Tuesday, February 04, 2014

2014 Bell’s Hopslam Release Battles The Polar Vortex

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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This year’s Hopslam release was being rolled out just as Michigan was entering a January deep freeze of below-zero temperatures which effectively shut down most of the State.
This did delay many stores shipments by a couple days and perhaps bumped the frenzy up a notch. Distributors still quickly sold out of their supplies, and most stores sold out within less than a week. In fact, a few stores never even received their shipments.

Polar vortex or not, this year’s Hopslam release parties have gone on as scheduled. I attended one of the first at Logan’s Alley in Grand Rapids, which tapped the beer at 7 AM on a Monday morning. My friend and I enjoyed our first Hopslams of the year with the monthly food special, deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Another official release party in West Michigan was held the next day at 8th Street Grille in Holland. I made the rounds in Muskegon; Booyahs, Pints & Quarts, Top Shelf Pizza, and Hank’s all had tapped Hopslam and or were planning on tapping soon.

For those not familiar, Hopslam is a very limited release from Bell’s, featuring 6 different hops plus honey and clocking in at a whopping 10% ABV. In case you missed Hopslam at your favorite beer bar (or beer store,) Bell’s has plenty of opportunities still coming to get in on the 2014 release including (but not limited to) an upcoming tapping at The Wild Rover in Marquette, MI on January 23rd and Hopslam is sure to make an appearance at the upcoming Music & Microbrew Festival in Traverse City as well as at and/or around the Winter Beer Fest during the highly anticipated Grand Rapids Beer Week.

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VK has been following the Michigan Craft Beer scene since before Oberon has been available in 6-packs. Besides making the rounds at all the local craft breweries and beer bars, Dan also supports the local music scene, reads crime fiction, and enjoys playing volleyball with his wife and friends.