An All Day IPA
A Review of HopLanta by Red Brick Brewing Co.
Posted on 8/29/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
                   
Good
Living in the South, and more specifically Georgia, I find myself in a very fortunate situation as far as being a better beer lover goes. If the notion were to strike me, I could hop in my car and 25 minutes later be standing smack in the center of the temple known as Terrapin Brewing Company. Tack on another 20 minutes in the opposite direction and I'm staring Sweetwater Brewing Company right in the face. Now if the list of Georgia breweries were to stop right there, most would still consider me to be one lucky bastard to be living right in the middle of them. Fortunately though, one of the great things about being a fan of better beer is the fact that in most cases, for every large brewery in the area, there are usually two or three smaller breweries in the same vicinity. One such brewery is Red Brick Brewing Company out of Atlanta, Georgia, and today I got a chance to sample their interpretation of the American IPA style in the form of HopLanta.

When poured, HopLanta takes on a brassy brown coloration that has a few moments of amber in it, depending on the angle in which it is viewed. Close to two fingers worth of white sticky head forms on a standard pour, and it has plenty of lacing and retention qualities to it. It doesn't take much concentration to realize that this one is unfiltered, due to the large amount of floaties hanging around in the glass. Getting your nose close to the glass allows you to pick up on something seldom reached in todays IPA market: HopLanta is both basic, and spot on. What I mean is that it has all the aromas one would expect, with no frills or random extras thrown in for good measure like seems to be the practice with so many other IPA's out there. There is an earthy, piney hops aroma that greets you right off the bat, and it's followed by a good amount of grapefruit and orange smells. Laying just beneath the initial hops greeting, is a sturdy malt backbone that is easily identified in the form of caramel and toasted bread. Like I said, nothing too frilly, but enough to get the job done.

Going in for the first taste offers no surprises, and in this case that is definitely a good thing. The piney hops flavor has a resin quality about it, and it mixes quite well with the thickness of the caramel flavor. Truth be told, the word ''balance'' popped into my mind immediately after swallowing the first sip. As in the nose, the rest of the flavors in the glass remain pretty basic and tasty. A bit of a peppery sting helps the whole flavor train remain lively on its exit, and when paired with the slightly beyond medium mouthfeel, the finish comes across as only slightly sticky and surprisingly clean.

As I drank my pint of HopLanta, I kept finding myself thinking about how it would make a perfect ''All day IPA'', meaning that it has enough flavors to keep you entertained for quite some time, and manages to stay out of its own way in the process. You could easily throw a few of these in the cooler on your way to tailgate or spend the day on the lake, and never regret a single one of them being cracked open and thrown back. Red Brick Brewing Company has managed to make one of those ''one size fits all'' IPAs that's easily enjoyed by all levels of drinkers. There's enough flavor in it to keep even the season hopheads entertained, while at the same time being restrained just enough to keep from wrecking any newbie palates. So if you see it when out and about, feel free to try it on for size. I have no doubt it will fit you perfectly.

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HopLanta by Red Brick Brewing Co.
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