Friday, June 19, 2009

Dogfish Head: Aprihop

I think Dogfish Head Craft Brewery created a new word: Aprihop. What is an aprihop? Definition: (n). A beer combining large amounts of apricots and hops.

Fruit in beers may seem strange at first glance but in reality a ton of breweries are using fruit; including real apricots, apricot juice, or apricot flavoring in a variety of beers these days. What is interesting about Dogfish Head's interpretation of the apricot brew is that they throw in pitted apricots into their IPA recipe. Yes, an India Pale Ale. Not just any india pale ale, but a 7% ipa. So while most apricot beers provide a nice fruit flavor to a wheat beer or a lighter ale, Dogfish Head adds apricots to a borderline imperial ale.

As mentioned in my surmised definition, I think an aprihop has tons of apricots. I make this educated guess because the IPA does not drown out the fruit flavors. The initial burst to the mouth is like a traditional IPA, but the back-end and after taste screams apricot flavors. As the beer warms there is really three stages to this brew. The first is a mild IPA, that is not too hoppy and surprisingly smooth. While there is obviously a lot of hops to get this beer up to the high alcohol threshold, but it is not nearly as hoppy as Dogfish Head's 60, 90 or 120 minute IPA. The second stage is a sweet alcohol burst that matches the 7% label, and the final course is a coating of apricot flavor after a every gulp. All combined on a quick slug, the three stages works together pretty nicely. While I don't add fruit to my beer and I rarely reach for a fruit flavor brew, this aprihop is quite drinkable despite the uncommon aftertaste. Maybe next time I brew I'll add some apricots and try to invent a new word of my own. Cheers.

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