Beer Name: Hop Cloud
Brewery: Mike Hess Brewing
Style: Hazy IPA
Crafting award-winning beers since 2010, Mike Hess Brewing takes on a new and whimsical branding style with the highly drinkable Hop Cloud. Presented in in a sky-hued can with a hip and bearded plaid-wearing character, the Hazy IPA is already garnering praise and buzz for its juicy, balanced profile. PACIFIC sat down with Sales Director Greg Hess and Tasting Room Manager for Ocean Beach and Miramar Eric Barber for the scoop on Hop Cloud.
What’s with the name?
GREG HESS: We wanted to go off brand from our typical package look and we gave our graphic artist freedom. From there, our events manager came up with the name, a light went on, and we thought “Yes that’s cool!”
The hop lowdown: Hop Cloud features Citra (lemon, grapefruit, lime, citrus, tropical notes), Simcoe (pine, dank, and earth character) and Mosaic (pine, citrus, herbs and tropical notes) hops.
What to expect:
HESS: A tropical IPA full of hop flavor and an absence of bitterness, and crushable for the summer weather. If you have IPA burnout because of the hopped up West Coast style, it’s a nice change of pace. People who say they don’t like IPAs enjoy this one.
ERIC BARBER: If you give people a sip of Hop Cloud, they find its much more juicy and a more palatable version for them, instead of a punch to the face.
The perfect pairing?
HESS: The Borrego from City Tacos. (Grab this specialty taco with pulled lamb, wild mushrooms, cojita cheese, fried leeks, and chipotle aioli at the brewery’s Imperial Beach location or nearby the North Park location.)
This beer gal’s take: I’m floating on a hop aroma’d cloud of citrus, pine and tropical fruit. Refreshing and perfectly crushable, this brew is for people who say things like, “I’m so over IPAs.” As a vegetarian, I can’t pull off the lamb taco, so I’m pairing Hop Cloud with City Tacos’ Portobello with caramelized pineapple for a perfect tropical marriage.
Where to get it and for how long: Hop Cloud will be available as a year-round beer, available on tap at all tasting rooms and around San Diego, including The Local, True North, Wheat and Water and The Bier Garden of Encinitas, as well as in packages at Trader Joes and BevMo.
Extra juicy tidbit: In collaboration with the San Diego County Fair and their theme Wizard of Oz, Hess is releasing their Wizard of Haze, a 5% Hazy IPA, with Citra, Idaho 7 and Strata hops. Bursting with notes of peach, mango, passionfruit and stone fruits, the beer will be available in packages as a Vons and Alberstons grocery exclusive, in liquor stores, and at all Hess tasting rooms. Get this one while you can, it won’t last long.
North Park: 3812 Grim Ave., 619.255.7136; Imperial Beach: 805 Ocean Ln., 619.240.3394; Miramar: 7955 Silverton Ave., #1201, 858.267.6378; Ocean Beach: 4893 Voltaire St., 619.795.1095, mikehessbrewing.com