I’D TAP THAT: Bottoms up!
First Posted: 9/30/2013
Brewer: Nimble Hill Brewing Company
Beer: Hop Bottom IPA
Style: American IPA
Why “Hop Bottom?” The name is a reference to a location not far from the brewery. It is an area called Hop Bottom, which got its name due to the wild hops that grew throughout the area. The climate of our area is actually perfect for growing hops, and Nimble Hill is taking advantage of this and growing some wonderfully fresh and delicious Cascade and Centennial hops, which happen to be in this superb beer.
Description: Hop Bottom IPA pours a hazy amber orange color with a slightly off-white head that leaves a thin lacing on the glass. The aroma emanates a strong fresh hop bouquet of citrus, grapefruit, and floral notes, dominating the nose with small hints of sweet malt cutting through. The taste follows suite with the hops truly on display; however, the sweet malt hits the palate up front before the bitterness of the hops coats the tongue with citrus, pine, grapefruit, floral, and ever-so-subtle hints of lemon notes before a long, dry finish. The bitterness lingers long on the palate, but this beer certainly has a clean finish. The body is in the medium range with a great amount of carbonation that allows the hops to be on exhibition but enough to clean itself up nicely. This is a wonderful beer by an excellent brewery; we can certainly add Hop Bottom IPA to the growing amount of wonderful local beers we have in NEPA.
Food-pairing: The wonderful balance of this beer with the great hop presence makes pairing this with a wide variety of dishes very easy. As with all IPA’s, this one pairs especially well with spicy American, Mexican, and Thai food. The citric cascade hops grab onto cumin, lime juice, and cilantro and don’t let go. Try pairing with a spicy pork fajita dish; the caramelized meat will highlight the malt bill of this beer while the hops will kick the spices up a notch and the beer will cleanse the palate perfectly. Feeling like something a little spicier? Try having Hop Bottom with a delicious Indian chicken vindaloo dish; the spices and slow-cooked chicken make for a dream partner with this beer. This is certainly a beer to experiment with, so get out there and be bold. This beer can handle it!
The final word: A wonderfully fresh-tasting IPA. The freshness of the homegrown hops really comes through on this beer, and the balance against the sweet malt makes for a perfect display. Craft breweries today almost have to make an IPA to compete in the craft beer market; however, that does not mean that they are all good IPA’s, regardless of the brewery. Nimble Hill, despite being relatively new to the craft beer arena, has really hit the ground running by brewing such great beers as the Cluster Fuggle Pale Ale and the Midnight Fuggle Robust Porter, and this delightful IPA is no exception. So be sure to seek some out and have a fresh taste of home in a glass!
Rating: W W W W
Where can I get it? Currently available on draft at: Twigs Restaurant & Café, Tunkhannock; Seasons Restaurant, Tunkhannock; also in bottles and on draft at Nimble Hill Brewery in Tunkhannock. Be sure to call around, as many bottles are starting to hit store shelves now as well.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Follow Derek’s beer blog at idtapthat.org.