Hopslam vs Nugget Nectar Battle Royale at The Black Squirrel Friday – Plus my favorite beer of the moment

via RAR Brewing

Ed. Note: It’s been a while since I shared a PoP proclamation so let me have a go – while I like both these beers very very much – the best beer I’ve had in a long long time comes from a local(ish) brewery called RAR brewing out of Cambridge, Maryland. Not a double IPA but the Nanticoke Nectar is especially awesome (I’ve seen it at Nanny O’Briens and a few grocery stores.) If you happen to see it – I highly recommend you take a taste. Ok back to our regularly scheduled post.

More Hopslam fun.

2427 18th Street, NW

From an email:

“Bell’s Hopslam and Troegs Nugget Nectar will vie for hop supremacy for the seventh year on the main floor of the Black Squirrel this Friday (Feb. 12), starting at 5 p.m.

Both highly coveted seasonal beers pack a wallop, with Hopslam reporting at 10 percent ABV and Nugget Nectar at 7.5 percent ABV.

You be the judge on which highly hopped ale reigns supreme. It’s your call. It’s all your pleasure.

As the knock-out punch, our chef will prepare IPA-infused Mac and Cheese, Citra-Hop-Seasoned Boardwalk Fries, and a Hop Daddy Burger topped with hop-infused cheddar sauce and hoppy mayonnaise. Hop-diggity-dog!

Hopslam vs Nugget Nectar Battle Royale
Friday, February 12th, starting at 5 p.m.”

28 Comment

  • Love Nanticoke Nectar! First had it on tap at Meridian Pint, now pick it up at Yes, though $12.99/six-pack makes it a bit more of a luxury.

  • Hopslam: Allocated in large quantities to Giant but not to small, locally owned stores.

    Bell’s Brewery: A “craft” brewer supporting big business.

  • Has anyone tried this year’s Hopslsm release yet?

  • i know im in the minority, but IPA’s have ruined american craft brewing. far be it from me to judge another man’s beer preferences, but the race to be the hoppiest beer in the land is something that makes it difficult to drink a lot of craft beers for me.

    now, the movement towards the farmhouse ales and various delicious sours that have been coming out has given me a reason to search out new and delicious beers. Im hoping this continues.

    • PS, had the nugget nectar at a spot in philly this weekend. It was good, but again, after one and a half of them, my mouth needed something a bit more crisp.

    • I might be biased as a hop-fan, but I think it’s more of a rising tide lifts all boats situation — the IPA craze has driven more people to be interested in craft beer, raising production and availability of many types.

      Also, except for certain outliers, I don’t usually see more than one or two IPAs on an average draft list of six or seven.

      • I kind of agree to a point, but when you have a brewery that has a delicious pils but that tap at that bar is taken by the brewer’s IPA, its a dagger straight to my heart. IPA’s sell, so i dont slight the bar owner for carrying them, but there are many colors of a beer rainbow. But yes, the hoppy IPA’s got me into craft beer, its just a shame (to me – not looking to argue in any way whatsoever) that so much of a bar or beer stores taps/shelves are taken by the IPAs.

        • Super-hoppy beers were everywhere for a while, but like any other food trend, it’s fading as people get bored of it. Sours and saisons seem to be the next big thing, as you note.

    • justinbc

      The IPA “craze” ended several years ago from what I could tell, now everyone is trying to make a sour that doesn’t suck.

      • +1. (Although personally, I can’t wait for the sour craze to be over. The one time I tried one it gave me massive woke-me-up-in-the-night heartburn.)

        • +1
          Sours are disgusting. I have yet to taste one that I would ever order a 2nd time. By the time I’m halfway through one, I’m already dreading the rest of the pint.

          • the first time i went to blue jacket, a few weeks after it opened when it was still super packed, i accidentally ordered a sour beer. i saw lavender and lemon and completely disregarded everything else, until i got the beer and couldn’t drink it. the girl in front of me actually turned to her friends and said ‘this place just opened, why does it smell like someone ordered a bunch of stinky cheese?’ it was my beer.

          • @bll I did the same exact thing when Bluejacket opened! I’m not a fan of their sours but do like their Lost Weekend.

          • justinbc

            LOL I’m pretty sure that’s their original Gose that you’re talking about. That’s actually how the beer is supposed to taste / smell, but they had so many complaints about it they kept asking people “are you sure?” when ordering it, and then eventually just took it off. Some styles are obscure for a reason (although I have seen a lot more breweries making goses now).

          • That was the Ingenue and I loved it. Very glad the hopsanity has wound down and been replaced with sours and other more interesting beers.

    • One benefit of the rise of IPAs is that I don’t feel compelled to hunt down Hopslam every year anymore. I mean, it’s still great and I’ll absolutely order it if it’s on tap, but tons of breweries now offer their own imperial IPAs that I can regularly find. A good, fresh IPA also serves a reliable entry point into local markets for a lot of small breweries, who can then branch out once they have a foothold and some name recognition.

      • Totally agree on this. I love Hopslam but I don’t feel like I need to go spend $20 or more on a six pack every year any more — there’s so much else out there for $15 or less.

    • Agreed. Bring on the sours!

  • Speaking of RAR, last October at Quench on New Hampshire in Colesville, I drank a pint of Oak Aged Nanticoke Imperial IPA. It was among my favorite beers of 2015 — I hope to see a version of it return one day.

    • That sounds incredible. I had RAR’s grapefruit IPA at a beer fest last year and it was also great, but I have yet to see it again.

      • justinbc

        Ballast Point makes a grapefruit version of their Sculpin IPA, as well as a pineapple version, and a habanero version. All are pretty good.

        • I need to try the pineapple on tap somewhere, because I picked up a six pack and was extremely disappointed. I love their grapefruit sculpin and of course the regular sculpin, but the pineapple was not that good IMO.

  • They had the Nanticoke Nectar cans at Bad Saint when I went a couple weeks ago as well. I imagine they’ll gain notoriety pretty fast.

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