Beer Profile: Cool Spring’s Hop Brutality

Profiled by Ken Carman for PGA

pgaprofilehbru You know, ever since American craft brewers invented the concept of the extreme Imperial IPA there have been a few great, and far too many rip your mouth out astringent, versions of this creation. Some of the best came from the sadly deceased BrewWorks in Covington, KY. thanks to Tim Rastetter. Then came the raw/fresh hop craze, and what was too often bad got worse: like of like chewing on excessively bitter grass. The better got even more interesting, though there were even fewer of those.

Cool Springs, a brewpub in Franklin, TN, with Derrick Morse at the helm, started to bottle not too long ago. I have been impressed with most of their brews, and this is definitely one.

The nose is grapefruit perfection: that American IPA fruity sense that defines the Double IPA style. Grapefruit deluxe, which of course means cascade, centennial, Amarillo. etc. This is classic grapefruit. The malt is way in the background so more west coast.

Clarity sucked in samples we had. Slightly dark and moody gold. Pillow head with glass cling. Nice big head.

Light side of medium body. A hint chewy. The hops still hang, body-wise.

If you’re looking for hop dominance this is it. I have had more dominant, but this is what hop dominance should be. Hops in this quaff makes you hop’s bitch, but the brewer needs to know how to deliver each lash of the hop-whip. There’s “dominance,” then there’s undrinkable.

Hops are the focus, but the malt complexity, while subtle, is complex enough to provide a firm, solid, platform for hops to grow right on your tongue.

87 @ Beer Advocate,

63 @ Rate Beer

Hop heaven.



Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”


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martianKen Carman was born of a deity named Bill many moons ago when his wife Winnie was fermenting well at the time. He is a beer judge, beer writer and reviewer of brew-based business, beer commentator and BEER GOD. Do not challenge the one who ate too many hops one year, hence the green pigment you see to the left!