As we reported back in July, Heather and Matt McClung are now manning the helm at Hale’s Ale Brewery. You should read that original report, but here’s the really short version. The former owners of Schooner Exact Brewing are navigating Hale’s into the future, bringing some new blood, fresh ideas, and contemporary flavors to Washington’s oldest, longest-standing brewery. One of the first steps in that journey, Hale’s Ale releases cans of Hop Rizing IPA today. They will introduce another IPA very soon.
Hop Rising IPA speaks to the nature of what’s going on at Hale’s Ale right now. It is a beer that leans on the past but is very much on point for the times. In brewing it, Matt McClung revisited the recipe for one of his most popular beers from the past, reimagining and improving it.
I had the opportunity to sample the beer prior to the release. If you’re familiar with McClung’s work, you might be reminded of one of the IPAs he brewed at Schooner Exact, but Hop Rising IPA has a more pronounced hop character that really shines through. It is not a hazy juice bomb, but it does offer some lovely floral, resinous, and fruity hop notes. And, dig this, it does actually have a touch of bitterness. Remember when all IPAs had that?
Starting today, you can get Hop Rising IPA at the Hale’s Ale Brewery taproom in Ballard. The cans will soon find their way into distribution and onto shelves at your favorite beer retailers.
Hop Rising IPA might not fit into the Hazy category, but the next IPA from Hale’s will. “While many thought our brew kettle was incapable of brewing a Hazy beer… we’ve finally joined the Haze Craze,” said Heather McClung. “HĀZEMANIA (Haze-a-mania) IPA will be out in a couple weeks.”