Dogfish Head Brewery, whom we’ve written about before, claims to have crafted the “hoppiest beer ever documented through scientific analysis.” The new beer is called Hoo Lawd, because that’s what you’ll say once that extra bitter brew bites your tongue.
The average IPA has 40-60 IBUs, or international bittering units. Hoo Lawd has 658.
The bitterness comes from the hops used to brew the beer, and Dogfish Head founder and president Sam Calagione says he wanted to make a beer that is “DEFCON-one-hoppy.” Cool. So – can you drink it?
it’s intense, and “not for everyone.” But the craft brew culture has grown so much that not only is experimentation totally acceptable, it’s expected. Keeping ahead in such a massive market will only be achieved by innovation. Plus, it’s fun.
Calagione explains that the thing that keeps people going after the first punchy sip is the same thing that makes IPA drinkers a unique bunch – the desire to be adventurous and push past the hop threshold shift. Hoo Lawd is made using Alpha Beast, Amarillo, Warrior, and Simcoe hops.
To create a claim that had integrity, Dogfish Head worked with Hop Union to independently submit the ale for bitterness sampling. Many say the tongue can only taste up to 110 IBUs, so the excessive hoppiness of Hoo Lawd may not even be discernable, but Calagione says he can taste the difference, and I believe him.
The beer has been brewed in ultra limited release for Dogfish Head Brewery’s web series, That’s Odd, Let’s Drink It! which focuses on hoppy beers and the folks who love them. It’s now being poured in their the Dogfish Head Pub, and also at the Boston Extreme Beer Fest in February.
Calagione compares the bitter flavor’s journey from tongue to brain like a game of Asteroids – some enjoy the ride, and some wipe out and don’t plan on playing again anytime soon.
What’s the hoppiest beer you’ve ever tasted? Tell us in the comments!