Since I started drinking craft beers, I’ve identified myself as a hop head (hence the blog logo). And, why not? I was born in the Pacific Northwest and got my drinking years started in Eugene, Oregon, a notoriously hopped city (Ninkasi, I’m looking at you).
I’ve had Total Domination at the top of my list for a long time—the beer is a kick of crisp hops.
But, there’s a newcomer on the “best of the best” scene.
Enter Paul Long from Long Brewing out of Newberg, OR. I met him randomly while visiting Henry from Fire Mountain Brewing in Carlton, OR. As it turns out, hand-crafters like to hang out together. Who would have guessed.
Anyway, I decided to do a little bit of research on Paul. He told me all about his engineering background and his overwhelming attention to detail. Recreationally, he comes from a wine background, as shown by his Porter and heavy Scottish ale aged in Pinot barrels. I told him that I like hops, and total domination IPA was my idea of a tasty option. He scrunched up a bit and offered his IPA, claiming that it has hops up front, but balanced favors that develop in the seconds it takes for you to taste the array.
I was intrigued. I grabbed a 22 of his award-winning IPA, poured it into a glass, and this is what came out:
A beautiful orange-golden, sparkling sight greeted my glass with a resilient, half-inch head. As I raised the glass to my nose, it greeted me with a strong, crisp hop presence that made me expect a Total Domination-esque taste.
But, that’s not what I got. Instead, the hops partially gave way to an even amount of citrus and malt (the three played in perfect harmony) with a crisp mouthfeel leaving your mouth watering for another sip. It’s medium-bodied and perfectly balanced.
Paul only distributes his beer in high-priced 22-ounce bottles—mine rung up at $12—but it’s worth a taste for those who love IPAs. I consider this in a different realm than Total Domination or other hop-forward beers, as the brewmaster carefully balanced the flavors to be sure that it came out to his meticulous standards.
I’ve also tried his barrel-aged Porter, and it’s also a good one.
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