It’s cold, y’all. It’s seriously cold outside, and while Accuweather claims that the freezing temperatures are abating, personally, I’ll believe it when I feel it. So a bottle of Hopothermia, the newest year-round release from the Alaskan Brewing Company, feels pretty on the nose.
The beer debuts enshrouded in the mystery of The Lone Brewer, who — Hopothermia legend has it — lived alone in the woods, obsessed with the concept of making the perfect, hoppy Double IPA, his only companions a noble wolf and a lone moose, as he engaged in a battle of wits with some terribly rude mink.
But as much as the cute backstory charms, it's not what makes this beer stand out in the end. This is a big, intense Double IPA — Hopothermia does not disappoint regarding its namesake’s punch. This brew is much more robust than most hoppy beers, balancing its bitterness with a big, rich malt body. The hops are layered, packing a giant wallop of warm citrus with a delicate, floral aroma.
Hopothermia is not a beer for those who are on the fence about IPAs. A "double IPA" is generally one in which — not shockingly — the hops have been doubled, and this one is powerful. So tread lightly if you’re unused to the intensity — and at 8.5 percent ABV, it’s a good idea to take it easy with these anyway — fortunately, this tongue-numbing brew is sold in a four-pack, not a six. But this beer gets my double thumbs up: it’s what you’ll need to stave off the damp, frozen chill that’s seeped into your bones this winter.