This beer is a good example of the weird sort of stuff that I end up picking up when I go on one of my patented beer trips.* When I was spending four days drinking my way through Michigan in the spring, I stopped as I typically do at a beer store or two to pick up some random brews that I’ve never seen before. The thing to understand here is that there’s no time to look up brewery reputations or read reviews. These are singles racks, so I simply grab whatever looks interesting. It isn’t until right at this moment that I’m learning that this brew that I picked up in Grand Rapids is actually apparently from Akron, Ohio.

*I’m going on another, miniature beer trip to St. Louis on Thursday and Friday of this week. You WILL be jealous of the exploits I have planned. Trust me on this. Tune in frequently in the future for the full skinny.

Who knew? But this is Thirsty Dog Hoppus Maximus. It’s marketed as a hoppy American amber ale, and judging from previous tastings I’ve had of their Old Leghumper porter and Siberian Night imperial stout, I’m in fairly safe hands.

Thirsty Dog Brewing Hoppus Maximus:

NOTES: 12 oz bottle, poured into a tulip glass. From some small liquor store in Grand Rapids, MI. May or may not have sat there for a while.

APPEARANCE: Cloudy, orangey amber with some yeasty bits in suspension.

NOSE: Caramel malt and some flowery hops that suggest a moderate bitterness. A mix between floral and piney notes in the nose. Lives up to its billing as a hoppy version of an amber ale instead of a malty one.

TASTE: Biscuity and bready up front and mildly sweet. Not too strongly flavored; just a easy-drinking pint that also has enough in the hops department to push it gently to the hoppier side of the spectrum. Keeps it moderately dry and quite drinkable. Good depth of flavor, if not in-your-face about it.

MOUTHFEEL: Light to medium-bodied, moderately carbonated; a quaffer.

DRINKABILITY: High. If I could get this cheaply, it would be an ideal session beer, something that I could drink half a dozen of.

SCORE: 3 hops. A fine American amber ale that is a cut above most of its less inspired competition. It’s not a brew that is ever going to show up in anybody’s “best of” list unless we do a “Top 10 amber ales” list someday, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve recognition as being a well-crafted brew that succeeds in being drinkable without being uninteresting. Kudos to you crazy Akron bastards on a job well done.


  1. Real nice write-up. What was the ABV on that bad boy? I think the dog looks tougher…. give him or her the beer! Got to have some PC going on here…. Tough bitch sounds better then tough bastard. Can’t make out the junk on that dog…don’t want to stare. Wow, I really need a beer now.

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