Apr 18, 2016

Ninkasi Hop Cooler

I picked up (and enjoyed) Ninkasi’s Hop Cooler shortly after it arrived at the beginning of February earlier this year. It was perhaps a bit early in the season for a fruit-forward IPA like this, but I was in the mood for exactly what the brew had to offer. A combination of Equinox, Simcoe, Amarillo and Citra hop varieties provide a welcoming amount of citrus (orange, tangerine, grapefruit) while the malt backbone (2-Row Pale, Vienna, Acidulated, Honey) provides a solid base for everything.

Hop Cooler weighs in at 7.2% ABV, but drinks much lighter than its alcohol potency would indicate. The array of citrusy fruits are probably the key here, allowing the beer to go down dangerously easy. A solid hop bite (74 IBU) re-invigorates the palate and keeps things from getting too fruit-juicy.

February was pretty darn cold, weather-wise, and Hop Cooler provided that glimpse of warmer months to come. I’m hoping the beer is around more often during the Summer months — its blend of hop character and citrus notes would make for one hell of a refreshing brew after a long day out in the sun.