BREWER: Vandestreek, Utrecht
VESSEL: 33CL bottle
Well I’m going to assume the name Hop Art isn’t referring to the frankly poor and not particularly artistic label on this bottle. I’m hoping it’s refering to what is inside. I’m hoping to turn the bottle around to find an abundance of info telling me VandeStreek have spent years perfecting the fine balance of multiple hops and malts to create a highly complex yet delightful IPA.
So I turned that bottle around…. and was greeted with (albeit in Dutch) a small glimpse of what this brewery were trying to achieve with this ale…
A thirst quencher with the fruity aromas and flavours of 3 hop varieties and a pleasent bitterness.
Art must inspire. Let Hop Art inspire you.
..but it was hardly the insite to the making of this beer that I desired. Upon futher investigation of the 33cl bottle’s label I discovered which three hops were being used to create what I hoped would be a masterpiece.
Columbus. Cascade. Citra.
Hardly a break from the norm and certainly not clever, funky nor innovative. I have to say before taking a sip I felt pretty deflated. Unless VandeStreek had pulled some unbelievable moves in balancing these every day hops and combo I felt the best I would be getting would be an all round well balanced eveyday IPA. Thats fine, but would certainly be a let down from where the name had been taking me.
So, the nose began to re-inflate me (a great sentence in isolation). Though it wasn’t at all complex, it was lovely. Pine, freshly cut grass and citrus wafts just kept coming and coming. When it then came to the drinking things took another turn. It was too carbonated. It wasn’t very smooth. It was quite sharp on the palate. It was very simple. But it did taste good.
This brewery really set themselves up to fail by using this name for this beer. Unless they totally nailed the brew Hop Art as a name was always going to be misleading.
Hop Art. Though it may not be a work of art, it is pretty tasty.
Jymi’s Rating: 64%
Like many Dutch craft beers, Hop Art is a lively one. And on that note, I’d advise not opening it over your nicely laid cream carpet (other colours are available). Of course, lively beers do give a good head, and make the beer look incredibly tempting. Couple this cracking head up with Hop Art’s deep, translucent colour, and we have a tempting proposition in the glass. This is a step up from its disappointing label – but let’s move on from that.
As expected, the nose is zesty, but with Hop Art, it’s a bitter zest. That follows through onto the palate, where one is hit with strong bitter zest flavours, which are well balanced and hang around on the tongue for a good amount of time.
Where Hop Art isn’t so strong, is in its mouth-feel. It leaves an almost chalky after feel. To be fair, it is not long lived, but it is enough to detract from this being an all round cracker. One or two of these will leave you wanting to transition to another brew, which isn’t always a bad thing.
Hop Art is quite basic and definitely worth a try. But don’t plan to spend a night on these – you might well need to switch it up.
Sammy’s Rating: 68%