The hops wars, in three parts
1) Following this recent confession that, contrary to all expectations and previous life experience, I had come across a beer that was too hoppy for my taste, this note from reader Richard Hershberger puts it in perspective:
"I realized a year or two ago where the race for the hoppiest was leading. We seem to have settled into a characteristic American microbrew style being an IPA with huge amounts of hops. I like a hoppy brew as much as the next guy, but frankly, this is getting boring. Where I used to browse the microbrew cases like a kid in a candy store, now I spend my time looking for something more interesting than yet another IPA with excessive hops for the sake of excessive hops."
2) On the other hand, beer in South Korea, like beer throughout Asia, is still completely safe from anything remotely resembling an "excessive hops" menace. Even the nation's pride, OB, is part of the watery, blah tradition of Asian beers as a whole. Thus I was grateful for another reader's mention of a microbrewery in Seoul that is waging a brave campaign to introduce hops, malt, color, and taste to the nation's pallid beer offerings. Part of the lineup from this brewpub, Platinum, (via article by Andrew Siddons) shown below.
My own beer discovery in Seoul recalled here.
3) Finally, a new approach to the hops question, from a reader in the Midwest:
"If you like hops, and happen to find yourself in Ft. Collins, CO, I had an American Pale Ale at the bar at Coopersmiths where they actually put a little tea bag of hops in the glass. Was pretty good. (Like all their beers.)"
3A) Bonus hop item: I would be remiss to end a hop dispatch without an admiring mention of the wonderful local (to DC) Hop Devil Ale, from the Victory Brewing Company of Downingtown, Pa. Lots of hops and body -- but abundant rather than excessive. Some day I will get to their brewery.