While going through the Beer Street Journal online recently, I spotted a beer that sounded odd in an interesting sort of way. The beer was brewed by Odell Brewing out of Fort Collins, CO. It was called Rupture Fresh Grind Ale. The label depicted a giant cog wheel grinding up hop cones, green stuff flying everywhere. The beer was named after a “new” process of rupturing the lupulins out of the hop flowers. Odell built a machine that did just that. But why stop at pulverizing? Why not turn the lupulins into a powder? Hmm. That brings up a whole new realm of possibilities. But that’s for another time.
I was at the Local beer store and spotted Rupture on the shelf. There I was again without my glasses. If only they made bifocal contacts that I could buy at the Dollar store. From what I could gather, the beer sounded worthy of a try and a few hundred words on this website. I paid the man and returned home just as it started raining.
What was this machine? Sierra Nevada has its hop torpedo, Blichmann sells a hop rocket, Troeg’s has a hop gun. And Wyatt Earp has a Buntline Special. These are different ways of infusing hop flavors during the brewing process (except for Earp.) Who’s to say that any one method is better than a simple mesh bag full of hops dangling in a DIY hop spider? Odell needed a hop rupturer. Sounds evil.
What was I expecting? I was wondering if I’d be able to pick out any particular hop flavor. Whether the beer would be grassy, piney, harsh or fruity, juicy smooth. I had survived drinking both types in the past and never once did I consider that my purchase today would result in a drain pour.
Speaking of pouring, how about a glass pour? Let’s dive right in.
The beer poured with a nice yellow-orange color and brought up a nice, loosely knit white foam head. The liquid was slightly hazy. Hop aromas were easily picked up 18 inches away. The smell was very familiar and may become the norm for these fruity types of IPA. The foam dissipated in a short while.
The first sip brought in a medium mouthfeel, some sweetness at the front reminiscent of oranges and grapefruit and a slightly bitter swallow. It was to be a fun IPA, one of those akin to the juicy, chewy New England types. The body of the beer was not completely mouth filling as I did sense a slight bit of thinness in each swallow. However, the star(s) of this show is/are the hop flavors. Each sip made the taste buds beg for another sip. I’d venture a guess that the one top secret combination of hops that one successful brewery created was copied, perhaps even pirated by a few others until it spread. The secret is in the hop varieties, their quantities and the time spent in the boil and post fermentation (dry hopping) and not necessarily the machine that processed the hops that made them look that way.
I, for one, will not be complaining about these New England style IPAs. Unless, of course, they go overboard and start serving these beer styles with a spoon. I’ve seen pictures of some of the new beers that show them being super hazy, almost like orange juice with foam on top. I’d try one with no qualms at all. One guy calls these beers Anti-IPAs. There has to be a point where a brewery has stretched and pulled and squeezed and pummeled and ruptured hop flowers until there are no surprises left.
This Rupture IPA was very similar to the few others that I’ve had, but I don’t particularly want to remember them or compare them. It’s similar to comparing fresh ground roast coffee from Dunkin’ and McDonald’s and the local espresso joint nearby. All the tastes are marvelous and the differences too small to be noticeable. Rupture is like the many other similar beers with that tropical fruitiness that seems to be gaining more of a foothold in the craft beer community.
If you run across this beer at your local bottle shop, there’s no need to worry. Grab it and get them cold. Crack one open and pour, then sip. It’ll remind you of a nameless beer you’ve had not too long ago. It’s delicious. It’s tasty. It’s refreshing. You’ll like it too.
You look so familiar. So tell me, where have I seen you before?
The SixPackTech summary for Odell Rupture Fresh Grind Ale:
Taste: Citrus, orange, grapefruit, nice.
Smoothness: Real easy going down.
Bang for the buck: On a par with others.
Amount paid: $9.99 per boxed sixpack of 12-ounce cans.
Get it again? I just might do that.
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: Cloudy but yellow. (sniff) Bitter. (sip) It’s a lot smoother than it smells. (sip) It’s kind of a watered down grapefruit juice. (sip) Actually, it’s not too bad. (Seems as if her palate needs some time to adjust like mine. At least we have that in common.)
Introducing Rupture: A Fresh Grind Ale [1:58]