Derek Warren

DRINK IT DOWN: Blizzard of Hops Winter IPA by Tröegs Brewing Company

DRINK IT DOWN: Blizzard of Hops Winter IPA by Tröegs Brewing Company
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Beer: Blizzard of Hops

Brewery: Tröegs Brewing Company

Style: American IPA

ABV: 6.40%

Description: Blizzard of Hops pours a slightly golden hazy hue with a frothy white head that leaves a thick lacing on the glass. The aroma is both refreshing in a summer way while also being perfect for winter. Hops dominate the nose, with strong hits of citrus fruits and pine with lightly sweetened malts swaying in the background. The fruit notes hit the palate first with the taste of pineapples, oranges, and grapefruits along with a strong bite of pine. The semi-sweet malts cascade over the palate next, soothing any strong hop bitterness.

The medium body and moderate carbonation make this a great and surprisingly sessionable beer. The balancing act within Blizzard of Hops is textbook for a solid American IPA, making this a must-try beer for all hop heads.

Food pairing: The wonderfully bright citrus flavors mixed with pine and semi-sweet malts are refreshing and invigorating while also making this beer perfect for a wide array of dishes. The bright citrus notes pair wonderfully with a light citrus-forward salad topped with a light vinaigrette. The beer is light enough not to overwhelm the salad, and the citrus flavor will only enhance the incredible citrus aromas and flavors.

If you are getting ready for a holiday feast with family and friends, stock up on Blizzard of Hops. This is a beer that goes well with many meat dishes as well as vegetables. Roasted cauliflower and black peppercorn-encrusted steak makes a phenomenal match as a holiday sit-down meal. If you are looking for something on the lighter side, smoked salmon is an excellent choice. However, if your holiday get-togethers look more like sitting around and watching holiday movies with pizza, this is still a good choice for a beer pairing!

The final word: Tröegs Brewing Company is another diamond in the crown of Pennsylvania’s great brewing tradition. The Hershey brewery has long been a local favorite for craft beer lovers. They also have one of the most popular winter beers on the market with their much-beloved Mad Elf. However, Blizzard of Hops has really come into its own as a contender for great seasonal beer.

Many beer lovers, myself included, tend to switch to darker beers in the winter, but with an IPA as good as Blizzard of Hops freshly available, it’s hard to turn it down. The quality of this beer cannot be ignored and, in a market heavily dominated by IPAs, to have such a bold statement beer readily available really says something.

This may be a beer you have tried in the past or it may be one that you have overlooked on the shelves due to its wide availability; this is a grave mistake. Not only is the price point of this beer perfect, but so is that packaging. Grab some now while it’s fresh and before it disappears from the shelves – you will regret it if you miss the opportunity!


Where can I get it? Currently available in 12 oz. bottles or cans at: Sabatini’s Bottleshop & Bar (1925 Wyoming Ave., Exeter), The Nyx (218 Depot St., Clarks Summit), Exit 190 Beer Deli (316 Main St., Dickson City), and Wegmans (1315 Scranton Carbondale Hwy., Dickson City) and (220 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre).

Drink It Down is a weekly column that doesn’t just review beer – it provides the full experience of going out and enjoying a quality craft brew. Look for it on Mondays exclusively on NEPA Scene.