Eric's Beer Blog

My online journal for beer (and other drinks) tasting, brewing, tourism, and general musings.

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Location: St. Paul, Minnesota, United States

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A new Belgian to try...

Lots of beer goings-on here in the Twin Cities. I knew when we decided to move here that there was a good beer scene, but I certainly didn't know it was this good.

A very good brand new brewery in St. Paul? Check.

Continued expansion of a wonderful 1 year old brewery outside Minneapolis? Yep.

Great beer festivals where all the local breweries and brewpubs show up? Uh huh.

And amazing beers at the local brewpub, like Cabernet Stout? You betcha.

But one also has to drink beer from other places. On my most recent trip to my favorite beer store, I noticed a Belgian beer that sounded interesting. I picked one up to look at it, just as the beer guy of the store walked into the cooler. He said that they had just received this beer and that it had only been in the store for 3 hours. I decided that I would have to be one of the first customers to try it.

It's called Urthel Hop-it, and according to the label it's a "Superior Hoppy Blond Ale."

The back of the label tell us this: "Following a visit to American Northwest in January, 2005, Hildegard returned to Belgium enthusiastic about all of the different IPAs she had tasted. With her passion for barley, hops, and yeast, she knew that she wanted to brew an IPA of her own, but it had to be special, with a real Flemish touch. Her touch!

Urthel Hop-It, Superior Hoppy Blond Ale, is a full and heart warming blond special ale. It's [sic] very hoppy, spicy, and fruity character makes Hop-it a desirable ale for Special Ale-passionate people."

Well, count me in as a Special Ale-passionate person. This is yummy beer. It has the typical lovely Belgian blond nose, with a hint of hops. The taste is similar, though the hops are even more prominent (especially as it warms). Sweet Belgian flavors mingle with bitter American-style hop goodness. It's quite the combination.