Full disclosure - we here at The Hop Review are not fans of "Pumpkin" beers. When the weather begins to cool we tend to reach for brown ales and porters. Yet, every year come Fall (and now it seems to be creeping into late summer), your local bottle shop or grocery store's beer aisle ends up looking like a highway construction zone. Decked out in bright orange cans and six packs, they celebrate the arrival of these often overly spiced ales.
It is no secret that the IPA is the poster child for the American craft beer renaissance. Nearly every craft brewery and brew pub has an IPA in its core lineup, many have a couple more. The IPA is the macro beer drinkers gateway into the full flavored world of craft beer.
While it was originally created by the British to survive the long sea voyages to India (the additional hops were added as a preservative to combat the less than favorable storage conditions of the ships hulls), it has been American craft brewers that have claimed the IPA as its own, and made it the most popular craft style. Then in good ol' American fashion they took something that was already great and pushed it to its bigger and stronger.
For this third edition of THR Style Guide, we are going to look at the beer style that has achieved cult status across the country. A style that has revelers traveling hundred of miles, only for a chance of getting their hands on some of these most sought after beers in the world. A style that has festivals dedicated solely to it...a style that continues to dominate the 'best beers in the world' lists. That style? The stout.