Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Are you Hopping Mad?

I was in the area of the Granite Brewery last night so I jumped at the opportunity to duck into the pub and try the newest addition to the Granite's family of beers: Hopping Mad.

The 6% cask conditioned ale arrived to my table and I immediately stuck my nose into the glass to get a big whiff of hoppy goodness. I must have looked out of place as the other clientele in the Granite did not look the type to sniff and make notes about the beer they were drinking. Regardless of the stares, I pushed on, sniffing away.

The Hopping Mad is a medium copper/auburn coloured ale that came with a white bubbly head that gently faded away with each sip. The nose of the beer consisted of sweet caramel malt and fresh floral hops, very nicely balanced. The last smell came as the beer was almost drained and the pint glass was near empty - beautifully aromatic.

With that out of the way, I raised the glass and took a large mouthful. Grassy/earthy qualities were picked up along with a little citrusy grapefruit notes to compliment the caramel flavouring from the malt. The strong presence of hops left a lingering smooth bitterness and finished dry on the tongue. Very nice. The temperature was perfect, slightly chilled. Made along the lines of the American style IPA's with the English flair of the cask conditioned variety that the Granite is known for.

I asked Monte (bartender) how the beer had been selling at the pub and he was surprised how receptive customers have been, it's been selling great. "People see something new added to the line-up and are curious to try it. When they do, they usually like it and order more." The Granite bumped their regular IPA off the menu in favour of the Hopping Mad and I don't imagine there will be many complaints.

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