Last weekend was full of a few firsts for me – my first time at a dive bar, my first time finding street parking in DC and my first time falling in love with an IPA. I recently heard the buzz about Bell’s new Hopslam Ale, and it seemed like people were going crazy to get this Michigan beer. Ivy & Coney, a cozy little cash-only, Chicago-themed bar in DC, was given three kegs of Hopslam last week. At $6 a pint, I was lucky enough to snag some from their last one. I am no beer expert, but I do know that I like hoppy beers and easily crushed two glasses of the stuff.
The first dive into my first glass of Hopslam was as fresh and smooth as can be. The hops were complex and well-balanced, gliding down my throat with a pungent taste that kept my taste buds at ease. This wasn’t a completely crisp beer that I would usually enjoy and lean toward, but the lack of high carbonation didn’t bother me one bit. I was going back and forth between tasting citrus and floral notes, but neither taste overpowered the other. There was even some sweetness, a honey-like flavor swirling around in the hoppy brew. The alcohol by volume is 10 percent, so I made sure to fill up on tasty tacos and a full glass of water before moving one inch out the door.
Ivy & Coney isn’t the only bar in the area that was able to get a few kegs of this beautifully balanced beer, but bartender Will Sexton told me that they get about 20 phone calls a day from fellow beer lovers asking if the bar still has Hopslam on tap. In one week, they’ve managed to tap out two kegs and are on their third as of yesterday.
This bad boy is only available in the DC area once a year, and with a shelf life of six months, it’s understandable why this fresh, hoppy beer is such a hot commodity. I strongly suggest that beer drinkers everywhere make some phone calls to see where they can grab a six pack. I know that’s what I’ll be doing!
Learn more about Hopslam at www.bellsbeer.com.
Ivy & Coney: 1537 7th St. NW, DC; 202-670-9489; www.ivyandconey.com