One of the greatest pleasures of exploring the high quality brews in the craft industry is discovering a bottle of greatness with zero mental preparation. When I see “Founders”, “Dogfish Head”, “Cigar City”, “Uinta”, “Ommegang” or “Russian River” on a label my expectations are instantly placed on the top shelf. And I usually conduct research on a beer before I taste it for the first time. Sometimes I’ll pluck the cap off a bottle for a beer which I have heard nothing about, and having given it not a synapse’s worth of consideration fall in love with it after the first sip. It’s like finding a $100 bill in your coat pocket when you are certain you didn’t put it there… only you can’t trade a great beer for a backrub and a blowjob at a Korean massage parlor. Side note: if anyone knows of any craft beer loving Asian masseuses in the Chicago area, please forward their contact info to me posthaste.
“Hop Shortage” by Knee Deep Brewing out of Lincoln, California is the 4th brew I drank from Dr. Stefon’s beer care package. When I first picked it up, my only reaction was a nonchalant utterance of, “Hm, this looks kind of cool.” When I pried off the cap and gave it a whiff, I could barely smell anything. The aroma was there, citrus and perfume, but it was faint. “Meh… this won’t be anything special.” The liquid was a dull, hazy, antique gold. I poured it aggressively and only got a pinky finger’s thickness of below-average, wheat colored head that descended back down into the liquid abruptly. “Not much in the presentation, either. But at least it will get me drunk.”
After I swallowed my first sip I realized I had just awoken a sleeping lion. This IPA zipped through a complex series of flavor profiles that were perfectly orchestrated. The upfront taste was sweet melon, honey, roses, and a spiciness that added a gentle, stimulating burn to the sinuses. It finished with sugary candy, lemons, and grassy bitterness. The aftertaste was superb: a robust combination of mixed nuts, bread, and grassy, bitter hops. I tasted no booze at all. It would have been nice to have it, but its absence didn’t detract from the flavor. The hoppy bitterness was surrounded by so many other profiles that it didn’t overwhelm the palate at all.
It had a creamy, smooth texture that went down easily and caused no bloating whatsoever. Its lacing was the stickiest and most velvety lacing I have ever seen in an IPA. With its smoothness and hidden alcohol content, at 11.3% ABV I imagine this could be one dangerous brew. Fortunately (yet unfortunately) for me I only had one bottle.
Hop Shortage shocked me, elated me, fluffed my beer boner with a lubricated and silky hand, and wedged its way into the Deltoid Beer Hall of Fame as soon as I was finished shaking the last few foamy drops from the bottle onto my tongue in a desperate attempt to prolong the experience. Drinking this was similar to the opening of the Ark of the Covenant in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. At first there wasn’t much to behold. It was disappointing. But then the flavor hit me and blew me away like those glowing, skull-faced, squealing slutty ghouls that burrowed through the Nazis’ chests, making them shake like Michael J. Fox on a wooden rollercoaster before causing them to explode. Holy fucking SHIT, this beer is good.
There is a hip, urban white dude on the bottle holding a sign that reads, “Will Work For HOPS”. For a case of this I would slap a crocodile in the snout with my penis.
IBU: my best guess would be 100, but the label on the bottle just says “No shortage here!”