Next up, Hoptopus Double IPA from Beach Brewing Company:
We grabbed Hoptopus on our family vacation to Chincoteague Island. I’m not naming names, but somebody forgot to pack the beer cooler.
Of course, Chincoteague is known for its wild ponies. But it’s also infamous for its preternaturally abundant mosquito population. Now, I’ve lived in and visited places known for their mosquitos, but Chincoteague mosquitos don’t mess around. In fact, I’m convinced the island’s inhabitants are enslaved into a sick symbiotic relationship whereby the mosquitos spare locals in exchange for telling potential visitors such complete bullshit as: “oh, the ‘squitos haven’t been bad this year on account of there not bein much rain.” Indeed without such a detente, Chincoteague locals would spend all summer limping around in a languid, anemic, malaria-ridden state.
By comparison, the ponies are less impressive…at first glance. Depending on who you ask, these ponies gone wild are either descendants of domesticated horses that (1) escaped from a sinking Spanish ship or (2) were placed there by their owners as part of an early-American livestock tax avoidance scheme. Most people find the former theory more congruent with marketing the romantic notion of the wild Chincoteague Ponies, however, as a tax attorney, I’m kind of in love with the idea of a 17th Century horse tax-shelter scheme.
They’re disappointingly short, scruffy, and bloated from their low-nutrient salt marsh existence. But if you think about it, they’re the product of years of natural selection in harsh conditions. In fact, to improve the stock, they once released an Arab Stallion into the heard…a breed known for being war horses, carrying 300 pounds for 100 miles in one day, and general badassedness. It died. They also released some Mustangs…wild/feral horses known for being sturdy, hardy, and a symbol of American grit. Dead.
As for the beer, I had it at the end of a day of corralling 2.0 at the beach (which included such fun games as Catch the Seagull; Put Every Fucking Cigarette Butt in my Mouth; and Ooh, Daddy, Let that Wave Get Me…No, Daddy, Don’t Let the Wave Touch Me!) Sucking the snot from a dead Rhino’s nose would have been refreshing after that. I also had it after a Heady Topper, which for a beer is like peeing at a Wrigley Field trough urinal next to John Holmes. But it’s pretty good. It’s huge with a caramel maltiness and resinous hops. The bitterness is substantial (as the 108 IBUs would suggest), and before I even made it to the store counter I was cautioned by at least two people about how hoppy it is. But it’s nothing that the jaded palate of a hop-head can’t handle. It’s not the most complex Double IPA, but sometimes tangling with a Hoptopus is all you need.
The Haybag: I gave you one job! You’re lucky we found Hoptopus.