A long time ago, I promised to start reviewing Victory Brewing Co.’s beers. The first of these articles is finally here! A couple of nights ago, I visited a friend’s place bearing a six pack of Hop Wallop, which far exceeded the expectations I had for it. You see, American craft beer drinkers love hops; so, one often finds IPAs either containing enough pineyness to remind one of gin or such overwhelming citrus that one thinks one’s downing some grapefruit juice.
From the high ABV of 8.5% and the name “Hop Wallop,” one expect that this will be an abrasively hoppy ale. However, developing such an expectation means that one has forgotten the softness of the water this brewer employs. This prevents the hops from taking a rough edge. We see a similar effect in Czech Pilsners. Hop Wallop stands as an incredibly drinkable American Double with delectable flavors of pineapple, tangerine, and honeysuckle. One really has to be careful not to drink this one too fast; otherwise, the 8.5 % ABV will soon turn one into a blithering idiot–which, by the way, is the name of a tasty barley wine from another Pennsylvania brewer, Weyerbacher. The only drawback I can see in this beer is the high ABV, which effectively prevents one from having as much of it as one would like.