Last week we got our alcohol-fueled caffeine buzz on thanks to a bottle of Lagunitas' Cappuccino Stout. Mmmm. Delicious coffee and beer in the same sip! What could be better? In a word: hops.
Yup, we're total hop heads over here at the brew review which is why this week we're comparing another Lagunitas product with a hoppy, competitor brew to see which one we'd prefer to reach for.
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Taste: Both of these brews will challenge your love of hops. So much of the good, green stuff is packed into these bottles that you'll find them overwhelming if you haven't prepared yourself. Hop Stoopid has a slightly higher alcohol level which may help in balancing out the hop flavor. The aroma is still strong, but you can pick out hops and alcohol flavors once it hits your tongue. West Coast on the other hand is all hops. Imagine licking a pine sapling on a spring day in a grassy meadow and you won't even be half way.
We got ours: For this comparison, we're drinking bottles, but we'd like to point out that West Coast IPA on tap at Taste of Tops tasted much better than it does out of a stubby brown bottle. We bought both the West Coast and Hop Stoopid from AJ's Fine Foods in Phoenix.
Verdict: West Coast (at least out of a bottle) is a bit like cramming fistfuls of freshly mowed grass into your gob. We love hops, but there is such an excessive amount here that we can't quite get beyond the bitterness to enjoy the beer itself. Lagunitas on the other hand is milder while still maintaining an intense amount of hop flavor and aroma. You'd be stoopid not to drink a few bottles.