Hobo Pop

Brewdog: Hobo Pop (Scotland: Wheat Ale: 4.2% ABV)

Visual: Reddened gold. Thick, slightly off white frothy half inch of bubbles. Very little carbonation.

Nose: Pineapple. Mild fluffy hops. Citrus fresh. Light crushed custard cream biscuits.

Body: Good hop prickle. Custard cream biscuits. Toffee. Greenery touch and resin. Slightly dry. Lime touch. Sugar dusting and a sherbety feel at times.

Finish: Greenery and bitterness. Charring. Backing of hop oils and resin. Drying as bitterness rises.

Conclusion: I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Maybe it was because of low expectations, this year’s prototype set hasn’t been getting rave reviews, but I actually enjoyed this one. It is admittedly of quite simple bent, but for that it manages to combine a light citrus touch, moderate hop character and good late finish bitterness to a very lager feeling base.

It is actually quite odd that it isn’t a lager – using American Ale yeast as it does, and more than that, that it has both wheat and rye, as none of those are particularly prominent. In fact it feels more like a quality lager accentuated by good hop use and bitterness than actual attempts at that style like Mikkeller’s American Dream, or Brewdog’s own Vagabond Lager. It doesn’t let the citrus dominate, nor the bitterness. The mouthfeel is rich enough with a slightly dry edge and it provides toffee and crushed custard cream biscuits sweetness to offset the dryness.

Now it isn’t a special, jump out at you beer. It more feels like a natural progression from the aforementioned beers. More evolutionary than revolutionary.

Despite that I was very satisfied to drink it, and would happily press it into the hands of lager drinkers as it takes the strengths of Vagabond, Fake Lager, and just a hint of the (admittedly far superior) DogWired and delivers a balance between the three (in an ale!)

Not a showy prototype but I would say a good one.

Background: This years three prototypes from Brewdog. I should have a new year resolution not to have a backlog of Brewdog reviews. I’m blaming the Japan backlog and Collabfest for that one. Anyway, as always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. This one is made with wheat and rye and brewed with American ale yeast. Drunk while listening to my Bad Religion collection on shuffle.