Beer Review: Caucus-Race (6.0 Zappa Hops) (Boneshire Brew Works)

Beer Review: Caucus-Race (6.0 Zappa Hops) (Boneshire Brew Works)

The sixth iteration of the Caucus-Race series from Boneshire.

After a long day of HersheyPark happy-ing, and much ado of nothing then around the house, I found myself walking downtown to meet my friend Drew at the Warwick… when lo and behold we came to the realization that the Wick is closed on Mondays. (You would think after living in Hummelstown our entire lives, and that we’ve been regulars at the Wick since we turned 21, that we would remember these kinds of things, but we don’t.) Sadly, this won’t be the last time we make this mistake, I know it.

So, that left us to have our great philosophical and Batman oriented discussions at Boneshire instead. (Not a bad place to have deep insightful talks about the nature of all things about a man who runs around in the dark wearing his underwear on the outside of his clothing.)

It happened to still be Monday when we got there, so that meant the place was filled with the ambience of nerdism and the sounds of grunts, growls, and dice rolling around. …In other words – it was the weekly Monday D&D night at Boneshire. And when discussing things superhero related, there is no better backdrop then that.

Alright, so let’s dive into the world of dungeons and dragons and beers and hops and stuff like that…. or… let’s just dive into the beer.

(And if I was more inclined, I’d have peppered this entire blog post with Zappa quotes and puns and all kinds of things, but I’m not so inclined, and I’m not doing it out of the sheer fact you were all anticipating it, so there, I’ve subverted your expectations.)

Beer: Caucus-Race (6.0 Zappa Hops)
Brewery: Boneshire Brew Works
Style: IPA – American
ABV: 7.5%
IBU: No IBU (Untappd listing)
Hops: Zappa
Untappd Write-Up: 6th iteration of our caucus-race series. This time single hopped with Zappa hops!

This is certainly an interesting version of the Caucus-Race, definitely different than the previous versions (which I’ve luckily gotten to have all [six] of now.) Everything has been kept the same in all of the variants with just the hops and a few things changed (like 5.0 added lactose and oats and made it a NEIPA rather than just a typical West Coast style IPA).

I’m not too familiar with Zappa hops, but given that the ingredients and grain bills are the same in all of the variants, then the change in taste and smell in this must be the Zappa hops. I’m not sure what all beers I’ve had that’s used the Zappa hops and I can’t name any off the top of my head. But doing a quick search, these are some beers that have used it: ….Sierra Nevadda Wild Hop Harvest Neomaxicanus. ….and thats it. That I could find with a quick Google search.

Origin:  USA.Zappa™ is a native, North American, Humulus lupulus variety, neomexicanus, recovered from the wild in New Mexico. Named after Frank Zappa, in collaboration with the Zappa family, this hop is as counterculture as the musician himself.

Usage: Aroma, whirlpool, and dry hopping for any hop- or complementary fruit-forward style: hazy or milkshake IPA, fruited sour, pale ale, American strong ale, and wild or mixed-fermentation beers.

Aroma & Flavor Characteristics: Spicy with strong notes of tropical fruit (mango, passion fruit), citrus, and pine. Additional descriptors include savory, mint, and Fruity Pebbles™.


So that provides a little bit of background on the Zappa hops and will provide some context for the beer.

First off, the coloring is a bit of a darker IPA look to it. Not crystal clear, but not hazy, it has a pleasant ‘beer’ look to it that goes underappreciated more often than not.

Aroma is very hoppy, but a grassy, bit pepperish hop aroma. Forest floor earthy might be a good term for it, possibly with bell peppers laying around chopped up.

Head retention on the pour is good and looks delicious and just waiting for that first sip.

Which is remarkable. Its definitely different, and not a normal tasting IPA, and it has a very herb like taste to it, and it is completely a West Coast IPA, so NEIPA “haze boys” will probably not be interested.

