Skiing. Mountains. Untamed wilderness. Colorado is exemplified by many components. Perhaps this rugged image gives other states the impression that all Coloradoans are burly, brusque mountain people, hand-catching salmon in the alpine stream by day, downing whisky and fist-fighting at the old saloon by night. Granted, that culture (too an extent) still exists high in the Rockies and even downtown Denver city slickers possess a spark of Jeremiah Johnson but, for the most part, Centennial Staters are pretty mellow. The beer is certainly one cause for that chillness but so, too, is Colorado’s proclivity for jam bands and the cloud of recently-legalized smoke that often accompanies such concerts. For a great intermingling of beer and the local hippie scene, try Boulder Beer’s Hoopla Pale Ale (5.7% ABV), a brew conceived by The String Cheese Incident’s Kyle Hollingsworth.
Color: Hoopla is mostly clear but suspended hop haze imparts some opaqueness. It is a dark orange, brass-colored beer with a tan-tinged white head of foam.
Aroma: Going along with the granola way of life, Hoopla’s aroma is grassy, mellow, pleasant, and earthy. There’s a touch of fresh citrus, too.
Taste: Like the aroma, the flavor of Hoopla has a bit of earthiness to it. There’s a trace of hop bitterness—like a citrus peel—that lingers and intensifies as one drinks. The grains are also somewhat prominent, giving Hoopla an almost toasty quality.
Mouthfeel: The hops keep this medium-bodied beer quite dry.
While the stereotypical green plant often associated with the counter-culture movement isn’t actually in the beer, drinking a Hoopla can still relax drinkers and mentally transport them to an outdoor music festival, commune, or public protest. Beer geeks, kick off your shoes, patch your jeans with corduroy, and knot your hair into a gnarly head of dreadlocks because Hoopla is the type of beer that’ll get you in touch with Gaia.
Hoopla is available in many Denver-area liquor stores.