I’d Tap That: The Shape of Hops to Come is distinguished as a great IPA
Glassware: Hop forward beers such as Shape of Hops to Come feature a very strong hop aroma that must be experienced to its fullest. The Spiegelau IPA glass is still the top choice for any hoppy beer. The feature characteristic when searching for glassware is in the tapered top; this allows the aroma to be trapped and wholly experienced. A snifter glass is also a great choice for glassware.
Description: The Shape of Hops to Come pours a clear golden amber hue with a frothy bright white head that leaves a light trace of lacing on the glass. The aroma is hops, hops, hops, and even more hops! Strong notes of dank, wet hops with pine and citrus fruits — such as oranges, tangerine, and grapefruits — with herbal notes sit atop slightly sweet bready malts, which act as a showcase to the great beer within the glass.
The taste is also a veritable hop bomb in the best way possible. The strong bittering quality of the beer hits the palate first and fast with pine and citrus fruits leading the way that impart a juicy quality, with bready and biscuit malts providing perfect balance and acting as a counterpoint to the strong hops. Despite the aggressive hop character of the beer in taste and aroma, this beer does still possess great balance that makes it highly drinkable.
The medium-full mouthfeel and moderate carbonation are what any IPA lover would want from a beer. If hoppy beers are a love of yours and you have not yet tried this beer, you are truly missing out. It is one of the best DIPAs currently available and seems that it will retain that title for quite some time!
Food pairing: The Shape of Hops to Come is not a small beer and would easily overpower lighter dishes such as salads or fish. Spicier dishes will find the perfect pairing with this hoppy beer for a truly enjoyable meal.
Try pairing with tamales, tostadas, enchiladas, empanadas, tacos and burritos. The spice factor of the dish does not matter as the beer can easily handle anything so spice lovers can feel free to pile the peppers high.
Backyard cookouts are now back in full swing and this is the perfect beer to have with any barbecue standards, It goes perfectly with barbecue chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs and especially spare ribs. The sweetness of the sauce will melt into this beer with the spices combining for a wonderfully invigorating experience with the pine and citrus hop flavors elevating the sauce. Even the hoppiest of IPAs goes perfectly with pizza; after all, what beer does not go well with pizza? The doughy crust will melt into the light bready malts, and the hops will bite into any spices in the sauce or toppings. Again, do not be afraid to pile the toppings high and even add a few splashes of your favorite hot sauce.
The Final Word: The IPA category is a very full and competitive one in the craft beer market. This can make it difficult at times for great beers to become distinguished from good beers. However, when a beer is so undeniably delicious that it rises head and shoulders above the rest, there is no denying the greatness of the beer. This is true for the Shape of Hops to Come which quickly became Neshaminy Creek’s most sought after beer since it was first brewed.
The aggressive hop aroma and taste are certainly not for the faint of heart, but any lover of IPAs must try this beer. The added bonus of the name and artwork being an homage to one of the greatest bands ever, Refused, make this beer one that truly has something for everyone.
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: Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company
Beer: The Shape of Hops to Come
Style: American Imperial/ Double IPA