Just Brew It: Eagle Creek and Cool Beanz collaborate for a coffee IPA

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Will Price and Peyton Grace

Last Friday Eagle Creek Brewing Company and Cool Beanz Espresso Bar officially tied the knot with the release of their Hopshot Imperial IPA.

The ceremony went down that evening at the brewing company’s French-quarter-looking home off of Savannah Ave. with live music from Statesboro-based band Poor Man’s Fancy. Apart from the coffee IPA’s release the tasting was standard fare; $10 for six tickets (1 pour of beer per ticket, Hopshot was 2 tickets), an Eagle Creek mug and a few hours of live music and corn hole.

Eagle Creek made six brews available at the event: the Low Country Pale Ale, the Spot Tail Light Blonde Ale, the Georgia Tea Party Amber Ale, the Grassroots Lemon-Lime Hefeweizen, a peppermint stout and, the star of the show, the Hopshot Imperial IPA.

All that’s fine and good but… how was the new beer? We asked our most veteran beer enthusiast and a relative beer noob to try it and let you know what it’s like from both perspectives.

Will’s Take:

The George-Anne staff

4 out of 5

Eagle Creek’s collaboration with Cool Beanz hits right note after right note, however it’s unlikely to convert the IPA non-believers.

The Hopshot Imperial IPA is outright powerful. It’s alcohol content sits at a cool 8.5% and it sucker punches the back of your throat, which is great if you’re already into hoppy, potent IPAs.

Be warned: if you are not already on the super hoppy bandwagon of bitterness this beer probably won’t get you to hop, and if you are not already a fan of deep coffee flavor it is unlikely you will be after drinking. It is bold in its bitter, smooth hoppiness and even bolder in the coffee flavor imparted on the beer. It’s a beer drinker’s beer through and through.

Although brewing beer and coffee together is not an overly unique triumph in today’s microbrew craze, Eagle Creek’s collaboration with Cool Beanz is not typical. You expect a coffee IPA to be extra hoppy and have a bite of coffee flavor in the aftertaste, which the Hopshot has in droves. And that is what sets it apart from other beers like it. The shear level of coffee flavor and hoppiness turns this beer up a notch for the IPA purists and down a few degrees for those new to the hop lifestyle.

Peyton’s take:

Reflector Magazine staff

3.5 out of five

Okay guys, I am going to be 100 percent honest here, I don’t actually know that much about beer. I have toured a few breweries and I enjoy trying out new brands and types whenever I hit Two Guys or Southern Growlers, but I would be lying if I said I could always distinguish my porters from my stouts.

I am a pretty casual beer drinker; not too picky about what I drink at parties but I do prefer a certain type of beer when I am looking for something to drink with a nice dinner. However, I have a feeling that many other college students are in the same boat as me and are still getting their toes wet in the world of ales and lagers.

So, I am here to provide you guys with the average student’s opinion of Eagle Creek Brewing Company’s new Hopshot Imperial IPA. When you first get handed a glass of this coffee infused IPA it can seem a bit intimidating. The beer is dark, like the soul of that professor who gives a test the Friday before spring break, and has a rich espresso aroma that seems misplaced in a cool glass mug but don’t let that scare you away.

While it is a little heavy, it packs quite a punch with its flavor that any coffee lover would appreciate. It is a sipping beer and would be best enjoyed with a well-seasoned meal that can stand up to this beer’s bite.

If you prefer your coffee to have more milk and sugar than actual coffee then this may not be the beer for you. If you love a strong cup of black coffee and don’t mind when you beer has a sharper flavor then it is definitely worth a ticket or two on a Friday at our friendly neighborhood brewery.