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Hopperbolic

Furthermore Beer
Spring Green, WI
USA
http://www.furthermorebeer.com

Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
ABV: 6.0%

Nigel’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)


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It’s been awhile since we’ve touched on anything from Furthermore Beer, a young craft brewery based in Spring Green, Wisconsin and brewed in Black River Falls, Wisconsin by Sand Creek. There’s a reason for this … it’s been awhile since Furthermore came out with anything new. Furthermore has a small but steady lineup of brews that seem to get plenty of coverage here at BeerDorks.com; surprisingly, the only brew to date NOT reviewed is the original Furthermore creation, Proper. Most of the brews were very well received, which is why we eagerly anticipated something new. That time has finally come.

Hopperbolic is Furthermore’s first foray into the world of IPAs, and their first new release since Thermo Refur in early 2009, a beer that followed closely on the heels of the 2008 release, Oscura. Considering Furthermore’s initial willingness to get creative, I’m very excited to see what they do when venturing into the world of hops.

Anyone familiar with Spring Green and the surrounding area knows that it’s a small village in southwestern Wisconsin that is known for beautiful scenery and a penchant for the arts. Frank Lloyd Wright called Spring Green home and the surrounding bluffs and meandering Wisconsin River, not to mention the incredible House on the Rock, offer an opportunity for some great summer leisure (the last two Beer Dorks camping trips have taken place in Spring Green). Spring Green’s culture would seem ideal for a craft brewery emphasizing “local,” and Furthermore, despite not yet having a brewery in the village proper, fits that bill.

Hopperbolic incorporates entirely Wisconsin-grown hops from Gorst Valley Hops in nearby Mazomanie, and the web site says the 2010 harvest utilized included Nugget, Cascade, and Mt. Hood varieties. Checking in at a modest 6 percent ABV, it would appear that Furthermore is easing into the world of IPA’s, which isn’t a bad way to go.

Hopperbolic pours well, with a creamy white head of about an inch that slowly recedes, leaving a nice lace at the top throughout with some stickiness on the sides. A light, translucent golden brown hue, it looks very much like any number of hoppy craft brews on the market today. Aromas are right in line for an American IPA: effervescent, citrusy, and piney with a slight touch of earthy maltiness. Not the most overpowering aroma, but light and pleasant for sure.

My first impression upon sipping Hopperbolic is that this is a standard American IPA in every sense; it’s not overwhelming, but still loaded with hoppy goodness and a solid, balanced flavor that could be enjoyed on a chilly winter evening or sitting by the fire in late July at the next Beer Dorks camping trip. Flavors never overwhelm, but remain balanced throughout. The most dominating flavor is a light, zesty citrus (mainly orange with a touch of grapefruit) with a slight hint of evergreen in the background. Subtle notes of grainy malt are present as well, though could be stronger. The carbonation takes these flavors and bubbles them up into a light, effervescent IPA that is far from the strongest I’ve ever had, but is a very respectable stab at the American version.

Overall I’m going with a solid three mug rating, as Hopperbolic is a great example of a light, balanced, refreshing American IPA, but does little to distinguish itself as anything other than very good. Credit to Furthermore for using locally produced ingredients, something that I believe will continue to gain momentum in 2011 among craft brewers. Hopperbolic veers slightly from Furthermore’s lineup thus far in that it’s very much by the books, but regardless I salute them for finally entering the world of hops and creating a solid, drinkable, versatile IPA.

Reviewed by Nigel Tanner on January 17, 2011.
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