Rough Draught: Hops, hops, hops and fajitas

Christopher Bedford Editor in Chief, The Daily Caller News Foundation

Happy Friday! Now listen up, because we have an exciting weekend plan for you. What’s that, you say? Can’t hang because you’re already planning on getting drunk and chilling with your homies? Good news: The folks at The Daily Caller are here to help, and these beers will only make your smart plans smarter. Now, we know you’ve been reading stuff all week, but hear us out: Hops, hops and more hops. Also, fajitas. Need we say more?

Lagunitas Brewing Company’s Hop Stoopid Ale

It’s back! I know, we set out to get some Hop Stoopid in our system two weeks ago, but we got too excited and we killed it. No doubt, the crew from Petaluma, Calif. who brewed it for us couldn’t help but be ticked. We’re going to make it up to everyone, though, by buying another bottle and reviewing it today.

The first thing you notice (besides the name) is the international bitterness units. Not a lot of beers top their labels with that number, but right at the peak of the Lagunitas label, you’ll read “102 I.B.U. 4 U.” That’s a lot of IBUs. And nope, that’s not a hollow threat.

Now to the look! Yes, that means pouring it into a glass, so stop chugging from the bottle and take this one slow with us. How did we know you were doing that, you ask? (RELATED: The CIA wants to spy on you through your dishwasher)

The beer pours a lovely, clear, golden color with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. Nothing special? Maybe, but now lean in for a sniff. Bam! It’s like a mojito. There is some serious, fresh-crushed mint in that nose. TheDC was a little surprised, honestly, but pleasantly so.

The taste took us aback, too. A hodgepodge of sour, hops and black peppercorn with hints of salt at the front of the mouth. Those hops know their role, and they play it. That happy mixture, according to one in-house researcher, finishes like “a fajita in my mouth!” She quickly asked for more.

Well, no one else really agreed with the fajita thing, but we see where she is coming from. Don’t catch it? Try another whiff. The mint is suddenly gone, victim of the hoppy burn and replaced by the smell of green peppers. It’s pretty nice, actually.

But don’t chug. The boys from Petaluma weren’t messing around, and Hop Stoopid’s $5.99 price tag for an 22-oz. bottle is backed up by 8 percent booze.

Elysian Brewing Company’s The Immortal India Pale Ale

Heart-of-the-matter time, guys. By the measurements of all hands on deck, this beer is the favorite of TheDC thus far. It was love at first sight.

Really, it was. When we filled our glasses, we saw a beautiful beer: an unfiltered, golden apple juice color with a medium white head that hung to the sides of the glass when we brought it in for a closer look.

Breath deeply. The gang from Seattle has brewed a real treat, and your nose will be filled with sweet Macintosh apple goodness.

The gang at Elysian described their creation as “aggressive, yet well balanced,” and they’re right. “The Immortal IPA,” they continue, “is a Northwest take on a classic English style, golden-copper in color and loaded with New World hop flavor and aroma.”

And we can definitely tell you that the pretty looks and pleasant nose are where the gentleness ends. The fist clutching a lighting bolt on the label makes itself known. Take a sip? Pow! Right in the kisser! This beer is strong, bitter and refreshing, with a sharp, spicy kick. Sound good? It is.

The Immortal packs all that in, registering at 65 IBUs and 6.3 percent alcohol. It ran us $4.99 for a 22 oz. bottle.

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