Reviewed by Ron DeGregorio
Of all the breweries in America, my favorite one has got to be North Peak Brewing Company out of Traverse City, Michigan. Not even considering the fact that it is located in one of, if not THE best beer state in the union, it holds the #1 spot in my heart for a personal reason; they were the first beer I drank after I proposed to my fiance’ last year. I enjoyed a Sinuous Scottish Ale, which holds my #1 beer in the world award (biased to the extreme, but still!). What makes North Peak so awesome is that after I checked one of their amazing brews into Untappd, they toasted the check in. They then realized that they were the first brewery that I had tasted after my engagement, and they graciously sent my fiance and I t-shirts! Instant brand loyalty for life!
I was absolutely stoked to find they had brewed a pumpkin ale, and I could not wait to try it.
Here is what North Peak has to say about Hooligan: ”With North Peak’s Hooligan Hoppy Pumpkin Ale you will never have to choose between your favorite pumpkin beer and IPA again. Hooligan is brewed with real pumpkin and fresh spices to give you all the spicy pumpkin goodness you could ask for. And did we mention the hops? Hooligan is brimming with hops!”
Let’s see what I thought:
Appearance: Hooligan is golden yellow/orange. It looks like a lighter pumpkin ale than many others. It has the appearance of a very fresh pumpkin, just ripe for the pickin’ at the pumpkin patch. Hooligan leaves a thin white head that leaves thick lacing on the glass.
Aroma: This beer smells different than any pumpkin beer of I’ve had in the past. First off, there is a significant hop aroma that smells like a very very well-done IPA. Very citrusy, but also sort of a warm smell, that I presume is from malt.
Taste: Woof! Extremely hoppy! I love it. It is bitter as an IPA, but not over the top like some others (I’m looking at you, Stone). I taste absolutely no pumpkin at all, which is a slight disappointment, considering that is what it is advertised to be, however; I still love the beer, it’s just not a pumpkin beer!
The taste is classic IPA. It has citrus and pine notes, with crisp, bitter bite at the back end. As I’ve said already, this is an IPA through and through. I’d be interested to know where the pumpkin comes in!
Conclusion: I give Hooligan a 92, or a B+. Although a pumpkin beer, Hooligan has absolutely no pumpkin flavor or fall spices for that matter. Despite that fact, Hooligan is an extremely well-crafted IPA. It has a very nice bitter taste without being overpowering and I would definitely recommend this for IPA lovers. I would have rated it an A if it was advertised as an IPA for sure.