To most beer fanatics, and especially the hop-heads, Hopslam needs no introduction. But for those of you who have never had the privilege – and yes, I mean privilege – of pouring a glass of this down your gullet, you probably don’t know what you are missing.
Bell’s Hopslam Imperial IPA is, by many people’s standards, as close to a perfect glass of beer as you can find on the market today. But therein lays the problem – finding it. Reminiscent of the fervor surrounding the coveted yearly release of the Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons, Hopslam is a limited release that hits the market every year right around the last week of January/first week for Feb. And the stuff goes FAST. Part of the issue isn’t necessarily that every beer drinker in town is scooping the stuff up, but more so that most Hopslam fans buy as much as they can get their hands on and squirrel it away until the following winter.
The Georgia allocations of Hopslam started shipping last week, which means that many of the locations around town are likely already sold at out this point. Last year, I happen to be eating across the street from Hop City, and literally spotted the Hopslam being loaded off of the truck out front. Sprinting over to the store, I was told that there allocation of 50 cases was being sold with a maximum of one 6-pack per customer. I believe they were sold out within the hour.
For the uninitiated, Hopslam is, as the name might indicate, a superbly hoppy brew. Bell’s uses a blend of six different hop varietals and massive dry-hop overdose of Simcoe, giving this heavy floral notes of citrus and grapefruit. Rarely do I see a friend try it for the first time without the word “Wow!” immediately following their first sip.
In addition to the by-the-bottle shipments, quite a few of the beer friendly watering holes are getting their yearly allotment of kegs of the ambrosia, which may be your only chance to try some before it disappears, and those too will go fast.
I know that many of you beer sleuths are already on the case as to who in town still has this on the shelf – though I don’t expect the diehards among you to actually share that information with anyone – but if you know of any remaining stores, we’d love to hear about it.
If you get the chance, I’d highly recommend that you drink this now. Because it won’t be around for long.
- By Jon Watson, Food & More