Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) is another one of those big breweries that I tried outside of Portland and had to stop by. They wanted me to try a large number of tasters in order to get a flight so I elected to do a few small tastes since I was on my way to the waterfall. I ended up trying most of their beers I was interested in. In all I tried the Hopworks IPA, Survival Stout, Cascadian Dark Ale, UK Style IPA, White IPA, Kentucky Christmas, and Army of Darkness.
The Hopworks IPA had a nice bright pine flavor but it was also joined by some unpleasant soapy flavor possibly from using too much mosaic. The soapy taste kept me from enjoying this one very much. The Survival Stout was quite drinkable with a nice mix of coffee and roasted malts. It was not as full bodied as I prefer in my stouts and didn’t really stand out in any way.
The Cascadian Dark Ale was an interesting style I hadn’t heard of before but it seems in the Pacific Northwest area breweries like to hop up dark ales and since they use Cascade hops frequently it makes sense to give it a whole new name. It was good and balanced but to me felt like the hops could have been made a bit more prominent. The UK style IPA was far too mellow for my tastes and didn’t have much unique flavor to it.
The White IPA was quite dry and bitter but didn’t seem to have much of a particular hop flavor to recommend it. I didn’t much care for this one. The Kentucky Christmas was a delightful treat, a bourbon barrel aged Winter beer. The underlying beer let the bourbon flavors shine. I didn’t have much of this because it was on the stronger side and I was on the way to a hike. Finally, the Army of Darkness was a unique chocolate raspberry Russian Imperial Stout. If you have ever had raspberry filled chocolates before, this does a fantastic job of presenting that in a beer. The two flavors went really well together but like the previous one I wasn’t ready to order a full pour of something so strong at the time.
In all, I was mostly pretty let down by the mainstay beers offered by HUB but they did have some fantastic specialty beers. If you enjoy the more mellow Northwest IPAs then you might like the IPA. I did not eat any food while I was visiting HUB.