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Hop Along Beer Vs. Hanson Beer: A Roundtable

Hello, loyal readers! We here at Stereogum have moved offices, making the grand exodus from a gathering of cubicles near Grand Central Station to a gathering of cubicles near Times Square. Along with the rest of our colleagues at our daddy company Valence Media, we are adjusting to the new space. Being in the heart of Times Square is invigorating. It is, after all, the heart of New York City, in that blood runs through the streets, there are a lot of billboards, and there are no good places to eat lunch.

To celebrate our new location, we’re drinking beers at 3PM. “Out with the old, in with the new,” as they say! The old being these eight cans of beer I have faithfully brought with me from our previous office, and the new being that we are finally drinking them.

In the grand tradition of our previous roundtable, we will be reviewing both beers that we received from promoters many months ago! (Send us more consumable promo items! We’ll do this again.) They are both from bands, so music. (Take that, Octo.ber!)

The beers are from Hop Along and Hanson. They’re two bands that have nothing in common, but now they have beer in common. They both released their own brews last year: Hop Along for the first time, Hanson as part of a years-long side hustle. And the Stereogum staff that is here — me (James Rettig), Gabriela Tully Claymore, Peter Helman, and Julia Gray — will indeed be drinking them. So sit back, relax, crack open a cold one, and read on, man, to see what we think of these brewskis.

JAMES RETTIG: Good afternoon all! It’s 2:37PM. Is everyone ready to drink some beers?

JULIA GRAY: I’m on the train on my way to the big beer review and a woman swatted me w her cane :( on purpose :(

GABRIELA TULLY CLAYMORE: I didn’t eat yet.
Frick!

PETER HELMAN: I am ready to drink some beers!
2 beers!

JULIA: I came all the way from Brooklyn to DRINK
SOME
BEER!

GABRIELA: julia has been typing for like 30 min

JULIA: we are only allowed to slack our thoughts under james’ regime 😞

JAMES: OK before we get started with the taste test… how is everyone liking the new office?

GABRIELA: Highlights are:
1. Natural light for the first time in two years
2. Free snacks
Downside?
1. Times Square
2. TIMES SQUARE
3. TIMES! FUCKIN! SQUARE!

JULIA: I got off the train and went into an instant state of panic!

JAMES: ok lets get to the beers
first up we will drink the beer from Hop Along because it came first, around 6-8 months ago.
some background: this beer was made by Love City Brewing, which is based in Philadelphia, which is where all bands are from

PETER: First come first serve
6-8 months later

JAMES: It’s called “Hop Along IPA Beer”
it’s 7.0%
first…. let’s talk about the name
disappointing?

GABRIELA: it’s a whole pint

PETER: Definitely should be called Hops Along
Maybe they thought that was too easy

JULIA: my dad is trying to facetime should i pick up

GABRIELA: The name is weak but it’s probably accurate?
It’s an IPA, therefore “hoppy”

JAMES: Hoppy Long – i think that would have been cute
i just feel like they could have done a lot more

JULIA: are they still making these? for someone who doesn’t know hop along this just looks like a regular ass beer

PETER: hoppy long sounds like justin long’s pet rabbit

GABRIELA: is he a mac or a pc

GABRIELA: When I worked at a restaurant I needed to know a lot about beer because it was a big beer spot and I could never remember how to describe anything so I would just be like “this beer is hoppy but that one is more hoppy. the stella is no hops.”

JAMES: Yeah, hoppy is the only way i know how to describe beer

JULIA: let’s talk about the packaging? the design looks vaguely patriotic

JAMES: OK packaging – yeah it’s not a flag but it does evoke a flag

GABRIELA: Stuff from Philly is so “America”

PETER: Philadelphia is a patriotic city

GABRIELA: because of the Liberty Bell

JAMES: the “Love City”

PETER: The birthplace of America!

GABRIELA: They love a gd flag over there

JAMES: but ok…. lets crack her open

JULIA: citrusy!

