What’s all this nonsense these days about East Coast IPAs vs. West Coast IPAs? It is a bunch of nonsense if you ask me. Back in my day (and OK, my day was only back in the 90s), the conversation was about American IPA and British IPA. American IPA of the day was thick and chewy and loaded with hop character, and originated on the West Coast. There was some discussion of East Coast IPA, but it was really a lot like British IPA of the day except with more hops tossed in, though still not as much as American IPA.
Today, East Coast IPA is a lot like the old West Coast IPA, and West Coast IPA is thinner and malt and more highly hopped. Rubbish, I say. But just what does any of this have to do with He’Brew Hop Manna, you ask? Not a lot, except you might say that He’Brew Hop Manna is an IPA with roots on the West Coast but today is firmly planted on the East Coast. That’s because Schmaltz Brewing, producers of He’Brew beers, was founded in 1996 in San Francisco but contract brewed over the years in New York State. In 2013, they built their own brewery in Clifton Park, New York.
Hop Manna is Schmaltz’s standard IPA. The beer has an alcohol content of 6.8% by volume and 65 IBUs. I paid $6.50 for a mug at my local Taco Mac. Here’s what Schmaltz says about the beer:
All Ye who are wandering the vast Macro beer desert, thirst no more! Introducing Hop Manna-the first ever single IPA from He’Brew beer and a gift from the Craft Beer Promised Land. Hop Manna is the answer to hop heads’ prayers for a delicious IPA bearing floral and citrus goodness.
Malts: Specialty 2-Row, wheat, Munich, Vienna, CaraMunich 40.
Hops: Warrior, Cascade, Citra, Amarillo, Crystal, Centennial
Dry Hop: Centennial, Cascade, and Citra
That’s a lot of hops, so let’s see what we think.
My mug of He’Brew Hop Manna arrived a beautiful orange amber color with a thick creamy head formation and a very inviting piney nose. Taking a sip, I got plenty of chewy caramel malt in the palate (yay!), then some big, big resiny, citusy and piney hop aroma as the sip progresses. For me, I think the draft version accents the resin and pine more than the citrus, but there you go. The beer has a long lingering dry bitterness at the last and, the warmer it gets, the more the oodles of piney hop aroma and flavor here come out here.
I ordered up an appertizer of hummus with my Hop manna, and I am making little sandwiches of creamy savory hummus, crispy cucumber, salty black olives and succulent sweet grape tomatoes all packed between warm pita. They are pairing so nicely with the resiny IPA, I think I’m in heaven.
He’Brew Hop Manna is not to be missed.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.