Southbound Brewing – Hop’lin IPA

southbound-hoplinBrewery: Southbound Brewing
Location: Savannah, GA
Brew: Hop’lin IPA

Merchant: Decatur Mini Kroger
Service: 22 oz Bottle

Style: India Pale Ale
Color: Orange (12 SRM)
IBU: 65
ABV: 6.3%

Temp: 48º

Expectations/Notes: Reviewing another IPA? Yes. I love IPA’s, and like most of the varieties I try, I didn’t expect to be inspired to write about this one. It’s not that I assumed it wouldn’t be worthy, it’s that most (almost all, really) are so good. If you are a hop-head, when is the last time you had bad IPA? It’s rare. That’s why I’m a little at odds with what is probably my favorite style; the standard is incredibly narrow and they are extremely consistent across all brewers. It’s a wonderful thing. I purchased Hop’lin expecting a delicious India Pale Ale. At this point you have probably figured out that this one is worth writing about.

Pour: Hop’lin pours out of the can very cloudy and slightly dark for the style. I love cloudy IPA’s, they’re so hot right now. The label mentions caramel flavor so I’m looking forward to it. Last pouring note, even with a hard pour down the center of the glass there isn’t much head so the carbonation should be pretty light.

Smell: A light hop aroma over very subtle hints of caramel and citrus.

Taste: The first drag is very hopped up. A resiny mouth feel is present immediately. This beer is dry-hopped big-time. The caramel malt flavor is right there too. They make a great bitter and sweet contrast.

The carbonation is medium to light and the malt back-bone is average.

It’s hard to stand out in the crowded IPA field but the hop oils in Hop’lin are doing a fantastic job. The bitterness sticks around and gets richer and drier. Late in the glass, once the palate is thoroughly coated, it gets piny and floral. At this point the caramel is covered by the bitter hops but I’m not complaining.

Final thought: I love hops and Hop’lin delivers. It also delivers more complexity. Cloudy IPA’s, so hot right now.

Pair with: Vinegar covered chips, blue cheese or goat cheese and crackers or a bratwurst.

3 Caps

Wayne Pelletier

September 1991. I drew from a tall, golden, hazy glass of a fresh and local hefeweizen in Bamberg Germany. Since then I've tasted more than a thousand brews. Here in the Greater Atlanta area we're pretty fortunate. Our local heavies: SweetWater, Atlanta Brewing and Terrapin all do world-class work. But the scene goes much, much deeper. That's where I like to find fresh pints. The goal is to draw attention to those finds on a 3-cap scale. Three seems simple but that isn't to say everything is great, average or terrible. Quite the contrary is the reality. I have come across very few craft/micro beers that are just no good. I assume these are all good beverages brew by good people with good intentions and you should as well. If I cross paths with a local brew that is truly terrible I won’t waste your time, or mine, writing a review. 3 CAPS: Hurry. This is a rare brew worth going out of your way to find. I swear it. 2 CAPS: A very good beer. Stands out as great in the style. 1 CAP: A decent brew that is average for the style. Prost!