While browsing the shelves of my local Kappy’s, I was pleasantly surprised to see a few offerings from Stoneface Brewing Company sitting there. They have earned a pretty solid reputation, certainly well deserved based on my experiences with them. Looking to try something new, I picked up the last bottle remaining of a double IPA I hadn’t come across before.
Beer Name: Hopulization
Brewer: Stoneface Brewing Company
Description: Per the label, this DIPA was brewed with 2-row pale, light wheat, and crystal malts and dry-hopped twice with Galaxy, Calypso, and Simcoe. For $8.49, I had myself a 16.9 ounce bottled, dated 3/15/2016. Poured refrigerated into my trusty snifter.
Appearance: It had an opaque, golden straw-colored body that was topped off by a fairly persistent bubbly white head. The head left a good amount of clean white lacing along the edges of the glass as the beer progressed.
Smell: A mix of bitterness and sweet juicy undertones, I got a lot of mango and other citrus fruit.
Taste: Citrus juice upfront, though not quite as sweet as the smell suggested; mostly grapefruit with a hint of orange mixed in. This blended well with a sappy, piney hop profile that picked up midway. At the finish there was a prominent orange zest character that left the beer with a markedly bitter and slightly fruity aftertaste. The ending was also rather crisp and clean, allowing these tastes to linger on.
Mouthfeel: Pretty much perfect for the style, medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish was a bit sticky, accentuating the resinous character of the hops.
Hype Factor: The brewery is pretty well-regarded, but I don’t think there was any out of the ordinary excitement about this release. I was happy to see them in my local store though.
Overall: Not a bad beer, but ultimately it didn’t really do it for me. The juiciness was mainly just a tease, and by allowing the bitterness to overshadow that aspect the way it did, I felt like the hops were a bit overpowered. In particular, it was the zesty aftertaste that really influenced this opinion. If you like your DIPAs assertive and zesty, I’d say give this one a go. For me personally though, I’d pass it up in favor of something else next time I want to buy one of their beers.