Bell's Hopslam will be bottled this year

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by eagles22, Jan 5, 2021.

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  1. mikeinportc

    mikeinportc Nov 4, 2015 New York
    Society

    Put each bottle in a just-big-enough plastic cup, or 2bl/3pled up plastic bag.
    :flushed::astonished:
    Was $17.99/6pk here, last year.
     
  2. dlcarst

    dlcarst Aug 21, 2015 Missouri
    Trader

    Got my Hopslam yesterday in St. Louis. Every year this beer is amazing and this year is no different. But every year I hear it's not that great from people who love NEIPAs. I also hear complaints about price from people who love to pay more for NEIPAs. I get it, many people want fruit juice flavor, but for those who like malt flavor and complexity, this is a great beer.
     
  3. surfcaster

    surfcaster Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Trader

    Bring back the old "bar bottles"!!!
     
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  4. surfcaster

    surfcaster Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Trader

    I look forward to Hop Slam and it truly has gone full circle. Was super ground breaking then a "has been" by many on these boards to getting some love back from old timers and some new love alike.

    It still holds a place in my heart. Folks can argue how close it was to that magic I experienced for the first time 13 or so yrs ago in NC when it was really hard to come by but still really excited to get some. Old school, well made non-hazebomb.
     
  5. nc41

    nc41 Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I agree with you my first Hopslam was like having my first experience... well, ya know. It opened my eyes to tropical fruits and explosive flavors I hadn't experienced in any beer prior. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s the beer, I don’t now, but I think it’s drifted away a bit from that tropical fruity kinda beer. Ya, I’m one of those, where I truly believe it was better 10 years ago, a few years ago I had it on tap and if you told blind what beer it was I wouldn’t have believed you. Could have been dirty lines don’t know, but it was just a shell.
     
  6. surfcaster

    surfcaster Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Trader

    Grab a 6! I can't wait. Last year it seemed a little more in line from days of old when I had it on tap last year. Funny how we remember things, but I always felt the "older years" were even more on the piney side. Aroma just bursted from the bottle after popping that iconic cap. ( No cap for now, what, 5 years?)

    I love the gentle honey finish. IMO the shift to more astringent, murky beer is making some of the old schoolers resonate more than ever.

    And I love the idea of it coming back in bottles for 2021--finally some good news!!!
     
  7. imtroy703

    imtroy703 Nov 13, 2009 Virginia
    Society Trader

    I remember the mini barrels of HopSlam. Sooo dangerous!
     
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  8. nc41

    nc41 Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Always worth a buy.
     
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  9. Giantspace

    Giantspace Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Man, everyone is making me excited to go buy a six. This used to be close to $30?but last years I saw HS for around $18. It’s odd that I will grab expedition at $18?no issue but will really gave a tough time doing that with HS.

    Enjoy
     
  10. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Dangerous indeed. I drank one last year and tried to make a day out of it and it ended up being two days.
     
  11. Fenski

    Fenski Apr 24, 2008 Ohio
    Society

    Always gotta go with Hopslam bottles, just can't seem to get the chords right on the cans!
     
  12. msscott1973

    msscott1973 Dec 28, 2013 North Carolina

    Nice post + profile pic combo
     
  13. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    This has been my experience as well. When I lived in Baltimore, I couldn't wait to obtain some of this beer every year, and always made a special hunt to find it (as at the time, Bell's wasn't distributed in Maryland). Even when I was transferred to Morgantown WV (another state where Bell's wasn't distributed at the time), I would drive over to Ohio to obtain some. It was always great, as I adored the combination of sweet malt, light honey and skunky hops (with that wonderful kiss of bitterness on the finish).

    Sooooo… in 2013 I moved to Oregon, and figured my days of drinking HS were done. Yet low and behold, a couple of years ago, Bell's did a brief foray into the PDX market. The first year we just got bottles of HS as I recall, and it was so limited I was unable to obtain any. However, the next year we got a pretty decent allocation, and the beer was readily available all over town (on tap and I think in cans). I can't tell you how excited I was... until I had my first glass. I had told the bartender at my local how great this beer was (though of course he'd heard about it as well), and so I was pretty surprised when I tried it. To me, it tasted more like a strong amber ale, as it was sweet and malty with hardly any noticeable hop presence. I also bought some cans as well, but they weren't much better.

    The beer did not sell well in PDX. I think there were two drops of cans, and the second drop just sat in most stores (the first drop sold well, as I think there was a lot of pent up demand for the beer). Places that had it on tap... in some instances I think it took more than a month for the keg to kick.

    I think it's been a few years since Bell's has been available in this market. Outside of HS, most Bell's products sold pretty well I thought, so I'm not sure why that is. As for me, I have no idea what the explanation is. It's hard for me to believe that Bell's would change or dumb down the recipe for HS, but the beer sure tasted a lot different than what I was accustomed to on the East Coast. Reading all the glowing reviews of the beer in this thread... maybe it's simply a matter of palate shift on my part. It sure isn't a beer I would ever order today (especially given the price - I think it was right around $20 a 6 pack when it was last available here).
     
