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Belt’s Beer Garden: Interesting Hopothesis

Hopothesis Beer Company’s Voltaire

This week’s beer comes from Chicago’s Hopothesis Beer Company.

Hopothesis has been around since 2012. But a few years ago, in 2016, Finch Beer Co., another Windy City brewery, bought them out and has added them to their portfolio.

Currently they can be found in 12+ states and today I have a new one that I had not seen canned before - Voltaire.

Voltaire is a hazy IPA brewed with Azacca, Citra, and Simcoe hops. It has a pretty solid 6.7% ABV and a six-pack of 12-ounce cans cost a mere $10 or $1.85 for an individual can.

This hazy IPA poured a bright, slightly cloudy golden color with two fingers of thick head building up. The incredibly dense foam reminded me of a cappuccino, as it slowly...very slowly faded away and clung to whatever it touched, whether it was the side of the glass or my upper lip.

The aroma was a mixture of citrus - passion fruit, lemon zest, and a bit of mango - and grassy/earthy notes. It smelled somewhat juicy but also had a tiny bitter twinge from the hops and notes of flaked wheat underneath everything.

It began with a lighter carbonation hum, which surprised me as I was expecting there to be much more carbonation after seeing all the foam that built up. There is also a hint of hoppy bitterness right at the start that quickly fades as the flavors appear.

This IPA is also surprisingly watery and light. It’s more like an Extra Pale Ale rather than an IPA. It goes down easy but is also thin and everything is more subtle and subdued.

Of the flavors that do hit, it’s the citrus that pops up first with some tangy pineapple, lemon zest, and passion fruit. The passion fruit soon takes over the first half of the sip but, after a moment or two, it begins to fade fast.

Taking its place is a grassy flavor that adds a light resinous coat across my tongue. It’s not nearly as sticky or heavy as some brews but that resin does linger a little bit before finally fading away.

Voltaire ends mostly cleanly. There isn’t any lingering bitterness or aftertaste...just that light resin.

There’s nothing bad about Voltaire but there’s nothing that stands out either. It’s a more watery and subdued IPA that certainly drinks lighter than its 6.7% ABV suggests.

Sure, I’d drink it again...but if I was going to get another hazy IPA from a Chicago brewery, I’d stick to the likes of Maplewood, Mikerphone, and Phase Three.

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