January 13, 2013 by kkeerr
January 4th was a very special day – Hopslam was released. If you are not familiar with Hopslam (you really should be, it has a perfect score on Ratebeer with over 2000 ratings) it is Bells seasonal double IPA.
This beer is terrific and hands down our favorite ipa (Squatter’s Hop Rising comes in second if you were wondering – at least it used to it has been awhile since I’ve had one) it is so hoppy with honey and citrus and it doesn’t taste like it is 10%. I was hoping that they would release it in mini kegs, but for the second year in a row they have decided not to. From the FAQ page about this year’s mini keg availability, “Unfortunately, no. We want to spread as much of this popular winter seasonal to as many of our fans as possible.” Fine.
We got some friends to meet us at Bells after work on Friday. The place was, of course, packed. Our friends are troopers though and after some shuffling around trying not to stand in the way we were able to commandeer a table for four and order more beer and some food.
After Hopslam, I had their Experimental Hop 2012-5 and Austin had their ExpHop 2012-6. #5 was an American Pale Ale with “Berry & Citrus Notes” that were not over-powering and #6 was a Double IPA. Some reviews on Untappd say that ExpHop 2012-6 rivals Hopslam – not for me, but it was very good. The last beer we had was Third Coast Beer on nitro. I don’t recall having a beer “on nitro” (I don’t drink Guinness) before so when it we placed in front of me by Austin I thought I was looking one of the worst pulls by a professional ever. I was of course wrong. The beer blog Growler Fills does a nice job of explaining the nitrogen process. I thought it was creamy and drinkable, but sort of middle of the road – especially after having Hopslam and two great ExpHops before it. Maybe next time we end with Hopslam.
Bells was just the start of a very fun night that included ping pong (::shakes fists:: damn you, ping-pong stranger) and laser tag because we are adults. I’ll leave you with a picture of Austin making his case for something. Perhaps this was another discussion of individual vs society…
Just the facts ma’am:
Location: 355 E Kalamazoo Ave, Kalamazoo MI
Number of Taps: 20-ish
Austin’s Overall Experience Rating: 4 out of 5 Pint Glasses (the price of “eh” good keeps this from being a 5)
ExpHop 2012-5: 85/100
ExpHop 2012-6: 89/100
Third Coast: 55/100