LoveBeer, LoveFood: Hopping into spring with three hoppy ales

The weather might not show it, but spring is on the way and that means it's time to try out some hoppy new ales.

As you know by now if you’ve been following along with LBLF, the first Tuesday of every month is “Top Three Tuesday ” where I share my current favorite beers.  I would pour these beers directly into your mouths if I could, but TTT is the next best thing.

As the weather warms (sorta), I’m craving hoppy, drinkable beers. We’re gonna do this month’s TTT by hop intensity – starting with a new favorite of mine:

Two Brother’s “Sidekick” Extra Pale Ale

Sidekick is a 5.1% “Extra” pale ale with 36.1 IBUs of bitterness. The beer is brilliantly clear with a beautiful, rocky, voluminous head. The aroma starts out floral with a light fruitiness and a very light, bready malt.

The taste kicks in with a clean hop bitterness and similarly floral and fruity hop flavor.

What makes this beer remarkable is it’s amazing drinkability. It’s one of those beers you could easily sip on all day.

The beautiful (though fragile) Spiegelau IPA glass  above work wonders to amplify the hoppy aroma and head retention for this lovely beer.

Next up! Rivertown’s “Lil Sipa ,” a 4.5% ABV session IPA

Lil Sipa brings a more aggressive hop bitterness than the Sidekick. The aroma is a complex hop profile, all together spicy, floral and notes of citrus and stone fruit due to the Citra, Galaxy, Columbus, and Cascade hops they use.

The flavor is peppery, dry and very hop forward. The malt melts to the background with just a hint of oyster crackeriness. The hop bitterness remains pleasant here despite the 55 IBUs of bitterness and light malt flavor.

This is another easy drinking beer worthy of it’s 16 oz. can.

Last, but certainly not least: Great Lakes’ “Chillwave ” (used to be called Alchemy Hour) Double IPA

Compared to our other easy drinking beers, Chillwave comes in fierce with 80 IBUs and 9.4% ABV. It’s got a heavenly aroma of pine and mango and is replete with flavors of passion fruit and citrus.

Despite the hop assault, it’s got a great malt/hops balance owed to the honey malt used.

Chillwave is perhaps my favorite beer from Great Lakes. It is only available this time of year so jump on it if you see it.

It is absolutely worth the $10 per four pack you’ll likely find it for, I promise. It may actually rival Bell’s mania-inducing “Hopslam .” Sacrilege, I know.

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