PETER: First sip
James says “oooooh”

JAMES: First reaction: I like it

PETER: I like it too

JULIA: not very hoppy tbh

PETER: A good beer

GABRIELA: OK I took my first sip…. it’s almost a little bit…. dare I say…. “stout-ish”

JAMES: i’m not gonna lie….i am a SUCKER for a citrus beer

JULIA: like hardly a hop

JAMES: it’s a lot lighter than i was expecting

PETER: more like stout along amirite

JAMES: ok disclaimer: i know absolutely nothing about beer
i shop by percentage, a vestige of my college years

GABRIELA: One time James bought Christmas IPA in July
And I wanted to beat him up for it….truly horrifying

JAMES: thats where the term “christmas in july” comes from… that experience

JULIA: james what do you like

JAMES: my favorite beer is IPA even though i don’t know what that means, and i like a beer with a high percentage
because i like to get drunk and not drink that many beers because calories !

PETER: IPAs are usually very alcoholic
It’s true
This is 7% so pretty high!

JAMES: yeah, 7% is good…my favorite beers to get drunk off of are the ones with the like misogynistic names
like “crazy bitch” and “flying slut dog” or whatever

GABRIELA: YES!!!!!! Flying Dog, Raging Bitch

JULIA: bark ur head off raging bitch

CREDIT: Gabriela June Tully Claymore

SCOTT LAPATINE: As you know I’m home sick today, but just wanted to check in on this new Slack channel and make sure everyone is hard at work

GABRIELA: We’re in ur office @scott

JULIA: apparently …
When It Comes to Music and Beer, Hop Along Won’t Be Easily Defined
Frances says the beer will “knock you on your ass” !

SCOTT: Ok. There’s a QT chaser on my desk
Beer Oblivion Community Center

JULIA: apparently the can design is the Love City Brewing logo but with the colors of Hop Along’s Bark Your Head Off, Dog
lets discuss

JAMES: i think thats a stretch!
i see the colors but to be honest…i think they could have done more with it? could have been a cool can
i feel like i’m being a “hater” but i actually am enjoying this beer

JULIA: i think for hop along’s next album they should base the cover off of a beer logo

GABRIELA: The color on the can is similar to the cover but it looks absolutely NOThING like the cover! Sorry hop along, stick to music

JULIA: the claws come out!!!!
gabriela is exiting
collecting herself in the corner

GABRIELA: I almost spit beer on the floor of Scott’s office 😞 halp

JULIA: ok some final tasting notes

JAMES: we’re writers…give some good descriptions of this beer
is it angular

JULIA: its generous
honestly….a little thin!

GABRIELA: The flavors I’m getting: beer, licorice, orange

JULIA: car tire
gravel
soil

JAMES: i feel like it’s a good beer for a long night
i could drink 3-5 of these

PETER: We only have four

JAMES: lets take a break and admire times square

JULIA: wow the new office….great views!

GABRIELA: We should host a NYE party in this office tbvh
For the folks at home: We’re gazing south at the NYE ball and a bigass neon sign that says HULU

JAMES: OK let’s bring this back on the rails
any last thoughts on the Hop Along beer for now before we move on to Hanson’s beer? we will compare them later

JULIA: good for active drinking

JAMES: gab just dramatically slammed each can down on the table to compare how much we all drank
she drank more!

JULIA: gabriela is turnt!

GABRIELA: I think I’d drink this … whenever! But my favorite IPA remains Lagunitas. No one can beat it! It’s my go-to. AND it’s a California brew. Nothing could be better :)

JULIA: should we put on music?
we are sitting in complete silence, reader

JAMES: i just turned on hop along

JAMES: OK everyone, take a deep breath and let’s move on to Hanson

GABRIELA: Now we’re gonna have to put on Hanson.

JAMES: Some fun facts: This is NOT hanson’s first beer. In fact, they have a whole company called “Hanson Brothers Beer”. They’re really “leaning in” to beer
The first one was call Mmmhops … which, fair!

