Bell’s Hopslam, a holiday gift coming earlier for beer drinkers

Bell’s Hopslam releases its popular seasonal beer earlier, photo provided by Bell's Brewery
Bell’s Hopslam releases its popular seasonal beer earlier, photo provided by Bell's Brewery /

For many Bell’s Brewery fans, the beginning of each year marks the return of the celebrated Hopslam. While that complex beer might have hit the right note in January, the annual release is finding a new timeframe that better allows beer drinkers to toast to the popular double IPA. As the line runs at a fierce pace, Bell’s Hopslam is back, and it is time to pour this beer.

Bell’s Brewery has several iconic beers. From the Amber Ale to the classic Two Hearted Ale, the Michigan based brewery always impresses with its attention to detail. Whether it is the Kalamazoo water that fills the tanks or the carefully selected hops that impart their flavor, beer drinkers appreciate the brewers’ attention to detail in every brew.

As one of its favorite limited releases, Bell’s Hopslam is almost legendary. While this beer usually was the first special offering of the year, the brewery has made a significant change. By releasing Hopslam ahead of the holidays, the festive season is even more flavorful. Whether enjoyed while watching football or saved for that Thanksgiving dinner, it is the flavorful beer that has everyone keeping a few cans in the fridge.

Bell's Brewery releases Hopslam
Bell’s Brewery releases Hopslam for the holidays, photo provided by Bell’s Brewery /

What can fans expect from the Bell’s Hopslam winter 2022 release?

For those unfamiliar, the Bell’s Hopslam is a complex beer. While beer drinkers appreciate that a Double IPA will be a more robust beer, this offering is quite drinkable. The six different hop varietals bring the complexity forward, but the beer is never muddled. Whether it is the dry-hop addition or the deft hand from the brewers, this beer is one that needs to be pondered time and again.

While much can be said about the hops, the locally sourced honey in the Hopslam adds to the drinking enjoyment. Never cloying sweet, it is another Michigan flavor influence that helps to bring drinkablity. That touch of sweetness adds the contrasting balance to all the other flavor notes.

Although a quite enjoyable sip straight from the can, the Hopslam is best enjoyed in a sniffer. The glass allows the aromas to invite that first drink. It is a beer that deserves an appreciation of the vibrant color, pungent aromas, and diverse flavors.

Given that this Double IPA weighs in at 10% ABV, it may not be the beer that is drunk too quickly. Now that it is released during the holiday season, it can be that beer to be enjoyed throughout the celebration. There is no need to crush beer after beer.

Thinking about pairing this beer with food, there are many possibilities. Instead of that wine with the turkey, consider Hopslam with a spicier seasoning on that bird. Even a hearty stew or short rib can stand up to the Double IPA.

Given the slight sweetness from the honey in this beer, spicy food would be an optimum pairing. The most interesting pairing is Indian food. A great curry and Bell’s Hopslam is a food and beverage pairing that is a must try.

The most important idea to remember regarding this beer is that it needs to be drunk fresh. While some people might like the beer to age and to allow the honey notes to become almost mead like, the reality is that the Hopslam flavors are best enjoyed fresh. It is better to let those barrel aged beers sit on the shelf. This beer should be front, center, and opened before the calendar turns to 2023.

The Bell’s Hopslam has started shipping and should be on store shelves in November. For more information on locations, check with the Bell’s Brewery website’s beer finder.

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