Tree Brewing : Hop Head IPA
Okay, first off, we love the fact that these guys were sitting around one day, trying to come up with an awesome name for their new brewery, and they came up with “Tree”. Something about it appeals to the baser instinct in us; it’s very central, core, simple, yet deep. It’d be like calling your brewery “Sun”, or “Earth”, or “Rock” (or Stone even); so simple, yet not at all. Think about where life on this blue speck we call Earth would be without trees (or heaven forbid, beer!). Or, broadening your scope a little, plants in general, both vascular and non-vascular, terrestrial and marine, complex and single-celled. Life as we know it would likely be wildly different, and homo sapiens may not have evolved or advanced the way we have without the sheer diversity and biomass of plants that cover our little globe careening through space at breakneck speeds, happily doing us all a huuuuuge favour converting tons of CO2 into O2 so that us oxygen-loving creatures can thrive (never mind photons into consumable energy, but that’s a whole separate rant / tangent) – it’s like the great cosmic balance, but on a more terrestrial scale. Seriously, if you ever stop to think about how fast we’re moving, it makes all the Ferraris and Porches in the world look like a bunch of expensive metal slugs. If you’re suddenly feeling a little silly about that costly toy in the garage, never fear – Einstein and relativity to the rescue! All those fancy, “fast” expensive cars are still going that much faster relative to the rest of us. But still, the earth has you whooped, she’d smoke you off the line any day like Vin Diesel behind the wheel of a 1970 Dodge Charger.
And without plants like barley and hops, things like beer might not even be possible (GASP!).
No seriously, that would suck.
Right, uh…. sorry, our day job doesn’t exactly provide us with regular opportunity to nerd-out on the wonders of life on this planet… back to the beer. Kelowna’s Tree Brewing has long been on our list of “beers to get onto the blog again”, partly because Hop Head was one of the first IPA’s we really fell in love with, but also because our “Beeralytics” spreadsheet (things our work skills do allow us to nerd-out on) says it has been a long time since we last touched base with Tree.
Hop Head pours a nice deep amber with a short white head that is quick to retreat like early cetaceans back to the oceans once they realized that this whole “land” thing was a whole lot of work, all that gravity and such and such. Hops we find on the nose to be floral with a strong piney resinous backing, with citrus notes leaning more towards orange than grapefruit. The flavour has a slight ESB quality at first but then dives into floral roundness, an interesting back-of-the-throat piney blossoming, and a dry grapefruit pith finish, away from the orange suggestions on the nose. The round floralness of this beer is helped by malty sweetness then cleaned out by dry pith, but bitterness is left to linger under your tongue, leaving you to think about the next sip. We found it quite interesting that the floral and pith bitterness seem to shift relative to each other from sip to sip, sometimes longer floral and sometimes earlier pithy bitterness, but overall striking a firm balance. Definitely a beer we’re happy to rediscover.
And remember what your mum told you kids, talk to your plants. Delude yourself all you want about them loving the attention and your awe-inspiring solo conversation (ironically says the guy writing a beer blog…); that blast of carbon-rich CO2 that you uncerimoniously spew out is what they’re really after…
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