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Sometimes I Age My IPAs for a Year… Just Me or Naah?

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Sometimes I Age My IPAs for a Year… Just Me or Naah?

Houston, TX
Hazy DIPA
ABV: 8.5%
IBUs: ?
Packaging: Draft, 4 pack 16 ounce cans

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I don’t age beers the way most folks do. I don’t hope they’ll get better with age, or try and parlay them into more money and beer than their worth.

Nope.

In most cases, I drink them fresh. Besides, the only thing I’m guaranteed is that they’ll change.

For better or worse? That’s a 50/50 gamble as far as I’m concerned, so I don’t usually roll the dice.

But every now and again, I’ll go against the grain and age a few beers. And even more seldom, a hazy IPA. Sometimes I’ll sit on the beer for a few weeks, sometimes a few months, and in the case of SpindleTap Juiceton, a dozen months. (Or a year, for those that don’t math real good.)

Some brief history is in order: SpindleTap Juiceton is arguably one of the best beers hazy IPAs Houston. (Like for real, we argued about it on our group text thread.) Back when the haze craze was kicking off, it was one of three beers that first caught the attention of traders nationwide. Houston Haze and Hops Drop were released alongside it originally. (I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to name Hops Drop and design the label art, with Garrison’s creative direction.)

Despite Sam’s glowing review, Juiceton was originally pretty meh. It wasn’t a bad beer by any stretch, but it was lacking mouthfeel, aroma, and the explosive hop flavor that SpindleTap has become known for nationwide.

Garrison and the rest of the brewing team at SpindleTap adjusted the original recipe drastically into what would become one of Houston’s most iconic beers. Later, it was released alongside Hopkeem and High Knees for the 34 Legend Series.

Since the Juiceton recipe has evolved over time into something noteworthy, I figured I’d see how well it held up in a can. For a year. The results were stunning.

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The can of SpindleTap Juiceton cracks open with floral, tropical fruitiness that was surprisingly powerful for an IPA that’s been in my fridge for a year. The aromas didn’t take over my office as they did with a fresh can, but they were still prevalent.

SpindleTap Juiceton looks like the same bright orange IPA that I remember from a year ago. It’s slightly more brown than it was on day one, but again, not nearly what I’d expect after a year. It looks better than my homebrew after 3 weeks, and I use enough Co2 to probably be considered irresponsible.

Each sip is a smooth, tropical-hop, crescendo that finishes off with Z E R O bitterness. It isn’t quite as bright and crisp as I remember it, and the tropical flavor is a bit muddled; there is no distinctive fruit flavor that presented itself. It seems a bit sweeter, but the carbonation is still spot on.

Overall, it blows me away with how good it is. If a friend poured this beer for me blindly, I wouldn’t have the slightest inclination that it was a freaking year old. Let that sink in for a minute. A year-old IPA that’s still bursting with tropical aroma and flavor.

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Was it the best ever? Naah. But it was head and shoulders above my expectations. Having received 1-2-month-old IPAs in beer trades that seemed oxidized or past their prime, it’s worth mentioning that the beer was stored properly in a refrigerator for the entire year.

I can’t wait ’til the next batch is released so I can try this experiment again.

Unfortunately, SpindleTap Juiceton is only available in cans and on draft at the brewery, and on draft at a few other select locations around town. Rumor on the street is, it’ll be in stores soon. Until then, hit up the homies at Hop Drop for delivery of other special beers because they got the goods. Use code “BEERCHRONICLE” for 10% off your beer delivery.

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Anthony Gorrity
tony.d@beerchronicle.com

Anthony's a Houston native, a graphic designer, and a UH Coog that loves good beer almost as much as he does his city. He's an ex-oilfield guy that spends is days pushing pixels for us, breweries, churches, and one of Houston's fastest-growing companies. Fueled by sessionable IPAs and gangster rap, he's ticked his way through H-Town, rocking nothing but the dopest on-sale Nikes he can find. When he's not writing for us, he's with his family or rooting for the Rockets.

2 Comments
  • Mickey
    Posted at 15:56h, 15 June

    I have never understood aging of beers. Especially hoppy beers. IPA styles are made to enjoy as fresh as possible. Some breweries going out of their way to let folks know NOT to age their beers. Russian River tells consumers not to age Pliney the Edler and Blind Pig for example. I had a Pliney that was aged a year and it lost that pop and burst of hoppy goodness.
    Give me fresh as possible IPA styles. After all isn’t that what craft is about? Enjoying great beer now?

  • Beer Chronicle Team
    Posted at 20:55h, 21 June

    Meh. Depends, I suppose. TBH, none of us are real big on aging beers, but this particular one was simply an experiment. Drink fresh, drink now, drink yesterday! Craft beer’s about breaking the rules, right? We wanted to not listen to the pleas for urgency and see what happened. While we’ve been unpleasantly surprised in the past, SpindleTap Juiceton was worth putting an article together even after a year. Cheers!

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