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Holgate Hopinator - No Longer Any Good

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kieran.allen

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Hey All,

So up until recently I was a massive fan of Holgate's Hopinator Double India Pale Ale, but something has changed. I bought a 6-Pack recently and found myself unable to finish a bottle. The same was the case when I had it on tap at The Union Hotel in Newtown.

Now If I remember correctly, Holgate recently upgraded their entire brewhouse, so I'm thinking the recipe hasn't been properly updated to deal with the change in equipment size, quality etc or otherwise they have changed the recipe/ingredients. In any case the beer is no longer the amazing treat it once was (especially at $35 a 6-Pack).

When I raised this with Holgate they told me that it may have been due to the age of the bottle, but as it was only 6-months old, I very much doubt that was the case, expecially as the tap version was also lacking.

Has anyone else come to this realistion recently?

n.b. Thankfully Holgate's Temptress Chocolate Porter remains amazing as ever :)
 

Snowdog

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The first time I had it on tap it was amazing, but it wasn't as good from a bottle or from tap the next time I had it. The Roadtrip on the other hand, was amazing.
 

tiprya

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I had the Hopinator recently on tap and wasn't very impressed - pretty one-dimensional hop flavour. I don't have an earlier tasting to compare it to, however.

I generally find Holgate beers to be pretty average tbh, although I think the ESB is pretty good.
 

jbowers

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I liked it when I first had it, but didn't think much a year later. I blame that pretty much entirely on trying good IPA's within that gap. I just don't think it's a very good IPA, personally. Overt crystal malt character, and often has a bit of diacetyl going on. Hop flavour is ok, but struggles to really pop with such a sweet, malty beer.

I like their ESB and Temptress though. Mt Macedon ale is ok too, but I like Butterscotch.
 

NewtownClown

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Very disappointed with the Hopinator on tap at the Union in Newtown, also.
I queried the age of the keg and was informed it had been tapped only a few hours earlier (I would have rated the Vale IPA higher - and that is not a great beer!). I felt a lot of the hop aroma and flavour was gone.
RIP Hopinator.

Kudos to the Union Hotel for having the balls to take the risk and turn their taps over to craft beers, also to the staff who have became enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
 

yaks

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Kudos to the Union Hotel for having the balls to take the risk and turn their taps over to craft beers, also to the staff who have became enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
Completely agree, I'm stoked it's my local ;)
 

kieran.allen

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Kudos to the Union Hotel for having the balls to take the risk and turn their taps over to craft beers, also to the staff who have became enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
Second. They have the most varied and regularly updated craft beer list is Sydney. The Union is my present favourite in Sydney.
 

chunckious

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Had the Hopinator on tap @ The Archive & the ESB on tap @ The Scratch.
Both fantasic beers. All looks good up here in vegas.
 

reVoxAHB

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I purchased a 12x of Hopinator on Friday and I'm not ashamed to say there's only 3 left in the fridge. And here's me thinking I'd have one a week as a special treat - to offset my range of beers on tap.

Bottled on 23/05/12
hopn.jpg

It's absolutely beautiful, smooth, the hops really shine and the beer is balanced quite well. A year and a half ago, I definitely felt the beer was malt dominant where you ostensibly expect more from the hop end of things esp with the expectation in namesake, "Hopinator." I gather the brewers have tweaked the recipe where it stands with any of the Imperial US IPAs, imo.

This style (any big hop driven beer) is all about the freshness. Vinnie of Pliny fame is always harping on about, "Best enjoyed FRESH!" etc. so 6 months past bottling, sure the floral punch will have diminished, aroma dropped off, etc. That, and it could be a seasonal hop difference or change in hop - eg previously using galaxy, now using an in-demand hop such as Citra.

I liked it when I first had it, but didn't think much a year later. I blame that pretty much entirely on trying good IPA's within that gap. I just don't think it's a very good IPA, personally. Overt crystal malt character, and often has a bit of diacetyl going on. Hop flavour is ok, but struggles to really pop with such a sweet, malty beer.
Hopinator is not an IPA. It's an Imperial IPA in the vein of Pliny, Dreadnaught, Hop Wallop, (recently famed) Moylan's Hopsickle, Hop Stoopid to name a few.

Cheers
reVox
 

tiprya

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Hopinator is not an IPA. It's an Imperial IPA in the vein of Pliny, Dreadnaught, Hop Wallop, (recently famed) Moylan's Hopsickle, Hop Stoopid to name a few.
At 7% and 68 IBUs... I don't think so. Their "double IPA" moniker only stands against the smaller English and Australian IPAs - comparing it to real American IIPAs isn't really appropriate.
 

reVoxAHB

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At 7% and 68 IBUs... I don't think so. Their "double IPA" moniker only stands against the smaller English and Australian IPAs - comparing it to real American IIPAs isn't really appropriate.
Touch you are correct, sir. BJCP 14C. Imperial IPA puts vital stats at:

OG: 1.070 – 1.090
IBUs: 60 – 120
FG: 1.010 – 1.020
SRM: 8 – 15
ABV: 7.5 – 10%

Hopinator misses Imperial by .5

Road Trip, which is at 5.5% just squeaks in as an IPA> I suspect if you handed it to an American or person well versed in US APA/IPA they'd categorise it as APA as everything is just bigger over there.

But then, it all comes down to excise here which I'm guessing is why most AUS craft beers aren't pushing the ABV stratosphere where it's all volume based/ABV irrelevant in US.

Regardless, point taken.

Cheers
reVox
 

jbowers

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Was going to reply to reVox, but looks like it's already been said. I refuse to call that beer a double IPA, at least the beer I tried. If they have reworked the recipe, I look forward to trying it again when I'm sure it's fresh.

Also, if this beer is comparable to Hop Stoopid now, it'd have to be a TOTALLY different beer.
 

Jace89

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Someone said earlier that they upgraded their brewery, I believe they just got bigger tanks.
 

2much2spend

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just opened a bottle form 10/02/12 and had to tip it
i was tasting a LOT of dialectal. :icon_vomit:

ive had this on a ubrewt type and its just un drinkable
im hoping its a one off.

cant wait for the road trip ipa to hit melbourne
 

Snowdog

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I took the punt and had a Hopinator at Bitter Suite last weekend, and it tasted really good again. I'll have to rate it inconsistant. Wont ever have it, or any Holgate brews in bottle again though.
 

mikec

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Sampled Holgate's ESB and Hopinator last night at the local.
I really liked the ESB.
The hopinator - not so much. But to be fair I'm not really into super bitter beers unless there is plenty of flavour/aroma to balance them out. This was just bitter.
 

Jez

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Sampled Holgate's ESB and Hopinator last night at the local.
I really liked the ESB.
The hopinator - not so much. But to be fair I'm not really into super bitter beers unless there is plenty of flavour/aroma to balance them out. This was just bitter.
Which pub mate? You're just down the road from me.

Jez
 

winkle

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Had one at Archive last weekend and it seemed perfectly fine to me, even though I was struggling with hoppy beeers by the time I got to it.
I need more concrete in my diet I think.
 

mikec

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Which pub mate? You're just down the road from me.

Jez
This was at the East Village - down the Eastern end of Darling St (used to be Belgian Beer Cafe).
He only had the one Holgate tap. When the ESB ran out, he switched to Hopinator.
 

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