Hop, Skip, And A Jump

Brewery and Country of Origin: Tree House Brewing Company of 160 East Hill Road, Monson, MA 01057, USA

Date Reviewed: 8-14-15

There are over forty varieties of hops grown within the United States, many of which are the result of cross breeding varieties from other countries. The United States is the world's second largest producer of hops, behind only Germany. Both of these countries, as well as most of the other top producers owe their hop production numbers to their temperate climates, (especially those located near the 48th parallel N). Hops typically grow well in areas with the same soils used to grow potatoes, and while hops can grow in pretty much every moist temperate climate, England, Hallertau in Germany, and the American Northwest (particularly Idaho, Yakima, WA, and Willamette, OR) represent the world's most important hops growing centers, though others are beginning to pop up elsewhere. As they are indeed flowers, it is imperative for brewers and their suppliers to ensure an efficient and quick turnover for the hops used in their beer production. It is easier than you might think to tell the difference between a beer which utilizes fresh hops, and hops (or even hop pellets) that have been either lying around for a bit too long, or weren't handled/stored properly. This particular beer, an imperial made by one of the exciting, and perhaps, highest rated brewers in New England, was made especially because the brewery can get its hands on the hops used in it fairly regularly, which for a brewery which consistently experiences demand so great that they have to limit the carry out for those visiting, is a very important thing. Fresh beer, or at least, beer which uses fresh ingredients, especially in its hops, can be especially rewarding, as we've seen with some examples of Stone Brewing's Enjoy By series. Here, we simply have a beer produced by a brewery which can't keep up with its demand, which, while being quite a favorable problem to have as a business, does mean that the beer you get is going to be fresh. Not all beer you get is fresh, and more importantly, not all beer, and definitely not all beer styles warrant serving beer fresh. But if you're going for that clean, piney, citrus, floral kind of experience, there's no better way to do it.
Date Sampled: 6-22-15 At: 7 Priscilla Road, Brighton, Boston, MA 02135, USA
Beer Style: American Double/Imperial IPA
Alcohol by Volume: 8.20%
Serving Type: 16 oz Can, 16 oz Tumbler Glass
Rating: 4.17


Haze pours fairly choppy with a moderately high amount of carbonation action, producing a moderately thick, half-inch tall foam head with an above average retention rate, a medium density, and a somewhat off-white tan color. This beer shows off a good amount of lacing on the glass and has a very bright gold/light amber colored glow in light. This beer, as implied by its name, has a hazy appearance caused by the inclusion of a good amount of extra fine sediment, and comes with an average amount of effervescent effect with no settling.


As this is a strong IPA, a strong bitter and fresh hop dominated aroma emanates from this beer. This double IPA utilizes the freshness and complexity of its American hops to give off a multi-faceted aromatic experience which includes a strong presence of fruity citrus notes, and buttery floral hops. This is balanced with a moderate amount of sweet, but faint pale malt. There are also some subtle spice notes detectable. There are no alcohol or metallic smells included. This beer's aroma is average in strength overall.


This is a medium full bodied brew with a below average weight, an average viscosity, and an average amount of carbonation, all of which makes for a sippable beer that is better suited for the colder months, but still somewhat versatile for all seasons. This beer has a somewhat dry, lingering finish which comes with a subtle amount of alcohol bite and a very small amount of lingering warming effect. Overall, this is a smooth beer which drinks somewhat easier than other imperials of similar style and strength.


As indicated by the aroma, this beer's flavor profile offers a vastly hop oriented experience, somewhat balanced out only by a small amount of bittersweet pale malt presence as well as some floral and spicy notes. This beer has a strong, fresh, citrusy hoppy bitter flavor with strong piney notes present. This beer has a bitter pine and somewhat spicy lingering, dull aftertaste with an almost indiscernible alcohol tinge present. There is no metallic tinge in this beer's flavor. Overall, this is a complex, strong beer with bold flavors, none of which are overpowering. This is not a harsh beer, but it does come with a fully fledged hoppy experience.

Our Take

Hop heads rejoice! This is exactly the imperial that you've been looking for. With strong hop flavors and aromas, this is a bitter beer enthusiast's dream, and at the same time, a strictly malt seeking drinker's nightmare. These days, many beer drinkers criticize highly rated breweries like Dogfish Head or Stone because of their overpowering imperial IPAs, which many claim are alienating new beer drinkers from craft beer. But this beer, set about by one of the highest rated breweries in all of New England, delivers fully fledged hop head satisfaction without making your eyes water from the bitterness, which makes this a bold, bitter strong IPA that won't, at least for the most part, completely alienate the casual craft drinker. And while this beer can be described as a predominantly hoppy beer, there are some balancing sweet, malty notes that come off of the foam head. As this is a moderately high strength beer, there is a bit of alcohol taste included, but this is mostly expected, despite the generally strong flavors this beer already unleashes before a slightly bite driven closing. In general, this is a hefty, but entirely drinkable beer which is better suited for the colder seasons, though completely enjoyable year round, and should most definitely hit all of the requirements anyone looking for a hoppy beer should need fulfilling. Of course, this is not a beer for anyone looking for a casual, easy going session style, and perhaps even those looking for a forgiving pale/bitter. But overall, this is an excellent beer that, especially in its currently limited quantities, should be sought after by anyone passing through Western Massachusetts. Because this is a bitter beer, we'd suggest you pair it with Lasagna, Iberian meats, sharp provolone, BBQ, Cannolis, and Trefoil Girl Scout Cookies.