Beer of the Weekend #700: HopFest United IPA

The Chai Tea Porter Bobblehead bought me needs to wait a little longer because I brought back about $90 worth of beer from Texas. Needless to say, the fridge is full.

The beer of the weekend is HopFest United IPA, brewed by the Grapevine Craft Brewery of Grapevine, Texas.

HopFest pours a cloudy, caramel-amber color into a pint glass. It is a little dark for an IPA, which I don’t mind. A finger of dense, buttery, off-white head is spotted with bubbles and dissipates slowly, leaving an even line of lacing, much like a high water mark, along the glass. The aroma is a since blend of malts and astringent hops and citrus. It mellows and sweetens, though, as the beer warms; caramel, honey, bread, and cherry licorice complement sticky tropical fruit and citrus. The flavor mostly mirrors the smell. There is a touch of lemon astringency, but it fades as the beer warms.

Fun facts about HopFest United IPA:

• Style: American IPA.

• Price: $9.41 per six-pack of cans at the Spec’s Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods store on Texas State Highway 121 in The Colony, Texas.

• Alcohol content: 6.5 percent ABV.

• IBU: 70.

• Info from the brewery’s website about the name:

Every year in the Fall, Grapevine hosts one of the largest wine festivals in Texas called GrapeFest. Wine is fine. But this is a beer town … introducing, HopFest!

• Here’s a story for the Dumbass Hall of Fame. Before leaving for Texas, Mervgotti told me to him some Alamo beer. No problem, I thought. The day after I arrived in the Lone Star State, I checked out the beer selection at a local Albertsons. (I had not been to an Albertsons since I lived in California.) No Alamo. Later that day I looked for Alamo at Spec’s. It wasn’t there, either. “That’s weird,” I thought. “Alamo seems like one of those iconic Texas beers that should be everywhere.” Next, my uncle drove me to a much lager store called Total Wine & More. I couldn’t find it there. My uncle asked a tasting booth girl if she had heard of it and she shook her head. Standing in one of the beer aisles, my uncle checked with one of the store reps and he walked away to check. Another customer was standing nearby and asked what we were looking for. I told him a friend asked me to buy some Alamo for him. “Alamo?” he said. “That’s the version of Lone Star they drink on King of the Hill.” Oh. My. God. How could I forget? I closed my eyes, hoping to block out the embarrassment. Oddly, though, the salesman returned and told us there is a brewery called the Alamo Beer Company, but its brews are only available in the San Antonio area.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B.

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