Named after a radical skiing and snowboarding maneuver, Alaskan Brewing Co.‘s newest Spring Seasonal Release, Hop Turn IPA offers a change in direction from the recent trends in West Coast IPAs. Meant as an alternative to the hop bitterness wars that have defined much of the current development in IPAs, Hop Turn seeks a more delicate taste experience influenced by legendary old-world beers.
“We wanted to do a German-style IPA, which doesn’t really exist,” Alaskan Brewer Greg Morgan said. “So we used German-style malts and hops. Often an IPA implies assertive hops, but this one is more subtle in character — it’s clean, without super long, lingering bitterness. It has more of a soft malt, soft hop character with a clean, bracing finish.”
Each spring and fall, Alaskan Brewing introduces an exciting new beer style to the lineup for a limited run, which allows brewers to showcase their creativity and experimentation.
“We first brewed Hop Turn on our in-house one-barrel system, which is a great place for us to play with different concepts and ingredients,” said Morgan. “The combination of Pilsner, Vienna and Munich malts gives a light body and crisp finish, and the Magnum and Sterling hops lend a floral, peppery and lemony aroma and flavor. It has a lot of hop flavor, but it isn’t overly bitter, which is why we started calling it a German IPA.”
That European influence also comes through in the beer’s name, derived from a skiing technique first developed in the Alps in the 1970s by adventuring skiers who negotiated chutes that could be well over 60 degrees in steepness for runs of 4,000 feet. Today that same move is used by skiers and snowboarders in Alaska’s biggest mountain ranges.
“We hope that we’ve bottled a bit of the exhilaration of a turn down the mountain, wind whipping and powder flying — our environment here in Alaska is always a part of the inspiration for our beers,” Morgan said.