In the religion of the hop-head—someone who loves the bitter, fruity bite of a hoppy beer—each January brings a pilgrimage to the nearest store or bar offering Bell’s Hopslam. Since 2006, Bell’s has released a limited supply of six-packs and kegs of the double IPA (sometimes called an American Double or an Imperial IPA) from its Galesburg, Michigan, brewery, rewarding their steady customers (see the list, right). Double doesn’t refer to an exact doubling of hops in the brewing process, but Bell’s uses seven different varieties, including a “massive” addition of Simcoe dry hops. The most distinguishing characteristic of a double is the ultra-high alcohol by volume—10 percent in Hopslam’s case. Its amber color resembles nothing so much as the polished birch stock of your grandpa’s 20-gauge and the kick is just as strong. So go slow. Hopslam only comes around once a year.
Fries Café3247 Jefferson Ave.Clifton, (513) 281-9002 Dilly Café6818 Wooster PikeMariemont(513) 561-5233 The Comet4579 Hamilton Ave.Northside(513) 541-8900Six PacksBaskets Gourmet/Wine World7737 Five Mile Rd.Anderson Twp.(513) 232-6611 Teller’s2710 Erie Ave.Hyde Park(513) 321-4721 Luckie’s Pony Keg8600 Blue Ash Rd., Blue Ash(513) 791-0581Originally published in the January 2011 issue.
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