Southern Tier Hoppe

When I was a kid I was obsessed with New York. I was intrigued by the world of high finance brought to me by such movies as “Trading Places” and “Wall Street”. I always wanted to have a faux brick wall in my million dollar condo and make fresh pasta with my Kitchen Aid mixer while drinking wine. When I was in 6th grade the principal of my future jr. high was talking to our class about the changes we were to expect in jr. high and for some reason he asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I told him I wanted to be a commodities broker like Winthorpe.

I grew up hating the west coast because I didn't like their attitude. Though I loved “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, I didn't like the laid back attitude of west coasters. It seemed to me like the west coast offered nothing other than tasty waves and a cool buzz. I was then treated to the instant classic that was Bodhi and Johnny Utah in “Point Break”. Only then did I realize that the west coast had something to offer.

Now, while I don't particularly want to live on the west coast, I definitely look to the west coast for food and drink. What does any of this nonsense have to do with beer you ask? Well, I recently had a bomber of Southern Tier Hoppe and I've come to a conclusion. I like the west coast's approach to beer much more than I like the east coast.

The Southern Tier Hoppe was sickeningly sweet. And I didn't get a good hop feel that I would get from a west coast or midwest double IPA like Pliny the Elder or Bell's Hopslam. Some people may like the Southern Tier Hoppe and I would not say they were wrong, but for me, the sweetness was over the top. I've found the same thing in many of the other Southern Tier beers and even the Dogfish Head beers I've had.

All things being equal, I think that I would enjoy a west coast beer over an east coast beer of the same style. The Southern Tier Hoppe helped me understand that. Unfortunately for Southern Tier, I won't be buying another Hoppe. Instead I will look for Boulevard's Double Wide or Breckenridge Small Batch 471 to enjoy when I go see the “Point Break” sequel, “Point Break: Indo”*. My "Point Break" transition is nearly complete.

*When Billy Dalton, military special ops and star surfer, is disqualified from the pro-surfing tour, he takes off for the coast of Bali looking for the perfect wave. While there he’s recruited by a private security force who are trying to find a gang known as The Bush Administration, surfing outlaws and modern day pirates who work like “The Ex-Presidents,” a bank robbing crew from Malibu twenty years ago.

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