High Hops Brewery - Dr. Pat’s Double IPA
Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):96
Serving Temperature:47-52º F
Suggested Glassware:Glass, Tulip, Snifter
Malts:Maris Otter, 2-Row, Pilsen, Caramel, Carapils
Hops:Centennial, Cascade, Citra
In addition to founding a garden center, a hop farm, a brewery, and a distillery, Pat Weakland spent thirty years as a dentist, commemorated by this big double IPA. Fun fact: Dr. Pat’s just made USA Today’s reader’s choice list of 10 Best Best Beer Labels for 2023. Let’s pop this can open and see what it’s got going on. On the pour, we’re presented with a rich copper-gold color with good clarity and a lasting head of khaki foam. In the aroma, look for big, bold, and luscious citrus notes evoking orange, grapefruit, and tangerine, backed by softer floral tones and some piney herbal touches. A noticeable undercurrent of lightly caramelized malt lurks beneath. On the palate… pow! This is a boldly hopped brew (we’d expect nothing less from the hop lovers at High Hops), and those citrus aromas come through very big in the flavor. Clearly, with the selection of Centennial, Cascade, and Citra, this is what the brewers were going for, and we’re here for it. We get bold citrus in both juicy and zesty guises, the latter augmented by big hop bitterness which counters the very robust malt backbone. Those malts form a hugely satisfying and smooth core, offering broad caramelization and lightly toasty notes with a bit of residual sweetness that’s more than balanced by the drying hop bitterness. For pairing options, we’d embrace the bitterness and let it cut through fattier fare like cheeseburgers, barbecued ribs, or pork belly with a citrus glaze. Glazed ham is another old favorite of ours for DIPA pairings, as are strong aged or blue cheeses. Cheers!
Among all the breweries we’ve featured in the club over the last almost three decades, High Hops Brewery is unique, being located inside a garden center. While that may seem odd at first, it all makes sense given the path the founders took to get where they are today. It all started in 1991 when Pat and Amanda Weakland opened a small seasonal greenhouse known as Plant-A-Scape in Windsor, CO. In 2001, the business expanded into a garden center known as The Windsor Gardener. Then, fatefully, in 2007 a national hop shortage spurred Pat – a homebrewer – into planting his own hop farm on the 15-acre property, boasting 14 different varieties. Why worry about finding hops to buy when you can simply grow your own? The hop farm led to the establishment of a homebrew supply shop, which morphed into an actual 10-barrel brewery and a 6-tap tasting room. Opening in October of 2012, High Hops (perhaps the greatest name possible for a Colorado hop farm turned brewery) hit the ground running and quickly added a bottling line, beer garden, and ultimately a canning line.
Today, High Hops has matured into a 30-barrel brewery with 40 taps, and they’ve taken home a coveted GABF Gold Medal (for a gluten-free sour ale). They produce several year-round brews as well as a rotating selection of seasonals. Additionally, in 2018 they opened The Heart Distillery, which produces a line of gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, and absinthe which have won a large multitude of awards, including Double Platinum & Best in Category at the 2022 ASCOT Awards for their 123-proof cask strength Small Batch Bourbon. Hard seltzers and canned cocktails have followed. And, it’s all a family affair as Pat and Amanda’s grown children are also key figures in the trio of businesses, with son Zach serving as head brewer/distiller and daughter Rachel handling bookkeeping and marketing. For more info on High Hops Brewery and this dynamic family enterprise, check them out at www.highhopsbrewery.com.
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