Aug 14, 2014

Three Brothers Hoptimization

Three Brothers Brewing, out of Harrisonburg, VA, has been around for a couple of years now, but happening across this bottle of their ever-changing Hoptimization IPA didn’t occur until mid-May of this year. The concept of optimizing a beer’s recipe with available ingredients isn’t a new concept, but I’d been hearing great things regarding the brewery and this beer in particular.

As seen in the photo of the back label below, the company’s 7.1% ABV IPA has a hop bill that will constantly be in flux as hop supplies rise and fall throughout the year. The great thing about this idea is that the beer will always present a different experience, which is also the downfall of the concept — there’s just no consistency in terms of flavors going forward. As it stands, however, Hoptimization is a tasty brew that delivers all you could ever want from an IPA, including a good amount of hop bite.


A dense, resilient cap of light beige foam rests atop a slightly hazy, amber brew.

Three Brothers Hoptimization photo


Pine, grapefruit, orange, herbal hop notes and a bready malt backbone fill the nose smoothly.


The flavors are right in line with the aroma as a bready malt base supports a smooth hop character. Grapefruit, pine and a moderate amount of bitterness wash over the tongue with an assertiveness. This particular bottle was packaged January 31st of this year, so it wasn’t super fresh, but the hop impact was still dominant. The brew is wonderfully refreshing.

Three Brothers Hoptimization photo


I really liked this beer. It had decent balance, was satisfyingly refreshing and packed in a solid amount of hop flavor into a single 12 ounce bottle. I’m curious to see how future iterations of this recipe turn out. As for this batch, it’s pretty damn solid.

Rating: 4/5

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