Oct 12, 2018

Surly WET

Wet-hopped IPAs aren’t easy to craft. The timing and effort that goes into getting those freshly harvested hops into the brewing process successfully can be daunting. That’s probably why we only see beers of this ilk coming from the likes of Sierra Nevada on a consistent basis. But for those companies that can master the task, as Surly has done with their 2018 version of WET, their patrons are treated to a hell of a drinking experience.

WET employs — according to the press sheet that accompanied this sample — 6,000 pounds of fresh Citra Hops at a rate of 11 pounds per barrel. That’s a shit ton of hops going into this 6.1% ABV West-coast style IPA. The hop profile is assertive with an attitude that most IPAs lack in the modern era of the style. I miss that pungency and dankness of IPAs past. Wet certainly has them in spades, along with a good bit of cattiness, resinous pine, citrus (grapefruit, tangerine) and earthy leafy notes.

Toss in a moderate amount of hop bitterness and you’ve got hop goodness to spare. The bit isn’t overwhelming by any means, but provides just that right amount of counterpoint to the potent flavors of all those Citra hops. The long lasting finish begs for another sip and then another.

As I said a few sentences ago, IPAs used to be all about attitude. Big, bold flavors that challenged the preconceptions of what a beer can be. WET embodies that spirit. Maybe we’ve all, as beer drinkers, have become complacent with the style, but I miss that assertiveness, that boldness. Sure a fruity, mellow IPA is fine, but it’s just not the same as the experience that Surly’s wet-hopped IPA drives. I want — I need — more IPAs like WET.

This is a review of a promotional sample.