SanTan Count Hopula
SanTan Brewery reviews: Sunspot Gold
My mom flew into town today and I felt a certain obligation to introduce her to some tasty craft beer, so we went and hit a triple-header. First we stopped by Total Wine to pick up a whole bunch of new goodies I can’t wait to try (seriously jumping up and down excited), then we went to Whole Foods and sat down for a snack and shared a 22oz Sonoran White Chocolate Ale (she gave it two thumbs up). After picking up a 4-pack of Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale, we headed to my place so we could chat over the delicious spiced pumpkin pie (she declared this her new favorite beer) of it all. She almost skipped out on dinner with me at SanTan Brewery, but I managed to convince her to accompany me in my endeavor to try the newly released – and just tapped on Friday night – Count Hopula.
First, take a look at this logo:
Second, admire it’s awesomeness. How cool would that be on a shirt? I would especially love to see it in a bottle so I could keep it for sentimental reasons. I’m turning into a pack-rat with this beer tasting thing due to my new appreciation of beer label artwork.
I didn’t get much of an opportunity to jot some notes down about this fabulously hoppy brew, also I was sorely lacking a writing utensil. Oh, and my mother was there. Nevertheless, I will do my very best to try and review this beer in the simplest terms so as not to overstep my actual feelings about it. Then, maybe later this week or next weekend, I will make a hearty attempt to return to SanTan so I can be more diligent in my note taking.
While the beer definitely had a nice, deep red tint to it in the light, it was very dark, albeit clear. It came straight from the tap with an off-white frothy head about 2-fingers thick with excellent retention and left a gloriously heavy sticky lacing around the inside of the glass that never faded.
I will admit that it was a little difficult to keep my nose focused on the beer, as we had a big plate of beer-battered chicken fingers and french fries in front of us, as well as a rogue smoker that interrupted half of our meal. What I did gather was very crisp and robustly full of hops, as it should be. There was a very strong grapefruit aroma that closely hugged the bitterness of the hops, making them sourly sweet in my nose. There was also something quite reminiscent of tangerines and a faint whiff of pine and malt right at the end.
The taste was very perfectly bitter, but not overwhelmingly so. It was just as advertised, with lots and lots of hops (or “enough to rip your tongue out” as Beer Advocate would say). There was a sweetness to the bitter that I’m sure was due to the background malt, and a light pine-y/resiny flavor as well. I would say the Count Hopula (so fun!) has a lighter body with good carbonation that is almost spicy in combination with the hops and lightly leaves the tongue on a nice crisp note.
I will probably go back for another go at this just because I like what I wrote. Though I do wish I could have a wonderfully chilled bottle of this halloween-style blood red Imperial IPA right here in my living room, I think the atmosphere of SanTan’s patio is the perfect accompaniment to this perfectly bitter seasonal craft brew.