Tuesday, April 14, 2009

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.


  1. How the hell did they know who Johnny Utah was? They're surfers. It's not like they follow Big Ten fooball! That and the fact I have to keep reminding myself it's not Courtney Love is why I have a love/hate relationship with Point Break.

  2. They knew because Utah hurt himself in the Rose Bowl against a Pac-10 team. He went to Ohio State and was probably a top 5 QB in the nation his senior year. I think Bodhi probably really enjoyed college football and was familiar with all of the Johnny Utah hype 4 years before. I think you commit people's faces to memory when they're named like gay porn stars.

  3. Okay. So let's assume he is top five and he did suffer an injury in the big game. Doesn't he stick around more than a couple years and try and make it in the pros and even if he doesn't, he'd have a plush job at Ohio State as a linebacker or quarterback coach, something along those lines. I just don't see him becoming an F-BEE-EUYH agent.

  4. Ha ha. You stirred up the Point Break fans. I did that vote for favorite IPA's a while back on my site and Two Hearted Ale won over hoppe and single wide.

    I didn't mind the hoppe and I love southern tier's label design. They came out with unearthly Imperial IPA which is much better than the Imperial Extra Pale Ale (hoppe) but not quite as much abv.

    Speaking of Boulevard. I enjoy the double wide much more than the single wide. I was waiting for the single wide to come out for so long and the more I drink of it the more dissapointed I am. I love the hops but it's such a full taste. Similar to the Torpedo but the Sierra Nevada has better tasting hops.

  5. He was recruited by the FBI to become an agent. The FBI and CIA like to recruit ex-athletes. He turned his back on football because he got hurt so bad in the Rose Bowl. Plus, I think the knee injury was so severe he couldn't play even if he wanted to. Remember this would have been around 1985 when a knee injury would have killed a career.

    Hophead, I'm not as big on Double Wide because it is a little sweet, nothing like the Hoppe, but sweet nonetheless. Single Wide is fabulous and is an almost everyday beer for me. I can't find Torpedo anymore, I was mildly disappointed in it. I need to find it again to get another taste.

  6. I spotted some Torpedo at Bubbles on North Oak this week. I don't know Muddy Mo, but if you know him well, I know he goes to that store from a past post on his blog.