Center Ice Brewing releases new edition to “Hop Shelf” hazy IPA series

I believe experimental beers make loving and appreciating beer more fun. These beers can come in many fashions, but one I appreciate and look forward to are those that use the same basic recipe, but vary on some element, such as hops.

That is what Center Ice Brewing has done with its IPA series, “Hop Shelf.”

The Backstory

If that name sounds familiar, it’s because The Hop Shelf brand was one of Center Ice Brewing’s original four beer brands. It used to be a west coast style IPA, but was retired. When the brewery began brainstorming names for their experimental new IPA series, the name came back to life.

Like any experimental series, “Hop Shelf” gives Center Ice brewers an outlet for their experimental IPAs, specifically hazy ones, allowing them to play around with their base recipe. The idea of a series also appealed to the brewery from a logistical standpoint, giving them a main brand for their line, and allowing the brewery to focus its limited resources on recipe development, rather than each individual brand.

Hop Shelf Hazy IPA Vol. 3

After working with some New Zealand hops in the past, Center Ice decided to go all-in for the third edition, using Rakau, Kohatu, along with Mosaic and El Dorado. Rakau hops offers big fruit-forward flavors such as apricot, plum, mango, pear, and other stone fruits. Kohatu imparts a complex woodsy and resinous character as well as aromas of tropical fruits, making it an excellent hop for single-hopped pale ales and session IPAs.

“We felt that Mosaic and El Dorado would compliment these nicely, as both are favorites among our team,” said Kindle Barber, President of Center Ice Brewing.

Comparing to Vol 1 and 2

A big part of what makes a New England Style IPA stand out is the visual look of the beer in the glass.

“With each edition, we have tweaked the grain bill and dry hop schedule seeking the juicy, smooth, and opaque beer style we’ve all grown to know and love,” said Barger. “While there are aspects of Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 we loved, this edition stands out for us as the truest to style.

The Can Art

The can art was designed and created by Adam Rosenthal a tattoo artist, who also designs for Victory Hockey Company, a hockey apparel brand. Rosenthal has designed a few labels for Center Ice in the past.

“For the Hop Shelf series we knew we wanted to incorporate the hockey reference and hops, and he was able to bring it to life better than we could have imagined,” said Barber.

Right now, Vol 3 is available in the taproom and will be hitting the local market in the coming weeks.

Tasting Notes

Hop Shelf Hazy IPA Vol 3 pours an opaque and light golden orange in color.

On the nose, you will get plenty of tropical fruit and bright citrus, with a hint of pine.

Flavors lean heavily on orange, tropical pineapple, and a touch of resin. 

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