Hoptober Golden Ale
Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Company (Fort Collins, Colorado)
Style: American Blonde Ale
Last weekend was the perfect transition from summer to fall, at least here in Chicago. Friday and Saturday were blistering hot, once again pushing into the mid-nineties, but then there was a miraculous cooldown beginning on Sunday that has since led us to the gorgeous autumn weather. The arrival of the new season also means that it is time for the craft beer fall seasonals to start hitting the shelves. My first selection: New Belgium’s Hoptober Golden Ale.
My beer style of choice for this summer was anything and everything IPA. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to stick with the hoppy ales as I ease back into some of the heavy hitters during the cold months.
Hoptober is a very interesting beer. When poured into a glass, it has a clear golden appearance. Its aroma is equal parts floral and fruity, and the hops really come through after tasting. This is significantly hoppier than most fall seasonals that I have had, and I love it. According to the brewery’s website, five different hops were used: Centennial, Cascade, Sterling, Glacier and Willamette. This results in a very unique array of flavors that bounce around all over the tongue.
I would be remiss not to mention the fruit, which manages to stand out amidst the hops. I noticed hints of all sorts of fruits, everything from mangos to oranges to grapefruits. Seriously, it’s all over the place, and that’s a very good thing.
As far as fall beers go, this one stands out amongst the pack. It was released just a week ago, and it should remain in stores through November. If you are a fan of hoppy beers, do yourself a favor and look Hoptober up. This may be my favorite offering from New Belgium.