December 12, 2013 by 250 Beers
After managing to restrain myself from opening the bottle of Hassle Hop pale ale that the kind people at Burleigh Brewing sent to me last month, I have now finally tried it.
It arrived in the mail at 250 Beers HQ during NOvemBEER and it killed me that I couldn’t open it. I held onto it (figuratively of course – not literally like a child with a dirty comfort blanket) and included it as one of 24 beers in my giant beer advent calendar. Thankfully, it appeared just two days into December; behind door number two.
I like receiving nice things in the mail – especially beer. I’m always sporting a huge smile when a box arrives. This is because when giving out my address I always state the first line as ‘250 Beers HQ’. My grin is at the thought of the look on the postman’s face. He probably thinks that I’m a complete idiot! He wouldn’t be too far off the mark to be honest. My smile evolved into a hearty, laugh-out-loud chuckle when the 650ml bottle of Hassle Hop arrived because the lady that packaged it up (you know who you are) went to the trouble of sticking a 250 Beers NOvemBEER joker card to the outside of the box! It was a lovely gesture and it means a lot to me knowing that somebody actually follows my blog. Thank you.
Now, the beer. Was the latest brew from Burleigh’s ‘A bit on the side’ department worth the wait?
Yes, as it happens, it was.
Upon pouring, a welcoming citrus aroma greeted me as I shoved my nose into the glass to get a good whiff…predominantly sweet grapefruit. This was followed by a big gulp and a refreshing burst of clean, fruity hops. It’s a very good pale ale indeed.
The notes that accompanied the bottle refer to Brewmaster Brennan Fielding’s comments that the development of this brew centred around bringing the best characteristics out of each of the five hops included – without compromising the integrity and flavours. A challenge. A hassle perhaps? Hop varieties present are Galaxy, El Dorado, Citra, Mosaic and Belma.
They’ve done well and, at 5.5%, Hassle Hop is bang-on sessionable and will feature again this summer in my beer fridge. The large bottle would suggest sharing it. Don’t do that. Drink it all yourself. Be greedy and enjoy it!