Friday's here, so it's time for beer.
Every Friday, so long as the creek don't rise, this beer enthusiast will take a look at a Florida beer that, hopefully, should be readily available in a local shop or on tap at your favorite bar.
Five o'clock happy hours are a godsend. Some days you need to get out of work the minute the bell tolls and hop into a bar with a glass of good beer. And lucky for us, we have some amazing options.
This week, that bar of choice was the Funky Buddha Lounge in Boca Raton, where the atmosphere was giddy with anticipation of the opening of their flagship brewery in Oakland Park. With that looming date in mind, I decided to pop my head in once more to sample a beer that would be available for patrons at the event, and as a core beer for the brand.
Enter the Hop Gun, the Buddha's take on an IPA, where it's highway to the flavor zone! Ahem, sorry.
I was poured a tumbler full of the golden amber India Pale Ale, which kept a nice two finger head for the majority of my experience. The carbonation of the bitter brew constantly kicked up lovely herbal and citrus pith-like hop aromas. A bit more mild than a full-on pine forest in the glass, which I found to be a relief compared to some examples of the style produced recently.
There's a nice malty kick upfront when you drink, which blends in with the alcohol of the beer. It clocks in at 7.7% abv., so the heat of the alcohol is melded with the malt. That flavor profile transitions to a hit of fresh hop bitterness on the back of the palate; tasting jargon for 'sweet to bitter'.
Too bad Goose and Maverick aren't hop varietals yet (get on it University of Florida!) because this IPA wants take your taste buds for a fly-by. Ok, sorry again. I can't help it. In reality, it's brewed with Cascade (good core American hop flavor), Galena (a Brewers Gold hybrid, giving floral and fruit aromas) and Nelson Sauvin (from New Zealand, heavy on the citrus) hops.
As an IPA, this is a phenomenal implementation, though it falls into a 1.5 IPA range. Not quite a double, but much more than a West Coast IPA. It's an approachable brew to malt heads like myself, and to people who are not yet quite into the hardcore multi-hop bitter explosion of many IPAs these days.
The best part? This beer is brewed right here in our area, and will be joining its brethren in downtown Oakland Park this Saturday for the grand opening of the new Funky Buddha Brewery. Drinkers should be able to find Hop Gun along with Floridian hefeweizen, OP Porter, and Doc Brown's 1.21 Gigawatts brown ale at the event, along with special releases of Nib Smuggler Chocolate Porter, Last Snow Coffee Porter, No Crusts Peanut Butter & Jelly Brown Ale, Bonita Applebum Apple Pie Ale, Blueberry Cobbler Ale, Passionfruit Berlinerweiss, and Dry-hopped Session Berlinerweiss.
As always, drink good beer, and #drinklocal.
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