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SpindleTap Hops Drop by Tony

 

SpindleTap Hops Drop

SpindleTap Brewery

Northeast Houston, Aldine

NEIPA

ABV: 6.5%

IBUs: 50

Packaging: Draft, 4 pack 16 ounce cans

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*Cue the synth*. Welcome to the land where it just don’t stop. Tops pop, hops drop, and have you tasted these freaking hops!? SpindleTap Hops Drop is near and dear to my heart, as I had a part in the creation of the beer from it’s genesis. That said, this will be a bit longer of a review, so skip a few paragraphs if you’re not into the art talk. 🙂

The artwork for SpindleTap Hops Drop won’t be on any taphandles in your local establishment any time soon, but it features the rear end of a mid-90’s Lincoln Town Car, popping trunk to reveal a trunk full of hops and neons along with the 5th wheel pokin’ out.

If that doesn’t mean anything to you, it’s totally cool – for you, Hops Drop can be a literal thing where hops are dropping into the boil. If you’re a fan of Houston Hip Hop, even a little bit, you get it, and you already said, “Awready.” The Lincoln is purple and sits on top of a rainbow, watercolor skyline.

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The reason I’m spending so much time detailing the artwork is because I designed it. I met with owners Brody and Adam to discuss some future plans, and they knew I’m a designer, beer nerd, and a big fan of Houston hip hop, so they ran some names by me. “Those are all good… But what about Hops Drop?” They lit up.

I knew we had a winner.

(Side note: Chris and I are always coming up with beer names in case we decide to brew one day, and he pitched “Hops Dropped” to me a few months ago, but I didn’t remember that until he showed me the screenshot of our text after I’d claimed the fame for naming the beer, but I digress.)

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After Brody, Adam and my preliminary conversations, head-brewer Garrison shot me a text pitching his concept and asking for my thoughts, and the two of us hit the ground running. I came up with the bulk of the artwork, and I shot over the source files for their agency to put the final touches on.

The final artwork was a bit of a collage of both of our concepts, but of course, I think mine was better. The 5th wheel and chrome on the trunk was supposed to be knocked out to reveal the aluminum on the can, as if to display actual metallic wheels within the art, but short deadlines got the best of the printers on that one. Next time.

Now on to the actual beer. SpindleTap Hops Drop pours a dark orange that’s hazier than a Houston sunset. Shout out to the East Side of town! After an aggressive pour, there’s a frothy, creamy 2 fingers of head that melts pretty quickly and leaves spotty lacing on the glass.

The nose of SpindelTap Hops Drop is where the rubber really meets the road, though. Garrison killed this one, and Sean’s probably eating crow now after he mentioned he despised “chicken soup looking” IPAs. There’s a sweet, fruity, subtle pine aroma that busts out of the can as soon as you open it. It’s reminiscent of fruity pebbles, or if you (or anyone you knew) ever smoked bud and happened to come across something really fruity – kinda exactly like that.

SpindleTap Hops Drop beats down your throat knocking pictures off the wall, and it all starts with a smooth, sweet fruit-punch flavor followed by subtle bitterness and the aforementioned piny, fruity flavors. There are some discernable mango and maybe melon/stone-fruit notes on the palette before the after taste takes you for a ride; That’s looong and aromatic, and you can breathe it in and out for a minute in between sips.

The mouthfeel is the pillowy, creamy sensation that we’ve all come to know and love since the style has bursted onto the scenes. The carbonation is light and crisp, balancing everything that came before it.

There have been a ton. A TON. Of NEIPAs that have hit Houston’s sun-soaked streets, but none like SpindleTap Hops Drop. There’s no local comparison. The overwhelming fruitiness is something we can all look forward to as more and more breweries try their hand at the style. The triple dry hopping of El Dorado, Motueka, and Citra along with CTZ make it unique. I love it, but not quite as much as Houston Haze. That’s just me, though.

I had to give this beer a 4.5 star rating because it’s great, really great, but not quite “Man, hold up!” That’s just me comparing it to Houston Haze, though, and I might be wrong for that. It should be in a conversation all it’s own.

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As it stands right now, you can only find SpindleTap Hops Drop on draft and in cans at the brewery, and it’ll all be gone on Sunday. Gua-rone-teed. SpindleTap is doing Juice Fest this Sunday 8/13/2017 from 12-6pm, and you can grab Houston Haze, Juiceton and Hops Drop. $16 per 4 pack, and there’s a two 4 pack minimum on each this time.

Hops Drop is a killer, period. I’m only giving it 4.5 because I’d rather drink a Houston Haze, but I find myself rating all these hazy beers highly. I’m pretty sure if you’re reading this, you’ll be out there this weekend, so I won’t ask who’s going. Instead, I wanted to take a quick poll on which artwork you liked better. It’ll take you 2 seconds. Check it out.

 

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Beers to you, Houston! 🍻

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Tony D
tony.d@beerchronicle.com

Tony's an artist that loves craft brew almost as much as he does Houston. He's worked in the oil industry and owns a few small businesses. Tony isn't picky when it comes to beer types, as long as it's refreshing and sessionable.

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