TMS Beer Project: Hop Juice Double IPA

July 13, 2009 | Comments (0) | by Ginger Russ

With the name Saloon included in our moniker, one could surmise that we here at TMS like to drinky drinky. One that would make such an assumption would be correct, thereby throwing out the whole, 'when you assume you make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me' bullshit. We also like to plagiarize each other. In the same vein as the Wrigleyville Bar Project, we are proud to bring you another installment of the TMS Beer Project. The premise is simple: we review beers. Each rating will feature a variety of scores from 1-10 and comments from the bartender. This is a public service damn it. We don't want you to be the sucker who pays $15 for a six pack of some overrated Belgian cat piss. Now, we all drink massive amounts of beer so we know what we speak of. Each of us seem to have a favorite style of beer though. Will we be reviewing macrobrews like Bud and Coors? Oh you bet your Aunt Susie's ass we will. For purposes of this science experiment, and it is in the name of science, those will be the "control" group. Use them as a base line for when we review lesser known imports and microbrews. Without further ado, I bring you our next beer:

Hop Juice Double IPA*
(AKA Left Coast Hop Juice)

Brewery: Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Co.

Type: American Double / Imperial IPA

Receptacle: 22 oz. bottle

Drinkability (1 being Jim Jones' kool-aid, 10 being the nectar of the gods): 7, If you're looking for a cool, refreshing beer on a hot 112 degree day, this beer is NOT for you. If you're looking for a beer with a flavor that is going to kick you in the dick with it's skunky hops, then step on up to the bar, son. This beer will put hair on your chest and grow your balls back from when your girlfriend took them and made you watch "The Notebook". I would compare the drinkability of this beer using my good friend K-Wil as an example. We once gave him a glass of Macallan 18 Year Old and he cringed. This is why we no longer give him good Scotch, and this is why when he comes over to watch the Cubs games he always brings Coors Light. The point is, if you have sophisticated and mature tastes, you can handle this beer. If you prefer Michelob Ultra Tuscan Orange Grapefruit, this beer probably isn't for you.

Heartiness (1 being fresh mountain spring water, 10 being a pureed British steak infected with mad cow disease): 10, This beer is hop to the max. From the description on the label:
The recipe calls for hops to be used in every step of the brewing process: in the mash, in a hop back, in the fermenter and in the bright tanks. We use hop extract, hop pellets and hop flowers, hence the name Hop Juice. Hop Juice spends more than 4 weeks dry hopping in the fermenter and the bright beer tank. It is approximately 9.4% abv and has massive IBUs.

This beer is not to be taken lightly, but if you love hoppy beer, then this is for you. It's taste also includes a citrus and malt background to support the hops and has a piny and warming alcohol sensation that lingers long after your last sip, although does not leave that rancid taste in your mouth like many IPA's. It drinks like a nice Scotch that should be enjoyed rather than as a means to an end of getting wasted. Think of it as the Ravinia of beer, rather than the Double Door.

Intoxication (1 being your friend's weird pentecostal grandmother high on Jesus, 10 being Boris Yeltsin on a week long bender in the Crimea): 9, Hope Juice is 9.4% ABV which makes it more of a session beer than anything. It's served in a bomber, which will get you a nice a buzz. Drink one and you'll be feeling fine, drink more than one and you'll be on the floor.

Celebrities You May See Drinking This Brew: Would celebrities drink this beer? I highly doubt it, it's limited availability to California, Arizona, Philadelphia and Long Island make it a brew that is known by a select few. If a celebrity would be involved, it would include one who likes a real beer (hard to find around those pansy asses) so maybe Jaime Oliver, Zane Lamprey, or Gordon Ramsay.

Affordability ($ being chicklets in Tijuana, $$$$ being diamond encrusted braised lamb shank from a trendy cafe on the Champs d'Elysee): $$$, This beer was $5.49 for the 22 oz. bottle, but I've tasted much worse beer that paled in comparison to this for a much higher price. If you can find this beer, it's definitely worth any price just to try it once. Of course, my first taste was free at a beer festival, and now I have to pay for it, which kinda makes it like the crack of Double IPA's.

Overall: 9, But I'm biased, because I love IPA's. The hoppier, the better. Plus at almost 10%, this beer will make feel good afterward whether you like it or not. Personally, it's one of the few high alcohol content beers that I've had that doesn't push the alcohol flavor too much. If you like hops, this should be on your list to try, as it is one of the more drinkable "super IPA's" that you will find. Either you'll love it, our you'll hate it, and by that I mean either you know how to change your oil, throw a football, and smoke cigars, or you like ballets and crocheting.

Go Cubs!

*Two Brothers Brewing Company out of Warrenville, IL also makes a beer by the name of Hop Juice. This is not that beer.