There is some mango and bell pepper notes, there’s not what I would call Fruity Pebbles like the description for the Zappa hops says, but something similar, that I can’t quite put my finger on it. Like a zest or citrus to it. It certainly adds a nice complexion to the beer, and makes it one I want to get some more of to taste-test some more.

My Untappd Rating: ****.25
Global Untappd Rating: (Well… like the Juicy Fruit sWheat Tart review, there’s not enough ratings for this yet, in fact, there is only 4 ratings, including my own. The four ratings are: ****, ****.25, ***.75, and ******.)

So I’ll let this sit for a bit, and then add a post-script here with a global rating (probably in a day or two).(This is all, as of 3PM on 8.13.19).

And for those of you wondering about the previous 5 incarnations of the Caucus-Race, here’s a quick summary of each of the batches:

Batch 1:

Beer: Caucus-Race (Azacca, Green Bullet, Idaho 7)Batch 1:
Brewery: Boneshire Brew Works
Style: IPA – American
ABV: 7.7%
IBU: 100
Hops: Azacca, Green Bullet, Idaho 7
Untappd Write-Up:
First Batch in our Caucus-Race Series. Azacca, Green Bullet, Idaho 7 hops.
Debut: June/July 2017
My Untappd Rating: ****
Global Untappd Rating: 3.72

Batch 2:

Beer: Caucus-Race (Amarillo and Simcoe)
Brewery: Boneshire Brew Works
Style: IPA – American
ABV: 7.7%
IBU: No IBU (on Untappd)
Hops: Amarillo, Simcoe
Untappd Write-up: This is the second batch in our Caucus-Race Series. Amarillo and Simcoe.
Debut: October 2017
My Untappd Rating: ****.25
Global Untappd Rating: 3.9

Batch 3:

Beer: Caucus-Race (Huel Melon, Citra, Columbus)
Brewery: Boneshire Brew Works
Style: IPA – American
ABV: 7.5%
IBU: 90
Hops: Huel Melon, Citra, Columbus
Debut: January 2018
Untappd Write-up: Our 3rd version of the Caucus-Race. This one is brewed with Huel Melon, Citra, and Columbus. It has aromas of Strawberry, Melon, Mango, and Pine. It is Cloudy, Juicy, and Bitter…3 of our favorite things!
My Untappd Rating: ****.75
Global Untappd Rating: 3.85

Batch 4:

Beer: Caucus-Race (Mandarina Bavaria And Green Bullet)
Brewery: Boneshire Brew Works
Style: IPA – Imperial / Double
ABV: 9%
IBU: 85
Hops: Mandarina Bavaria, Green Bullet
Debut: March 2018
Untappd Write-Up: Amped up Caucus-Race with Mandarina Bavaria and Green Bullet Hops.
My Untappd Rating: ****.75
Global Untappd Rating: 3.94

Batch 5:

Beer: Caucus-Race (5.0 Lactose And Oats)
Brewery: Boneshire Brew Works
Style: IPA – Milkshake
ABV: 7%
IBU: 55
Hops: Cashmere, Centennial, Ekuanot, Mosaic, Simcoe, El Darado Hops
Debut: February 2019
Untappd Write-Up: Version 5 of the series. This beautiful, juicy, hazy, sticky IPA is brewed with Cashmere, Centennial, Ekuanot, Mosaic, Simcoe, and El Darado Hops. We also added copious amounts of Oats and Lactose.
My Untappd Rating: ****.5
Global Untappd Rating: 3.97

So for those keeping track at home, the Caucus-Race Untappd Ratings are:

1: 3.72
2: 3.90
3: 3.85
4: 3.94
5: 3.97
6: N/A

I’ll make sure to update this and put in a new rating soon.

POST SCRIPT: As of 8.18.19, the Global Untappd rating for Caucus-Race 6.0 is: 3.95.

Until next time everyone, keep drinking, because if you don’t, the Communists win.

-B. Kline

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