The first official debate of the 2016 presidential election is just hours away! Are you excited yet? While the ten Republican candidates argue over who will be the most effective at alienating women and minorities in the general election, common blue-collar folk have far more pressing issues to consider: How will I keep a roof over my head as the rent keeps getting higher?, Why do I keep going to Whole Foods for groceries even after I know they rip me off?, and What are the relative merits of a single-hopped IPA?
OK, that last one might be a bit of a stretch. But I’ve definitely heard the argument before. And with the seasonal release of upstate New York’s Southern Tier Brewing Company’s newest 2xONE IPA, it’s time to have that conversation again. Now that it’s on the shelf in time for debate season, I contend it should be our beer of the week.
Most beers, particularly IPAs, contain several types of hops — they add some complexity to the bitterness profile of the resulting beer, but it can also muddle the defining characteristics of each constituent varietal. Most people, it turns out, want nothing more than a beer that tastes good on the tongue. But to the advanced beer-drinker, who’s seeking to single out what a particular type of hops brings to a beer, nothing more edifying exists than a single-hopped brew.
To that end, Southern Tier created a seasonal series of single-hopped IPAs. Their 2xONE, released once a year around this time, incorporates only one breed of hops and one single malt into every unique batch, so it never tastes the same from year to year. In the 2015 rendition, the brewers have built their beer around Equinox hops, a relatively new breed that delivers an alluring, tropical aroma and a zesty finish. And since this 8.1% offering is technically a double IPA, there are ample amounts of Equinox to be discovered in every sip.
When it comes to preferred hops in craft beer today, there are far more candidates than even the G.O.P. could manage. Centennial, Citra, Simcoe, and Columbus are early favorites. If you want to weigh in and support a specific contender, it’s imperative to make yourself informed. Start today by getting to know Equinox. Pick up a six-pack of 2xONE at a local package store in time for tonight’s debacle. To sit through over an hour of that, you’re clearly going to need as much high-ABV beer as you can stomach anyway. Then be sure to seek out other single-hopped expressions in the future, as you prepare to enter your own debate. As for my choice? My money is on Centennial 2016!