Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’ IPA Review: Hoppity Hop

Anderson Valley Brewing puts out some highly-rated beers. Here is how the company describes itself:

Founded in 1987, the Anderson Valley Brewing Company brewed out of a 10-barrel brewhouse, located in the lower level of its brewpub, The Buckhorn Saloon. Gleaming stainless steel vats brewed and fermented barley and other specialty grains to create outstanding ales, porters, stouts, and wheat beers. These brews began as a dream of Kenneth Allen to create the smoothest tasting ales available anywhere.

When the demand for our award winning ales exceeded the capacity of our 10-barrel brewery below the pub, we built our present 30-barrel facility at the corner of Highways 128 and 253, a mile from the center of Boonville. That was in 1996, and this brewery saw us through a dramatic period of growth, which included the introduction of a 12 ounce bottling line and a production level of 15,000 barrels in 1998, twice the amount brewed in 1997.

Yet, the brewery’s growth was outpacing its larger space and expanded capacity. In 1998, construction began on a state-of-the-art, three-story Bavarian-style brewhouse. The centerpieces of the brewhouse are gleaming 100- and 85- barrel copper brew kettles rescued by Ken Allen from a defunct German breweries during a trip to Europe in 1995. The new brewhouse went online in August of 2000.

By 2010 Ken Allen decided to retire and began to search for a successor to continue the Anderson Valley commitment to quality. In April of 2010 the brewery sold to industry veteran Trey White. In September of that year Fal Allen (former general manager 2000 – 2004, no relation to Ken) returned to the brewery as brewmaster. White has focused on innovation and quality, introducing the Bahl Hornin’ Series, expanding the barrel aged program, and increasing brewing capacity.

The company describes Hop Ottin’ IPA thus:

Our Hop Ottin’ IPA is brewed and dry-hopped with copious amounts of Columbus and Cascade.  This beer is a showcase of the bright citrusy aromas, bold grapefruit and pine-like flavors, and resiny bitterness that hop heads crave.  With a brilliant, deep amber color and solid malt backbone, hints of citron, roses, and bergamot climax with a dry, herbal finish in this well-balanced interpretation of a West Coast IPA.

Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’ IPA (7.0% ABV) is an ale, meaning that it is top-fermented and warm-fermented. As an IPA (India Pale Ale), it also contains a high amount of hops. Hops both preserver beer naturally, and add a desired bitterness to the flavor.

Everything On Tap Review: Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’ IPA:

Bottle: The bottle is of light to medium brown glass. The label is standard rectangular. The label is an image of a mountain-surrounded lake. A moose (?) that turns out to be a bear with moose horns, is drinking from the lake. The lettering is orange and purple.

Pour: The color is deep, rich orange with tinges of purple. The head is foamy and fluffy, a full three fingers thick. It dissipates slowly, leaving medium lacing.

Aroma: The aroma hits the nose with strong, bitter pine resin. This is followed by smooth, mildly-caramelized malted grains.

Flavor: The flavor palate is hops-intensive. The main, overwhelming flavor element is piney bitterness, in a very good way. This is then balanced beautifully with rich, smooth, caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium to full. The carbonation is medium, and the mouthfeel overall is dry and sharp.

Structure: The structure is simple, but solid and stable.

Food Pairing: Pair this delightful but strongly-hopped IPA with strong cheese like Stilton, or Chinese cuisine with lots of garlic. It would also go well with spicy Southeast Asian food, or strong-flavored meats, like roast lamb.

Overall Rating Out Of 5 Possible Beer Mugs: