to see a craft beer revolution happening right in front of us. There are growing pains everywhere. First, brewers haven’t been able to make as much beer as the market has demanded. In particular, we see special releases creating astronomical re-sale and trade frenzies. To try and keep up with demand, we see many breweries in some phase of expansion. Next, we hear things about shelf space. Founders points out that with the amount of new craft beer hitting the markets, these new comers are creating a shelf shortage in beer stores. Even the president of InBev says that craft beer should be moved to the wine section of stores. Finally, supplies to make craft beer are at a premium.

The growing pains, a hop shortage. Minnesota’s 21st Amendment Brewery takes a light-hearted jab at the situation with their occasional release, Hop Crisis. Part of their insurrection series, the can has clever graphics and tells a humorous tale of freeing the hops, while others skimped and robbed consumers of their hop flavor.

It’s a whopping 9.7% ABV with a reported 94 IBU. It says it’s aged “on oak spirals” – a romantic description for large oak dowels tossed in the fermentor. I was curious to try this because, out of ninety-six entries it placed a silver medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival.

It’s extreme citrus like the fleshy rinds of an orange offering sweetness and fruit bitterness. If there is any malt character, it just flashes in the blink of an eye before your palate is consumed with fruit and bitterness. The alcohol warms without the burn. It’s rich. The oak spiral influence is subtle but present. This is a hop bomb and not for the faint of heart. Really, this is a hop head’s dream — pinch me 91 points.

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