I am by no means a “hop head.” That is to say, I am not usually a fan of beers that contain massive amounts of hops. In fact, I rather dislike India Pale Ales (IPAs) and beers that are overly hopped. I’m usually turned off when a brewery chooses on purpose to use hops as a battering ram and not as one element among many in their brews. There are several brewing companies that seem to take pride in doing this. Yes, I’m talking about you Stone and Rogue.
Therefore, it was with great trepidation that I had my brother-in-law and sister-in-law seek out for me a four pack of Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA while on a recent trip to San Diego. Upon retrieving the beer, I invited over two of my trusted beer-savvy brethren, cooked up 1/2 pound burgers on the grill, and passed out bottles of Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA to enjoy with the burgers. We opened the bottles together, poured together, and tasted at the same time. The result? I can only speak for myself but, doggone it, what an amazing beer. If all IPAs tasted like this, I would be purchasing quite a few more beers in this style?
What did I notice in 90 Minute IPA that I hadn’t noticed in other beers of the same style? Simply this. The 90 Minute IPA was bitter but not in an unpleasing way at all. Even though the beer checks in with a hefty 90 IBU, it sure doesn’t taste like it. The hops (which is the source of most of the bitterness in beer) are more than offset by Dogfish Head’s massive infusion of malt. On company’s web site, they admit that the beer has “…a great malt backbone that stands up to the extreme hopping rate.” This seems exactly right to me. Too often breweries seems to add ever-more hops to cover the taste of a beer the way the Big Beer guys add massive amounts of sugar and corn to mask the real taste of their beers.
The beer’s aroma is huge going into a snifter (the only way to properly enjoy this florid of a beer) and the taste in definitely floral and citrus-flavored with tons of malt. In addition, this beer has one of the best aftertastes of any beer I have ever tried. Also, the beer had one of the most pleasing colors I have ever seen in a craft beer (the above picture doesn’t nearly do it justice). I cannot believe I just wrote all of that about an IPA.
Regardless of where you land in the ongoing “hoppy beers wars,” Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA is a must try. It easily belongs in the craft beer hall of fame and is (so far) my favorite IPA.
Beer prayer: Gracious God, thank you for the surprising deliciousness of Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA. We give you thanks that two things as different as malt and hops can combine with barley and water to create something as intensely flavorful as this beer. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen!
My Untappd rating for Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA: 4.5/5