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Above And Beyond

Generous hop bills create powerhouse flavors


  • Mike Riedel

I don't have to tell you that everything in our lives is getting more expensive. From gas to pickled pigs' feet, you're getting less bang for your precious bucks. Even our local brewers are starting to feel the pinch. The price of beer will start to climb: that fact is certain. Happily, there are still some beers that go above and beyond, delivering powerful flavors at familiar prices.

Offset Bier - Phone It In (Citra/Mosaic): This IPA packs a massive amount of hops into a gently-made 6.7 percent ale. Pale goldenrod in color and glossed with a pastel opaqueness, their Double Dry Hopped Mosaic and Citra version of this IPA builds a voluminous and heady froth that carries a host of citrus, berry, tea and tropical fruit across the nose. A delicate pastry sweetness greets the tongue, first with nuances of honey, cereal and sponge cake in a semi-rich malty display.

But the stars of the show are the tandem of hops that blossom on the middle palate, leading off with tangerine, a bright citrusy taste of oranges and red grapefruit. Then a quick follow-up of lime quickly turns tropical with passionfruit, mango and papaya. Berries and kiwi flavors then turn peppery and moderately bitter on the late palate, as a brisk taste of black tea, verbena and sassafras arises. Medium full in body, the beer's resinous bitterness and crisper malt profile aid with its refreshment, and prevents the ale from lingering unnecessarily sweet, creamy or weighted. A medium long aftertaste of fresh spruce, grass, hemp and hay signal the beer's closure and a hoppy taste done well.

Overall: The dry hopping did its job, alright, creating a damn phenomenal dry-hopped ale. So much grapefruit and passion fruit character perfectly complements the already interesting and complex base. This is highly recommended, and so far, one of my favorite new beers of 2022.

2 Row - Cryo Pop: Hot on the heels of technology in brewing, 2 Row's owner/head brewer Brian Coleman taps into lupulin powders from Yakima Chief Hops. Formerly known as trial blend TRI2304CR, Cryo Pop Original Blend delivers massive tropical, stone fruit and citrus aromas

It pours a medium, relatively bright, orange color with a soft, but heavy white head. The nose is strong with sweet orange, citrus, tropical fruit including melon, berries and more tropical fruit. A candy and fruity malt sweetness lasts through the end.

The flavor follows the nose with more juicy flavors, including big orange citrus and some grapefruit, followed by more tropical fruit, melon and some berry sweetness as well. Very juicy and sweet, but also has a respectable bitterness on the end, and a heavy but expected body with moderate to strong carbonation. The bitterness is cleaned off by the juicy sweetness, but still pleasant on the palate. Compared to 2 Row's Feeling Hazy, it's stronger and juicier in its aromas with more orange tropical flavors, and less dank and piney. A freakin' winner.

Overall: I usually don't prefer Imperial IPAs, but was pleasantly surprised at this one. It has a strong and juicy orange flavor profile with tropical passionfruit and mango, plus a decent bitterness so it actually finishes somewhat balanced. It's hard for me to like a 9.7 percent IPA, but this one might be the exception. I very much enjoyed drinking this.

Offset's small-ish Park City brewery just got some larger tanks, so beers like "Phone It In," will hopefully become more readily available. In SLC. I have found their beers at The Bayou, Beehive and Scion Cider Bar on draft and in cans. Bottle of 2 Row can always be found at your favorite craft beer spots. Shake your pub/eatery manager's tree if you're not seeing them. As always, cheers!