Breaking away from the pale ales briefly found me wandering into the New Belgium Brewing area of my fridge (I don’t really have them separated by brewer, but maybe I should). He should. When you have an entire fridge with nothing but beer and your lunches, you need an organizational system. Hoptober Golden Ale was there like a shimmering light. Something different and something that last year was borderline obsession. Something about this beer was different and awesome. The first sip I had reminded me of cool nights like being at a football game or sitting around a fire with friends. It was really amazing. This year, I didn’t get that feeling. In fact, I feel like they changed up the recipe. For some reason it just isn’t the same.
The head color was white and the body golden. The aroma was lemony citrus, semi-sweet and crackery. The lemony smell was the first thing that I noticed to be different (I really don’t remember the lemony smell from last year). The taste was lemony, semi-dry, crisp, warming and crackery. Ok, the lemony thing is really distracting. The lemon smell and taste make me think of this beer as more of a summer beer than an Autumn beer. I don’t remember thinking it was that lemony, but I don’t have tasting notes from any of the Hoptobers I’ve had this fall.
Normally I really like New Belgium Brewing Company’s beers but for some reason this year’s Hoptober is just lacking. I believe last year was the first year of Hoptober so it is likely they changed the recipe but why the lemon smell and taste.