RJ Rockers Brewing Company - Hop Quake IPA
- ABV: 6.2%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 65
- Serving Temperature: 45-50º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 2-Row, Caramel 60L, Caramunich 60L, Victory, Flaked Oats, Bonlander
- Hops: Cascade, Warrior, Columbus
RJ Rockers’ version of America’s favorite craft brew style is a new recipe, launched just a few months ago. We liked the look of it right away, as it presents with a rich, reddish amber color promising a sturdy malt core. Floral-citric hop notes are obvious in the aroma, as are caramel malt undertones with a hint of toastiness. On the palate, this IPA offers a classic American hop profile. Expect the floral, citric, and somewhat spicy hop aroma of Cascade and Columbus to come through in the flavor as well, along with more than a touch of earthy minerality. We liked the malt profile, which offers a bit of a toastier, caramelized, depth of flavor than a good number of other IPAs out there. Hop bitterness is up there – seemingly moderate at first but building in the finish as the oils cling to the mouth and the malt sweetness fades. Embrace the persistent hop note by complementing it with some sharp cheddar or pungent blue cheese, or pair with a juicy burger – the hop acidity can cut through the fat much like a wine. Cheers!
The slogan at RJ Rockers is “Handcrafted. Every beer. Every drop. Every time.” But it’s not just an empty boast or vacuous marketing B.S. – it’s a true reflection of the passion for beer that comes from the top of their organization and flows down to all employees. As head brewer, founder and owner Mark Johnsen still crafts each and every batch of beer with his own hands.
The RJ Rockers story begins when Mark was stationed in Germany after serving in the Gulf War in 1991. Germany is of course towards the very top of the list of fantastic places to live if you love good beer, and there’s no better place to learn the art and science of brewing if you have the interest. We’ve lost track of how many American brewers we’ve featured over the years who awakened to the world of beer during stints with the military in Germany, but it’s a very large number. Mark was no different, and he took full advantage of his prime location to study as much as he could about the brewing process.
After an honorable discharge, Mark was ready to jump into the brewing industry himself. Originally from New Jersey, he decided to settle in South Carolina, where he opened RJ Rockers as a brewpub in the historic Morgan Square area of downtown Spartanburg in 1997. Over the next few years RJ Rockers developed a strong following of devotees, and it became well-known as a local meeting place and watering hole, featuring live bands and games of trivia hosted by Mark himself. After five years of growing his brewpub’s following and building a reputation for great high-quality microbrewed beer, Mark took RJ Rockers on the leap from brewpub to full production brewery, offering bottled and draft beer to pubs, restaurants, and stores throughout the Southeast. A new building was acquired to serve as brewhouse, and a 30 barrel brewing system was put in, giving the brewery an annual capacity of 25,000 barrels – quite a step up from their brewpub system! To learn more about RJ Rockers Brewing Company or scheduled brewery tours, visit www.rjrockers.com or call 864-585-BEER.
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