Glassware: As with any beer that features hops, glassware that helps trap the aroma is a definite must. More delicate beers, such as this one, require glassware that keeps it cold longer. The true crisp taste shines when the beer is chilled. Sam Adams makes a glass perfect for the beer. Another great choice is the Spiegelau IPA glass, however a snifter or nonic pint glass will also work wonders for the beer.
Description: Hopscape pours a light golden yellow with subtle haze throughout with a foamy bright white head that leaves a thick lacing on the glass. The aroma is a perfect balance between malts and hops. Subtle sweet and bready wheat malts dance perfectly with bright citrus and tropical hops with a touch of pine and floral notes. The first sip has hints of lemon, orange, grapefruit, lychee and passion fruit melding with touches of piney hops and sweet wheat malts. The balance between malt and hops is textbook and makes for a smooth and easy drinking beer. While not a hop bomb, it offers enough punch that hop lovers may find this a great go to beer. It is also a great beer for those who may not love hops. The medium-light body and moderate carbonation are perfect for the style. Sam Adams never disappoints and Hopscape is another well-rounded seasonal beer.
Food Pairing: Hopscape is a winter seasonal, but has a lot of features that normally come from a summer ale. This beer is great with summer favorites. Try Hopscape with your favorite salad, especially those topped with fruit, think berries or peaches and with light vinaigrette drizzled on top. If you are feeling more like a dinner pairing think grilled chicken topped with some rosemary, thyme, and a squeeze of lemon with a side of corn on the cob with butter, the sweetness of the corn will be brought forth when paired with the great wheat ale. This beer goes great with Friday night pizza dinner too. Other great pairings include: salmon, Camembert cheese and sushi. Treat this beer pairing as one to escape from the bitter cold temperatures of the winter.
The Final Word: Hopscape is a new beer from Sam Adams and is proof that no matter how large and well known Sam Adams gets, they are still a great brewery. Hopscape is a bright and crisp addition to its lineup, making it a unique choice for a winter seasonal. It also fits perfectly alongside the many beers brewed over the years. Sam Adams is one of the largest craft brewers, but it has not forgotten its core roots and desire to experiment. The lineup of beers is certainly proof the brewery is not going anywhere soon and they will always push themselves to brew world class beers no matter the style.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewer: Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams)
Style: American pale wheat ale
ABV: 5.50 %