March 9, 2012


A lot of breweries are staying local these days, turning to farmers and artisans for grains, hops, coffee, honey, chocolate, or whatever. Hopivore from New Holland features Cascade and Brewer's Gold hops sourced through the Michigan Hop Alliance. I bought a bottle because I like the name, the artwork and the fact that local ingredients are being used.

Keeping in mind that this is a "harvest" ale and not a pale ale or IPA, I was still disappointed by this beer. Pouring it didn't give off any citrus, pine, or floral notes, which I expected at least a little bit of considering the fresh hops used. Instead it smelled of dried grass and muted herbs and grain. Flavor was a combination of toffee and nuts and dried grass again. Mouthfeel and finish were also pretty dry. This beer just didn't have much going on.

I'm not a brewer, but I'm guessing that the hops being used wet and so soon after harvest is part of the reason why the typical hop flavors aren't present. I love dry-hopped beers, but in most of those cases I think brewers start with a base beer that can stand on its own without being dry-hopped. I think Hopivore could benefit from an improved recipe that is more flavorful by itself before wet hops are added.


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