Hop Bursting, it be a good thing.

As I had feared/hoped, I did open and drink that sample bottle of Stone Go To IPA last night. I found it quite enjoyable and believe that “hop bursting” was successful. As explained in the news release which arrived with the sample:

To achieve these glorious hop qualities and still maintain a low ABV, a technique called “hop bursting” was implemented. This contemporary approach involves infusion of a massive amount of hops during the final phase of the brewing process to coax out the robust flavors and aromas of the hops. Stone Go To IPA achieved its fruity, citrus notes by dry-hopping with mostly Mosaic and Citra, plus a complimentary addition of Cascade hops.
“Hop bursting really helped us overcome the challenge of making a lower alcohol full-flavored brew that doesn’t taste thin or watery,” explained Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele. “By using this method, we created an intense hop aroma and flavor along with a smoother bitterness. We’re thrilled to add this to our regular lineup, especially since most of us at Stone are ready to call this our own personal ‘go-to’ beer.

When I say it was successful, I mean that, while not at “hop bomb” level, the hop characteristics were more prominent that one might expect from a 4.5% beer. Interestingly, at least to my palate, bitterness was significantly more subtle and subdued than all that hop flavor would suggest and I must admit I found that to be a good thing.

How does Go To IPA compare to Founder’s All Day IPA? Based on memory (I haven’t had an All Day in some time), the Founder’s version is the superior choice. I’d like to try them side by side to see if memory serves. At my age, it sometimes goes AWOL.

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