Hops! Hops! Hops! Jeremy’s Top 3 Picks

Hello!   The past couple of weeks have seen the hop gods smile upon KC.   My top 3 picks this week all come from the land of hops.   All three are flavor-packed for summer.  And as a wise man once said, “The best time to drink an IPA is yesterday.”   So get to it!

First comes from right in our own backyard!  Torn Label are tearing up KC with their Crossroads-brewed beers.  Aside from year round canned staples such as Alpha Pale Ale, Monk & Honey and House Brew, the brewery also has a solid rotating portfolio of 22oz bombers available. They’ve made waves the past couple years with Magic, Magic, their canned/draught limited release IPA brewed with raspberries.  

High Tai is yet another fantastic offering.   Inspired by the popular tropical cocktail Mai Tai, this East Coast-styled IPA features cherry juice, lime zest and orange peel.   The nose is very tropical, juicy and refreshing, backed by dank hop aroma.  The ABV clocks in at 6.5%

Very limited quantities of cans are available, and keep an eye out for a growler appearance as well very soon!

My second recommendation for the week is the latest Double IPA from Firestone Walker.  Adversus is the latest release in their Leo Vs. Ursus Chronology Series.  They nail it on the head straight from the commercial description:

“Prodigiously hopped yet nimbly brewed with pilsner malts, Adversus ultimately achieves the improbable: a big, bold IPA made for summertime sipping.”

Double IPAs are becoming more “sippable” by the week.   With the huge wave on the east coast for hazy and unfiltered IPAs, the fad is more than catching on – and we at Mike’s are more than happy about it.   

Adversus comes in at 8.2% ABV, and in addition to being unfiltered also features the use of oats.  Oats are also another common ingredient in the brewing process of these supremely drinkable takes on our favorite hoppy beverages. For hops the beer features Citra, Mandarina, Simcoe and Cascade for the kettle boil portion of the brewing.  The dry hopping portion features Ekuanot, Mandarina, Azacca, and Citra. This beer is indeed incredibly drinkable.   This beer holds up to plenty of its east coast contemporaries (BRING IT you Treehouse/Trillium fanboys..) and is an excellent choice for summer drinking.  Throw in that it comes in a tallboy can, and it sounds like we’ve got a party on our hands!

My last “hazy” recommendation for the week hails from our friends in the not-so-distant east in St. Louis.   If you aren’t familiar with 4 Hands Brewing Company by now, i’m honestly surprised you made it this far into this blog post!  Over the past few years 4 Hands has dropped massive beer-laden sledge-hammer after sledge-hammer on store shelves and bar taps around Missouri and an ever-growing distribution footprint.   And for good reason – their beers are fantastic.  

Loose Particles is their most recent hop-offering, and comes in 22oz bottles and 8% ABV.   The beer is brewed with Lupulin/Hop Powder.   This is the dried portion of a hop cone containing the highest concentration of flavoring and aromatic oils, as well as alpha/beta acids (which contribute to the bitterness.)  Aside from extracts/steam distillation, hop powder is purported to be the least “vegetal” form of concentrated hop material.

As you can see about 30 seconds into this video from Saint Brewis, the color of the powder as the brewer rubs it into his hands is so green that you can almost smell the aroma through the screen.   Later in the video, you can see the delicious appearance of the beer for yourself.  It looks like orange juice coming out of that tank-tap!   This beer is killer, and only available in very limited quantities.   Move quick, it won’t last through the weekend!

Whewwwww, someone get me a sour to cleanse my hop-covered palate!   Hopefully you’ll get at least a couple of these in your glass this week.   I am certainly excited for the future of IPAs, and for all that the breweries listed above have planned in the coming years.

In other news, we have a private tasting with Raytown’s Crane Brewing Company next Tuesday in our Brookside Tasting Room.   Our friend and the “Main-Crane” himself, Michael Crane, will be hosting!   Limited spots are available for tastings at 6pm, and 7:15pm.   Shoot Andy or myself an email, or call the Brookside location today to reserve a spot!  

Andy – andy@mikeskc.com

Jeremy – jeremy@mikeskc.com

Brookside Phone – 816.701.6546

Have a great week, and an even better weekend …. And drink more beer!  Cheers!

Jeremy Morton / Beer Manager