San Diego Brewed is sponsored by Bottlecraft.

Bottlecraft is a retail shop and tasting room in Little Italy showcasing local, domestic and international craft beers. They offer hundreds of beers for your enjoyment in their onsite tasting room or to-go, as well as daily beer flights, events, glassware, merchandise, and gifts. Open Noon-10pm seven days a week. 2161 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101.

Pure HoppinessIf you read this this blog regularly you may have noticed I haven’t been posting much. After the holidays things got extremely busy at the day job. While working ten, twelve and even sixteen hour days there wasn’t much time to focus on beer. Lucky for me things seem to be slowing down now.

But it was last week, after one of those ten hour days that I decided I needed a beer. I stopped into Bottlecraft after work looking with nothing specific in mind but had a few ideas about what I was looking for: hops, a reasonable price, and something I hadn’t had in a while. Without knowing it before hand, Alpine Beer Co.’s Pure Hoppiness was exactly what I was looking for at $8 for a 22oz bomber.

I’m a big fan of Alpine’s beers, especially their IPAs, but for some reason I haven’t had Pure Hoppiness in awhile (I tend to find myself drinking the lower ABV beers, Hoppy Birthday and New Millennium, or the extreme triple IPA Exponential Hoppiness when I’m drinking Alpine).

All sorts of hop aromas fill the air as soon as you start pouring: citrus, pine and that hop smell that’s often described as “tropical fruit” that I can never quite put my finger on which fruit that might be (mango if I had to guess).

For a big hoppy beer Pure Hoppiness is less bitter than one might expect, but with plenty of great hop flavor, pine and citrus standing out to me the most. There’s a tiny bit of sweetness, very light tasting, almost like honey.

San Diego has plenty of choices for hop heads, and Pure Hoppiness stands out among the best. Alpine’s beers have always been pretty easy to get at the brewery and it seems to me like there’s been a bit of an uptick in distribution over the last year or two. Alpine is planning a pretty big expansion, so we may start seeing more of their beer out and about when that happens.