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Jopenkerk Brouwerij Hoppenbier & Thanksgiving Beer Tips
by Willard Brooks and Chris Groves
It’s well-known that “IPA”—or India Pale Ale—is a beer style invented by 19th century British brewers with high hop levels in order to prevent spoilage in beers needing to survive the long warm journey from London to India. What is less known is that Dutch brewers were shipping hoppy high-alcohol beers to the Dutch East Indies (now known as Indonesia) long before this supposedly British invention. Fortunately for us, the Netherlands is now undergoing it’s own brewing renaissance and unearthing some of it’s lost gems. One such brew is Hoppenbier, made by Jopenkerk Brouwerij in Haarelm, Netherlands. Hoppenbier, whose name might cause one to expect an IPA level of hoppyness, actually weighs in at 40 IBUs and 6.8 percent ABV, which makes it more of high alcohol pale ale within North American parlance. However, this beer is a different beast—it’s made with only about 30 percent barley malt and the rest being wheat malt and unmalted oats; for hops it uses Brewers Gold and Saaz. The result is a cloudy golden beer with a chunky white head that reminds me in parts of hoppy Belgian styles and in other parts of wheat beers. Though it has a buxom mouthfeel, it’s surprisingly drinkable and goes quite well with everyday pub food. Look for Jopen beers, and other Dutch breweries such as those from Brouwerij de Molen, in local bottle shops—note that Jopen’s Koyt (a gruit beer made without hops) makes an especially good choice as a Christmas beer.
Style: American Holiday
What goes better with Thanksgiving dinner than beer? Nothing. End of story. I’ve come up with a path to success for navigating your way through THE day of indulgence. Try a Beermosa with brunch. Any light lager will do, just add OJ to your liking in a fancy glass and you’re on your way! Coast through the afternoon with a Pale Ale and/or Session IPA while making sure none of your dishes are burning and you’re halfway there. At this point your house smells amazing, you’re full from the excessive amount of quiche you put down and you’re wondering how you’re going to stomach another meal in just a few short hours. Stay strong. Coffee is your friend. A break at this point couldn’t hurt. This is key time to plan for the rest of the day/night. Take the garbage out, set the table, hug your loves and prepare for screaming kids. Greet your guests with a growler of something fresh, local and easy on the ABV; they’ll certainly appreciate it. Once dinner is served, find a nice Saison to share; it’s a workhorse for the many flavors in front of you. That’s good stuffing! A break...only after the dishes are done. Cap your night with dessert and bold flavor from a Belgian Quad, Imperial Stout or a lovely Barleywine. Lights out. Where did the time go? Nobody knows. Whatever libation might find it’s way onto your table, I hope serves you well. Cheers!
Issue Navigation> Issue Index > v14n47 (GIFT GUIDE, Week of Wednesday, November 25) > Jopenkerk Brouwerij Hoppenbier & Thanksgiving Beer Tips
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