Beer Review: Columbus Brewing Company Bodhi

Looking for a great, highly rated, draft only, IPA that you can only get in one city? Skip the plane ticket to Cali or Vermont and drive on up to Columbus instead! When I say this is highly rated I mean a 98 on both Rate Beer and Beer Advocate plus on Beer Advocate’s list of top Double IPAs this comes in at #20 making it the “best” DIPA in Ohio!

The Columbus Brewing Company has been making their double IPA, Bodhi, for a few years now and have kept it on draft only and rarely distribute those kegs outside of the Columbus area. Luckily it’s relatively easy to score in Columbus and quite a few places offer growler fills of it. My wonderful wife had a work conference in Columbus this weekend and was kind enough to pick up a growler of this for me!

Bodhi (pronounced bow-dee) is a sanskrit word from Buddhism which is roughly translated as enlightenment or awakening. Lets see if it’s hops awaken by taste buds to the same level of love that others give this beer.

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Beer Review: Bell’s Hopslam

The Midwest is not historically known for it’s IPAs but that is changing quickly. The west coast has been knocking out bitter IPAs for more than a decade, recently Heady Topper has started to put the (north) east coast on the map. As for the midwest we’ve got a few serious contenders leading the way in Fat Head’s Head Hunter and Bell’s Hopslam among others. I prefer the Hopslam because it’s much more flavorful to Fat Head’s bitterness. Hopslam is a seasonal release with a somewhat small foot print, luckily Ohio and northern Kentucky are well within that footprint!

Here’s what Bell’s has to say about it

Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell’s Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell’s repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.

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Beer Review: Pliny The Elder

One of the legendary beers of our times, Pliny The (Mother Fucking) Elder. Let’s start with this…

Ratebeer: 100
Beer Advocate: 100 from The Brothers and average of 100 from 2,673 readers
Untappd: 4.62% from 7,360 ratings
2004 Great American Beer Festival – Bronze Medal Double IPA – Pliny the Elder
2005 Great American Beer Festival – Gold Medal Double IPA – Pliny the Elder
2006 World Beer Cup – Gold Medal Double IPA – Pliny the Elder
2006 Great American Beer Festival – Gold Medal Double IPA – Pliny the Elder
Zymurgy #1 American beer of 2012

Next up for our Ohio friends you can’t buy this here. Might be able to get some in PA, or travel to CA, or make a trade like I did. So lets find out what I think…

Brewery: Russian River
Beer: Pliny The Elder
Stlye: Double/Imperial IPA
Alcohol By Volume: 8%

Great Golden orange copper color that reminds me of a beautiful sunset. The head comes up a nice bubbly white.

Smells aggressively hoppy, with some hints of pine and raisins. I’m also getting an earthy whiff like fresh cut grass and a small hint of the 8% alcohol. Very enjoyable smell creating lots of anticipation!

This is one of the most complex hop profiles I’ve had, not intense just complex. The taste is actually very very smooth. But it’s not all hops, there are some bready malts, either pear or something like it.

Uhm, starting to feel that 8% a bit.

It’s a creamy medium bodied mouth feel, with… not carbonation, but crispness.

Overall it’s a good beer, a damn good beer. “Best beer in America” I dunno about that, there is a lot of beer out there. Without a doubt this is one of the better beers that I’ve had. I’m trying to work away from my #/5 rating system, if you want that you can go to ratebeer or beer advocate, but if I was to give it a # I might have to rethink my system. Giving this a 5 feels like a disservice, but maximums have to exist for a reason I guess…

Bottom line here is try it if you can. Just so you know what’s out there and what so many people think is so amazing. Also, that 8% seems low to me after finishing the pint I feel like it’s closer to around 9 or 10%. As a small aside I gave the wife a sip and she made a “meh” face with a shoulder shurg. She’s a cider drinker not a fan of beer at all, but she couldn’t pass on trying “the best beer in America.”

I want more…