Just like the Twins last night, the Reds are on the rope tonight. After getting no-hit by Roy Halladay in Game 1 and blowing a 4-0 lead in Game 2, leading to a 5-4 loss, the champion of the NL Central Division faces an NLDS sweep for the fourth consecutive year. If the Reds have any hope, their fans will need to be keeping the local beer flowing, so let’s get down to it.
Cincinnati Reds – Hoppin’ Frog Brewery (Akron, OH)
I’ve never tried a beer from Cincy, but there’s a beer from Ohio that I love, and I knew that I’d simply have to feature it here. Hoppin’ Frog’s Hoppin to Heaven IPA is one of the strongest ales I’ve ever tasted. It’s overflowing with spice and hops and provides a sure kick in the pants that the Reds will need tonight to keep their postseason hopes alive. I can’t believe that they have a Double IPA and even Triple IPA. Those might just kill you unless you’re a serious IPA drinker.
Raise your glass to the heavens in a toast to HOPS – the spice of beer! This classic American I.P.A. features the finest American hops to add a spicy, assertive, and citrusy character to its full-bodied, rich malt taste – hoppinfrog.com
Here’s a, well, not G rated review from thebestbeerblog.com:
The first sip tickles your tongue like butterflies and foreplay, and then settles into a sensual balance of hops, ethereal citrus fruit and the faintest caress of clean malt sweetness. It’s not super hoppy and just sticks it to me with righteous flavor. Excellence. No doubt, this brew is unique in its ability to ride that fine line that denotes the apex of the style. Medium bodied, quenching, no aftertaste. Hits all the right buttons, and even touches me in my no-no place a little bit. I’m so glad I have a 22 of H2H, b/c I want more than one glass. If someone said “What is a great example of a textbook IPA?”, I would hold up a bottle of H2H and start jumping around in my best imitation of the beers namesake. Awesomeness scale? Hopefully I’ll be greeted at the pearly gates with a glass of this tasty beverage.
9.5. Stonkin’ good show HF, I’m pleased as punch to have an IPA blow me away like this one has. If it’s on the shelf at your beer store, buy it.
So, can the Reds pull off a miracle comeback and hop their way to World Series heaven?
If you know of any other good Ohio-based breweries, let me know!
Philadelphia Phillies – Victory Brewing Company (Downington, PA)
Can we really have a playoff game without featuring a beer from Victory? I’ll admit, I’ve had some Victory Beer a few times during sporting events and every time my team loses. But maybe you’ll be luckier than I am if you’re rooting for the Phillies. I may be overwhelming you with the hops in this post, but Victory’s Hop Devil IPA is honestly the best of their beers I’ve tried.
Hop Devil IPA is a signature IPA with a flavor as powerful, as bold and as confident as the Phillies, as they try to capture their third World Series appearance in as many years. Philly is clearly a favorite in this series, and I think if you like IPAs, this will be a favorite, too.
An absolutely gushing review at epinions.com:
The first Victory beer I ever tasted was a Hop Devil, and right then and there I just knew Victory was going to be something special in the craft brewing arena. Hop Devil is one of those beers that pushes the envelope in brewing, but that does it with integrity and in such a way that they really end up writing the rules when it comes to the IPA game. Hop Devil is the beer that all other American-brewed IPAs wish they could be.
This is a beer whose balance is like a Beethoven symphony, with everything in absolute perfect harmony, no matter how loud a few of the notes might get.
Obviously, the loud notes are the hops flavors, but that’s not how you perceive it on first sip. It starts out nice and slow, with a soft, rounded sweet caramel malt flavor that gently slides its way quickly but surely over to the hops side. The hop flavor on this beer is magnificent. Pure freshness and with masterful complexity where it counts. While the grapefruit is still there, so too is a piney, spruce-like flavor that lends intensity to the bitterness.
Hop Devil is brewed a little stronger than most U.S. IPAs (it clocks in at 6.7 percent alcohol by volume, so I’d wager that the starting gravity is around 17-18 Plato). Yet the beer never comes off as heavy — it’s very well attenuated and it’s a smooth, drinkable pint. That extra ooomph in the malt department is just simply what it takes to balance such a well-hopped brew.
We have us a champion here, folks!
So there you have it. All the beers I recommend drinking this postseason. So, what are you drinking?