PETER: This one has no pun name
Sad

JAMES: This one is called “Hop Jam Festival Ale”

PETER: Pun names are like, the only reason to make a beer

PETER: Hop Jam is an event apparently

JAMES: Yes! So this has been a beer that’s been available at their festival, which has gone on in Oklahoma for four years! Wild

PETER: It’s Oklahoma’s largest craft beer and music festival!
I don’t know how many craft beer and music festivals Oklahoma has

JAMES: It’s clear from the Hanson Bro’s website that their beers are available in a lot of Oklahoma places. Good for them!
in 2019 we’ll all pivot to beer

PETER: year of the beer

JAMES: It’s also available in Florida at Disney and Epcot! Fuck yeah

JULIA: stereobeer
sorry
we should come out with a beer!!!!

PETER: OK
Can anyone name one song by Hanson
That isn’t Mmmbop

JAMES: OK, i was putting on Hanson for us to listen to and discovered they have a recently released all-strings album of songs by them!
called “String Theory”

JULIA: fuk
when was this released

JAMES: November 2018
I think we would’ve had a different Album Of The Year if i knew this!
sorry Kacey

GABRIELA: Pitchfork fest has its own beers
Goose island does it

JAMES: yeah, a lot of fests have their own beer – when i went to bonny bear’s thing [bon iver] a few years ago i think they had their own brew
there’s money in beer!
not in media

PETER: ok i quit
i’m doing beer now

GABRIELA: Interesting that IPA is so big now
IPA is called “india pale ale” because it became popular among sailors from britain traveling to india? Or something like that
the added hops was for the long sea journey … kept it yeasty or something like that
I can’t remember my history rn.

JAMES: ok we’re gonna drink the hanson beer now
everyone take their first sip
(there was a lot of dust on these cans when i moved them!)

JULIA: gabriela spent 10 minutes blowing dust off of each can

GABRIELA: I do not like this.

PETER: This is a spiced farmhouse ale
Whatever that means

JAMES: no
i don’t like it

PETER: Gabriela and Jams both said “ew” upon first sip

JULIA: the can says “beer + music = awesome”

JAMES: this one is 6.5% which… also, generous!
but i don’t enjoy drinking it

GABRIELA: I tried to verify my history of the IPA and apparently… it’s contentious!
don’t believe everything you hear

JULIA: “We are committed to great BEER and with each brew we help you discover new MUSIC” it says

PETER: Every can comes with a QR code to “scan for music”

JAMES: i’m gonna scan
idk how to scan QR codes but i’ll find out
i feel like QR codes are a thing that like “dad” CEOs think people use but no one actually does

JULIA: i think you need an app? cant believe there are still qr codes

JAMES: PSA: no more Hanson music, back to HOp Along

JULIA: so i dont enjoy this beer but i am drinking it
tastes stale

JAMES: funnily enough, we only got this like… a month and a half ago?
so def not stale

GABRIELA: I think it’s bad…

JAMES: the fun thing about beer is that even if it tastes bad i’ll drink it

PETER: that is fun

JAMES: it tastes a little bit like armpits

JULIA: im switching back to hop along

GABRIELA: anything labeled as “festive” is not a good beer
sorry to all the seasonal beer lovers
if you drink Pumpking you’re a fucking sociopath

JAMES: well, it’s “festive” as in “festival” not festive as in christmas
important distinction

GABRIELA: I think it’s both @jams
Festive for the Festival
perhaps a fall festival
hint of maple, crunchy leaves on the ground
you get it

JULIA: it tastes like leaves

GABRIELA: It’s absolutely not a beer I want to finish

JAMES: ok lets give them a rating 1-10

GABRIELA: i rate Hop Along 5
i rate Hanson 2

JAMES: i’d give Hop Along a 7! i liked
Hanson is a 3

PETER: I’d give Hop Along beer a 6 too
Hanson is a 4

JULIA: i give hop along a soft 6 barking dogs out of 10
hanson is mmmmmmmmm2bop

GABRIELA: bop your bark off, dog

JAMES: lets pour one out for ryan, who said he would do this and then bailed at the last minute!
i feel like ryan knows about beer…its the beard

JULIA: and the tweed

GABRIELA: let’s give ryan a last minute taste yeah

JULIA: we’re gonna make him guess which is which

GABRIELA: i just asked ryan “can you come in here? it’s an emergency.”

RYAN LEAS: this is the hanson one
because it smells like maple

RYAN: these are both bad.

This has been a Stereogum roundtable.

Tags: Hanson, Hop Along