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Hop Stoopid

Judges Rating: 
24 / 24
6 / 6
39 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Leading off this review’s California contingent is an almost terrifyingly hoppy brew from the outskirts of Petaluma – Lagunitas’s Hop Stoopid. This beer’s label cheekily yet proudly proclaims “102 I.B.U. 4 U,” and they are not kidding: This thing is a hop minefield. The beast of a beer shines an ominous, glowing gold and is brilliantly clear. Disregarding its rather substantial 8 percent alcohol content, Hop Stoopid produces a substantial meringue-like, off-white head that leaves lacework all the way to the bottom of the glass. Redolent of pine and cedar stands, the hop aromas virtually leap from the glass as the beer is poured. Lee was surprised by the dichotomy of the “enamel-stripping hops” being balanced by subtle, intriguing wafts of honeysuckle, hibiscus and orange blossom. Although the predominant flavors revolve around hops, this beer is far from one-dimensional, as it evinces treacle, honey and light caramel malt flavors in supporting roles. Tim was duly impressed by the clever use of pale and flavorful sweet malts that laid a solid foundation for the hops to build upon. With Hop Stoopid and a plethora of other delightfully characterful brews to their credit, Tony Magee and his merry band of brewers continue to strike liquid gold in rural Sonoma County.