Liz picked up a six pack of this Michelob Brewing Hop Hound ‘Spring Seasonal’ beer for one of The Brew Club recent beer exchanges.
I’m always curious to see what the macro-brewers are up to in their quest to recapture some of the excitement that the micro brewers are creating in the industry. I thought that Budweiser’s American Ale was OK, but I would probably never have it again given a choice. How would this Hop Hound for Michelob compare?
First, I thought the label was pretty stupid looking. A dog with a Frisbee. I know Liz is attracted to stupid labels so I guess it works to a degree – I would have never bought this beer based on its packaging alone.
Still, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover right? Let’s explore this 5.3% ABV beer itself and toss the bottle into the recycle bin.
As you can see in the picture, the Hop Hound poured a loose, foamy head that actually stuck around for awhile.
Looking at the beer in the glass, it seems to be slightly unfiltered, and that is also indicated on the label. There are not chunks of stuff floating around in the “unfiltered American amber wheat ale”, but there is a bit of wispy cloudiness that I found fascinating to watch. (I’m easily amused) According to the Hop Hound label, the beer “gets its tawny hue from a blend of wheat, caramel, carapils and pale barley malts“. There ya go.
This beer is also made with both imported and domestic hops. The taste of this beer closely follows the smell. The aroma had a touch of sweetness like caramel, some wheat, some malt – but generally speaking its hard to pick up much else that is distinctive. My taste sensors indicated a lightly fruity (apple-ish?), lightly hoppy ale that was very smooth, and easy drinking. Not much in the way of carbonation and there was no sting, burn or general unpleasantness. I thought this beer was surprisingly good!
Strangely enough, with a name like ‘Hop Hound’, one might imagine a beer that was more like an IPA or perhaps even an ‘IPA Light’ (is there such a thing?) In reality, the hops were not emphasized to the point that warrants the Hop Hound name. What’s up with that? I think the marketing people were just obsessed with getting a cartoon dog with a Frisbee on a bottle of beer somehow regardless of what was in the bottle.
Although this Michelob is under the Anheuser Busch umbrella of beers, I thought Hop Hound was actually decent- despite the super stupid label. I think Hop Hound would make a great ‘gateway beer’ to introduce your macro beer loving friends to something new that isn’t too extreme or fancy. I guess what I’m saying is that it would be a safe bet in its relative blandness and its also not a bad replacement for the cheap beers stuffed in the cooler at your next BBQ. I’d have it again.