Pursuit of Hoppiness (Grand Teton Brewing Co.)

Pursuit of Hoppiness is an American Red Ale originally brewed as part of Grand Teton’s 2009 “Cellar Reserve Series“. This bottle-conditioned ale has a huge (for the style ) 100 IBUs and an 8% ABV. 

Pursuit of Hoppiness was brewed to showcase the brash beauty of American hops: Summit, Simcoe, Chinook and Nuggets at 100 International Bitterness Units (IBU). It was brewed with Idaho 2-Row malted barley and German specialty malts to provide a rich, slightly caramel flavor and bold reddish color. At 22 degrees Plato starting gravity and about 8% alcohol by volume, this is a perfect autumn beer, thick and warming, to be shared and savored on a crisp fall evening.

Pursuit of Hoppiness (or PoH as it will be called) pours a toffee brown with caramel highlights. Head is a thin spotty film that leaves splashes of lacing along the side of the glass. The lacing actually mellows out as the beer warms.

I didn’t know what type of beer I was dealing with when I first ordered PoH. I expected an IPA/DIPA due to the name, but that was just me assuming. After take my first sniff of this beer all expectations went out the window. The nose is big on earthy hops and dead grass. Faint hints of sweetened ice tea and coffee grounds are what really threw me for a loop.

If I thought the nose was weird, the taste was even more unique. It starts with a grilled hamburger umami-like flavor. Mild malts appear in the middle, with a blend of earthy and floral hops filling out the flavor. As it warms sweet caramel malts come through.

Mouthfeel is light and sticky (what do you expect when 100 IBUs are involved). As would be expected it dried out my mouth almost instantly.

Pursuit of Hoppiness was a tasty and flavorful beer, but it wasn’t what I expected and that is my fault for being undereducated. Now that I know it is an amber/red ale, I would suggest that they through the word “imperial” on the front of that classification. Pursuit of Hoppiness is good, but big beer and one you should give a try if you happen to see it.

Overall: 7.5 out of 10

As an AMBER/RED ALE:  8 out of 10


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