Brew Review: Troegs HopBack Amber
Brewery: Troegs Brewing Co. Harrisburg, PA
Style: Amber Ale
Served: Pint glass from 12 oz. bottle. Purchased at Julio’s for $8.99/six-pack.
Hopefully the sunny days are here to stay for good this time. You never can tell with the Granite State when winter is gone for good. I’ve had snow squalls on my birthday (May) and brown New Years alike. But blue skies today call for something I don’t need a knife and fork to consume.
I got this a little too cold in the fridge for my taste, so upon pouring the crown didn’t really take off as I expected. The tea-colored body is crystal clear, with a little carbonation and thin white lacing. The aroma is a pleasing understatement of floral hop presence, multi-grain bread, spring water, and a bit of lemon. The first taste is enough bitterness to get your taste buds’ attention. But the brisk knife of the hops melts away to a mellow butter and citrus aftertaste. Mouthfeel is thin but not watery, and the beer finished with hint of bitterness, bread, and summer.
The “HopBack” portion of the moniker is not an arbitrary title. It’s so called because of a transitional phase between the wort and the fermentation tanks. A special chamber called a hopback is stuffed with fresh hops and the already cooked wort is steeped in the vessel for a time. This imparts the stronger hop presence than you’d expect in most ambers. I confess to not being a huge IPA fan, but this may the balance in a well-hopped beer I am looking for. Exceptionally drinkable, layered, and delicious without overwhelming. This is a keeper. A