Monday, January 30, 2017

Beers with Chuck: Heady Topper from The Alchemist

by Chuck P

There are beers and there are BEERS. You know what I’m talking about? There are a select few amazing beers out in the world that are just absolute must haves. They’re the ones that taste like no other and are placed upon pedestals far above the heads of every other beer. On the West coast, most would say that beer would be Russian River’s Pliny The Elder, a one of a kind Double IPA that assaults the taste buds with a mouthful of hops. Most craft beer geeks would offer up the family pet and whatever cash they can to get just one bottle of this California nectar.

The Alchemist’s Heady Topper is, I believe, the East coast equivalent out of Stowe, Vermont.

Heady Topper by The Alchemist
Heady Topper by The Alchemist

Like the legendary East coast/West coast rap battles of the 90’s, Heady and Pliny have long been at the top of the list as the best Double IPAs made today and everyone debates as to who the true champ is. As far as I know, there’s never been a clear victor in this debate similar to the battle between Biggie and Tupac (pour one out).

Whereas Pliny carries one hell of a hop bomb on the pallet, Heady comes at you with a hop wall that washes over your tongue but finishes amazingly clean. It’s fruity, piney and all around delicious. The lingering hop feel on the back end lingers a while in the best way. Words don’t do justice to how delicious this beer truly is.

So, here’s my verdict. If I had a bottle of Pliny and a can of Heady Topper in front of me and was told I could only have one, I’d go for Heady Topper every time and twice on Sundays.

That’s not to say I don’t like Pliny The Elder. It’s a fantastic beer that I’m always happy to receive when one happens to come my way. Neither of these beers are distributed in Louisiana which makes them as coveted as the Holy Grail or actually seeing Bigfoot.

I’m sure there will be a lot of people who won’t agree with me and that’s fine. That’s the beauty of the craft beer world. We’re a passionate lot who are quick to jump on anyone who can’t understand our passion for one of our favorite brews.

This classic clash of the titans makes for some interesting debates online and that’s the geekiness and glory of craft beer.

That’s the passion I feel for Heady Topper. To me, it’s the be all end all of IPAs and you’re not going to tell me otherwise so as soon as you come to terms with how wrong you are we can go about our day.

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