Method of Hoperation
A Review of Modus Hoperandi by Ska Brewing Co.
Posted on 12/11/2014 by Chops
                   
Delicious
Ah the India Pale Ale, the American craft beer movement's trusty whipping horse. Every craft brewery makes one, but few breweries make great ones. I use the term ''great'' loosely here because a great IPA can take many forms. What goes into making a great session IPA is quite different from a great Imperial IPA or a barrel-aged IPA. But even if a brewery strikes gold with a magical formula, there's no guarantee of future success. These beers are all at the mercy of a stylistic glut, so it's important for beer fans to understand that every great IPA is a success story in and of itself. These are the beers that have survived the most competitive gauntlet of craft beer.

One of my personal IPA favorites is the Modus Hoperandi from the Ska Brewing Company out of Durango, Colorado. Having recently moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, I have been enjoying the wide selection of Colorado beers, often considered some of the best in the country. Many familiar brewery names, including Ska, are readily available all across the nation. I was even able to enjoy Ska brews back in my old hometown of Durham, North Carolina. So, I was curious to see how some of my favorite Colorado brews would stack up to the entirety of the region. Having tasted my way through a great deal of them, I have been thoroughly impressed by how well Modus Hoperandi has stood up to the competition.

In the glass, this beer had a hazy golden honey coloration. It came with a rocky off-white head that had really nice retention. On the nose, I was greeted by that classic blast of pine and grapefruit. Rounding out the aroma were notes of toast and caramel. One of my favorite aspects about this beer is its direct and unapologetic approach. Not too simple, not too complex, not overbearing, just a solid no-frills IPA.

The flavor was very similar to the aroma with pine and grapefruit citrus being primary notes. The beer had an earthy malty backbone with lesser notes of caramel and tropical fruit, namely pineapple. The piney hops profile was very strong and biting, but not in a bad way. The hops are dominant and cause the beer to feel a bit lopsided on the palate, but they are necessary to create the beer's signature tangy woodsy vibe (which countless hop heads adore). The beer had a light-to-medium body, finished dry, and exited with a long earthy bitter aftertaste.

Overall, I view Ska's Modus Hoperandi as one of the most reliable American IPAs on the market. Its direct flavors and timeless appeal make it a win for any and all beer fans. It's also a fantastic introduction brew for novices who wish to explore the hoppier end of the craft beer spectrum.

As an added bonus, Ska was one of the first craft breweries to put their products into cans. This combination of high quality and portability was a hit with craft beer fans, who continue to snatch up Ska brews for all sorts of occasions. Personally, I love to sit on my deck and gaze at the New Mexico night sky with a cold Modus Hoperandi in hand. And now that I am a relatively short drive from Durango, I imagine Ska will quickly become a happy and frequent destination.

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Modus Hoperandi by Ska Brewing Co.
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