Regular readers of The Brewclub might recall a birthday pilgrimage I made in 2015 to St James’s Gate in Dublin -the home of Guinness – who are diversifying into brews other than their ‘legendary’ Irish Stout – the post is here.
One such brew, emanating from the ‘Brewers Project’ on the massive St James’s Gate site is Hop House 13 lager, now available in bottles here on the UK mainland.
It pours a mid-orange colour, with a full head that fades rapidly, but laces down the glass as it goes.
The nose is bready, here are a few hops lurking – Guinness claim ‘three types of hops‘ (Galaxy, Topaz and Mosaic from my Dublin notes) to deliver a ‘unique hop aroma‘ but frankly it’s not so hoppy as my nose would notice.
Guinness claim this to have been brewed with Irish Barley and to have been ‘double hopped’ although when you compare this to the sixty ‘hop interventions’ made by the Celt Experience in making their ‘Seven Flowers’ ale, this seems pretty run of the mill.
I usually tatse my beers at room temperature, to give the hop aromas a chance, and this was okay, it was malty, with a some hop bitterness, I checked the bottle and this still had six months ‘best before’, I wondered if it was a stale bottle. It was nothing to write home about and had nothing to differentiate this from run of the mill ‘cooking’ lager.
Then, thinking that this would normally be served chilled, I tried a cooler bottle, head to head (as it were) with Kronenbourg 1664 and those exotic hops came through in the flavour more than at room temperature; chilled Hop House 13 held its own against the Kronenbourg.
In Dublin, back in May 2015 I described it as “a tasty pint, and frankly one I would welcome at my local.” – and I spotted it last night at a local hostelry and, chilled, it didn’t disappoint.