The crew over at Malt Shovel Brewery have brewed up the latest in the James Squire Hop Thief range, being the Hop Thief 8, the continuation of a wildly popular series tweaking the brand’s American Pale Ale, and the follow up to last year’s very well-received, fruity 7.
Cascade and Crystal hops have been sourced from the Yakima Valley in USA for this brew, tapping into Washington State’s premiere producer to focus the flavour of the desert like conditions at the base of the Cascade Mountains, which are said to result in some of the worlds finest hops when coupled with the generous irrigation of the 9 million year old Yakima River. The ambition is justified seeing as this ongoing series has brought new life to the James Squire brand.
Is it justified in the actual taste of the beer though? That would really depend on your own personal palate, but if you were a fan of the 7 – and chances are you were, it sold 1.9 million litres last year – then this should go down just fine, it’s almost identical just not as rich on either on the front nor the back of the palate. The promised tropical tang is most certainly there as is the big smack of citrus in both aroma and taste, lifting the notes of grapefruit but also lifting the bitterness that the 7 lacked. The result is a well-rounded brew that’s got a little of that toughness missing in previous editions, the main difference being the smooth bitter back palate that works well after the burst of flavour in the front.
Single bottle RRP – $3.99
6-pack RRP – $18.99 – $19.99
24 x carton RRP – $59.99 – $60.99
The Hop Thief 8 is now available eveywhere good beer is sold. A single bottle retails for $3.99 each, a 6 pack would cost you $18.99, and a 24 carton would be $60.99. For more information about the Hop Thief series click head to James Squire.