Hoppin’ Cretin IPA – Tofino Brewery, British Columbia

I was really excited to sample this beer. The label and the name of the beer immediately make me think of The Ramones, and it seems like the perfect opportunity to put on a Ramones album and drink a beer. To be honest, that sounds like how I want to spend every night.

As I cracked the seal on the beer I could immediately smell the immense amount of hops that were somehow contained in the 650 ml bomber bottle. I am not sure how the bottle was able to stay locked up because it was as if the hops were prisoners escaping on a day pass as soon as I pried the bottle cap off. This is an IPA, which is going to be full of hops, but I wasn’t expecting the high concentration of hops in the aroma and I only imagine the hop presence when I actually taste the brew.

Pouring the beer you get a gold colour that has some haze to it without being cloudy. This is an unfiltered beer so you have some residual haze from the brewing process. The head is bone white and substantial. When I poured it into my glass it was at least two fingers thick and is sticking around longer than an unwanted houseguest. The lacing on the glass is thick and obvious.

Tasting Cretin Hop was just as I expected when I cracked the bottle open. It is a pungent brew that has the ability to knock you down if you’re not expecting the spicy bitterness you’re about to partake in. You are punched in the face with hop bitterness that makes your lips pucker because of how dry of a finish this beer has. It’s a beer that is packed with crisp flavour and each gulp brings back a powerful onslaught of hop flavour. There is a strong, but not unpleasant aftertaste. The hops linger on your tongue but instead of satiating you, they urge you to take another sip. And that’s what I shall do. This is a beer that has a dry finish and complexity of flavours that egg you on to have more.

The feel of this beer is like a featherweight boxer. It’s light and springy but packs a punch that would knock a lesser man on his backside.

As I make it to be bottom of the bottle I am struck by how enjoyable that beer was. Admittedly, my personal tastes put me squarely in the realm of nut browns and porters. Malts are a warm toasty friend that remind me of a warm fireplace that I want to spend all night in front of with a good book and a heavy blanket. I am a malt lover and I am proud of it, but this IPA is incredibly drinkable and didn’t leave me puckered and craving a respite. Once you get past the initial hop bitterness you are met with a complex floral bouquet that dances on the tongue. It is so well balanced that it is extremely enjoyable, even for a malt fiend like myself. Now I know  why “there’s no stoppin’ the cretins from hoppin’.”


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