Review Date 2/9/2014 Last Updated 10/14/2014
Welcome, friends, to my first review of a beer from another new Georgia brewery, Jekyll Brewing of Alpharetta, Georgia. Actually, as I type, they aren’t that new, having launched sometime last year. I remember seeing a poster announcing they were coming soon back in March of 2013 at one of the local growler shops in Alpharetta, where I happen to work.
Back then, the brewery was asking for help with funding through a Kickstarter project. As a rule, I don’t give to kickstarter brewery projects. Most of the time, the brewery promises you something in return for a pledge, though the value is much less than the amount of the pledge. Seriously, why should I give somebody money to open a brewery? Open your brewery and I will buy your beer and support you that way.
These days, I am supporting Jekyll by buying their beer, including my favorite from these guys, Jekyll Hop Dang Diggity IPA. On the label, Jekyll describes this as a “Southern India Pale Ale (whatever that is). Here’s more from the label:
Hop Dang Diggity Southern IPA gives you the aroma of Georgia Pine while the malty backbone provides for a perfectly balanced sweetness. Hopped up like a one legged chicken, this ain’t your standard IPA, darlin’!
Hop Dang Diggity IPA runs $6.75 for a pint at Taco Mac and $8.99 a six-pack in the bottle. I first had this 74 IBU beer on draft at the aforementioned Taco Mac back on August 15th of 2013, and recorded the following:
Hop Dang Diggity IPA, Jekyll Brewing, Alpharetta, GA. Yet another new GA brewery. American IPA, 6.7% ABV full mug pour. Good chewy caramel malt up front, aromatic resiny hops up next, they intensify into the finish and leave a long dry hop bitter buzz. Good first effort from this brewery, a respectable hoppy American IPA.
Jekyll didn’t start selling their beer in bottles until around November, but I bought a six-pack right away and sent samples to a few friends. They liked it well enough, and praised it. I think the beer is even better now than when I first tried it. Here’s what I think of the bottled stuff:
Jekyll Hop Dang Diggity IPA from the bottle. Glass is from the sadly defunct Dogwood brewery here in GA, when I arrived in 2001 and the cap here was 6% they were brewing amazing stuff! Wonderful light resiny hop nose, I could just sniff this one all day. Chewy caramel malt up front, then leads into tons and tons of resin, long and dry and bitter and piney in the finish. I seem to be more impressed with the bottles stuff than the draft, thought they were both delightful.
Excellent lacing on this too, and it just amazes me more with the hop aroma as it warms....
So you can see, I really like this beer. It’s a very nice solid American IPA without all that wonderful chewy malt being surgically removed as with so many so-called “West Coast” IPAs these days. It’s a wonderful, wonderful beer, and one that will now be a staple chez Bruguru.
Update 6/14/2014: Or maybe not. A few weeks ago, I was off in search of a six-pack of Hop Dang Diggity. I wanted to share a few bottles with friends from out of state, and so as I found myself at Bullocks in Woodstock beer shopping, I went to grab a six-pack. Then I got the sticker shock: $10.99 for a six-pack, steep for a local brew.
No problem, thought I, I’ll just head to the corner packy near my home, where I had seen the beer for $8.99 two weeks before. When I got there, though, I was surprised to see Hop Dang Diggity was up to $10.99 there as well. Grudgingly, I forked over the $11 and change including the governor’s share and brought the beer home. Later, checking the price at Total Wine I was astonished to see they were charging $11.99 for it. I'll still buy this beer from time to time, but I have to say it will be less often at this price. I'm reducing my rating by a half star to 4 since the value is not quite what it used to be on this one.
Update 10/14/2014: The saga continues. Did somebody over at Jekyll (or their distributor anyway) hear me? Prices have started falling back again on Jekyll beers, and the other day I picked up some Cooter Brown Ale ($9.49) and Hop Dang Diggity ($10.49). I've also seen them at Kroger for 50 cents each less than that, so I've restored the half star demerit accordingly. I do love this beer after all.
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.