It’s not always easy drinking beer. In the week leading up to this beer recommendation we were on tour, demonstrating recipes from our book to gardeners, home brewers and bemused passers by. We drank plenty of booze but were in no position to write about it. Instead we adopted some rare foresight and planned this feature a week in advance. But this was the week Rich spent all his drinking time tasting ciders for a newspaper feature while I was going through a spell of booze abstinence – the result of an all day session on the back of a mild head cold. Temporarily, I went off beer.
On the eve of our tour, nearly a whole week since beer last passed my lips, I had two options: crack open some booze or miss out on a review. Not much of a choice. The beer won.
At times like this, when you’ve lost your beer mojo, you need a guaranteed dose of brewing quality to tuck in to. Fortunately, one of my favourite beers was in the fridge so, after flexing my latent beer muscles, I was ready to pour…*
Hop & Liefde is an American Pale Ale from Dutch brewery de Molen. They’re a quality outfit and, providing you know where to look, finding their wares isn’t as hard as you might imagine – most good craft ale bars and well stocked booze shops all have their phone number. Luckily for me, the bottle in my fridge came freshly delivered in my latest beer box selection.
Hop & Liefde is an archetypal APA, rich orange in colour, topped with a fluffy white head. The fruity, citrus aroma is irresistible – dunking your nose in it and lingering is highly recommended. The flavour possesses more of the same fruitiness, with a touch of the tropics, a heady dose of grapefruit and an instantly pleasing freshness. There’s good bitterness in there too, but it’s far from a bitter battering ram, acting instead as a beery undercurrent beneath the fresh citrus surf.
Thankfully the beer is bold and bright enough to shine through my cloudy beer malaise. At 4.8% there’s enough booze to pick me up, but it’s not going to knock me out later. It’s a familiar, welcoming relief that has picked me up from my drinking slumber and readied me for the start of a beer enhanced tour in the morning.
*With this being a favourite beer I could simply write the review from memory, but that would be cheating…
Beer supplied by Beer52
Brewery: Brouwerij de Molen, Bodegraven, the Netherlands
Beer name: Hop & Liefde
Hops used: saaz and citra
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