Newbie Hop Head

I’ve gotta tell you…  After being a light beer drinker for many years, I was recently introduced to the world of IPA’s by my sister and her family.

I had never heard of IPA’s before and it was quite a shock when I had my first sip.  I didn’t think I would ever want to drink that type of beer again, but they all insisted that it is an acquired taste and that I would eventually get hooked.  I said no way and didn’t think about it again — that is until I saw them all again.  My sister was asking if I’d like to try the IPA she was drinking and I reluctantly said okay.  They were all so excited about this new style beer they were drinking and so I went along with the gang and gave it another try.

Well, after several occasions like this, we were on our way to meet up with everyone in Midtown Houston for a birthday party, and I began to get excited about trying more IPA’s that evening.  What?  I was looking forward to drinking IPA’s?  Haha!  And sure enough, the first thing I asked for when we arrived at the 3rd Floor was a tasting of Art Car.  It was so good!  I knew right then that I was hooked!

So from then on, I’ve been enjoying trying IPA’s and noticing the differences in each one.  Right now, I’d have to say that my favorite over all is Art Car IPA made by St. Arnold’s Brewery here in Houston.  I really love the hoppy flavor.  It reminds me of citrus, more like grapefruit to be exact.  The beer itself is almost creamy in nature – the foam is different than other beer that I’ve had.  It’s very pleasant.  My husband has also been trying the IPA’s along with me.  He does seem to enjoy Art Car, even though he still likes to make faces and carry on, but he even likes it with a splash of Vodka and a sprinkle of salt, like a Salty Dog.

We’re planning to visit a local brewery soon and they do have an IPA on their list of brews, so I’m looking forward to giving it a try as well as their other craft beers.

We had an informal tasting at a Mardi Gras themed dinner  (everyone brought IPA’s, imagine that!) and I tried several that I’d never tasted before.

They were all good in their respective ways, but I’d have to say the winner for me – BUT – Art Car is still my favorite right now – Deshutes Fresh Squeezed IPA won the tasting for me, coming in a 2nd to Art Car for my taste buds.

I’m finding that I’m really liking the “grapefruitiness” of the hops and that’s what I’m hoping for when I take a sip.

So my newbie Hop Head journey is in forward motion and I’m really enjoying it.  It’s not a beer that I can drink a lot of at any given time, not that it’s not really really good, it’s just really rich for me.  I still enjoy my light beer, but really look forward to an IPA as a special treat.   I think that’s a good description of this beer as it pertains to me – It’s a special treat!

I will report in on more IPA adventures and see what other favorites I can find.

Do you have a favorite IPA or recommendation?  Please feel free to comment!

Pics from our visit to the 3rd Floor in Midtown Houston, TX

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