|Modus Hoperandi India Pale Ale. Photo: Jenene Chesbrough.|
By now, news of another India pale ale -- an occurrence as common as an Alaskan snowstorm -- barely merits mention.
But every blue moon, an IPA arrives to jolt our jaded taste buds, causing us to thank a higher deity for the heavenly, hoppy elixir. So let's bow down and worship a little green can filled with Modus Hoperandi, a brew so skunky and stinky it reminds us of something else.
"We used to smoke a lot of weed," jokes Dave Thibodeau, cofounder of Durango, Colo.'s Ska Brewing Company. Since releasing the "old-man bitter" brew in late winter, it's rocketed to the top of Ska's bestseller list. "It completely caught us off-guard, which is a good problem to have," Thibodeau says.
The secret, he says, is a "hearty heap of hops." That's for certain: Modus' aroma is a swoon-worthy blend of pine trees and halved grapefruits, an odor muscular enough to double as smelling salts. The copper-orange IPA is thick and resinous, the white head sticking to the glass like a spider web. Each sip (and you will sip, not gulp, this 6.8 percent ABV flavor bomb) coats your tongue with creamy bitterness, with a gentle swipe of malt sweetness to curtail the citric overload.
It's nearly too much, but then we always crave another can. Is this how addictions begin?
Are you a hops addict? Confess in the comments.