It is that time again to take an in depth look at a new beer offering available in the area, and this week’s segment of Tasting Notes is all about some Hash Brown Hop Hash Infused India Style Brown Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia).
It was not long ago that I first reported to you the release of Hash Brown India Style Brown Ale as the latest offering in SweetWater’s Catch & Release Series (click here for that full story), and I figured there was no better way to welcome SweetWater Brewing back to full distribution in and around the city of Birmingham than with a Tasting Notes featuring Hash Brown. For those still unfamiliar with this brew, Hash Brown is an IPA/Brown Ale hybrid that has been infused with “sticky and potent” hop hash to take your lupulin experience to the next level. The final product comes in at 6.2% ABV and 60 IBUs. If this review further piques your interest in Hash Brown, you can find it on draft, in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles, and in cans available exclusively within the fall TackleBox variety 12- pack at craft beer-friendly retailers in Alabama and throughout SweetWater’s distribution footprint. With all of that said, let’s get into some Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes – Hash Brown Hop Hash Infused India Style Brown Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
Appearance: At first pour, Hash Brown’s body appears to be a dark, leathery brown that is almost opaque. Held to a light source, things change a bit by displaying red and amber hues pushing through a lighter brown body that allows you to peer clear through the glass. A steady carbonation stream eagerly feeds the one finger of cream to light tan colored foam topping the brew. The head holds retention nicely, but steadily recedes to a thin cap that notches the tulip with lace throughout the experience.
Aroma: The first thing that hits the nose is a hop presence that is just bursting with tangerine peel and an overall citrus juiciness. There is a light, earthy spiciness in there as well. The malt aromas wander in the background with toasty, bready and caramel notes. The hops are certainly front and center here, but they don’t overpower the experience at all and still allow the more subtle aromatic qualities of the malts to do their thing. Very nicely done here.
Taste: From the first sip, it is clear that Hash Brown presents a wonderful balance between both the IPA and Brown Ale qualities it possesses. The hops bring forth notes of mostly various citrus zests (tangerine, orange and grapefruit), some sticky dankness from the hop hash, and just a touch of spice and floral character as well. The malts then effortlessly push through with notes of toasted bread, chocolate, caramel and a bit of nuttiness. The hops absolutely shine in the flavor, but the malts of an incredibly solid Brown Ale base come in at a close second. The balance of flavors is perfectly in place, and everything just simply works together in harmony.
Mouthfeel: Hash Brown is medium in body with a medium carbonation level. This offering has a light creaminess to it that bathes your palate in the sticky hop notes, allowing the bitterness to linger a bit. Just as you settle into that bitterness, the brew dries out nicely before you know it. Yet again, balance is the word for this beer and it is incredibly easy drinking. The aftertaste is just a light mix of both the hop and malt notes reminiscent of a faint chocolate orange quality that sends you eagerly seeking out your next sip.
Final Thoughts: In all honesty, Hash Brown is everything an India Brown Ale should be. It has distinct and clear characteristics that embody both IPAs and really good Brown Ales. The balance in this beer overall is insanely close to perfection, and it creates a brew with an incredible amount of drinkability. Hash Brown will definitely be finding its way to my glass and beer fridge on a regular basis while it is available, and it is certainly a beer that you need to check out immediately. Prost!