RJ Rockers Brewing Company - Rockhopper
- ABV: 8.5%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 75
- Serving Temperature: 45-52° F
- Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Tulip, Pint Glass
- Malts: 2 Row Pale, Caramunich, Victory, Honey Malt
- Hops: Warrior, Simcoe, Amarillo, Falconer’s Flight
Rich amber-orange and capped by a head of fluffy foam that laces nicely as you drain your glass, this double IPA offers up a bold, hoppy aroma profile as we expect for a beer dry-hopped with Simcoe, Amarillo, and Falconer’s Flight. Look for varied citrus notes akin to grapefruit, orange, and tangerine, along with some tropical fruit tones and hints of stone fruit. These hop notes come through boldly in the flavor too, perhaps with a bit more of an herbal kick. While hops are the star of any IPA, and certainly double IPAs, the malt backbone is critical to providing the right balance and structure. Thankfully, Rockhopper is endowed with a smooth and robust malt core offering light toasty, biscuity notes and a touch of caramel. But, this brew’s big hops and touch of fruity alcohol easily counter, keeping the beer dry into the long, lingering finish. For an appropriate food pairing, be sure to choose a food bold enough to stand up to the beer. A spicy jambalaya would be on our list, along with any number of spicy Mexican, Thai, or Vietnamese dishes. 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. Founder and owner Mark Johnsen still works hands-on, brewing Rockers 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 864-585-2337.
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