Beer of the Month: Hop Rising Tropical
Beer Name: Hop Rising Tropical
Brewery: Squatters Craft Beers
Serving Style: 12-oz. can
Every now and then, we like to revisit our roots in the craft beer game. We used to pick beers based around theme, and one of our most memorable was the local–craft beer night. That included the tasting of an early standout from Squatters Craft Beers, the original Hop Rising Double India Pale Ale. Looking back, Hop Rising really made a lasting impression on the two of us. This beer became a go-to hoppy beer. At the time, there may not have been many other beers that offered the distinguished, hop-heavy flavor and ABV value for the price (and let’s be honest—we all know that there’s a significant cost hike when you commit to a craft beer lifestyle). Hop Rising Double IPA established a secure place in Squatters’ lineup history. Nonetheless, the local brewery presented the reimagining of their popular legacy beer, Hop Rising Tropical Double IPA.
We poured a chilled Hop Rising Tropical from its 12-oz. aluminum can into a Spiegelau IPA glass. The transfer releases full-bodied bubbles of all sizes, commanding the top of the beverage that leaves a sticky, cream-colored foam. Through the clear-orange liquid, a noticeable amount of carbonation frolics from the etching in the bottom of the glass. The exotic hop combination creates a tropical aromatic experience, showcasing hints of fruit zest layered over familiar sweet malts. Small sips give hints of biting hops followed by juicy blasts of mango and citrus. This flavor profile alone proves the expertise of Squatters Craft Beers, as there is zero fruit actually added to Hop Rising Tropical. The mouthfeel is clean and sharp, which contributes to the well-roundedness and full enjoyment of the beer. Being fans of Hop Rising for all of these years, this new variation gives a pleasant bit of zing while reminding us why we were so fond of the original.
Tweaking long-standing brands seemed to be a trendy move prior to the “haze craze” that has taken over these days. Purists may prefer to leave things the way they are because it’s important to maintain a certain sense of history. On the other hand, there are a lot of innovative people who always want to continue to evolve. While we understand both sides to this argument, we tend to lean toward the creative side, in this case.
Squatters took a beer made for hop heads and turned it into a potential gateway beer for those new to the IPA style—while keeping those of us who love the original happy with another close option. Hop Rising Tropical Double IPA positions itself as a refreshing, next logical step in the history of one of Utah’s most renowned beers. Both Hop Rising selections are easily identifiable because of the bright colors and the well-known photo of their master brewer, Jason Stock, impaling a hop with a pitch fork. This Hop Rising Tropical Double IPA can design touts its tropical elements with a perky, yellow-and-pink palette. Of course, we don’t know the future of either the original or this newer version, but we are positive that there is something for everyone regardless of which you prefer.