Brew for Thought: Hopslam

Full disclosure: I have never tried Hopslam. I’m not actively avoiding it for the price tag, but I’ve never gone out in search for it. Apparently, it finally made it’s way to DC this week and the sudsy masses are up in arms and I have a good idea where to find it If I wanted to (in a city where a sixer of Oberon will set you back $11, I could only imagine how much Hopslam costs). But Hoplam has become more than a beer: it’s a legend.

Beer culture can feel a bit cloying at times, which is why this blog focuses on the things you think about while drinking rather than what you’re drinking (although we’re advocates of drinking good beer all the time). Hopslam represents the best and the worst of the culture.

First, I can’t ignore that Hoplam is wildly popular across markets. People will pay top dollar and go great lengths for it. Upon this metric, I could only say that Hopslam is a delicious beer. Bell’s description makes it sound out of this world: Hopslam possesses the most complex hopping schedule in Bell’s repertoire. Bell’s also owns up to the honey usage, slapping it on the front and letting the flavor do the rest. The label speaks volumes and goes great lengths to make the actual hop look tasty, rather than the beer. Hops are tasty and they separate beer drinkers from everyone else. To me, this makes Hopslam worth a sample or six.

Many would would argue that these sort of beers are killing the original spirit of beer, and I think the complaint is worth considering. Yes, breweries like Bell’s and Three Floyds are worth the hype. They’ve been at this a long time, and I’ve never been disappointed by their offerings. But what about other breweries? Leinie’s runs their one off campaigns regularly, advertising burly Wisconsinites trying seasonal beers in different settings. It’s only a matter of time before they break through and try to sell us something like this. With great power comes great responsibility.

Best enjoyed: With honesty.

Best paired with: You know the drill. Spicy foods.

Find it: I can’t even guess. It’s very secret, so befriend the person at the liquor store and hope they let you in on it.

Know where to find Hopslam? Let us know on Twitter (@midwestbeer), Facebook or send an email to mwbeercollective@gmail.com.

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