Foothills Brewing had the brilliant idea of releasing a series of “IPA of the Month” beers in 2015. In 2016, they are building on this style of micro-seasonal releases with a line of “Hop of the Month” beers. Each brew will showcase the unique flavors of a specific hop variety. The January Hop of the Month creation is the Wakatu Vienna Lager. The Wakatu is a zesty, floral hop cultivated by crossing German Hallertau hops with hops grown in New Zealand. On the surface, this lager definitely gets an A+ for creativity.
Wakatu Vienna Lager pours a dark copper with a thick, bready head. The chunky foam releases a bouquet of hop notes: citrus and floral spice. These aromas are underlined by a caramel malt base that balances the profile. Wakatu Lager is much more aromatic than your typical lager.
The flavor profile has a bright punch of lemon/lime on the front with a balancing caramel tone similar to what is experienced on the nose. Peppery hop spice tickles the palate before a numbing bitterness finishes the lager off. The body is light with a generous level of carbonation that you would expect from a lager.
I found the Wakatu Vienna Lager very enjoyable and am looking forward to the remaining IPA of the Month flavors. It’s always exciting when an awesome idea is coupled with expert execution. The Wakatu Lager has robust aroma and flavor profiles that elevate it from your standard lager. However, it is true to the style with a light, drinkable nature. It’s a shame this isn’t brewed year-round.
- Appearance: Dark Copper / Thick, Bready Head
- Aroma: Caramel, Citrus, Floral Spice
- Flavor: Lemon, Caramel, Spice, Bitter Finish
- Mouthfeel: Light
- ABV: 5.6%