Hopstitution by Jack’s Abby Brewing

Tasting(s): September 9 – 10, 2014
Style: Lager
Beers #: 603, 604 & 605

Hopstitution Extra Pale Lager by Jack's Abby Brewing Framingham, Massachusetts

©2014 popsonhops

While the photo appears to be three bottles of the same beer – it isn’t. Each beer pictured utilizes the same base beer known as Hopstitution but each of these three bottles has the nuance of a different hop profile. Jack’s Abby’s website explains the reasoning behind the difference:

Most hops are bought under contracts which are signed two or three years in advance. If you have a new beer that becomes popular you are often unable to brew anymore of it as there is no source for the hops. We occasionally get opportunities to acquire small quantities of specialty hops that are enough for one batch of beer, but no more.

We have decided to create a new 5.5% abv Extra Pale Lager(XPL) that we are calling Hopstitution. The idea is that the base beer will always remain the same but there will be a new batch every 4-8 weeks that will use new hops. This will allow us to feature hops that we would otherwise not be able to make use of.

Not much to indicate that these are different beer except the marking on the back side of the label:

Hopstitution Extra Pale Lager by Jack's Abby Brewing Framingham, Massachusetts

© 2014 popsonhops

First bottle is the bottle that does not indicate a hop. I’ll assume this is the base Hopstitution or just Hopstitution XPL. Briefly, I’ll say that this is an easy drinking lager – very crisp flavors. The hops are herbal, grassy and somewhat peppery with some lemon undertones. I can’t say that there is much of a malt backbone here. The base Hopstitution is an 87 with me.

From what I could find BAM! is the fifth and most recent release in the series. I believe I can make out a bottling date of 8/26/14. This chapter is an acronym for the hops used in this version: Bravo, Amarillo, and Mandarina. Definitely a discernible difference between BAM! and the base beer. The hops are kind of a muddled mess. But they really aren’t BAM in the Emeril sense at all. Very subdued in fact. To boot, I get some off banana and cracker-like grains. I’d call it ordinary and put this version of Hopstitution at 85 points.

Last but not least – Aussie Rules is up next and I found out that this version of Hopstitution is the fourth in the series. The hop twist – all Australian hop varieties: Ella, Topax and Galaxy hops. I’m familiar with Galaxy hops as they are used in a number of US beers and I read comparisons to the ever-popular Citra hop. Noticeably amped up hops here. Grapefruit, earthy, grassy and mildly dank. Not much sweetness underneath but Aussie Rules is crisp drink and I’ll put it at 88

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