Hop Circle IPA from Phillips Brewing Company in Victoria, British Columbia is golden yellow in colour and has a slightly wavy look to it with a moderate off-white head that remains as a thin but persistent collar through the glass and leaves a thick frosting of lace behind. This American IPA smells of grains, grapefruit, pineapple, mango and strawberry, with a distinct sun-dried tomato note.
The taste of Hop Circle IPA tastes of toasted grains, umami (sundried tomato and salt), lemon oil, grapefruit, light caramel and black tea. A salty bitterness hits sharply on the tongue and lingers between sips along with a mildly earthy aftertaste. The ale has a medium body, low carbonation, a subtle tingle of yeast and is rather oily, particularly in the finish.
The packaging of Hop Circle IPA is done in dark blue and various shades of green. The label depicts a UFO creating a crop circle in the shape of the Phillips logo and the wordmark borrows from the mythos as well. You also will find an alien and UFO pun-laden description of the beer and a list of ingredients on the label. Freshness dating is clearly stamped on the six pack sleeve.
Hop Circle IPA is not short on bitterness or flavour, but still comes off as a pretty mellow brew. The umami traits in the smell and taste set this one apart from the crowd. I’ve had the chance to pair it with pasta, pizza, shrimp and Greek dishes and it also goes well with snacks like potato chips and popcorn.
You can find Hop Circle IPA as a general listing at over 100 LCBO stores in Ontario, throughout British Columbia and in Alberta.
Type: American IPA
Region: British Columbia, Victoria
Brewery: Phillips Brewing Company
Format Purchased: 6 x 341 mL
Alcohol Content: 6.5%