Christian Moerlein Brewing Company - Red Hop Mess
- ABV: 7.0%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 80
- Serving Temperature: 45-52º F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, IPA Glass
- Malts: 2-Row Pale, Cara Red, Crisp Amber, Black Wheat
- Hops: Cascade, Centennial, Celeia, Amarillo
With Red Hop Mess, the brewers at Christian Moerlein set out to create a beer that would embody both an amber ale and an IPA, and we think they succeeded well. We've always been partial to well-hopped amber ales, and this sure fits the bill, but given the extent of the hop character and the big bitterness level, we're going to think of it more as an IPA. Pouring a reddish-amber color with a fluffy head of off-white foam, this brew offers up plenty of hop presence in the aroma. Look for prominent notes of citrus, including orange, grapefruit, and lemon, along with some floral spice and hints of tropical fruits and resinous pine. There's also a noticeable malt character, too, presenting undercurrents of caramel and toast. On the palate, we thoroughly enjoyed the interplay between that robust malt character and the bold hop profile. Juicy citrus notes abound, and the core of toasty caramel carries with it a bit of residual sweetness that rounds it out nicely and provides a counterpoint to the big 80 IBUs of hop bitterness. Those hops dry this brew out nicely in the finish and linger long with a spicy citrus afterglow. For food pairings, we're inclined to go with sweeter meat dishes, such as ham with a citrus glaze or pork chops with spicy applesauce. Cheers!
There’s a rich brewing tradition in and around Cincinnati, OH. In fact, at its peak, Cincinnati was home to at least 36 operational breweries, with many not surprisingly located in the German “Over-the-Rhine” district. One of the individuals who were key to establishing the city as a brewing hub was Christian Moerlein, a blacksmith and apprentice brewer from Bavaria who came to America in 1841 and settled in Cincinnati a year later. In 1853 he founded the Christian Moerlein (pronounced like “more-line”) Brewery, which grew to become the most well-known in the city and was ranked among the top ten nationally. Moerlein’s beer was sold across the U.S. and, quite remarkably for the era, internationally as well – which made Moerlein unique among Cincinnati’s breweries. Though the brewery carried on after Christian Moerlein’s passing in 1897, Prohibition in 1920 caused the brewery to close its doors. Luckily, though, our story continues.
Hudepohl, another of Cincinnati’s famous German-founded beer companies (dating back to 1885), brought the Christian Moerlein brand back from extinction and reintroduced their beer as a high-end offering in 1981. This put the Moerlein brand on the forefront of the U.S. beer renaissance which was just beginning to take shape. Eventually, however, the Hudepohl Brewing Company fell on hard times and was purchased by the Snyder International Brewing Group which kept the Moerlein brand going, although just barely. Production of these Ohio-centric beers shifted to Maryland until 2004, when Cincinnati area resident and beer business veteran Greg Hardman bought the Moerlein name and beer recipes in order to rebuild the brand back home in Cincinnati – which he has done with great success in the past several years we might add. For more information about the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company and their ‘Moerlein Lager House’ restaurant and brewery that opened in Riverfront Park in early 2012, check out www.moerleinlagerhouse.com.
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