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  14. nc41

    nc41 Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Whether it’s actually different or its my palate shift makes it almost irrelevant, because the ones I’ve been drinking the last few years does not taste the same. And let me add that IPAs are my favorite style, but probably the least bought style for me. I’m very picky about my IPAs and I refuse known mediocre beers. So I’d say I protect my palate pretty well which then leaves the obvious. It used to be a fruit bomb not a dark piney earthy ipa. My palate isn’t trained but you could smell the difference let alone taste it.
    @John_M
     
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  15. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    I, on the other hand, drink a LOT of IPA's (and to a lesser extent, DIPA's as well). There are a lot of craft breweries here in the NW, and new ones seem to come online all the time. So it seems like I'm constantly trying new IPA's (based on someone's recommendation, or in a taster format). A lot of really, really good ones are made here in the NW, which is another reason I drink IPA's so often.

    The sweet malty style DIPA's I used to see pretty frequently on the East Coast (think Southern Tier and 90 minute IPA from DFH), are not greatly appreciated here in the NW, and so I rarely see them or drink them. So in my case, palate shift could definitely be a factor. I just bought a 4 pack of Surly Abrasive last week, which was another old time favorite of mine. The beer was so sweet, malty and boozy, I could hardly drink it. Maybe there was a storage problem (it was canned just 3 weeks ago), as I really don't recall the beer being so malty and sweet when I would drink it in Minnesota.

    Completely agree with you though... whatever the reason (palate shift, storage problems, contaminated/infected lines, etc.), HS is just not a beer I'm able to enjoy any more.
     
  16. nc41

    nc41 Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I had fresh Abrasive a few weeks ago, it’s not what it was when Todd was there, where did that explosive fruit go? I won’t buy it again, way over priced too.
     
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  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    John, do you recall how fresh those beers were? I have read several folks opine that Hop Slam 'falls off a cliff' pretty rapidly.

    In the recent past (3-5 years ago) I had several draft glasses of Hop Slam and all of those draft glasses tasted exactly how you detailed above: "sweet and malty with hardly any noticeable hop presence," In contrast I have had a few packaged (bottled?) Hop Slam beers and in contrast they had a notable hop presence and not nearly as sweet. My guess is that for those draft beers the keg was past its prime (too old and/or abused during transport).

    I wonder what is a reasonable window/duration for how long Hop Slam holds up before it becomes a malt-bomb?

    Cheers!
     
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  18. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    I'm afraid I don't recall. This was probably 3 or 4 years ago now. I think we got it in fairly soon after the start of HS release season. So I wouldn't have thought the cans were all that old... but I honestly can't recall at this point.

    I know to some extent this is apples and oranges, but we also got in a supply of Two Hearted. The two hearted tasted just like the two hearted I always used to get when I lived in Baltimore and Morgantown. Not surprisingly perhaps, cans of two hearted sold VERY well.
     
    #98 John_M, Jan 14, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Bell's claims that Two Hearted is 'good' for 6 months from packaging. I have never had a 5+ month old Two Hearted so I don't know if this is a 'valid' claim.

    In contrast:

    "Hopslam along with all of our double IPAs are best enjoyed as fresh as possible."

    https://help.bellsbeer.com/hc/en-us/articles/360012580853-Shelf-life-packaging-date-batch-number-

    Cheers!
     
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  20. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Hence my apples and oranges analogy. I knew it wasn't the best of comparisons.

    When I was able to get it back East, my recollection is that HS was usually excellent for roughly a month after release. After that, it would get steadily sweeter and more malty.

    The first time I ever tried HS was over at Union Jack's on the Manatawny, many moons ago. They had bottles of it, and the bottle I ordered must have been a good 5 or 6 months old. I didn't know any better back then, I just knew I wanted to try it, given it's reputation. Not surprisingly, I remember being hugely disappointed and couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about. LOL!!! This was long before there were threads on BA about the importance of freshness when it comes to drinking IPA's/DIPA's.
     
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  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I have seen others state similar thoughts.
    Well, since we are 'naming names' my draft Hopslam experiences in the recent past were at Capone's and all of those beers were sweet messes. I did not carefully track timeframes then but in retrospect I am of the opinion that Matt just held onto (or received?) those kegs with too much age on them. In contrast I have enjoyed the few drinking experiences of Hopslam in bottles/cans much better and I can relate those beers were not too old (likely around a month from bottling/canning).

    Cheers!
     
  22. Rich4mde1

    Rich4mde1 Jun 27, 2018 Missouri
    Trader

    Saw they have them again this year. Dangerous indeed.
     
