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Dan Martich's picture

Judge’s Review: 90 Rating - Hoptopus by Crystal Lake Brewing

February, 2022



United States
Hoptopus, Crystal Lake Brewing

Crystal Lake Brewing has created a smooth, yet powerful, Imperial Hazy IPA. Bursting with tropical flavors and aromas, it packs a citrus punch with very little bitterness — truly a beer worthy of its namesake. Because we believe one legend deserves another.

Beverage Profile
Served at: 
45 - 50ºF
Two-row, Wheat, Oats, Acidulated, CaraFoam
Solero, Sabro, Sultana, Bravo, Idaho 7, El Dorado, Trident, Simcoe



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Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
5 / 6
37 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Hoptopus by Crystal Lake Brewing is being evaluated as a Hazy IPA (Category 21C) from the 2021 BJCP Style guidelines. 

 This beer starts with big aromas of fresh pine, citrus grapefruit and tropical fruit in the way of ripe mango. There's a little bit of green vegetal character possibly from dry hopping, the malt component is neutral, which comes across as grainy. Loaded with fruity esters to supplement the aroma of the hops.

With the color of straw, and very hazy, the thick white head framed the glass beautifully.

The flavor is very juicy with ripe fruit that takes the spotlight. There is sweet malt that complements the juicy fruit notes. Loaded with flavors of orange, some lime zest, pineapple and mangos. The bitterness is very high and comes across as green pine cone bitterness. In the finish there is a short, dry, piney character. A moderately low amount of alcohol gives this beer an added dimension, which rounds out the flavor. 

This beer is medium-bodied, with a medium-low carbonation level that accentuates a softer mouthfeel and an absence of astringency. The alcohol in the mouthfeel gets more pronounced the more sips you take.

This is a brew to savor, and loaded with what appears to be Citra hops, given the citrus grapefruit and piney hop character. This hazy IPA falls in the higher end of the ABV scale for this style and yet remains very drinkable.