Beer:30 — Terrapin HI-5 IPA

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Steve WielandWelcome to our new blog series, Beer:30. It has been widely known that when people travel for work, they usually try to find a good beer while on the road — whether it is local to that particular area or a beer too good to pass up, no matter where you are. Or, maybe you have tips that a beer drinker should know when traveling or looking for a good beer. Tell us here.

Believe it or not, beer can bring people together — in responsible libation. We would encourage you to participate, as well. Have a beer you really like that perhaps the rest of us should know about? Again, tell us here. We hope to contribute something every week or so; be on the lookout!

Our first entry in the inaugural Beer:30 blog is from our friend, and beer connoisseur, Steve “Wheels” Wieland. This guy knows his beer. In fact, he brews his own.

Wow, I have the honor of writing the first Mechanical Hub Beer Blog, COOL! My name is Steve and I’m a beer drinker… and a hydronics specialist. I travel the country training people in condensing boilers, looking and trouble shooting at heating systems and sampling brews! Tough job, but somebody has to do it!

terrapinHI5For the first blog I have gone rogue and picked a beer that comes in a can!! Yes, I said a can!! I will admit here, I like it in the can! The advantages are that a can is NOT affected by UV. Cans are unbreakable. Cans pack in and pack out. Crushable to reduce space and are light weight when empty. Cans are ideal for hiking, tailgating, camping, paddling, boating and whatever else you do in your active lifestyle. Cans are the new glass! Almost every brewery is canning. In fact, I can distinctly say that almost everyone likes it in the can!

Today I am picking Terrapin’s HI-5 IPA, because I LOVE IPA’s. Brewed in California, available year round in almost all 52 States! The can reads “Hi-5 leads you down the road of pure adrenaline and beauty. Capturing the majestic flavor of citrusy hops that roll off your tongue like a white cap on an ocean wave, the scenic wonder will keep you in awe, sip after sip.” That’s a pretty bold statement!!

This beer is a little too high in alcohol to be considered a “session” beer, weighing in at a nice 5.9% ABV. The appearance is golden and slightly cloudy which is acceptable for this style beer, most unfiltered IPA’s will have a slight chill haze caused by the oils in the dry hopping. The initial aroma shows its malt backbone, slightly sweet smelling with a hint of citrus.  The ample white head is tight and dissipates slowly leaving nice lacing on the glass.

Initially the beer is dry, and should be due to having a rating of 80IBU’s (International Bittering Units). NOTE: the human tongue can only taste up to 100 IBU’s. Heavy on the IBU’s for its style, more of an old style California IPA.  Today’s the trend for an IPA trend is to keep IPU’s under 50. But the bitterness counterbalances the sweetness of the malt nicely.  Brewed using 2-row barley malt, Caramalt for the biscuit flavor and topped off with Cara Pilsner for a bit more dryness and “German” touch, which this beer really didn’t need.

As promised this beer is medium in body and coats your tongue with hints of orange and lemon along with a touch of mango followed by biscuit and malt flavors. These flavors lingering long enough for you to want to take another sip! Out of 100, I would score this beer at a 92. Beer Advocate rates this beer at an 88. This treasure would pair well with a medium rare burger, a nice grilled steak or shrimp on the barby. Available year round at a beer store near you! Here’s a HI-5 for Hi-5!

Steve Wieland is the Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales Manager for NTI, an avid homebrewer and beer geek. He can be reached at

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