I didn’t want to buy the bottle of Victory’s Hop Wollop, despite the endearing sprung rhyme in the name. I was put off by the label which features a Poopdeck Pappy look-alike with foam in his beard and a corny story about him panning for gold which turns out to be this beer.
But it was my bi-annual trip to Real Ale in Twickenham and, well, Mr. Malting talked me into it.
Let me tell you, I’m glad he did. You’d never know this beer is 8.5%. It’s sneaky: light, well-balanced and easy-drinking. Dangerous! The hops are dominant as one would expect, but they are juicy rather than resinous. Lemon and green apple are clipped by a profound bitterness at the finish. The sweetness from the malt is reminiscent of agave nectar.
After half a glass of this I’m getting happy and even warming up to the notion of Pappy. Tipsy enough to admit to being mesmerized by Popeye as a little girl. It was a favourite of mine.
The Spinach Moment here clocks in at around 5 minutes. I would like to see a spinach moment beer– the label can explain that this cartoon character suddenly discovers the tin isn’t full of spinach but HOPS. It makes more sense than the “Legend of Hop Wallop” on the beer I’m holding. But that’s the great thing about beer. It doesn’t have to make sense to taste good.