After being on an unintended hiatus from Tenemu reviews for nearly a month, I’m returning today to review the Alaskan Brewing Co. Hopothermia Double IPA. A clever and fitting play on words, Hopothermia was announced as a year-round release in January of last year, initially being released in four-packs of 12-ounce bottles, it is also available in 22-ounce bottles now as well.
With a bit of tongue-in-cheek lore written about the history of this brew, Alaskan included this poem in the release announcement:
There are strange brews made where glaciers cascade By the brewers who know no bounds. For they stuff in the hops ’til the temperature drops And then call for a few more rounds. In Alaska, it seems, every brewer dreams of a bold Double IPA. Hopothermia’s the beer, on the Last Frontier That will keep the wild wolves at bay.
Originally released under the Rough Draft series,1 it was well received and in turn was made into a regular release. The Rough Draft series is an interesting program and starts with the Rough Draft Limited Series. Experimental and “fun” brews2 are initially brewed in their single barrel system and are then put on top in the breakroom. If it makes it past that taste test, it’s then moved to their ten barrel system to be released on draft to Alaska only. If popular enough, it moves past that into their Rough Draft Export Series, which is a draft only release to the other states that they distribute beer to.
For me IPAs are more suited to a hot day in the middle of summer, so I was intrigued and ready to try something that Alaskan playfully describes in the legend as a beer that was brewed “to fight against the long frigid winter nights endured by all of the pioneers of the Last Frontier.” Cracking open the bottle3 the double IPA pours a transparent, burnt orange color. With only a quarter of an inch of head forming after pouring, it doesn’t even stay at that long winding down to just a swirl of film on top. The aroma is quite enticing though, with a bright hoppy aroma up front, mixed with some crisp citrus, a bit of resin and a touch of light malts.
Taking my first sip, the aroma’s profile translates over with more resin, bright but rich hops and slightly sweet and yeasty malts. The whole profile definitely has the bitterness expected from an IPA, but it’s mellowed out quite nicely by the malts giving the whole thing a very rich hoppy profile without being too in your face about it like some IPAs are. The mouthfeel is quite ideal, sticking in the medium range with just enough carbonation. As the last bit of beer disappears down my throat, the finish leaves the taste of resinous, citrusy pine on my tongue.