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Belt’s Beer Garden: TK-Oh Yeah!

Lupulin Brewing and IBF Champion Caleb Truax collaborated to make 8 Count - a knockout IPA

Big Lake, Minnesota sits about 40 miles northwest of Minneapolis and is home to Lupulin Brewing Company. The brewery, which has been around for nearly a decade, now distributes to 14 states, Canada, parts of Europe, and has opened up a second location in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Oh, and they just had their Hooey listed as one of the Hottest IPA’s in America by Thrillist.

Today, though, I have their collaboration with former IBF Super-Middleweight Champion, Caleb Truax. Truax wanted to make a beer that lived up to his mantra of “Cut No Corners” so he teamed up with Lupulin Brewing to create 8 Count, a hazy IPA that does just that.

Lupulin also just announced two weeks ago that they teamed up with Truax once more to create 10 Count, an Imperial Black IPA that clocks in at 10% ABV…sadly though, I was unable to find that one.

8 Count is brewed with El Dorado, Mosaic, and Sabro hops and features a solid 7.5% ABV. The latest version was released a few weeks ago, with a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans costing a modest $14.

It poured a cloudy, yet bright, golden straw color with just over a finger of offwhite head topping the beer. As the head dissipated, it left a solid lacing of sticky white bubbles down the entirety of the glass.

The aroma was sweet and tropical. 8 Count packed a punch of juicy fruits with pineapple, grapefruit, papaya, and melon being the most noticeable. Behind all that was a small flaked oat/wheat characteristic that blended in nicely. There was a slight alcohol harshness underneath that showcased the 7.5% ABV but it wasn’t too boozy.

My first sip started off with a thicker and creamier mouthfeel and a soft hum of carbonation. The flavors were slow to appear, building out of that low fizzle. Appearing first was some honeydew melon and a pithy grapefruit flavor.

The pineapple began to appear with a slight acidic tingle shortly thereafter. And, right behind that pineapple, were some more earthy notes of pine and grass. The grass and grapefruit peel flavors combined to create a slightly sticky resinous feeling atop my tongue.

Towards the backend there was a final swell of juicy fruits that finally allowed the papaya to peek out with some friends joining in. Some orange, mango, and just a hint of mint appeared on the backend of the sip before everything began to fade away.

8 Count finished mostly clean, with just a small dry feeling and a grapefruit rind bitterness lingering on afterwards. Towards the end of the pint, the alcohol began to appear more and more as well, giving off a slight boozy burn in my chest.

Overall, it was a very solid hazy IPA. I loved the aroma and the initial flavors but, as the beer warmed up, the 7.5% ABV and a hoppy bitterness became more and more apparent.

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