Beer Review: Dropout (Rubber Soul)

Beer Review: Dropout (Rubber Soul)

Dropout (2020) by Rubber Soul Brewing Company at Rubber Soul’s new brewery in Hummelstown, PA

Technically this should be “Dropout 2020” by Rubber Soul rather than just Dropout. Its the same, but not the same, as the original Dropout that the original Rubber Soul made (back from when they were in Salisbury Maryland with a different head brewer). For ease and brevity of the blog I have it listed as just DROPOUT, and don’t think I really need to include the 2020. I will be interested to see if going forward if Rubber Soul makes new entries on Untappd for “Dropout (2021)” and “Dropout (2022)” etc. They also did this with Garage Racer calling it Garage Racer (2020).

So, brief backstory on this, Rubber Soul was a brewery out of Salisbury Maryland with ties to the midstate area of Central Pennsylvania. So a lot of their beers were kegged and sent up to local bars in the area. They went bankrupt roughly two years ago, and a LLC bought them, and then subsequently bought the old borough building in Hummelstown and spent the majority of 2020 (and some of 2019) turning it into their new brewery. The LLC bought all of their old equipment and recipes, but did not retain the same brewer, instead getting a new brewer, and moving from Salisbury MD to Hummelstown PA.

You can read my two articles on their opening:

This was their first ‘add-on’ from their original tap list, which not quite a week in, they already had kicked a keg (or two or however many they had to replace one of their beers) which is pretty impressive.

Last night after getting done at work at 7PM, driving home, I decided to head over to Rubber Soul for dinner and then a block up to Tony’s house to watch the Bills – Titans game. How often do you get to watch Tuesday night football? Especially with your buddy whose a Bills fan. So I decided why not!

Firstly, let me say, I had the stromboli with it, and that was one of the most delicious ‘boli’s I’ve ever had. I don’t normally order stromboli, but I picked the short rib poutine but unfortunately they were out of it (sold out during the day) so I decided on the stromboli. My dad had it the night we were there when I met him and my mom there for dinner, and he said it was delicious, so I figured why not.

Enough about food (who cares about food anyway right?), lets get to the beer:

Dropout 2020 by Rubber Soul Brewing Company

Beer: Dropout (2020)
Brewery: Rubber Soul Brewing Co
Style: IPA – Imperial / Double
ABV: 8.2%
IBU: 70
Untappd Description: Double IPA. This hop forward double IPA has a big presence of grapefruit and flowery spice. A clean finish with a little bite. Hopped with citra mosaic and cascade.

The original Rubber Soul Dropout has the following statistics:
ABV: 8%
IBU: 100
Untappd Description: We’ve taken a classic Big IPA and modified it to epic, or rather, citric proportions. Thoroughly loaded with Citra hops and German specialty malts like Vienna and CaraFoam, the roasty middle of this otherwise pungent power pale will have you screaming “Dropout!” wherever you are.

I wish I could say I could give an honest comparison between the two, but its been four years (four years ago in June) since I last had the original Dropout. My Untappd notes for it say: “Bitter but very flavorful”.

That’s not the same case for the newest version of this. So, lets get into it, and break it down.

Appearance is a nice darker hued NE-IPA looking drink. A cross between a West Coast IPA and a New England IPA in appearance. Its somewhat hazy, not fully opaque, but far from translucent. It looks like an IPA, but just a bit darker / cloudier than a normal IPA, and there’s nothing wrong or bad about this. It has a very nice look and is a well done appearance for a new IPA and new brewery. It had a wonderful foamy head to it with nice bubbles.

Nose is a strong juicy hoppy IPA. The citra hops really sparkle here and take front and center stage. This has a wonderful IPA aroma to it, strong, scented, powerful, slight malt notes, but strong hop presence in the nose. Fun beer to smell before taking that first delicious sip.

First sip…. very good. Second sip…. very good…. third sip…. oh look, who are we kidding. The beer is good, from first to last sip, and its super quaffable making you wanna get a second drink before you know it. There is a bit of a large variety of hop notes to this new version of Dropout, and ‘bitterness’ is not one of them. This is very juicy, dank, and it is most importantly delicious. There is a citrus flavor to the hops, there’s a lot of grapefruit flavor as well. I got a little spice on this, but not much, very subtle, and almost as if you need to look for it. The hops leave this with a really nice floral, grapefruit, juicy, dank, citrusy, with a hint of earthy undertones, and then there’s the light subtle hint of the spice, and some malt backbone to this, that all really blends together into a very drinkable, delicious brew. I’m usually not a huge fan of grapefruit tastes but this doesn’t border on that ‘ugh grapefruit’ and more of a ‘oh, this is nice’ grapefruit, no bitterness, no pungent-ness, no over powering grapefruit or too bright grapefruit, this is blending, mellow, but tasteful. Sitting in the brewery, reading, and eating, this went down incredibly smooth and easy. The 70 IBU leaves a bit of a bite but not really noticeable, as the juiciness of the beer really smooths that out and overpowers the hop bite. So for those fans of New England IPAs, this will be more on their side than the traditional West Coast IPA side. As a Double IPA (DIPA) it is a bit higher ABV – 8.2%, but its not too noticeable, and even after two (with food) its not too strong to knock you on your ass, which is always a definite plus. A crowler of this would be just the right amount for a good night watching a football game…. even if it is on a Tuesday due to COVID.

My Untappd Rating: ****
Global Untappd Rating: 4.01 (as of 10.14.20)

After the two beers and ‘boli at the brewery, walked the block up to Tony’s and watched the Bills – Titans game. He certainly didn’t enjoy the game (as a Bills fan), and afterwards we got to watch the exciting final of the Braves – Dodgers game (Braves nearly blew that one!). I had a crowler of the Garage Racer (2020) while watching the game, and that’s another very fine and enjoyable beer from Rubber Soul.

I am certainly going to be enjoying having them in town, a mile walk to the brewery and back, is perfect. It’ll let me feel like I’m being productive and healthful with the walk, plus enjoy some great beer and food. Win. Win. Win.

Look for a new review from Josh tomorrow – and shocker everyone – it’s not Adroit Theory. Its great having him back reviewing again, you can check out his latest review here: Beer Review: The Octagonal Stairway (Adroit Theory and Pig Destroyer Collaboration).

You can see my latest beer reviews here:

Cheers everyone, and stay safe and healthy out there with all the rises in COVID cases. Remember to mask up, remember to wash hands, and most importantly: remember to drink some great craft beers!

-B. Kline

Dropout (2020) by Rubber Soul Brewing Co.

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