Sound to Summit Brewing, Snohomish
Style: Triple IPA
Stats: 11 percent ABV, 111 IBU
Available: On tap at the brewery.
My thoughts: The legendary joke in “This is Spinal Tap,” a mockumentary following an aging heavy metal band as it tours the States, has Nigel Tufnel, one of the bandmates, showing off the band’s equipment to the director and explaining that their amps are so good they “go to 11.”
So when Sound to Summit head brewer Grady Warnock brewed up a huge triple IPA that “went to 11,” he thought of the perfect name: Spinal Hop.
Sound to Summit’s Spinal Hop is a big, piney triple IPA that is dangerously drinkable. Brewed with Columbus, Centennial and Cascade hops, the beer is both balanced and bold and has big hop flavor. That said, it’s cleaner and more drinkable than most triple IPAs, which can often be too bitter or hot from the high alcohol.
Early February has become the time of year for breweries to brew triple IPAs in the Northwest because of the annual Washington Hop Mob Roadshow, a series of events throughout the Puget Sound that celebrate obnoxiously hoppy IPAs.
Sound to Summit is hosting the only Hop Mob event in Snohomish County at 5 p.m. Feb. 8. Along with Sound to Summit’s Spinal Hop, there will be seven triple IPAs on tap. Here’s a look at the other triple IPAs on tap:
Full Cloud, 5 Rights Brewing: R.J. Whitlow upped the haze for this year’s Full Code Triple IPA by using excessive amounts of Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo hops. (10.2 percent ABV, 50 IBU)
Unleash the Fury, At Large Brewing: Using a hop blend of Mosaic, Nelson and Simcoe, and an experimental yeast, Jim Weisweaver created a hazy and straw-colored IPA. (10.5 percent ABV, 60 IBU)
Heavy Hoperator, Lake Stevens Brewing: Brewed with Cascade, Simcoe and Citra hops, Lake Stevens Brewing went way big with this IPA. (11 percent ABV, 115 IBU)
Anti-Session, Dru Bru: Made with Warrior and Mosaic hop extract and uncut Citra and Mosaic lupulin powder. (9.9 percent, 100 IBU)
Hogus Maximus, Postdoc Brewing: Big flavors of pure hop juice with dank, piney aromas that overwhelm the nose and then finishes dry with almost no malt flavor. (11 percent ABV, 100-plus IBU)
Knock 3 Times, Wet Coast Brewing: A big IPA from this up-and-coming brewery in Gig Harbor. (10 percent ABV, 100 IBU)
Star Death, Urban Family Brewers: Dry hopped with a four-hop blend of Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic and Motueka. (9.5 percent ABV)
From the brewery: A hop-forward triple IPA boasting a large citrus and piney aroma upon a supportive caramel malty backbone. We cranked this one up to 11 as the name implies. With 11 percent ABV and 111 IBU, the bite will make you want one drink after another!
Another new IPA
Insanity Triple IPA, Sumerian Brewing: Made with Simcoe, Amarillo, CTZ and Centennial hops, with an emphasis on late and dry hopping, this IPA nearly hits 100 IBU. Available on tap at the brewery and Brouwer’s Cafe.