A pal gave me a can of Hopslam Ale, a double IPA from Bell’s Brewery that beckoned to me every time I opened the magic fridge.

Finally, I decided the time was right. The illustration on the can shows a man crushed by a giant hop cone, so I naturally expected a hopslam to my palate.

To my complete surprise, I was greeted with a totally unexpected big sweet flavor, which caused me to examine the can more closely, where I learned that this ale is brewed with honey to take off some of the edge of the six hop varieties and what the brewery describes as a “massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops.”

That really does something to your mind, when you’re expecting one thing and get another, like the time I mistook KY Jelly for toothpaste. Yuck!

I didn’t know what to make of this beer at first. But with each subsequent sip, I began to understand and enjoy this complex and lip-sticking ale. Once the sweetness and rich mouthfeel of the malt and honey subsides, you feel you might have been sucking on a green hop cone. It’s an intense hop flavor, but not overbearing.
Door County Brewing’s latest offering, Sideshow, is described on the label as a Door County-Style IPA.

If this is Door County-Style IPA, that means Door County-Style IPA is a Belgian Pale Ale because this tastes to me very much like a lovely BPA, which, to my mind, is one of the world’s great beers.

Yum! I love BPAs. So refreshing. So satisfying. So rich and full of deep, chewy flavor.

Speaking of flavor, I did not get the fruity profile mentioned on the label. Instead, I got a malty, bready, spicy flavor that put a smile on my face while satisfying my soul.

Who, I ask, could ask for more?

Congratulations Door County Brewing for this superstar beer.