This week's beer of the week is a hoppy beer worthy of its name. Hop Dish from Lift Bridge Brewing in Stillwater is an IPA brewed with seven hop varieties combined into a single recipe.
The beer is refreshing and crisp for a warm day and equally suited for a cold day spent dreaming of summer. Hop Dish is an American IPA, meaning it's a hop forward beer, but it's also balanced. While those who dislike a dominant hop profile may choose to pass, this beer's flavor is hoppy but not over-hopped, as it benefits from a distinctive malt base. It finishes with a citrus crispness that leaves a lingering bitterness countered by a subtle earthy taste.
See also: Beer of the Week: Fulton's Expat
Matt Hall, brewmaster at Lift Bridge, explains the beer's origins. "We set out to brew a 'West Coast meets Midwest' IPA," he says. "We needed a solid malt backbone to support the heavy use of hops, and it's really easy to wind up masking the great hop aromas and flavors or winding up with an overly intense bitter character." (West Coast IPAs use floral and citrusy hops, while Midwestern beers typically have more of a balanced approach.) "We were looking to have that great aroma but, at the same time, not overly bitter."
The beer pairs well with heavier foods. Hall recommends pork belly, barbecue, or Chinese food as the hops tend to accentuate spice.Hop Dish is currently available at Mason's, Stanley's NE Bar Room, Happy Gnome, and Brine's in Stillwater, among others.