When we look forward to an annual release of some product or series we enjoy, we can become fixated on this release date; so much so that we get excited. Well, for a number of years now, Firestone Walker Brewing Company has created a series of very interesting combinations of rare or exotic hops placed within the exact same base malt beer so that folks looking forward to the new release can compare notes of previous versions and chat about the new hops and their part in making this release new and unusual. So the release of Luponic Distortion Revolution 009 is now upon us.
Adam Firestone and David Walker are brother-in-laws who aren’t your everyday beer geeks. They look at the ability to brew something so different from what everyone else is doing as if it were an artful war. And they take that very seriously. With more than a dozen year-round offerings, the 20+ year old Firestone Walker Brewing Company of Venice, California, has carved a deep niche into the west coast beer scene. With other seasonals, specialty releases and their newest series, Leo v Ursus, FW is not to be ignored. You can find out more about their beers, their history and their fun attitude of seriousness at www.firestonebeer.com
Luponic Distortion isn’t as odd a name for a beer as you would first think. Humulus lupulus, an essential oil found in hop flowers or cones, is that interesting and valuable ingredient that gives the hoppy aromas craft beer drinkers look for. Luponic Distortion is FW’s way of describing their combinations of hop flavors per version. Each release features a different combination of hops and is produced every 90 days according to their website. #009 is a showcase of “public domain” hops which tend to be the ‘unsung heroes’ in brewing. Many of us have heard of Cascade, Citra, Summit and Mt Hood west coast hops but public domain hop varieties are the Jones and Smith of hop plants. Therefore, combining these lesser-known varieties certainly gives the opportunity for new flavor. If you couple this concept with the ability to bitter (early additions in the process) or late and dry-hop additions, the flavor possibilities are endless.
Delicately golden in hue, slightly off-white in a frothy head, Luponic is perfectly beautiful on its own. Tropical fruit, coconut, pine and citrus lead the nose and tastebuds as you make your first encounters. Since this isn’t a double or triple IPA, hop aromas stay in check and are not overtaken by malt character… just delicious flavor.
BeerAdvocate.com has officially rated this 5.9% ABV beer as ‘Very Good’ by awarding it a 3.92 out of 5. This beer is available at Case-n-Keg at 5 Mill Street in Meredith. Grab yours soon in 16 oz four packs.
Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to firstname.lastname@example.org