Hitchhiker IPA (7.8% ABV)
Good People Brewing Company (Birmingham, Alabama)
Hitchhiker pours with a minimal head, just about a half centimeter in a typical pint glass, and it doesn’t have much head retention. There’s generous lacing as I drink down the beer, however. As opposed to a sparse “lacy” pattern, the lacing almost coats the edge of my pint glass on the first few sips.
The beer has almost a tropical scent to it, with something other than typical citrus notes from the hops mixing into the aroma. The brewery’s website notes pineapple, grapefruit, orange and tangerine, and while I cannot parse out all of those aromas, I feel like it’s sweeter than most IPAs.
The taste of the beer, however, reminds me of other IPAs.
I’ll be up front and honest — I don’t have a lot of notes to give on the taste of beer. Its bitterness hits you first, and the dryness from the hops sits on your tongue for the entirety of the drink rather than dissipating. The notes are more distinctly orange than the typical “citrus” of hops, and the malt doesn’t stand out to me. Other than that, this drinks like a typical IPA — dry, hoppy and bitter.
I was talking to my friend Alyx about IPAs tonight, and I realized that there are a lot of them that I have a hard time distinguishing in my head. I’m sure if I tasted them side by side I could tell a difference in the maltiness or what notes come through the hoppiness, but when I’m drinking them for fun or by themselves, they all hit the same “standard IPA” notes I would expect.
According to Good People’s website, this beer has Columbus, Cascade and Simcoe hops. Guess what else uses Cascade hops? Hopsecutioner and HopNess Monster — two IPAs that I love, but also ones that have profoundly unique flavor profiles. Like I told Alyx, that’s not a knock on the beers at all. If anything, I’d say that’s a positive because I know I can turn to them for a consistent IPA experience. In a world of ever diversifying IPA styles — including the newly officially recognized New England/ Hazy IPA — I wonder how these “standard IPAs” will hold up.
What do you think about IPAs? Do you stick to one style, think it’s good they’re diversifying, or do you not really care? Let me know.
Overall rating: 4.7/5