The Final Fight

The final fight is upon us.  Let’s take a look at the weigh in and press conference, or what some may say spectacle, that recently took place.

It’s a small, musky room at the local Red Roof Inn.  No A/C.  Dozens of reporters, bloggers, and beer geeks have packed the room like sardines.  At the front of the room, we see Jaipur walk in.  He seems calm and focused.  He steps up to the podium, and says “Thanks fellas.  I am looking forward to the fight.  I’ve been training for this fight my entire life.  I’ve managed to come from a humble, light weight, weak IPA session beer family and turn myself into a contender.  I’m prepared physically, and most important, mentally.”  Just then a reporter for the Beer O’Clock news yells “Oye Gov’nah!  Hows bouts you clean ma’ chimney?  Fancy some tea mate!?”  The entire room erupts into laughter.  Jaipur speaks up “Hey – what’s the deal?  I’m a great beer!  I’m everything you look for in an IPA.  I don’t have the strength of Hopsickle – but I have dimension!”  Just as Jaipur finishes his sentence, the light go off.  Fog machines start to fill the room and multi-colored lasers are everywhere.  An announcer’s booming voice comes over the speakers: “YOU ASKED FOR HIM…. AND HERE HE COMES…. THE MEAN GREEN FIGHTING MACHINE… THE HOP KING…. IRON… MOYYYYYYYLANNNNNNNN…HOPSICKLE…”  Then the music starts up, and the door busts open.  In front walks Iron Moylan’s manager, O’Macky, with spiky red hair and Celtic garb.   Next walks the crew:  a half dozen or so Moylan family beers.  Then walks Iron Moylan.  Jaipur takes a look at his size and strength, and a chill runs down his back.  Iron Moylan carries a large belt with a grand assortment of awards.   As his crew walks in, they literally kick a few journalists out to make room.   Iron Moylan steps up to the podium.  He looks over at Jaipur, holds the mic to his face, and says “I’m going to kill you.”  As he lowers his hand, Technotronic’s Pump up the jam blares, strobe lights start flashing,  lasers begin to laser, a thick fog fills the room, and Iron Moylan’s crew leaves.  No one steps on the scales.  Everyone leaves…. Except Jaipur.  He just sits, confused and amazed.  He thinks to himself “What have got myself into?”  He then takes a deep breath, stands up, and leaves.  That day, he trained harder than he ever has in his entire life.   Iron Moylan trained as well, and murdered more people that day than he has in his entire career.

So here we are, the final fight… We are going to recount the fight in a beer fight summary format, and basically weigh two wonderful beers against each other. 

DING DING.

The Great Hop War looms....

Both beers have a wonderful nose.  Hopsickle has a distinctly American nose – gushing with chinook, simcoe, columbus, cascade and ahtanum hops.  It’s like a citrus soaked pinecone is shoved up your nose.  It’s what hop heads love to smell – hops, and more hops.  Jaipur, on the other hand, is a bit more subtle… you won’t get the pine punch, but rather complex fruits and complimentary bready malts.  You’ll also pull floral notes.  We were familiar with these beers while we compared in the final round.  While comparing and contrasting, each one produced another nuance that we enjoyed.   It’s truly a tossup when it comes to the aromas – one is mean American muscle yet the other is still a wonderfully complex IPA.  Jaipur has stayed alive so far, while Hopsickle, aka Iron Moylan, is getting warmed up.   Literally, we are letting the beers warm up a bit more.

The big round is here: Taste.  We made sure out palates were scrubbed and calibrated for this round; we didn’t want any lingering hops or hop-love or hoppy acclimations to sway us towards one beer or the other.  The obvious fact stood out first:  Hopsickle, whom we are still calling Iron Moylan, is way stronger.  You feel the power and fury behind his hop punch.  You also get his very strong caramel malt backbone, which is sometimes hit or miss with some beer geeks.  While Jaipur doesn’t have the sheer strength of Iron Moylan he does have a finesse that has impressed us in earlier rounds.  Sometimes, the combination of the beer ingredients create a lot of synergy, and the beer can make up for lack of punch.  Perhaps it may be the judge’s slight affection for subtlety that has gotten Jaipur so far?  We move back and forth between the two beers, finding the massive dose of pine and citrus hops in Iron Moylan amazingly fun, and the floral and fruity hops of Jaipur refreshing and delicious.  We each find something we like about the beers – this will be a hard decision.

It comes down to the question:  If you ordered a good IPA at a restaurant, and they gave you this beer, would you be impressed?  We decided, of course, that a beer geek was asking this question.  So what do beer geeks like most if they ask for an IPA?  Hops.  While both beers feature wonderful hops, one stood out as delivering the best hop experience: Hopsickle.  Yes, that’s right – Iron Moylan is the obvious winner in this case.  When you order a good IPA, and they place a glass of Hopsickle in front of you, you know you’ll get a hop experience.  You’ll be able to smile as you smell the simcoe in the head.  You’ll be giddy as you drink your first drink, and your hop-need is not only met, but blown up.   America wins the ArkansasBeerBlog IPA Beer Brawl!  Of -freakin-course America wins the IPA battle – we are home of the greatest IPAs in the world!  USA! USA!

America loves hops. and freedom.

During the end of the fight, Iron Moylan holds his hands up to the crowd cheering.  Jaupir is in the corner covered in blood, sweat and tears.  He fought a good fight.  Iron Moylan walks over and shakes Jaipurs hand.  Jaipur says “Good fight, champ.  You’ve got amazing hops.   Although I didn’t win, I want you to know that I will never forget our fight – because I got to fight the best IPA in Arkansas.  I think my family will be-“ Iron Moylan interrupted Jaipur and said “Aye matey!  Can ye spot me some quid for a tea!? Methinks I will celebrate tonight!” Jaipur lowered his head, and walked into the sunset.  Fetching some tea for the Champ, “Iron” Moylan’s Hopsickle Imperial Ale on his way out.

You can find these championship beers at the following places:

Hopsickle
Booze Bros – Eureka Springs
Arka Valley Liquor – Atkins
Ace Liquor Store – Cabot
Colonial Wine & Spirits – Little Rock
Crossover Liquor – Fayetteville
Eastside Liqour – Elkins
Flying Saucer – Little Rock
Macadoodles – Springdale
Marina Liqour – Hot Springs
Pat’s Beverage Shop – North Little Rock
Premier Wine & Spirits – Fayetteville
Spirits Shop – Fayetteville
Springhill Wine & Spirits – North Little Rock
Sullivant’s Liqour – Little Rock
The Bottle – Fayetteville
The Wine Rack – Hot Springs
Town & Country – Fayetteville
In Good Spirits – Fort Smith
Liquor Mart – Fort Smith
Lake Liquor – Maumelle

Jaipur:
Colonial Wine & Spirits – Little Rock
Macadoodles – Springdale
The Bottle – Fayetteville
Springhill Wine & Spirits – North Little Rock
The Wine Rack – Hot Springs
71 South Liquor – Fort Smith
Shamrock Liquor Warehouse – Fort Smith

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4 thoughts on “The Final Fight

  1. Rex says:

    Congrats to a true American Hero!

    BTW, I picked up a pint of Jaipur last night. Looking forward to giving it a try this weekend!

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