Craft beer podcast Focus on the Beer got a hold of some Mad Hops and put it to a taste test. You can listen to their hilarious reactions on their radio show, or click over to their blog. Here’s a sample of what they said:
We got some advance samples of Mad Hops and put them to the test. Honestly, we were surprised at the results.
Mad Hops’ backstory describes starting a small one-acre hopyard in hopes of supplying the budding New York brewing scene. We can’t tell if this is Small Town Brewery-style folklore or the real deal, but we definitely were excited for the hop drops. This flavor is supposed to turn a standard macro beer into a pale ale reminiscent of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Color us skeptical, but we had to give it a try.
Appearance: Color is pretty good, head retention is increased significantly. If you poured this and a pale ale in a blind test, we would have a pretty hard time deciphering the imposter.
Aroma: Ok, if it’s supposed to be a pale ale, it needs to have aroma. It adds a ton of hop-style aroma to the beer, but the varieties seem to be muddled. If you’ve ever tasted the malt extract that comes in the little tuna-esque cans, you know what this smells like. While it’s not incredible, it’s not bad either.
Taste: Yep, you’ve turned Coors Banquet into a pale ale. Pat yourselves on the back. It adds hop bitterness, but also a malty balance as well. We’d like to see some of this sweetness brought to the apple flavor though. Just to be fair.
Overall: We finished the whole glass and went back for more.
This was the one we saved for last, mainly based on its incredibly strong aroma. It smells like coffee and chocolate. We hope the beer tastes as good as it smells. It’s black like a cold brew coffee, seemingly staining the glass as we add the “totally unscientific” squirt.
Control sample of Coors Banquet (left) and Irish Porter Brew Drop altered sample (right)
Appearance: This one changed the look of Banquet the most. It turned the beer instantly opaque black, and even made the head a chocolatey brown.
Aroma: All the coffee and chocolate is in there, but it also has a little of that Coors aroma lurking in the background.
Taste: None of the Coors shows in the flavor. This one successfully changed the flavor completely. Although the flavors feel a little too over the top, this one hits the mark the most.
Overall: While Irish Porter is the most drastic of the Brew Drops, it’s also the most enjoyable. Talk about a great way to survive your neighbor’s kegger, or to spice up some of the “crafty” beer your uncle left last time he visited.