18/04/20 – Spindletap Hopkeem IPA

Quarantine Diaries XXI

Saturday April 18th 2020

img_6432I got up early today. In my world, this is big news as I am, unapologetically, a total layabout who considers morning-time sleeping-time and thinks any hour before 9am only worth being awake for if I’m still up from the night before. Sorry not sorry. But today I made an exception, as we had important birthday celebrations to attend for our lovely friend Pavla, who is sadly missing out on her exciting birthday vacation. Cue All The Virtual Partying! We are now experienced in organising transatlantic birthday celebrations after my big 40, and we were popping champagne (actually New Mexico’s finest Gruet Champagnoise which is soooo good) and in full online party mode by 11.20am CST – boom!

b0312faa-1a1f-44f9-bd92-6a97ef21bc7dI love drinking champagne in the morning, and we went full festive with wine, beer, spirits and all the celebratory silliness the internet could handle. It’s not a proper lockdown birthday without a posh frock and Pavla and I were both fully dolled up – she had the most awesome-cool birthday tiara, and we wore our matching unicorn bracelets to top off our party look! While the virtual world will always lack the intimacy and immediacy of the real world, I like to think that we are effectively honing our skills at making the best of a bad situation and effectively utilising the technology available to recreate real life to the best of our ability. Celebrations matter now more than ever – special days need to feel special and rituals give us strength. The emotional energy that comes from being there for one another and making our own fun is more than a distraction, it’s a balm to soothe fear, boredom and disappointment. At least, that’s what I like to think. Pavla, I hope you had the amazing birthday you deserve. Of course, we will still do all the Real World Partying once all this is over!


Spindletap Hopkeem IPA


We don’t get anything like as much Spindetap beer in ATX as I would like so as soon as I see it I tend to get rather over-excited. We first tried this super-chewy, juicy-citrus delight at their mothership in Houston, where I was thoroughly spoilt with such an overload of Spindletap-awesomeness that JB had to pretty much drag me out of there! One of my favourite HTX breweries (and there is a lot of competition), Spindletap consistently deliver supremely high-quality hoptastic IPAs in the manor of ATX’s own Pinthouse Pizza, and this particular Vic Secret-Motueka double-punch was pure bliss in a can. At 8% it really should not be as gluggable as it is, but I, at least, consider this a mark of quality. The little hint of dry bitterness on the finish pulls it short of ever getting too fruity and the full-bodied texture rolls around in the mouth so happily I wish we had bought more. And so we might.