Friday, February 12, 2010

A Quick Stop at Bitterroot Brewing for CTZ Single Hop Pale Ale

I had a few minutes to spare recently which pairs nicely with good fortune when you find yourself a few blocks from one of Montana's fine breweries. This time it was Bitterroot Brewing Co. in Hamilton, a comfortable spot with a regular line up of six beers nearly always on tap plus two or three "whims," or seasonal brews.

Bitterroot Brewing has live music on Thursdays and Saturdays and a pretty fun line up at that. There's also food available from a separate restaurant inside the brewery that shares the space. Good food.  Burritos, tacos, burgers and more.  You'll have to pay for your food and beer separately, but that's a small inconvenience for getting fresh food and fresh beer at the same spot.

I asked for a pint of their CTZ Single Hop Pale Ale, the latest in their line of single hop ales. Belgian Honey Trippel and Winter Warmer were the other two whims on tap, but I had to hit the road. I wasn't familiar with CTZ hops, so I did a little research.  It stands for Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus which are three hop varieties that are commonly lumped together. Why, I wasn't able to learn, but I presume because they bear great similarities to each other.  They are considered super alpha hops, a loose category of hops with a very high alpha acid content (in the neighborhood of 14% to 16%) which is where the bitterness comes from.
CTZ Single Hop Pale Ale pours a cloudy, straw color and a fairly big white head. Cloudy because it is unfiltered. The aroma is a very strong citrus hop. The taste is hops (good, slightly citrus hop flavor) and a slight underlying maltiness with just the right amount of bitterness to make a crisp, easy drinking pale ale. It is great to find a beer like this among the traditional heavy winter beers, though I couldn't help but think how good it would be on a hot summer day. I'm betting they'll have something just as good by the time July rolls around.

Name: CTZ Single Hop Pale Ale
Brewery: Bitterroot Brewing Co, Hamilton, MT.
Style: IPA.
Color: cloudy, straw color.
Packaging: draft.
Stats: 6.33% abv, ? IBU.
Bought: at the brewery, Hamilton, MT
Ruling: Three and a half out of Five Hops. Crisp, nice Pale Ale.

1 comment:

  1. Yo. I quite like Bitterroot Brewing. Their facilty is very nice and the brews good. The owner Tim is a great guy and I enjoy supporting them. Fun stuff and a great day trip from MSLA. Cheers