See that little baggie right there? That’s hop hash—a super concentrated form of hop resin.
Sweetwater Brewing down in the ATL used bricks of that hop hash in its new double IPA called, originally, Hop Hash. What does hop hash do to an IPA, you ask? It jacks it the hell up. Like hop steroids. Like a hop Red Bull. Like hop epo.
Hop Hash has a pungent nose—like you’re trapped inside a grapefruit scratch and sniff sticker—and a flavor profile that’s equally as strong. It’s bitter, juicy, with a bit of sweetness that tries in vein to balance it all out. Not that you want this beer to be balanced. This isn’t an entry level beer. If you’re trying to get your Bud Light-drinking friend into craft beer, keep on cruising down the aisle until you reach the hefeweizens.
Hop Hash is a double IPA—strictly hop head territory—so you’re only going to pick this bottle up if you’re looking for a palate wrecker. Hop Hash weighs in with a whopping 100 IBUs, making it one of the most bitter beers in the South. (Side note: Delaware-based Dogfish Head just released their 120 Minute, an imperial IPA that’s considered one of the hoppiest beers in the world, if you’re into that sort of thing).
Sweetwater tried out the hop hash method last spring with their limited release, Johnny Hash, and the brewery and their fans loved it so much, they brought the method back for this brand new year-round beer. Right now, Hop Hash is one of my favorite IPAs. Careful, though, the beer is 7.8%, squarely in “double” IPA territory, so if you drink four, in like an hour, you might regret some of the decisions you make. So I’ve heard.
Oh, and if Sweetwater sends you a little baggie of the hop hash in the mail, don’t snort it. It burns. Not that I would try snorting hops. Again, that’s just what I’ve heard.