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  23. core42

    core42 May 5, 2010 Michigan
    Trader

    It will never be the same experience as your/our first time because whether or not Hopslam is different, we are different & the industry is different. NEIPAs, which I love, have changed our perception of what a tropical IPA is. When Hopslam came out it was the only beer of its kind but now there are tons of IPAs that are fruity, tropical, made w/honey, etc so it will never be able to re-ascend to that throne that it once had. It is one of the few old school IPAs that I still make sure to get my hands on because despite everything I said I still love Hopslam & have to get some yearly


    They just hit Bell's General Store yesterday & shipping to distro started this week
     
  24. Neverdie7

    Neverdie7 Jun 7, 2008 Wisconsin

    Just got some here in Central WI. Bottled 1/4/21. Freshest beer I have seen in these parts! Also price went down this year. $15.99 so I grabbed 2 six packs. Glad they reduced the price a little. It's a great beer at now what I consider a fair price.
     
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  25. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Was this a recent experience Jack? I know Matt was a big believer in holding back kegs for special events, and I remember he used to have periodic IPA and DIPA events... So if that's the time frame you're referencing, then I'm not at all surprised. But that was 10 or 15 years ago, when I don't think he knew any better.

    I'm still on his email mailing list, and these days he touts the fact a particular IPA or DIPA is only a few weeks old. So I would be surprised if you had old draft versions of HS at Capone's on the past few years.

    Also, much as I'm no fan of Shangys, I can't imagine they would intentionally sell old kegs of HS to a customer like Matt.
     
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  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    No, it was several years ago and I do not specifically remember if it was for an event but I would not be surprised if this was indeed the case.

    Cheers!
     
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  27. cavedave

    cavedave Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Funny I 've been a beer drinking forager who has spent countless days in the woods for over forty years, and never realized that I was supposed to be having problems carrying bottles into and out of the woods. I guess ignorance really is bliss.
     
  28. eagles22

    eagles22 Sep 7, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Just picked up a sixer for 18.00 bottle date 1/08/21
     
  29. Giantspace

    Giantspace Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    If I see HS at $18 or less I think I will grab some for this weekend.

    Enjoy
     
  30. thebeeremptor

    thebeeremptor Aug 12, 2018 California
    Society Trader

    It was so bad at one point, even Coors Light in cans was impossible to get for about two weeks.


    Obligatory "hey bros, what is the optimal amount of time to age hopslam thanks" post.
     
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  31. eagles22

    eagles22 Sep 7, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Yeah I was in the same boat. Glad I picked it up worth it
     
  32. ClockworkOrange

    ClockworkOrange Feb 19, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Just walked by it at Wegmans in Wilkes-Barre at $22.99! That can't be right, it was like $18 last year. if so, they can keep it.
     
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  33. eagles22

    eagles22 Sep 7, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Yeah thats crazy! I wouldn't pay 23.00 for it
     
  34. scud

    scud Sep 22, 2010 Indiana
    Trader

    It’s hilarious when people say it’s overpriced but have no problem dropping $25+ on 4 haze cans
     
  35. dlcarst

    dlcarst Aug 21, 2015 Missouri
    Trader

    And they say it's not that great a beer because it doesn't taste like fruit juice.
     
  36. SteelCranium

    SteelCranium Jul 1, 2010 Ohio

    I believe the claim. Took an early May trip to upper Michigan a few years ago. Always grab some two hearted on the way thru the LP. Lots of other beer brought to camp so some of the two hearted wasn’t consumed. So it rested in the cellar until I returned in mid October. Consumed them for science and didn’t perceive much drop-off. Had some upper hand double ringer left up there as well and didn’t fare as well. Tasted like a slightly hoppy barleywine. I assume Hopslam after 9 months should be similar.

    Similar to what others have said, Hopslam was special over 15 years ago when I had to travel to Michigan to get some and it shouldn’t stick around long. Bought it by the case back then. Not as special now since so many other options but revisiting more the past few years as a change up from less hoppy offerings.
     
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  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    So they were not stored at room temperature (e.g., 70 degrees F)?
    How vibrant was the hop aroma?

    Cheers!
     
  38. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society

    My first bottle of Hopslam was going on 14 years ago compliments of @Wasatch

    I had some draught at Frontier Brewing close to a year ago. I am hoping that the bottles make an appearance in Casper.
     
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  39. Wasatch

    Wasatch Jun 8, 2005 Colorado
    Society Trader

    The first time I tried a Westy around the same time, maybe even sooner, was from you.

    Cheers!
     
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  40. cavedave

    cavedave Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    I am out of the loop now, but I and everyone I know had problems with that price for 64 oz. of IPA, even when we paid it. Around here it was only the hype breweries able to thrive at that price. I was able to drink quality IPA of all kinds for 18.00 all the time. I love Hopslam but it would be just another beer I love that's priced above what I would pay. A few others I ended up feeling the same about are Decadent, Foreign Objects, Equilibrium, Hudson Valley.
     
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