In the craft beer industry, the buzz word of the last year hast to be “consolidation,” as headlines continue to surface about larger outfits acquiring controlling interests in smaller companies. While most of them seem to have been of the macro-eats-micro ilk, opportunities have also popped up for craft breweries to form business relationships with other local operations. That’s exactly what happened in November of 2014 when San Diego’s Green Flash Brewing Company took control of hophead mecca Alpine Beer Company, and the first national release of that marriage -Pure Hoppiness—hits shelves nationwide for a limited time on November 1.
From the first moments after you pour Pure Hoppiness, the hop profile bayonet charges your olfactory system with pineapple, grapefruit and other tropical scents. Aside from the fruit, there’s a hint of pine in the background that’s evocative of the evergreen trees that you’d expect to find in an alpine environment. The beer pours a beautiful golden color with a white foamy head full of bubbles that burst forth with the signature hoppy aroma. In terms of flavor, the fruity and bitter tastes from the hops pair beautifully with a caramel malt backbone that balances everything out nicely. Weighing in at 8% ABV, it won’t take that many of these before you embrace the brewery’s motto: “drink Alpine or go to bed.”
Before this release, enthusiasts who wanted to try one of Alpine’s signature hoppy brews had to either book a flight to Southern California or wait for a friend to send a beer-mail package. Taking advantage of Green Flash’s massive distribution footprint, you can expect to find six-packs in all 50 states, but buy it when you can, as it will only be available in November. Additional beers from the Alpine profile such as Hoppy Birthday, Duet and Willy Vanilly should get the same release in the future starting as early as February.
Brewery: Alpine Beer Company (Green Flash Brewing Company)
City: Alpine/San Diego, Calif.
Style: Double IPA
Hops: Tomahawk, Nugget, Cascade, Centennial
Availability: Seasonal November national release of six-packs and limited draft.