21st Amendment Brewery’s newest release is the Hop Crisis, an oak-aged Imperial IPA with big malt flavor at 9.7% alcohol by volume and 94 IBUs. A few years ago, when hop prices shot through the roof and many brewers were forced to skimp on hops, the folks at 21A decided there was only one thing to do. They made a bigger, hoppier IPA and then aged it on oak for good measure.
21st Amendment co-founder and Brewmaster Shaun O’Sullivan says of the idea behind the beer, “We really wanted to do something different with an Imperial IPA. Aside from the higher alcohol and intense hop bitterness, we felt aging the beer on oak would add some additional layers of flavor. Because oak can overwhelm the hops, we chose a light, subtle oak character to accentuate the dry hop bitterness and add a unique character to the beer.”
“The graphics on our four-pack box tell the story of convicts Nico and Shaun’s adventure to Free the Hops,” noted co-founder Nico Freccia. “A daring escape through the sewer pipe, surfing monster waves while being chased by a great white shark and a high speed getaway on the San Francisco cable car are all part of the adventure,” he adds. “We just really felt we had an opportunity to have some fun with this beer.”
Last year, Hop Crisis won the silver medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival in the “Imperial IPA” category against some stiff competition (the third largest of all categories with 96 entries).
Hop Crisis is the second installment (after the highly acclaimed Monk’s Blood) in the 21st Amendment’s Insurrection Series, a limited edition, once-in-a-while, four-pack release of a very special beer that rises up in revolt against common notions of what canned beer can be.
Hop Crisis is available in four-pack cans and on draft starting June 16 at better bars and stores in all fifteen of 21st Amendment’s current distribution territories, which include CA, OR, WA, AK, ID, MN, OH, MA, NY, NJ, DC, MD, PA, VA, and GA. For up to date availability, events and promotions, visit 21A’s website at www.21st-Amendment.com.