DSC02159Contrary to popular belief, the best beer event last Saturday in the Twin Cities was NOT hosted by City Pages.

I saw a note via my Twitter buddy ibeyou that Al over at the Blue Nile was hosting his “Hop Heads Only” celebration of Humulus Lupus, a hop lovers’ festival complete with a couple dozen offerings from breweries worldwide including Founders, Victory, Brasserie d’Achouffe, Sierra Nevada, Dark Horse and of course Surly. A few friends and I wandered over mid afternoon to partake in the hoppy goodness, and were definitely not disappointed. Thanks again to Al for organizing such a great event and wonderful set of offerings. In order of preference from top to bottom, my afternoon’s work included:

  • Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree
  • Victory Wild Devil
  • Surly 16 Grit
  • La Chouffe Houblon Dobbelen IPA
  • Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine
  • Moylan’s Hopsickle Imperial IPA
  • Flying Dog Double Dog
  • Southern Tier Iniquity
  • Brau Brothers Sheephead Pale Ale
  • Lefthand Twin Sisters Double IPA
  • Avery Maharaja
  • Urthel Hop-It

For me, it was neck and neck between Dark Horse and Victory, both fantastic beers. I was a little surprised by Surly 16 Grit, as it definitely had a much boozier aroma and taste than I recalled from other tastings…not overwhelming, but not as caramel sweet as I remembered. Also, my table of friends collectively concluded that Urthel Hop-It smelled remarkably like a permanent marker. Real good, if you’re into huffing.

The icing for me was getting the opportunity to meet with Kris and Mag over at Beer Musings from MSP, the aforementioned ibeyou, as well as BJCP judge and Twitter friend Ryan. Really cool people, hope to see them again soon.

After the Blue Nile, we stumbled on over to Town Hall (quite a brisk little walk for those of us not in tip top shape) for a couple pints of Masala. As expected, it went down like water considering the taste bud destruction that had already taken place, so we got back to my brother-in-law’s place downtown and completely switched it up by cracking some Dark Lord. What a way to cleanse the palate.