Blue Collar Brew – Brickstone Hop Skip Double Pale Ale

I have been swayed over to a new IPA by my sons. Each one of them has this beer somewhere in their possession. The best part about the beer is that it’s locally brewed. The beer is Brickstone’s Hop Skip Double Pale Ale brewed about 36 miles down the road in Bourbonnaise, Illinois, which ironically is a hop, skip and a jump due north of Kankakee.

I had always be under the impression that Two Brothers in Warrenville was the only local brewery in our part of Flatland. Now we have another, in the exact opposite direction. We actually had Brickstone since 2006 but it took this long for their beer to get delivered out this way.

Brickstone’s APA and Hop Skip have been favorites around the villa for about a year or so since 3Fs Zombie Dust is rarely distributed this far. And those few bottle shops who get their hands on a case or two of ZD usually split ‘em up and inflate the price per bottle. With Hop Skip, we now have a reliable and cost saving substitute for our hop dependence.

Hop Skip is tagged as a Double APA. A double American pale ale. What the hell is that? Who gives a rat’s ass as long as we get some idea as to where along the barley/hop/yeast scale the beer is, and what the ABV is. All the crap about California IPAs vs. New England IPAs, Belgian wheat vs. German wheat, porters vs. stouts. Enough. Point me in the right direction and let me go where I want. To drink critically or to drink as an adventure. I shall decide what beer to drink.

Therefore, tonight we are tasting and writing about an adequately named beer with a nonstandard style, but we know, kinda, what it’ll taste like. And besides, I’ve had this beer before. I liked it so much that I thought I’d share my thoughts.

(Something new. Thought I’d try it. )

The beer poured as expected, with a nice white head and an orange-yellow color. It wasn’t long before the foam dissipated to next to nothing. Carbonation was minimal to nonexistent. That may be my glass though.

The first sip was delicious. Medium mouthfeel and a nice sweetness with hardly a rasp at the back. The main overall flavor was of fruit, sort of pineapple and mango. This is my favorite taste for a hoppy beer. No grass, no hay, no dank dirt. Just fruity and sweet, one that keeps me guessing on the hops use.

I had originally thought that Brickstone had jumped on the New Zealand hop bandwagon when deciding which hops to use. But according to their website:

A strong style american pale ale (double apa). Loaded with citra, amarillo, and centennial hops for a strong citrus flavor.

I find it refreshing that brewers are starting to work magic with the “usual” hop varieties. It’s a bit disheartening when they forget to capitalize words in a marketing statement.  Many times a beer will taste really hoppy and fruity, but then wear on the palate by the third beer. Hop Skip is not one of those beers. It settles into the cracks and fissures of your tongue and keeps you happy for as long as there’s a sip available.

The males in the family all love Hop Skip as their go-to beer. Each time one of them takes the first sip the exclamation follows, “Man, that’s good.” The beer has become a fixture refreshment in all of our fridges.

It seems that we have been drinking so much Hop Skip over the last few months that we have forgotten about Zombie Dust, at least for the time being. Brickstone’s APA is a good beer as well is usually found in the back of the fridge as a stash for when the Hop Skip runs out.

Brickstone’s Hop Skip is a hidden gem that surfaced and should be tried by everyone. Slightly sweet with hints of tropical fruit and yellow citrus will make this beer a favorite in many homes and garages. Drinking this beer is a necessity. You must try it. You’ll love it.

The SixPackTech summary for Brickstone Hop Skip Double Pale Ale:

Style: India Pale Ale
Taste: Delicious from sip #1 to the end.
Smoothness: They go right down.
Bang for the buck: Excellent taste for the price.
Amount paid: $9.99 for a sixpack of 12-ounce cans.
Get it again? Oh, hell yeah. And over again.
ABV: 7.75%
Brewer’s website
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: (Sniff) Grapefruity. (sip) … (odd look) I don’t know. (sip) It’s sort of dry but it goes away real quick. (sip) It’s almost medicinal tasting like they added the grapefruit to cover up the taste. (sip) It doesn’t linger. When it’s gone, it’s gone. (She had it until the ‘medicinal’ thing. Sheesh!)

BA rates.

Hoppy & Gabby


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