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The Craft

Off-Topic: The "Hop Trifecta"

You may have noticed in my last two reviews that I mentioned something called the “Hop Trifecta.” The “Hop Trifecta” is a collection of three beers, my go-to hoppy beers, that I can easily find in stores close to me and are always chilled. These beers really impressed me and I wanted to give them some special treatment on to show my appreciation.

These three delicious beers that make up the Hop Trifecta are Aooni IPA (by Yo-Ho! Brewing), Flying IPA (by Echigo Beer Company), and Captain Crow Extra Pale Ale (by OH!LA!HO Beer). Each of these beers is unique in that they are made by local breweries and are not all that hard to find, if you know where to look. Many people have noted that Lawson convenience stores are starting to stock more of these beers which is a welcome change up from the usual Sapporo, Kirin, Asahi, and Suntory fair. However, my go-to place that I know will have a decent selection of both Japanese and foreign craft beer is Seijo-Ishii.

(The Seijo-Ishii I frequent right outside the ticket gates on my homeward-bound train station. They have a nice selection of food and groceries, especially if you like smoked salmon, prosciutto, or a shrimp cocktail plate. )

Moving back to the Hop Trifecta, each of these beers offers something a little different than the other for me. Aooni IPA is probably the most well balanced of the three and has a higher ABV, making me drink it slower which help me to enjoy the subtle flavours the hops can bring out. Flying IPA, not only has a cool-looking can, but also has a nice backbone of barley which help to bring a sweetness to an otherwise bitter beer. Finally, Captain Crow Extra Pale Ale was the biggest surprise of all being that I went in expecting a usual malty pale ale but got an extra kick of hop-induced fruity bitterness.

Left to right: Flying IPA, Aooni IPA, Captain Crow Extra Pale Ale

Left to right: Flying IPA, Aooni IPA, Captain Crow Extra Pale Ale

Each beer is unique and offers something for everyone. Flying IPA with the sweetness, Captain Crow with the bitterness, and Aooni with the best of both worlds. All in all, I was very happy to have found these beers in a store very close to me and may splurge on them twice a month or so.

Authors’ Note: To be honest I am not much of a hop hunter, or one to enjoy the often extreme-bitterness found in many modern IPAs. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like them, I usually would prefer to enjoy more session-able beers; but beer is beer and I always look for the the best qualities in all the beers that I review.


Do you have a favourite hoppy beer? Do you have your own “Hop Trifecta”? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below!