From the Beer Writer: As a San Diego-based beer journalist covering the industry for more than a decade, I have had many IPAs, so it takes a lot for one to stand out. It takes even more for me to try one, get a four-pack for the road, then purchase another four-pack at a grocery store on the way home from the brewery. That’s what happened with this week’s featured beer, THC IPA from the hop- and acronym-lovers at The Hop Concept. The newest and final iteration of this beer tastes like what it is: a passion project THC’s brewing team invested two years of effort in. Its bouquet is full, brimming over with orange and grapefruit aromas. Then there’s the flavor profile, which is even fruitier. We’re talking “juicy” but without haze. It’s like biting into a Cara Cara orange plucked straight from the tree. That immaculate sensation is evened out by just enough bitterness to ready one for their next sip without being even the least bit overbearing. Impressive enough to turn the head of this admittedly sometimes jaded connoisseur, THC IPA belongs in the top tier of today’s local West Coast IPA class along with the likes of The Pupil (from Societe, where I’m also employed), Treevana (Burgeon), Pure and Simple (New English), Aurora Hoppyalis (Karl Strauss), Hop Fu! (North Park Beer) and the like. THC IPA is the most modern yet traditional of them all and, in my opinion, a new benchmark for breweries aiming to appeal to the current-day IPA-drinker’s palate.
From the Brewer: “Creating the flagship IPA and only year-round beer for The Hop Concept took longer than anticipated. The brew crew piloted several batches, tweaking the hop bill each time, finally coming up with a mix of Mosaic and Idaho 7 hops and creating the THC IPA. With huge notes of freshly-squeezed tangerines, grapefruit peel and an unmistakable West Coast dankness, the crew was more than happy with the final brew.”—Tomme Arthur, Director of Brewery Operations, The Hop Concept