Brewdog Hop Fiction Pale Ale

Brewdog: Hop Fiction Pale Ale (Scotland: American Pale Ale: 5.2% ABV)

Visual: Pale grain yellow. Moderate carbonation. Small white bubbled head.

Nose: Crisp. Popcorn hop style. Dried pineapple. Kumquat. Cream. Apricot.

Body: Pumpkin. Dry biscuits. Kumquat. Pineapple. Dry but robust texture. Oats.

Finish: Wheaty. Light bitterness. Cream. Oatmeal.

Conclusion: Welcome back Hop Fiction. I thought you had promise, so what has changed. Oh, you are Hop Fiction Pale Ale now? Ok – rebranded, new boy band look eh? Down to 5.2% abv? Ok, let’s see how you rock it.

Hmm, again, like when you were Hop Fiction IPAS, you ain’t doing too bad. You feel thicker and drier now. Probably due to the abv drop and style change. APA’s do tend to feel drier and more attenuated to me. The fruitiness is nice, but a bit understated against the muesli styled oat notes of the base – however it does work together to mange to feel like it hasn’t been over attenuated – an often seen flaw of APAs to my mind.

It is pretty balanced, but while it is easy to drink it also feels slightly reined in – it could afford to push the fruit character a little more. However as an APA it does earn its position in the line up more than when it was going up against Brewdog’s very packed IPA range. Despite that it still doesn’t feel exceptional.

So it turns out this beer is one of those hardest of things to do notes on – an ok beer.

It is ok.

Background: No I am not repeating myself again – This is a different beer to the prototype Hop Fiction. That was an IPA for one, this is an APA. Apparently it is also a very similar beer to Deaf Mermaid, which I got to try but never got around to doing notes for. Anyway this is a whirlpool hopped beer, at least if it is the same as before. I am a tad suspicious about the drop in abv – Brewdog have dropped the abv of most of their seasonal to keep them sub six percent, so I’m not sure if they are doing it to make a better beer, or to keep to their seasonal guidelines. Anyway, as always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. Drunk while listening to some old tracks from Space. Doesn’t quite hold up to memory, but still like some of the quirkier tracks. their new stuff seems a bit weak though.

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